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Tuesday Miscellany

Howard Tayler¹ has launched a Kickstarter for two — two! — books and has inadvertently run a sociological experiment. The campaign is for the 14th and 15th story arcs/print collections of Schlock Mercenary, Broken Wind and Delegates And Delegation respectively. Schlock Mercenary is famously One Big Story, and so a question occurred to me:

Given that the campaign is for two separate books, and that Tayler’s readers would logically want to read both of them before book 16 releases sometime next year, would anybody opt for just one book?

As of this writing (some eight hours after launch and 64% of funding goal achieved), the answer appears to be a resounding now. Out of 398 backers, exactly zero have backed either the tier for your choice of one book (PDF form) or your choice of one book (print form). There’s three people backing at the US$1 tier, which gets you nothing² but nobody wants just one. That’s some reader buy-in right there.

Tayler’s also done something very smart with this campaign. There have been lots of Kickstarts where early birds get the same reward at a lesser price as a reward for backing at the start of the campaign; Tayler — or more likely, his wife Sandra, who wrangles fulfillment — has inverted the idea by offering tiers of rewards spread out over a period of months. PDFs get sent in December, unsketched books in February, and sketched books in three batches of 400 each, in March, April, and May.

Tayler’s dealt with the possibility of damaging his drawing hand by sketching too many books in too short a time by a) limiting how many books may require sketches, and b) spreading them out; fifteen sketches a day over three months is a hell of a lot more reasonable than trying to do a thousand in a single burst of shipping over two weekends or so. Smartly done, Mrs & Mr Evil Twin! Smartly done.

In other news:

  • Stand Still, Stay Silent is still on hiatus, but has a teaser image up for the start of the second adventure, and the first three pages will post on Monday.
  • Johnny Wander is back with the start of Barbarous Chapter 4!
  • Christopher Hastings and Branson Reese have been getting asked everything about Draculagate. It’s a hoot.
  • The ongoing and continuous fetishization of Harley Quinn doesn’t really make sense to me³. Okay, maybe the only original character of the past three decades that’s really stuck around in comics and bled into the broader culture, but still don’t entirely get it. However, I do trust the fairly unerring instincts of Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago, and he’s seen fit to write up a book on the art and history of Dr Quinzel, and CAM’s having a reception/talk about the same.

    It’s next Tuesday, the 23rd, from 6:30pm to 8:00pm. CAM members get in free, US$10 for nonmembers, but a 50% discount if you come in costume. The Cartoon Art Museum, in case you’d forgotten, is at 781 Beach Street, part of Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco.

Spam of the day:

Prepare for a Hurricane Browse Portable Generator Choices

Got one after Irene, thanks. But that photo you’re running is of a power output panel of a generator that’s “portable” in the sense that it’s permanently mounted to its own trailer bed along with a 2000 liter diesel fuel tank. I ain’t trying to run an office building over here.

¹ Evil twin, etc.

² But gets you in on the eventual Backerkit add-ons … which includes all previous books in the series.

³ Which is not to say that I didn’t laugh out loud back in ’92 in her debut episode when The Joker, lamenting that finally killing a guy he’d been tormenting meant he’d need to find a new hobby, prompted Harley to chirp Macramé’s nice.

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