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I Believe This Is Unprecedented

I was going to talk about this yesterday, but the post was getting full, I didn’t want it to get overly compressed, and also there were trick or treaters to attend to. Also, putting it off to today allows us to tie into a significant date, so today it is.

Backstory: Exactly one year ago tomorrow, David Malki ! closed the Kickstart for the first Wondermark print collection in about forever (or, since about 2012 if we want to be pedestrian about it). Malki ! being Malki !, he promised that the book would get progressively larger the more funding it got, and also that color would be added to many of the strips. He knew up front he would have to design a book to contain at least Wondermark #556 through #740 and eventually grew by 16 pages, or some 30 comics.

Then life happened.

Look, anybody that backs a Kickstarter that says Your stuff will be delivered in April of 2019 and takes that as more than a vague suggestion is setting themselves up for disappointment. Malki ! took various freelance gigs that paid for things like his toddler son not dying in the snow of hunger¹, which took time away from designing the book. Design work that he couldn’t really have gotten too much of a head start on until he knew how long the damn thing was gonna be.

Anyway. April 2019 comes, and the book is still in the dummy stage. A’course, April means you’re into Con season, so it was about ready to go to print in August, with a hope of completion or shipping in September or October. One may note that it is now November, but I propose that any Wondermark backers out there not be too upset because Malki ! did something astonishing two days ago:

I have officially submitted the book to the printer!

Wait, that’s not astonishing at all. Hang on a tick:

My original plan was to have this book done this spring, then follow it up with another campaign right about now, for the next book in the series. Just roll right into the next one!

But as I mentioned in the previous update, and as you know, it was tough to get this book put together in a timely fashion.

I came to two conclusions:

  • At this rate, I won’t have time to make another book anytime soon.
  • I really want this book to be worth the wait!

So I just put the content that was going to go in THAT book, into THIS book as well. This included doubling the number of color comics in the book.

And now the book you’re going to get will be 304 pages long. [emphasis mine]

Let’s just emphasize the point for anybody that’s at the back — if you backed the Friends You Can Ride On Kickstarter, you are now getting two hardcover books for the price of one. Still no sea lions² or sick elephants, but did you catch the part where you’re getting more than twice the book you contracted for? The basic pledge level for a book was US$22, which is unbelievably cheap for a 128 (later 144) page hardcover, and is mind-blowingly cheap for a 304 page hardcover. I’m not sure how Malki ! is avoiding taking a loss on these.

So if you are one of the 455 people that lucked out, you are morally obligated to buy some extra stuff from Malki ! this upcoming holiday season, and to also never complain about delayed Kickstart fulfillment until you hit the 12 months late mark. As it is, the book will likely be in our hands by the solstice (Malki ! has opted to have books shipped direct from China instead of waiting for them to be freighted across the Pacific). So between now and when you get the new, expanded Friends You Can Ride On, check out the Wondermark store at TopatoCo or maybe the alternate Wondermark Dry-Goodsery, where shortly we should see the annual calendar’s new edition for 2020 announced.

And should you see David Malki ! in person in the near future, do take a moment to tell him he is the up-standingest of dudes.

Spam of the day:

I’ve Heard of This DIY Hack but I Wasn’t Sure It Actually Works

Huh. They’ve gone from spam enticements based on Free Money Tips, Sex Tricks, and Health Secrets to DIY Hacks. I suppose that’s a thing.

¹ Granted, they live in LA, so the snow is probably a bit hyperbolic. Mea culpa.

² My mind is frequently blown by the facts that a) the sea lion strip is more than five years old, and 2) how apropos it remains on a daily basis. Go away, sea lions! At least until we see you in the next Wondermark collection!

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