Waiting on one last design edit and final approval from TOKYOPOP...
...And then the digital file will be on its way to your inboxes with the print copies to follow in your mailboxes soon thereafter!
Beyond the book, you're all owed an explanation of why this has taken so long. Here it is:
I screwed up. I underestimated the challenges I would face and overestimated the time and resources I would have available to meet them.
As some of you may know, I work at iVerse Media as an Account Manager where I also oversee our Comics Plus: Library Edition project which supplies digital comics to schools and libraries. It's a full-time job and then some. I'm also President of Reading With Pictures, an educational nonprofit that promotes the use of comics in the classroom. I'm editor-in-chief of our publishing division, and I travel around the world visiting schools, libraries and universities in order to further our mission. Finally, I still write the occasional comic here and there - most recently Scribblenauts Unmasked at DC Comics and a story for Adventures of Superman that was based on my own experiences as a cancer survivor.
I'm very fortunate in that I get to make awesome things (like Mail Order Ninja) and share them with the world. I also have an almost pathological tendency to overcommit myself. If I think something is worth doing, then I do it. It's only after I've committed myself that I end up realizing that I've often bitten off more than I can chew.
That's certainly what happened with this Kickstarter.
Tracking down the files I actually needed to print the book, coordinating the production and mailing of the high-level rewards, getting all the necessary approvals - it all took so much longer than I ever anticipated. Especially since I wanted to do it right. Then every time I thought I was done, something new would crop up to delay the final ship date yet again.
I should have been way more open to all of you during this process, but I geniunely believed that I was perpetually a week away - at most! - from being finished. And when those weeks kept coming and going, that confidence eventually gave way to shame for letting all of you down.
Now, however, we really are just week away from completion. I've already paid the contributors, the book designer and the printer in full. Now the printer is just waiting on the final files. All the non-book and t-shirt related rewards have already been fulfilled, and we've added more than 50 pages of additional content to the final book at no additional charge to you. Consider it a small measure of "interest" in repayment for your time spent waiting.
I truly am so sorry for these delays, and I am willing to issue a full and immediate refund to anyone who requests it. For everyone else, I hope you all love the book, and that it ends up being worth the wait.
I thank you for your support and your patience,