Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Borderline Press Blog #12 - Bold and Brave

The last month has been up and down like the Assyrian Empire.

Good news, bad news, crappy news, illness and let-downs. More incompetence from financial institutions and the belief that there will be real money to be made from sea shipping in 100 years or so, because there is now and it's supposedly more economical (for the customer) than airfreighting.

We got a book we wanted but didn't think we'd get so didn't bother approaching the creator... Yeah, that doesn't make sense much.
How about this then: "Hi, I understand you're publishing my comic, I'd like to ask you a few questions..."
That was essentially how Borderline Press snagged the lovely Zombies Can't Swim by Kim Herbst. It seems that dear old Dennis Wojda in his pursuit of great things for us to publish had done all the groundwork but forgotten, in all the 566 Frames work, to mention it. So Kim was sitting there in San Francisco thinking, "Where are these guys if they want to publish my book?" She finally decided to contact me and boy was I pleased...

ZCS is basically Borderline Press's first foray into (almost) comic publishing and yes, it's about zombies and no it isn't my intention to turn Borderline into the zombie publishing company - although if you saw the team on the Sunday of Thought Bubble that thought wouldn't have been too far from your wee brains. ZCS should be out in about a month.

Hunger House is at the printer. It's Chinese New Year so nothing will be done in the next week anyhow. City of Crocodiles is in production. I have all the files, I just need to redo 7 pages in English and that will go off and we'll see how well 1010 in Hong Kong do.

And then, before you know it, we'll have five - FIVE - books on sale! Then six because Beasts is just about to hit deadline.

Some things have disappeared off the schedule. I had to write my very first rejection letter, followed swiftly by another. And the bad news is that because of delays, everything is a couple of months behind and will probably stay that way now I've dropped two titles from 2014's schedule. The decision to not pursue these books was taken strictly on a creative and economic basis.

Because everything is behind, both the Nathan Castle and Terry Wiley books are going to have to be summer releases now instead of spring, these need to be out in June/July, especially as we will have as many as five books coming out in September/October. I've also had to push Ladies & Gentlemen back to 2015, but the guys are actually slightly relieved about that!

The really bad news was that part of this was because I was slightly mislead by the printer about unusual sized books. Told 'we're talking about a hundred quid or so', it turned out to be a thousand or two or so and with two 'odd shaped' books scheduled and more costs involved, everything got shunted. For me the worst part is that I had a lot of plans to do some funky shaped things - square books, pocket books, etc - and they are just not viable at the moment.

There have been a couple of examples about how complete unknowns or wannabes have attempted to hold us to ransom - and yeah, I know that sounds a tad melodramatic. Most recently, an artist who was supposedly drawing a 16-page strip for Beasts told us with a week to go before deadline that if we didn't pay him $1500, he wouldn't draw it... I sometimes forget I'm not an editor any more, because the first thing that went through my head wasn't anger at this attempted virtual mugging, but 'how on earth is he going to turn in a decent job in 7 days if he hasn't even started it yet?'

I thanked him for his involvement. Consoled the writer and figured that the artist would probably be lucky if he ever gets another gig in comics again with that kind of ransom mentality. [If any other publishers or editors would like to know who this artist is I'd be happy to share the info with you, because you don't want to be working with this clown in the future.] It's a real shame, but as publisher, I see it as a way of cutting costs and maintaining quality.

And just as I started to write this, I did a deal with Paul Eke at Amazing Fantasy in Hull to stock Borderline Press books for a limited period to see how they do. So another shop can be added to our affiliates!

Ben Dickson has been telling the world about Santa Claus versus the Nazis - which will go to the printer in July - and quite rightly so, as I believe this could be a breakout hit for us all.

And the January Sale finishes at the end of the month, so if you want any discounted bundles of joy then get over to NOW!

Next time - more exciting news!