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Rainy Road Warrior Newsletter
December 5, 2022
I hope this time of year sees you well. And welcome to the new readers who joined since the Epic of Darkness Kickstarter campaign. Note that there’s a years worth of behind-the-scenes info, exclusive artwork and my ramblings you missed that you can go back through if you’re bored at work or sitting on the toilet and need a distraction from… you know… the bees.
EoD Crowdfunder recap 2.0
Just to go over a few more summary details about the Epic of Darkness campaign:
The campaign launched on September 13th and ended on October 13th. The links for all digital rewards were emailed out on October 28th. All physical rewards were mailed out on November 28th. So, that’s a little over 1 month from end of campaign to fulfillment. I don’t think that’s bad but it could have been faster if not for the printing problems.
Problems? What problems?
So, when ComixWellSpring printed Book of Legend last year, every copy had a tiny fleck of white paper at the top and bottom staple-side corner. It’s like when you don’t cut a paper cleanly, leaving a tiny piece dangling at the end. But I just had to live with it because I didn’t order a hard-copy proof and I thought it would be unreasonable to expect them to reprint the entire run.
At any rate, I also noticed this same defect on other creator’s books that were printed by CWS — either in pictures posted on social media or on books that I backed.
So, for EoD, I did order a hard-copy proof to check for this and, sure enough, it had the exact same defect. I reported this to CWS and they said it was something they called “chipping” and was due to the machine that (I guess) automatically cuts the paper after printing. I told them that this was unacceptable and that, if they could not print books without this defect, to cancel my order. They responded that they would cut the pages by hand to avoid this issue.
I agreed to this, they went ahead with the printing and I was assured in an email by one of their reps that “They were cut by hand on the cutter. I checked and they look great.”
When I got the printed books, the good news was that there was no “chipping”. The bad news was that there were other serious problems/defects. And it wasn’t to just a few books. It was to about 30% of the books, which amounted to almost $200.
The problems ranged from streaks of gloss, weird splotches, heavy creases and ragged cuts along the top and bottom, which was the most common. To be clear, these were all printing errors. And it was only on the covers. I did not see any defects on any of the interior pages. So, someone saw these, said, “Yeah this is fine!” and shipped them to me.
Obviously, I was not happy but once I told them about the problems, they immediately printed replacements and I got those in just a few days.
But the cherry on top of this shit-sundae is that every book in the new batch had the “chipping” defect I had wanted to avoid in the beginning.
So, moral of the story? I won’t be using CWS again. I’ll be going back to Comic Impressions, which printed six:eight and the Neotheric graphic novel.
P.S. CWS told me to box up the damaged books, place them on my porch and they would arrange for UPS to pick them up. Well, that box has been sitting on my porch for a week now. I’m thinking I should set up a 24-hour webcam so people can take a look from anywhere in the world. Someone from Japan can check in on the Porch-Box cam and say, “なんてこった！ それはまだそこにあります！”
One of the things I’ve wanted to have are 3D models/statues/figures of the various Rainy Road characters. I’m a big fan of having physical items I can hold in my hand or even just put on a shelf and display.
So, I had been searching for quite a while now for someone who can do 3D printing. I did talk to a few people but they all turned out to be flakes who never followed-thru. Eventually, I did meet one guy at the last Asheville con and, so far, things have been progressing along at a reasonable pace. (I probably just jinxed it, though.)
Since I was planning on Neotheric #5 being the first campaign up in 2023, we started creating a prototype that would go along with that project. (But the schedule might change. See the next section for more about that.)
The concept (as of right now) would be to create a base with the TRex footprint and chalk outline on the face and the “Neotheric” logo around the rim. The dinosaur model would be a separate piece that could be displayed by itself or placed on top of the base. So the base could be used interchangeably with future figures.
I was also thinking about making the base translucent so that a light could be installed on the bottom to shine up onto the dino and make it a little more scary but it looks like that may all be overcomplicating things. Obviously, this is still very much in the rough design stage.
In preparation for this, I’ve gone down the rabbit hole of painting miniatures. I’ve gotten some basic supplies and figures to practice on and I’ll share that experience in the next newsletter.
2023 Publication Schedule
My thinking a little while ago was to do Neotheric #5 in February/March, GunEngine Zero #1 relaunch in May/June then Epic of Darkness #2 in August/September (possibly along with six:eight Chapter Two).
But the artwork for EoD #2 is coming in fast and furious so I may swap that out with Neotheric. I tried my hand at coloring the teaser image below because I needed it for submitting to a Diamond Previews-style indie book that is supposed to go out in January, I believe. I’ll relay more info about that when I get it.
As it stands right now, EoD #2 will have 5 stories. Two new standalone stories, the conclusion to “Roketto-Man” and the second installments of the “Lady X” and “GRaV” stories.
I’ll also be making a serious effort in figuring out how to lower the price of the book, trying to at least get it under $10.
The Rainy Road Media website now has a page with reviews. I had been meaning to add this for a long time so it’s nice to finally be able to cross that off my to-do list. And I’m still trying to fine-tune the website, as a whole, over the upcoming winter months since I should have free time to dedicate to that.
Also, Amazon has been a real pain in my ass (for a variety of reasons) so I’m considering just pulling the books off there. It’s not like I’ve sold a bunch of books, so it wouldn’t really make much difference.
Until next time!
~Michael T Gonzalez