As you all may have guessed from my radio silence these past two weeks, things have been beyond hectic here at True Believer Headquarters, but now, at long last, I have a few moments to sit down and let you all know how things are going. Be warned, a lot has happened, so this is a pretty beefy update. (Unfortunately my beloved video update fell by the wayside last week as I struggled to mail as many rewards as possible before leaving for Canada to table at VanCAF, so it's back to good old words and pictures in this installment.)
So, let's travel back in time to May 14th, when my parents arrived from California to watch the final countdown on the campaign and my graduation from college. From the Department of Visual Proof, here's me showering the President with confetti made from carefully dissected pages of my thesis.
"But Lucy," I hear you cry. "How can you have time for graduating when there are COMICS TO BE MAILED?!" You're right. Of course. Immediately following the celebrations, we got down to business. My crack team of assistants (See: both parents and the inimitable Ryan Dirks) joined me in an epic journey to Gann Brothers Printing, the Pearl District's oldest print shop, where Mike Gann was kind enough to help us out binding the special edition comics.
With so many pairs of hands on the job, the work flew by. You can see Mike scoring the covers, The Team folding them, and yours truly operating the mechanical staple machineydinger (I'm great with terminology). Mike did a final press on the comics so they stopped ballooning all over the place, and there we rested for the day.
The next step? Addressing 333 envelopes to backers all over the world. To put that in perspective, here's a picture of about 25.
My living room is basically a war zone.
I also spent a few hours knocking out all the drawn-on postcards for lower level backers. Here's a smattering of those:
After a couple days of grueling addressing, signing, sketching, and stamping, we ran the first 100 envelopes off to the Post Office.
And then, because everyone needs a break now and again, I went to CANADA!
To put it mildly, VanCAF was AMAZING.
Not only did I get to hang out with some incredible fellow cartoonists (check out Tony Cliff, Katie & Shaggy Shanahan, Sam Alden, and Rebecca Dart!), I also got to meet over 2,000 Canadian comics fans. I sold every single copy of True Believer, Baggywrinkles 1 & 2, and Tales from the Fragment, handed out hundreds of business cards, and got to explore beautiful Vancouver to boot!
I arrived back at 2am Tuesday morning and I'm already drumming my fingers in anticipation for next year's show.
So where does that leave us now? I'm diving right back into the great Order Fulfillment Marathon and reprinting True Believer! I know my estimated delivery date for most people's rewards was the end of May, but of course I didn't realize how successful this thing was going to be and, therefore, how many orders I'd have to ship.
If you ordered a regular copy of the comic, I'm afraid there's going to be slight delay while the reprint goes through. Probably looking at two weeks. I really appreciate everyone's patience and want you all to know that I'm hustling as fast as I can to get this thing into your hands.
Those of you who ordered limited edition comics will be receiving those soon. Sketched-in versions are slowly trickling out the door, so keep your eyes peeled.
To put things in perspective, here's a visualization of where I'm at with all the rewards:
This graph will keep updating over the next few weeks. You can check out the live figures here on Google Docs and cheer me on as I continue to slog through this mess. We've cleared the two week mark, so Amazon has released the funds from the campaign to my account, which means I actually have money to pay for all this shipping now! Hooray!
On that note, I wanted to mention something about the production process: My original goal was to color the comic with a range of tones, creating something that looked closer to the normal conception of "full color." Due to deadlines back during the first printing process, I decided to limit myself to working with Indigo watercolor, which led to the monochromatic look you see on the preview pages from the campaign. When the campaign was so insanely successful, I had to stop and wonder whether to put time and energy into re-coloring the story with a full spectrum approach. Ultimately, I decided to leave the story as-was and devote my efforts to making newer, better comics. This has been nagging at me for a while, since I worry that some of you will be distressed to find only one color of the spectrum represented in your print copies, but I want you all to know that you've enabled the creation of new stories that will take full advantage of the color spectrum.
I think that brings you all up to speed on what's been going on around here. Once again, I am so grateful to every single one of you for making this thing happen. Even in the depths of postal despair, when my hand aches from the 80th signature of the day and my eyes cross from trying to keep track of all my spreadsheets, I'm inspired and invigorated by the knowledge that you're all behind me every step of the way.
Onward and upward!