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As Regards Smoking Craters

We mentioned last week some of the twisted history of the … let us say unpromising performance of the printer of Ryan North’s latest Dinosaur Comics opus. It seems that the metaphorical woods that this book had to traverse to get to you haven’t quite been cleared, but at least the remainder of the forest has been set ablaze. One takes comfort where one can.

To recap: the Hope Xinyuan Book Printing Company (with local offices in Pennsylvania, and history of being sued) produces a book run for North via TopatoCo, books which promptly fell apart. $25,000 of books that promptly fell apart. Following much heartache, they apparently got their act together enough to promise a full run of replacements.

Which promise has now been flaked upon, in that they have apparently closed up shop, have a dead website, and no way to deliver said books. This puts a limit on book sales, as there is a limited stock and resupply via an actual company will likely have to wait until after Christmas. More at the twitterfeed of TopatoCo Supremo Jeff Rowland.

There are only a few meager stabs of potential bright light in this dark cloud of complete suckitude: other TopatoCo products are unaffected. The internet is sleuthing and volunteering information¹. Hope Xinyuan Book Printing Company will not ever get business from the webcomics community again. And similar over-screwings by webcomics merch-related contract services have, in the past, resulted in seismic shifts that revolutionized webcomics for the better. It’s not a smoking crater strewn with the corpses of Ryan North’s enemies, but it’ll have to do.

Want something not completely infuriating? How about The Team Up of the New Century Which Guarantees Nothing Will Ever Be The Same? I refer, naturally, to KC Green and Lin Visel have teamed up for a comic full of naked fun times. Geez, SS Myra launched yesterday, Get Fucked (subscription required) launched today. Who makes the jump to porny goodnes next?

¹ If any of you in the Philadelphia area wanted to do some onsite surveillance, here’s where to stake out.

Wow. I met a rep from Hope Xinyuan at a tradeshow in New York a couple of years back. She made a good presentation, and I might have done a deal with them but we decided to go with a North American printer (Brenner) instead. Glad I made that decision now.

I like Topatoco, and the artists associated with it, and very much regret the problems they’re having. If anyone from Topatoco wants to chat about my experiences with Brenner or two other Chinese printers that did well for us, feel free to contact me via Big Head Press.

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