GAMBLERS RE-EVALUATE ON THE DOTTED LINE
So let’s bring people up to speed on all things STRANGEWAYS, since I’m not really very good at doing that on a regular basis.
Here’s the cover of the book I’m going to spend the most time talking about, STRANGEWAYS: THE THIRSTY. Art by Alex Sheikman.
For the rest of the article, I’ve turned things over to reader mail, which I’ll answer exactly in the order it came in.
STRANGEWAYS is now a webcomic?
Yup, sure is.
Of course I hesitate to call it a webcomic still. It’s a web-serialization of a previously-published graphic novel. It’s not about the celebration of participation in any variety of geek subcultures, nor is it a humor strip, nor is it particularly formatted to be published on the internet, yet there it is. Readership is what it is, though it does stand in stark contrast to the truism “People will read anything for free.”
When is STRANGEWAYS: THE THIRSTY going to print?
The second STRANGEWAYS novel should be off to the printers by this weekend. I’m waiting on one piece of art and a couple of minor technical tweaks, but it’s otherwise done. Well, maybe one more sweep for typos, but I think the last one got ‘em all. Featuring the same art team turned inside-out, THE THIRSTY is 200 pages of black and white western horror, where the western is first and foremost.
I’ve given Diamond a bit of time, but they’re busy. Perhaps the reply is just in transit. Honestly, I’d expect them to pick it up. MURDER MOON, the first STRANGEWAYS book, sold through its initial order and needed a couple rounds of re-orders to fill demand. Not that any of these orders were big, mind you, but it made ‘em money. I had a fairly terrible time with the bookstore distributor I worked with, ending up filling orders one at a time because they wouldn’t even accept a consignment (a consequence of this was that anytime anyone looked up the book, it returned an “out of stock” result from the distributor’s database.) And let’s not even discuss the costs of postage. No thank you.
But how will you know how many to print? Comics are printed to order, right?
Only if you know what you’re doing apparently. I’m printing a thousand. That’s right. You’ve got a concrete print run number right there, something you almost never see in comics. I’m printing to sell at shows and to fit into my warehouse. Yes, I have a warehouse. It’s very nice.
Where can you buy THE THIRSTY?
Good question. You can track me down at a show. You could mail order it. I work with indie comic rep Tony Shenton (contact me if you don’t know him, I’ll get you the address) and I bet he could set you up once I set him up with copies. I’ll be listing it with Amazon as well, in due time.
What about electronic versions?
What about them? They’ll happen eventually. I have some serious qualms with Amazon’s delivery charges, as well as the fact that comics aren’t best read on the Kindle. I’m looking into other avenues, but the books have to get done first, and then the day job has to get done, and oh yeah, the kids have to get off to school. If anyone out there is into authoring strategies for the iPad or Android, I’m listening.
You’re not a very good businessman, are you?
Go away kid, ya bother me.
So when do I get to read THE THIRSTY online for free?
Needy, aintcha? Don’t worry. THE THIRSTY will run on the STRANGEWAYS site once MURDER MOON finishes up, which will probably be in November or so. I might take a bit of a break and start things fresh with the new year. The holidays always go stupid on me. Speaking of which, sometimes life goes stupid on you and you have to do paying work and deal with slow-motion catastrophes (my least favorite kind) instead of working on your pet projects that don’t yet cover their costs. This is why THE THIRSTY has been done for…a while…but hasn’t been finished yet. Yeah, sorry. The next one should be on a much more regular schedule.
So yeah, what about that third STRANGEWAYS book? I need something to read. For free.
Hold yer horses. It’s in progress. About half of the artists involved have signed off on their respective scripts (which is kinda amazing—really, if you read these, you’d have thought that I’d taken several blows to the head and then just started babbling into the keyboard). I’m actually going to do a follow-on post to this one and talk a lot more about it. Ten short stories embedded into a larger bridge (hey, you try writing an 11-part bridge story, it’s harder than it looks, also I may be insane). Ten artists to draw them.
Tell us who they are right now!
No I won’t tell you who they are just yet. I am, however, unbelievably happy with the lineup. And I’ve already been pretty lucky when it comes to artists, well mostly. But this group is something else.
You’re just saying that! Tell us right now!
Not gonna. Well, okay, Gervasio and Jok will be back. But that’s all I’m telling you right now.
What’s it called at least?
It’ll be called THE LAND WILL KNOW. That’s hardly a secret. It’s my take on the campfire ghost story, which in my lifetime got transmogrified into EC and Warren-style horror short stories, a lost art in comics these days.
And what about–?
Hold on. All will be revealed in due time.
Okay, okay. Show us more of THE THIRSTY.
Oh all right. Please.
Here you go. Don’t say I never gave you nothing.
Art by Gervasio and Jok
Also by Gervasio and Jok
Art by Luis Guragna from “Red Hands”
Looks pretty good. Where can I buy it again?
I believe I’ll have copies of it for sale at APE in San Francisco in the first weekend of October. Might be cutting it a bit close. Will definitely have copies for sale at the Long Beach Comic-Con in the last weekend of October. Beyond that, I’m on the waiting list for Emerald City (sold out six months or more ahead of time, go figure), trying to get set up for Stumptown and Wonder-Con, once they figure out where that’s going to be held (but everyone I’ve talked to is resigned to it being in Anaheim at least this year.) Hope to do SPX next year, but east coast shows are expensive. TCAF, too, but that one’s also pricey for me to get to.
And who made THE THIRSTY?
I wrote it. That’s “Matt Maxwell” not ‘Maxell’ like the cassette tapes. Gervasio and Jok from Estudio Haus in Argentina drew most of it. Luis Guragna drew the rest. Alex Sheikman drew what those three guys didn’t draw, mostly the cover and chapter illustrations.
What’s the Diamond code for that, again?