And the Mystery Prize is...
Last year's Snips, Snails, and Dragon Tales featured a story in a more action-oriented comic book style about the original Dashing Swordsman, Julio Scoundrél. At the end of that story, I ran a letters page which featured a blurb by Julio himself plugging the fictional "next issue," in which I tried to come up with the most ridiculous, over-the-top plot I could summarize in one paragraph. It went mostly like like this (I deleted one spoiler for the events of that story):
NEXT MONTH! It's more thrilling sky pirate action as Virginia and I find ourselves caught between the Flying Submarine of Doctor Obstreperous and the Broomstick Gang of Peculiar Peak! Can I keep those crazy witches off of my ship long enough to unlock the secret of the not-so-good doctor's Possibility Eraser? Can I rescue Virginia when she's taken captive by the cabal's secret benefactor?... And what does all this have to do with the search for the Cosmic Soupcan?? Find out in the next exciting issue of Julio Scoundrél!
Keep in mind I had no idea what any of that stuff meant when I wrote that. But now? Now that you've pledged $120,000 to help me reprint two different Order of the Stick books?
Now I will write that story.
How long will it be? Don't know. What will happen in it? Haven't a clue. What's a Cosmic Soupcan? Darned if I know. But I'm doing it anyway, because you deserve it and I like the challenge of it. I'll write it, draw it in the "enhanced stick figure" style of the previous Julio story, and deliver it to every backer of $10 or more via PDF, either at the same time as the O-Chul story or in a separate download a few weeks later (depending on how long it takes to finish). And that's on top of the three "bonus stories" I'll be writing thanks to the backers who pledged $1250 in order to choose a character that they'd like to see more of. (No word yet on who will star in those, but I'll let you know when I know.) How's that for value?
There is one piece of bad news since yesterday. While I don't yet have the final total needed for No Cure for the Paladin Blues, I discovered I had made a math error in my "ballpark" estimation that renders the $140,000 goal for putting it into the rewards too low. The final cost of that book is likely to be higher than I originally thought, which means I can't risk putting them "on sale" in the rewards until we've reached a little bit more than that. As a result, I need to shift the blue dotted line up to $150,000. This won't actually change whatever the printer tells me the actual cost will be (i.e. the eventual blue solid line), it's just a cautionary move on my part to avoid promising a bunch of rewards and then failing to reach the higher print cost total. If we blow through it like we have been every day so far, it will mean nothing in retrospect. In fact, I challenge you all to make me feel silly for even worrying about it by breaking through the new goal like Thog through a stadium column.
Finally, I've been getting a lot of requests from people who already own all the books to add more rewards that don't include books at all, so they can pitch in, too, as well as more high-end "premium" rewards. I just wanted to say that I have heard you and you should expect something tomorrow or Friday, depending on some pricing and testing I need to conduct. OK, now here's Haley (and Elan):
We all are, Elan. We all are.
As always, thanks for the insane support you guys have shown through all this, and I'll see you back here around this time tomorrow. I have to go work on this comic I do sometimes.
P.S. I'll be adding some signed Start of Darkness copies to the rewards in about 15 minutes.