After a couple of all-nighters, I finished the 20th issue of Rachel Rising and sent it to the printer as the sun came up Tuesday morning. It’s scheduled to hit stores October 9.
The last day of SDCC, I stopped by the Diamond booth to chat with Vince from Previews magazine about all things Rachel Rising and SiP.
Here’s a fun 20 Word Interview at ComicSpectrum.com. Like, what 3 comic characters would you invite to dinner? My answer may surprise you.
This year’s 2013 Baltimore Comic-Con Yearbook celebrates Stan Sakai’s fabulous series Usagi Yojimbo. I was delighted to be asked to draw a page for that. Here’s the original art: Usagi meets the Glimmer Twins. The printed version will be colored by the magazine folks.
The SiP Omnibus is finally in America! After missing its San Diego deadline, the slow boat from China finally made it to the U.S. and left a very large stack of Katchoo biographies on our shore. Most of the 5,000 Omnibus went to our distributor’s warehouse in Memphis. The rest came to our warehouse in Houston to fulfill our preorders and beyond; six palettes/crates of books clogging the warehouse hall. Here’s a pic of three of them. I was praying the books were undamaged in there.
I opened the palettes and stacked the boxes in a new warehouse space we had to get just for the Omnibus. Each carton in the pic contains 3 Omnibus box sets, and every carton was in great shape off the palettes. I opened a carton from the bottom of a palette and the book/boxes inside were perfect. Halleluah!
The last three days have been all about the Omnibus preorders. Robyn and I have personally packaged every order, handling the box sets like they were made of china because we’ve gone through so much to get them and the people who pre-ordered put their money and faith in our promise to deliver. It was a great feeling to start filling orders at last. Because of the large amount of orders to fill, we rented a large van to fill and carry boxes to the USPS depot downtown. It took many trips because I didn’t want to stack boxes more than 2 high for fear they might tumble around and get dinged up. Anal? You haven’t seen anal yet.
At the huge USPS station downtown, there are two long loading docks. I would go to one and personally place the boxes into the large roller bin they use to load packages onto the trucks that then go to whatever sorting station Houston mail goes to. I did this to eliminate at least one stage of USPS employees handling the boxes and possibly not treating them like the valuable prizes we know they are. I swear, if I could drive them to the sorting station and put them on the trucks and planes myself, I would.
Then it’s back to the warehouse to reload. I’m loving driving a van by the way, after 4 years in a mini-cooper it’s a nice change.
When you open your package, this is what you get (actual customer photo posted online), your box set and the exclusive print. Only the people who pre-ordered the Omnibus through me get that print. It’s a way of saying thank you for your support. We couldn’t have pulled this off without the support of the fans. Francine wants to hug each and every one of you, and Katchoo has reluctantly agreed to have you all over for dinner someday.
Now, YES! Of course you can still order the Omnibus. We have plenty in stock and I’m sure there’s one with your name on it. Just go to www.strangersinparadise.com and place your order. I promise we will treat it with plenty of TLC.
Speaking of SiP—which I was, just a second ago when you weren’t here— the new Omnibus box set made Book Riot’s Top Ten list.
Rue-Morgue.com says Rachel Rising is “one of the best narratives being told in any medium.” Check it out for a brief interview about my comics in today’s market.
There is a wonderful documentary on Gahan Wilson by veteran filmmaker Steven-Charles Jaffe. It’s my honor to be included and share a couple of thoughts about the Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist who has been a hero of mine forever. The Washington Post ran a good Article about the doc, and there’s a kickstarter to raise money for an Academy Award campaign.
I rarely pursue press in my own city because then I’d have to stop going to Starbucks in my underoos, but I did recently talk to Houstonia Magazine about the 20th Anniversary of SiP.
I love it when my art finds good homes to live in. A recent commission of a nude Francine now lives in a lovely home in the UK. It would be great to have a piece of art in every country.
Here is my appearance schedule for the 2013 San Diego Comic Con Spectacular.
My booth number is #2109, listed in your programs under ABSTRACT STUDIO, not under my name. I have had this same location for almost 20 years now, right next to the large DC booth area which is in the middle of the floor space. In the past I’ve stayed at the table all day every day. This year I have specific times to be at the booth to sign only. I won’t be sketching, there just isn’t any time for it at this crazy busy show.
I’ll post what’s new for this year in the next post.
5:30 – 7:30 Signing at booth
10:00 – 11:30 Signing at booth
3:30 – 5:00 Signing at booth
10:00 – 11:30 Signing at booth
4:00 – 5:00 Spotlight Panel in Room 23ABC
5:00 – 6:30 Signing at booth
10:00 – 11:30 Signing at booth
3:30 – 5:00 Signing at booth
5:30 – 6:30 Terry Moore & Jeff Smith Panel in Room 23ABC
12:15 – 1:45 CBLDF Sketch Jam in Room 5AB
2:00 – 4:00 Signing at booth
Everything making its debut at San Diego Comic Con in a couple of weeks is now at the printers:
• the SiP Omnibus SC box set
• the new Rachel Rising TPB: Cemetery Songs
• the 2013 Sketchbook
• the 2013 Rachel Rising print
• the special print that will be included with all SiP Omnibus retail preorders
• and the OTHER special print that will be included with all SiP Omnibus preorders through me aka Abstract Studio.
It’s been a crazy busy spring, let me tell you, making all this plus keeping Rachel Rising on schedule (Rachel Rising 18 is at the printer also, by the way) plus drawing the premium art commissions I took in February. It’s all done now. The only thing on my plate is the next issue of Rachel (#19). I’m on a roll! Bring it, SDCC.
I’ve been promising all preorders through Abstract Studio will get a special print. This meant it had better be good, right? Well, after several attempts and some good sketches I can use later, I finally came up with an image I think suits the occasion. If this doesn’t make you want to order an Omnibus then you need to get your blood pressure checked because it’s curtains!
Only preorders get this print. You can preorder the Omnibus until July 23. We are scheduled to get the shipment that week and will immediately begin filling orders. Don’t miss your chance to grab this free print because it will not be available again!
There is another print shipping with orders through retail shops. It is available to all retailers who order the Omnibus. It is up to the retailer how they want to offer the print to the customer, whether it will be included or not, or free with purchase or not. Here is the print shipping with each box set ordered for retail.
I think you will agree, whether dressed for the public or playing with curtains at home, Francine and Katchoo live a good life. Love does that for you.
As usual before San Diego Comic Con, I’m making special books to debut at the show. This year we’ll have the new Rachel Rising TPB, Cemetery Songs. This is the 3rd RR TPB, collecting issues 13-18. This book releases in mid-July. You can buy it at the con and I will sign it for you, or at your local comic shop, or order online directly from us, or Amazon, or buy it digitally at ComiXology. So many options. Just don’t miss it! Look for this cover:
The surprise of the summer is this little gem: a limited edition, full color version of Strangers In Paradise #1. Yes, #1 as in the very first issue from the mini-series that started it all 20 years ago. To celebrate our 20th anniversary (can you believe it?) we had master colorist Steve Hamaker bring the pages to life with his digital paints and the result is absolutely charming. It’s 32 pages, full color, with a new cover. Every comic will be signed, numbered, bagged and boarded. The price, only $6.99. Limited to only 1,000 copies, this is one of those books you need to buy new when it comes out, because it will never be retail price again. You have been warned! The Limited Edition Strangers In Paradise #1 20th Anniversary Edition will make its debut at our booth in San Diego. After that, you can order it only through our website. If we have any left, we will take some to the Boston and Baltimore cons this fall, but I’m not making any promises on that and we’re not holding any back. Because of it’s limited print run, it will not be available in stores. Once it’s sold out, you’ll have to try your luck on eBay. So, it’s first come first serve. While I have them, it’s easy. Once I sell out, good luck.
Oh, and the new issue of Rachel Rising is on its way stores. Look for this cover soon in a store near you, or Comixology.
Now, The Strangers In Paradise Omnibus Softcover Edition. Great news: YES! You can still preorder this box set and get the special print that comes only with preorders.
Not as great news: this beauty will not make it to the U.S. in time for San Diego, I’m sorry to report. It was sooo close, but the physical act of making the monster box set and shipping a ton of them from China… well, it’s hard to put a rush on that. —You try and tell China to hurry up. Uh huh. —Ironically, they should hit the U.S. shores the week after the con. So we’ll spend the month following SDCC shipping out orders.
My hand cut copy of the box set arrived last week and it is gorgeous. I’m very happy with it. I know you will be too. So, the bottom line is: YES, you can still preorder the Omnibus! And YES! We will be filling orders after San Diego Comic Con throughout the last of July and August.
Here is a pic of the handcut box set on my desk.
Here are the books. I can’t believe I drew all that. The box set is 9 pounds!
There’s more to report, but nobody likes reading a 40,000 word blog entry. I’ll be back!
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