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Help us reprint the out-of-print The Order of the Stick books to reach new readers (and let existing fans complete their collections).
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
Thanks to our loyal fans, we reprinted the entire back catalog of The Order of the Stick—and funded a bunch of new stories, too!
14,952 backers pledged $1,254,120 to help bring this project to life.

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Got Carded

Golly, I wonder what I'm going to talk about in this update, given that you almost certainly looked at the picture below this before reading this sentence OH LOOK:

Yes, that's the long-awaited Sticky Shticks card expansion, in glorious Actual Existence. They arrived in Houston late on Friday, and Ookoodook got to work shipping them out right away. (My copies—for inclusion with signed packages—are still forthcoming.) I was hoping to get some numbers on how many packages the staff had mailed already before half of them got on a plane and/or truck to GenCon, but it was not to be. So all I can say about how many have shipped at this point is, "Some." With more to go out the door through this week and the next, and possibly the one after that. 

Not to be confused with the non-Sticky Shtick orders, which are done. Well, like 99% done. Done enough that they're not a pressing concern anymore, but not so done that anyone who didn't get their non-Sticky Shtick order should be too worried. (Which is to say, "Please don't email me about it yet.") There are still about a hundred stragglers across all those reward tiers that need to be handled individually, and the warehouse is going to concentrate on getting the bulk of the Sticky Shtick orders out before even addressing them.

This is going to be a relatively quick update, because I don't have much to say. Here's the Workometer:

I'm not going to have a "Five Things" section this time, because it's getting to the point where everything I'm doing is reflected on the Workometer already, and I didn't think it was a good use of time to sit here and wrack my brain for five ways to dodge the subject. This past week, I spent waaaaay too much time drawing a single (awesome) wallpaper, I did a couple of pages on the Belkar story, and I got one regular comic update done. That's pretty much it, and most of that is shown up there. So, it may return in a future update, or it may not. I haven't decided. It depends on how much weird extracurricular stuff I end up needing to do in a given period of time.

Oh, and I entwittified about this, but just so everyone is clear: I won't personally be at GenCon this year. There will be an Ookoodook/APE Games booth —#1413, located, I'm told, "right behind Wizards of the Coast." As I said last time, that booth will be selling OOTS books and the board game (but not Sticky Shticks), as well as other APE products, but I won't be sitting there signing anything. And sInce some people have asked: No, you won't be able to pick up your Kickstarter reward from the booth. They simply won't have the ability to look up and verify your order at the convention, and the staff that's staying in Houston will still be shipping those orders throughout the duration.

I think that covers everything that's going on. I'll check back in once I get some numbers from the warehouse about what Sticky Shticks have shipped.

--Rich Burlew

P.S. If you can't wait another moment for a taste of Stickiness, you can download the rulesheet from APE Games now. 

P.P.S. Going forward, I should avoid the phrase "taste of Stickiness" whenever possible.

So Close to Stickiness...

No time for witty introductions!

Sans Sticky Shticks: Remember all those words I said about how they were going to finish the Whole Story packages and then circle back to pick up the Pick Two, Pick Three, etc. packages? Yeah, well, they didn't end up doing that after all. Turns out they didn't have enough of the boxes needed for the Whole Story, so they just banged out those other packages while they waited for supplies to arrive. Many Whole Stories have gone out now, too, and the rest are being worked on, so they should be done very soon. [EDIT: Per Ook, they were working on the Pick Threes when the Whole Story boxes came in, so that list is only partially done. The rest shipped. My mistake.]

With Sticky Shticks: Our printer for these cards was dragging their feet, and eventually told us that they couldn't manage a 3-4 week turnaround—that it would be 4-6 weeks, starting from last week (rather than, say, from when we delivered the actual artwork at the end of June). We said thanks, but we'll take our business elsewhere. We now have a replacement printer who has been doing very good work and hopes to get us the cards late next week. With luck, packages will start going in the mail before half the Ookoodook team leaves to go to GenCon. Speaking of which...

GenCon: I've gotten a lot of emails about whether any of the OOTS stuff offered during this Kickstarter will be available at GenCon, so here's the breakdown: As long as all the Sans Sticky Shticks Whole Story packages have mailed by then (and we have every reason to think that will be the case), then the reprinted OOTS books will be on sale at the Ookoodook booth. The Deluxe Edition of the board game and The Shortening will be, too, but Sticky Shticks will not—even if it's arrived at the warehouse by then. There's just no way that they'll be able to get all the Sticky Shticks orders in the mail before the convention starts, and it wouldn't be fair to sell them to anyone else first. Likewise, none of the "swag" will be there: magnets, patches, stickers, notepads, art prints, or coloring books. While we fully intend for many of the leftovers to eventually be available for sale, we don't want to offer them until every order has been fulfilled.

Now, let's look at the Workometer:

I've been having trouble juggling the digital work with the regular comic (resulting in neither one getting done), but hopefully I can get one more digital reward out before GenCon. Also, you can see that I've added a bar for the Summer edition of A Monster for Every Season; technically, Summer ends on September 22, but I don't know if I'll hit that deadline. I would really like to get one story reward finished before I give you another set of miniatures.

Five Things I Did Since Last Update:

  • Watched the Olympics while doing a few more crayon drawings. If your drawing ends up featuring Belkar on the pommel horse, now you know why.
  • Had to figure out what size wallpapers you crazy kids use on your i-Whatevers. 
  • Reviewed, corrected, reviewed again, and finally approved the art proofs for Sticky Shticks.
  • Mailed back out a bunch of signed packages that were returned to me for assorted reasons.
  • Really failed to answer my emails, but I'll do it today.

So that's about it for this update. Fingers crossed that when next you hear from me, I'll be announcing the arrival of Sticky Shticks in the warehouse.

--Rich Burlew

DOWNLOAD: A Monster for Every Season: Spring 2012 (Line Art Edition)

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Ookoodook Shipping Progress, in Handy Graph Format

This update will be more pictures than words, but I wanted to show you this while the information on it was still fresh. Here's a graph I made with the current progress for Ookoodook shipping:

That last line is the most important: Ookoodook has shipped 62% of their packages—and 83% of those that aren't waiting on Sticky Shticks. Actually, a little more, since this number is from Monday night, and they packed yesterday and today as well. A couple of notes:

1.) "Stragglers" represent any order that got delayed for any reason and needs to be handled (or handled again) at the end of the process. This includes (but are not limited to) orders where:

  • Customer filled out their survey late (after May 8th, in most cases)
  • Customer hasn't filled out their survey at all yet
  • Customer didn't include enough funds for international shipping
  • Customer didn't include enough funds for all items claimed on their survey
  • Customer made a special request or alteration of their package
  • Customer requested that we hold their package until a given date due to travel
  • Something happened internally that knocked the package to the back of the line

In some cases, it may look like there are zero stragglers for a given reward level, but I included an orange bar for every level because they have a knack for popping up later.

1a.) If you do not have your package (or a shipping email) for a reward that is listed above as shipped, then your package is (by definition) included among the stragglers. Please don't email me at this time asking whether we "lost" your order. There will be a point where I ask everyone reading who does not have their packages yet to email me and say something, but right now, it will just create additional work for everyone and not actually get your package to you any sooner.

2.) Some reward levels require more detailed handling because every order has different book choices—warehouse staff can't simply pack 100 of the same book and then go back and put the different pieces of swag in. For now, they're mostly skipping over those and working on the more straightforward packages first, in order to get as many customers served as quickly as possible. They'll go back to them after the easy ones are packed and shipped.

3.) There may be numerical errors. Math is hard.

4.) This chart does not include the packages that I'm signing and mailing; those will be tracked on the normal Workometer.

5.) I'm only going to update this chart once a month or so, because it requires getting detailed information from the warehouse. Unlike, say, the Workometer:

I recognize that's a little anemic, progress-wise, but a lot of stuff conspired to keep me away from the computer this past week. At least I still have...

Five Things I Did Since the Last Update

  • That shipping chart. Look at that thing. It took forever.
  • Answered a ton of email (again). Including more reports of another box of misprinted coloring books that went out. If you got one, message me and I'll put you on the list to get replacement copies.
  • Found and mailed a handful of signed packages that I had somehow overlooked. So as of tomorrow, they should all be in the mail except for the Sticky Shticks international packs. Really.
  • Dealt with stupid personal crap that I've been putting off for months.
  • FInally finished the overdue line art version of A Monster for Every Season: Spring. I've edited the link into the original download posts (Updates #37 and #38), and I'll be making another update in a few minutes with a link as well.

My priority for this week now is to get a comic out, then try to get to more of those digital rewards. But the regular comic has to come first; that's why you're all here, right? Still, I hope by this time next week to have some more green bars lit up on the Workometer.

Thanks, as always, for your patience.

--Rich Burlew

The Answer to Life, the Universe, and Shipping

This update has taken a little longer to emerge from the primordial update soup because I wanted to wait until I had any actual progress to report. Which is not to say that books haven't been continually shipping this whole time—just that for most of it, they've been shipping at the same rate (or slower *grumble*) as before, which would've made for a terrible update. But now, we're making some actual headway, so here we are. Like last time, I'll split this into Signed and Unsigned categories.

Signed: Turns out the US Postal Office does not like it when you bring them handwritten customs forms anymore. So much so, in fact, that I was actually turned away from the post office, a dozen boxes in hand, and told to use online postage if I wanted to mail them. This pretty much ground my shipping to a halt for a while, since I didn't even have all the equipment I needed for that. But all the pieces eventually fell into place and I'm happy to say that all the "plain" signed packages that didn't include Sticky Shticks (314 out of 397) are in the mail or sitting right next to me, postage paid and ready to go on Monday. Tracking emails still forthcoming for most, so don't worry if you don't have yours yet. That leaves all the custom art packages—crayon drawings, D&D party drawings, digital portraits—but those will be sporadic, since I need to finish the artwork before I can mail them. And the Patience packages, obviously, but those will be last.

Unsigned: The shipping pace has definitely improved over at Ookoodook, thanks to some logistical improvements and a little more manpower. On Wednesday, they managed to pack and ship over 450 packages, which I think is their highest one-day total yet. They probably won't match that every day, but it's still encouraging. Right now, they're still shipping the Print Only Specials ($67 reward level), which was one of the more popular options, and they still have some packages at lower reward levels left to go, too. So it will still be a while before they get to the Whole Stories, but any improvement is good and I'll take what I can get. I'm really hoping that they'll all be out by the middle of July.

This wasn't the most productive week for me otherwise, so let's look at the anemic Workometer:

The most interesting development here is that Sticky Shticks has gone to the printer. All we have to do is sit back and wait for them to arrive. The current estimate is four weeks for printing, but as we've seen, such estimates rarely hold. I'll keep you posted on any news, but assume at this point that Sticky Shticks packages will not start shipping until August 1 at the earliest. If you need to update your address as a result, use the blue "Send Message" link to send me a message with your new information. [EDIT: If you are sending me an address change, please mention in your email that you're a Sticky Shticks package.]

I'm going to try to take some time this week to work on some of the digital rewards, since the whole signing-and-packing thing has really kept me away from them for three weeks now. I'll update again when either I have something to deliver or when there's been a significant milestone reached with the shipping. 

Five Things I Did Since Last Update:

  • Signed another few hundred books and about 200 ornaments (some of which will be waiting to be mailed).
  • Bought a new laser printer so I could print out postage, since my previous one had more jams than Smucker's.
  • Oversaw the installment of a new CDN for the GiantITP site that should speed up requests to the server. (Our webmaster/technical administrator Rawhide did all the work, but I had to answer a bunch of long emails about it).
  • Uploaded the final files for Sticky Shticks to the card printers, only to find out we needed to resubmit for a new estimate because the old one had expired in April.
  • Finished the first crayon drawing.

Thanks for the patience and restraint you've all shown waiting for your packages. I know this is still going stupidly slowly, and all I can really do is apologize and tell you that I think it's getting better. 

--Rich Burlew