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Didn’t We Just Do This?

One may recall that on Friday we spoke of Jon Rosenberg¹ getting his site DDOSed because some terrible people saw themselves in a terrible, made up cartoon character. Having apparently not learned his lesson — that depicting a person behaving terribly is akin to a hate crime — Rosenberg re-ran that comic today at The Nib, and pointed out the central flaw in the logic of his opponents: if you identify with somebody who is terrible because you also behave terribly, perhaps you should stop being terrible.

In a calm, reasoned response — completely foreseen in panel four — Rosenberg’s site was hit with more DDOS attempts today. And much like last Monday’s strip, Rosenberg’s comic is being seen by new readers, making it entirely likely that far more people are seeing his critique of terrible people than if they hadn’t been terrible in reaction to the incontrovertible statement Terrible people are those who behave in a terrible manner. Then again, if they weren’t terrible, Rosenberg wouldn’t have been paying attention to them in the first place, so there you are: the stupid comes full circle and is ultimately self-defeating.

  • Let’s move on from regular terrible to terribly useful: relatively late on Friday, Matthew Nolan (Erika Moen’s husband and co-creator on Oh Joy, Sex Toy) did creators everywhere a favor and released a big ol’ data dump relating to the recently-concluded² OJST Kickstarter campaign. Even if Nolan hadn’t titled the article in reference to the greatest game show ever, it would still be a great thing because of the summary right at the top where you can quickly determine:
    • Expenses (including bonuses to guest artists) and production constituted just over 50% of the take
    • Fulfillment costs just under 30%
    • Estimated taxes are given their own line item

    Honestly, I’ve sat in too many convention sessions about Kickstarter where it’s absolutely clear that the people asking the questions have no idea that Kickstarter is not a magical money machine. Profit here was an estimated US$10,427.03 and 1647 books left over to sell at various price points in the future³, but that required six months worth of effort.

    Put another way, that US$10K constitutes just over Oregon’s minimum wage (where Nolan and Moen live) for one person for six months, and the value of the books yet to be sold comes to something shy of the median annual household income in Multnomah County (again, where they live).

    From my outsider standpoint, it looks from the post-mortem that they did everything just about as well as they possibly could have, avoided any major missteps, and have ideas how to do the next one a bit better.

    But what all of that got them was this: OJST didn’t make US$70K in 30 days; it took half a year’s continuous work gave two artists a reasonable shot (taking into account all of the other work they’ll do) at a decent standard of living for the next year, assuming demand for that accumulated inventory doesn’t drop off. Considering the number of working artists that don’t achieve a decent standard of living, I’ll count that as a win.

    Next year? Another book, another campaign, hopefully with less effort and a better margin, but that’s the funny thing about a big success — it doesn’t last forever and you have to keep working for the next one or you’re sunk.

  • Finally, speaking of building on the last success to achieve the next one, Spike is my hero:

    My records state I paid other cartoonists over $100,000 in 2014.

    Well, shit.

    Way I figure it, if she were as evil as the guys that screwed Siegel & Shuster, she could be making big bank by screwing today’s creators. The fact that she uses her powers to spread the wealth around instead of exploiting aspiring creators is worth (at the very least) a polite round of applause.

Spam of the day:

Why do not we try this ?

Probably because you suck.

¹ Standard disclaimers apply.

² In the sense that reward fulfillment is all done.

³ Since those books have already been paid for, if they are all sold directly by Nolan and Moen — say, at conventions and not sold at discount to other vendors — and shipping is entirely taken care of, Moen and Nolan are sitting on just shy of US$50,000 in inventory.

However, the OJST store is with TopatoCo, so the value is reduced. Then again, you can get signed and doodled versions for extra charges, which will offset the distribution discount for a fraction of those books. There’s also the e-book version, which requires no inventory, production costs, or shipping expense.

Honestly, it’s impossible to put a number on the value of future sales; we can establish the upper boundary, but nothing more.

[…] noted about ten days ago, Erika Moen and Matt Nolan did everybody considering a crowdsourcing campaign a tremendous favor by […]

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