Sales figures are in for CEREBUS IN HELL? #1: down to 5,500 from 8,000 on #0. Matt, as usual, asked what I wanted the PO to be for and I figured, well, okay, Diamond took an extra 1,000 on #0 (and thank you again) and sold roughly 700 of the extra thousand. So, I thought, let's "top it up" to 6,300 on the assumption that they can sell the same percentage of the 700 that they did of the 1,000 (don't want them to come up short, but I don't want them to be eating books either).
It makes my head hurt trying to figure out what's going on. My best theory right now is that x number of stores UNDER-ordered the book and that added up to 700 extras being sold and y number of stores OVER-ordered on the book and cut their orders on #1 to what they sold of #0. And z number of stores ordered just as many as they needed and sold them and then ordered the same again. And there were more "y" stores than "x" and "z" stores at about a 3:1 ratio.
Funny story (I think). Diamond cheque came in the other day and I went, "Okay, time to cut Gerhard a cheque". He gets a "courtesy royalty" of 4% on anything he worked on that Diamond has purchased and that's always the FIRST thing I do with any Diamond cheque.
So, I flipped through the invoices to see which book it was and "Oh, HEY! This one's for CEREBUS IN HELL? #0!". Which was funny because I hadn't been thinking of paying myself or Sandeep for CEREBUS IN HELL? #0 -- we both consider CEREBUS IN HELL? "Hey, if this helps keep the lights on and the doors open" revenue. And then I thought, "Well, heck! I think I'm going to pay US a courtesy royalty!" So, I did. 4% of the Diamond cheque for each of us.
We were both pretty jazzed -- Sandeep because (as far as he knows) it's the first time he's been paid for his writing and me because it meant I didn't have to use A-V money to pay myself this month.
I do appreciate the feedback on the CEREBUS RESTORATION POSTCARDS. We'll probably do the pricing on them the same way we do on the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios: a Canadian $ amount for the Pledge Partners and the same price but in US $ through Diamond (factoring in Diamond's discount balanced off against the larger amount that they take).
$19.95 seems "do-able" for just the basic "bare bones" 12-card set in a plastic bag. We can maybe bring that down a bit depending mostly on what the Canadian $ is doing. Which up until a little while ago was dropping pretty steadily but then suddenly levelled off and then started climbing. 73 cents was the bottom and its now hovering between 75 and 76 cents.
This also ties in with the still-at-the-theoretical-stage idea of me going back out in public (300-and-change signatures left to go!). Two of the conventions on the STUDIO COMIX list that I've posted are offering to pay a substantial (as in "this will buy a fair amount of 'Sean Time' restoring scans) appearance fee for me to attend their shows.
With colour printers getting sharper and smaller and (most importantly) cheaper, at what point does it make sense to have a colour printer at a convention to print colour photos of "photo ops": your picture with Dave Sim for X$ that we print out on high quality paper "on site" and that I can then personalize "on site"? That is, we select a paper that does a top-quality photograph AND is will take a thin Sharpie and dry quickly.
[It still boggles my mind that I can make $1,000 on a Saturday between 10 am and 1 pm just "nattering" at people. Again, very, very sincere thanks]
This whole thing with the CEREBUS RESTORATION POSTCARD, it seems to me, dovetails -- in some way, I think -- with the KICKSTARTER ALPHA list I was talking about. I'm not sure how, exactly, but I think we need to move to a point where someone who is in the Jeff Seiler or Margaret Liss category -- "you create it and I will buy it" -- should have that acknowledged and have the structure of how we're doing this tweaked in whatever way that makes it easy for them.
We definitely want to have it tied directly to the Kickstarter numbers. The postcards need to be machine-numbered and you automatically get YOUR number. However many #1 postcards we end up doing, the first 250 or 225 or so are automatically accounted for.
I think a discount makes a lot of sense. If you've been here for all six Portfolios, you get a discount on your First Day Cover CEREBUS RESTORATION POSTCARDS. And stamps. And you're first in line for them.
Talking it over with Alfonso as we looked at the Canada Post options on his computer, yesterday, you can tell he's been in business a while. He's going to design a Cerebus stamp and order a sheet and just see how it works and where there are any problems and impediments.
Afterwards, I thought, well, I'll create a letter of authentication on A-V stationery and we'll auction that "first sheet of CEREBUS Canada Post stamps" on eBay and see how it does. Because one sheet of stamps is going to be (relatively speaking) expensive.
What I'm HOPING is that keeping each CEREBUS RESTORATION POSTCARD as simple as possible and "tying each one in" to a specific Canadian comic book convention, we can create a fundraising tool that's affordable for pretty much everyone but with a "once in a lifetime" quality about it...
(with its "high-end aspects" as well: I mean, if you really think you NEED a sheet AND a booklet of each monthly stamp or you want to buy 50 postcards to use AS postcards A VERY, VERY SINCERE THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US but, please, only buy what you can afford: you can still just buy the postcard with a regular stamp on it for $5)
...The postcards themselves -- set of 12 -- as I say, would be available in perpetuity as a RESTORATION fundraising tool: here's ALL the detail from a CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolio panel, here's ALL the detail from a part of a trade paperback cover. Turn it over and it has the Diamond Order Code for whatever RESTORATION it is commemorating. As we do more CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios and restore more trade paperbacks, we do more postcards.
So one of the "tweaks" that I'm hoping to do is to, as I say, tie in the First Day Cover postcard to a comic-book convention where STUDIO COMIX is representing CEREBUS. Alfonso gave us his "so far" convention schedule for 2017.
Theoretically, if everything goes smoothly with "rolling this out", the first FIRST DAY COVER CEREBUS RESTORATION POSTCARD could be on sale January 21-22 at FrostCon in Burlington, Ontario. You can order one (or 10 or 20) and pick it up there OR have it mailed to you with a January 23 Burlington postmark which would make it an official First Day Cover -- the first day after the convention.
January is maybe a little optimistic, so after that we have GEERECON in Guelph, Ontario (Feb 3-5); TORONTO COMICON (Mar 17-19); KITCHENER COMICON (Apr 1); CALGARY EXPO, Calgary, Alberta (Apr 28-30); ORILLIA CON in Orillia, Ontario (May 21); NIAGARA FALLS COMICON Niagara Falls, Ontario (June 2-4); OSHAWA COMICON Oshawa, Ontario (June 10); MONTREAL COMICON Montreal, Quebec (July 7-9) and TORONTO FAN EXPO (Aug 31 to Sep 3)
The further tweaking is to have a different CEREBUS stamp for each postcard. Starting with the assumption that the first postcard will be the Cerebus figure from the cover of Volume One so that will also be the image on the stamp. And the postcard will be available in perpetuity, but the stamp will only be available on a First Day Cover basis: all done by advance order. You pay in advance and you're guaranteed to get a First Day Cover postcard and stamp. You can also order a book of stamps and a sheet of stamps.
And as a thank-you for all of the hard work Alfonso's STUDIO COMIX has been doing for us around Canada, you'll also be able to get a First Day Cover postmarked in the convention city that STUDIO COMIX is representing us at (they're in Toronto today! Drop by and get your free CEREBUS comics at their booth!).
Okay, noon prayer time coming up and then I have to go and pick up my drawing of Joe Shuster from the first SHUSTER AWARDS poster at King Framing here in town for the "Superman entrance" of the Off-White House. And drop off page 2 of JUDENHASS with my portraits of Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Jack Kirby, Joe Simon, Stan Lee, Max Gaines, Sheldon Mayer and Will Eisner for framing next week.
Hope to be back in about an hour or so and I'll check the comments sections of this morning's posts to see if anyone has any questions.
One of our priorities with the NEXT Kickstarter is to have a series of more affordable pledge items and it's looking as if those are going to be Alfonso's postcards -- now called the CEREBUS RESTORATION POSTCARDS -- that I talk about in the Weekly Update this week. We're definitely tweaking the idea, but sticking close to a MOST AFFORDABLE VARIANT:
In this case, a single postcard with a regular stamp on it, mailed to you in exchange for a pledge of, say, $5. "I HELPED RESTORE CEREBUS!"
After that basic rock-bottom pledge level, we move up to:
- a single postcard with a CEREBUS stamp ($8?)
-a single postcard with a CEREBUS stamp autographed ($12?)
-a single postcard with a CEREBUS stamp autographed and personalized ($20?)
I apologize for the fact that a lot of what we're doing "behind the scenes" isn't showing up on your radar screens yet. One of the things that we're doing is developing a "wish list" for ways to process the Kickstarter information to help us "better serve you" while maintaining as close to 100% privacy for each of you as possible.
One of the things I wrote down today was to pay someone to develop software that would "crunch" the online information from all of our Kickstarters so far into KICKSTARTER ALPHA, BRAVO, CHARLIE, DELTA, ECHO, FOX TROT and GOLF categories. ALPHA would be anyone who has participated in all six CAN KICKSTARTERS. BRAVO anyone who has participated in five, CHARLIE anyone who has participated in four, etc. And further "crunch" those lists into patterns: ECHO and FOX TROT where they've participated in the most recent Kickstarters (i.e. loyal newcomers) and those who skipped a Kickstarter.
The idea being that we could smooth things out for the ALPHA folks -- soliciting their input -- as well as offering assistance to people who maybe missed a Kickstarter for one reason or another but who would otherwise be on the Alpha list.
We've been working on the software "wish list" for a while because you want to get the whole thing done STRUCTURALLY as solidly as possible and that involves being very specific about the computer capabilities you're looking for.
We're trying to keep a lid on the number of survey questions (which most people appreciated -- a great deal! -- last time). This time, our major interest is going to be "Did the CAN6 launch come too soon after the CAN5 launch?" -- i.e. roughly two months -- with optional answers of "Too soon: should be every three months" "four months" "five months"; "'Goldilocks' by me: keep 'em coming"; and "Not soon enough. Can you do these monthly?"
And, of course, we'll share your comments and let you know the breakdown of responses when we launch CAN7.
Two months is, I think, the fastest we COULD go (although we are getting much faster) but we might add in a month -- i.e. CAN7 launching in March 2017 -- and see if that moves the pledge level back up closer to the $30K mark we hit the last two times.
What your very generous pledges are helping to finance:
Referring to the Diamond Inventory of CEREBUS material as of yesterday:
They have "quadruple digit" and "triple digit" "Dave breathes easy" quantities of most of the books.
In the "double digit" category they have JAKA'S STORY, MELMOTH, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY which is also "breathe easy" because we have inventories of each of those books that represent probably three or four Diamond-sized orders (based on Diamond's ordering patterns over the last couple of years).
At the moment, MINDS is in the "not breathe easy" category of double digits of a title we don't have ANY inventory for.
Which is why it's next on the list for restoration and printing. Stage One - scanning the originals in the Cerebus Archive and the pages Gerhard has -- has already taken place and now we've moved to Stage Two - Sean restoring and remastering the scans, as well as scanning and remastering printed copies of the pages that we don't have (roughly 50 out of 280).
Stage One and Stage Two are both "pure overhead" phases: they cost money to do with no money coming in on them.
So thanks to all of our pledge partners for helping to finance that!
If Sean is reading this, something I keep meaning to ask: can you list the ART DRAGNET pages for CEREBUS Volume One that will be new to this printing?
There was a bit of a surge there, which I think might have been attributable to CEREBUS IN HELL #0 hitting the stores with the AMOC plug on the inside back cover.
I can relate to the "fan anguish" that causes. I always try to relate it to Alex Raymond's RIP KIRBY. Would I buy a new printing of IDW's RIP KIRBY books if I knew there were high quality restored scans of newly rediscovered originals included? I'd say, yes, speaking as someone with virtually no disposable income, since that's basically what I did with the Ron Goulart book: there were maybe five RIP KIRBY strips in there that I didn't have high resolution restored scans for but -- $70 Canadian for five new strips? I'm in.
I'd probably try and think of someone I could give my old copy to who might get hooked.
Up over the $20,000 mark. Very much appreciated by all of us who are working hard to keep this Restoration/Publication juggernaut rolling forward.
I forgot to copy the DIA order code for CEREBUS ARCHIVE #4, the DIA edition, which they listed -- with #3 -- in the latest PREVIEWS. D'OH! I will make a note to do that after my noon prayer for those of you who want your LCS to order you a copy.
We've been tracking the sales of all of Diamond's CEREBUS material on a weekly basis for a few weeks to try to catch any "glitches". And I think I just found one. They have CEREBUS ARCHIVE VOLUME 01 -- the Diamond editions of the CEREBUS ARCHIVE Portfolios that are only autographed on the front label -- listed (DIA order code SEP140947) but they're still showing an inventory of 100 copies, their original order. Likewise with CEREBUS ARCHIVE VOLUME 02,
(DIA order code FEB150878) and CEREBUS ARCHIVE VOLUME 03 (DIA order code JUL150858) -- all three are listed at $89 US each.
If you've been trying to order any of all of those three through your local LCS PLEASE persevere. I've left a phone message for my Diamond rep flagging the problem so it should be cleared up in the next week or so.
I'm going to list the order codes AND the Diamond STK (Stock) codes (in case that helps your LCS):
Hello U.K., EU and parts of North America! I imagine everyone in California is still asleep. Here we are with the last day of the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER 6 Kickstarter. $7 away from the $20,000 plateau. Thanks to everyone who has pledged so far.
As promised yesterday, here's a list of the CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER 5 Portfolios that are available. Like CAN6, these are the "one-time printing only" editions with every plate autographed:
If there's a SPECIFIC number you want or if you want the LOWEST number, please post that to the Kickstarter site after pledging -- either in the COMMENTS section or with the e-mail function Kickstarter provides you with to contact us.