Monthly Archives: May 2013

Welcome aboard, Carol Monahan!

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While we slumbered, money continued to come in to the Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-12-printing-and-reprint-frenzy) (which is like, the best feeling EVER), and this morning, I see that we made our latest goal, and as a result, can now hire Carol, our long needed business person. I feel more fiscally responsible already! I shall post a photo of Carol with a pancake upon her head as soon as I can chase her down from wherever she is hiding, no doubt consumed with second thoughts. Sorry, no take–backsies, as we say in the world of sophisticated high finance.

I cannot help but notice that even though we made this extraordinary goal, the money is still piling in. Understandable, really, as we are offering some really extraordinarily good deals on books and assorted stuff, (in fact, Carol’s first pronouncement was that we had made some stuff too cheap, and the only reason this wouldn’t actually hurt us is that we’ve overfunded.) and now that we’ve met the goals, they are guaranteed to come out. (As I said in an earlier post, one thing Studio Foglio has always known how to do well, is actually get books printed and out to customers. That’s the easy part for us) So get ’em while you can!

Obviously, we have to come up with a few more stretch goals. I had toyed with the idea of putting two pancakes on everyone’s head, but that was a path that could only lead to madness.

Kaja is indeed off to the Victoria Steam Expo (http://www.victoriasteamexpo.com/), which is in Canada. This is annoying for a variety of reasons, but one of the most pressing is that she is now outside the U.S. (astonishing, but technically true), which means that phone calls now cost about $300 a minute. This was a big surprise the last time we went.

For the first time in awhile, I can think about my tomatoes again, which I rather regret doing, because thanks to Seattle’s pernicious climate, I cannot help but notice that every night this week, the temperature has dipped below 50º F. You are not suppossed to plant tomatoes until the temperature stays above 50 all the time. However a nice man at the local nursery told me to just accept it, because if we stuck to that rule, no one around here would plant tomatoes until mid-July.

Coming Down to the Wire…

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Just a few days left on our Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-12-printing-and-reprint-frenzy), and I for one, will be relieved when it’s over and I’m not ashamed to say it. I must admit that I’m pretty darned pleased about being able to reprint everything, as well as a bunch of pins and patches and stickers and what–not. We will have to grind out a couple of videos, but we’ve been wanting to do those anyway, and now we are being forced to get off our ass and do them. Drat!

But this thing had eaten a significant portion of my cognitive thought for the last few weeks, so it’ll be a relief to stop fretting about it and buckle down and get back to real work.

We finished the first pass on the third novel! (Agatha H and the Very Naughty House [tentative title]) It’s over 125,000 words at this point, and once we’ve thrown it onto the editorial lathe and ground away at it, I’m sure it’ll be 130,000.

I am doing some work in the theater! A Seattle company called Pork Filled Productions (https://www.facebook.com/PorkFilledProductions?fref=ts) is putting on a steampunk themed play, titled The Clockwork Professor, and I’m doing the poster, I used to do acting and stage comedy back in New York and Chicago (nothing really professional, but I enjoyed it), and I’m hoping this will put me in contact with the local scene.

In addition to all the work that our Kickstarter generated, I have some earlier commitments to catch up on, which should keep me busy through June. The Experiments are getting wound up because the End Of School is hurtling towards us, and they’re looking forward to soldering their eyeballs to their computer screens for the next few months. As a concerned parent, of course, my job is to peel them off and shove them outside into the bug infested outside world which will cause them to scream and thrash and stomp around the house hating me and everything I stand for…so I guess I should’ve said we’re ALL looking forward to the summer.

Back To It

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A nice little extended holiday weekend. I ground through the earlier Bioshock games (awesome), did some grilling and tried to catch up on some outside work. Kaja returned safely from her convention, and now we can return to our regular job, which is fretting over our Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-12-printing-and-reprint-frenzy/?ref=kicktraq).

“What the hell do you have to fret over?” I hear my relatives say, “you funded like two thousand percent over your initial goal.” (um…more like 450%. There is a reason why I do not want them handling my financials) However, when one gets a large chunk of money which is specifically earmarked for actual products, then you have to make sure that you get them out the door, and hope that you accounted for all the intangibles. When you make a certain amount of money, the I.R.S. shows up. Kickstarter and Amazon take a cut and so on. Now, I’m pretty sure that we did the math before we launched this zeppelin, but it’s the one you don’t see coming that kills you, c’est ça. If we manage to fund our business person, sorting all this out will be her first job.

However, it is almost over (5 days and counting), and then we can take a deep breath and get on with it. I will say, any Kickstarter we do in the future? Short campaign. Putting up with this for over a month? Forget it. Plus, we never had that ‘lull’ everyone warned us about. Unless…that’s about to start. Right. Now. AAHH! See? This I don’t need.

Now that the campaign is hurtling towards the finish, we’re starting to field a surprising number of inquiries about the $10,000 We–Put–It-In–Because–Why–Not Level. Admittedly several of them have been along the line of; “You say that for $10,000 Phil will never come to my house. Is this a Forever never? Or is it something I’d have to periodically renew?” Ha ha.

Trying To Do What We Do Best

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Awhile ago, I was grousing about how frustrating it was, taking time away from writing to have to deal with some business thing (I forget exactly what, which is sadly indicative of my ultimate point), when the guy I was talking to stopped me and said, why don’t you hire a business person to do that for you? I replied that it was cheaper to do it myself. My friend then proceeded to disprove this. He asked, how much would a bookkeeper cost? I replied that it ran around $40 an hour. He then asked how much I could make with a drawing that I took an hour to make? The short answer is considerably more. Plus I’d have a drawing, which, thanks to the magic of digital storage, I would have around forever, even after I sold it, to be reused in a variety of ways.

His point is that I could spend my time doing what I do best, or I could do something that other people could do better, cheaper and faster. This is one of the reasons why, even though Studio Foglio turns twenty years old this year, we are not a globe–striding entertainment conglomerate. We are cartoonists, not business people, and if someone offered us a Maserati, we’d fret because it didn’t have room in the back for a cage of baboons (this is a real discussion that Kaja and I have been having off and on ever since we got married. We never realized how real–world important it was until Experiments One & Two materialized).

Now, if you have been following our Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-12-printing-and-reprint-frenzy), you will see that we made all of our reprint goals! We will now be able to reprint the entire line of Girl Genius graphic novels, and make a slew of cool stuff besides. This is a welcome shot of financial stability which will help us produce a lot more stuff for our readers. Thanks to everyone who helped!

However we still have a week to go, and there are people out there still giving us money (and why not? Some of the deals we’re offering are pretty sweet), so what should we shoot for now? We have decided to hire a Business Person. The person we have in mind is Carol Monahan, spouse to James Ernest, the mastermind behind Cheapass Games and Studio Foglio’s official cinematographer. She was the Director of Marketing for Wizards of the Coast, and knows everybody, which, I can tell you, is probably more important. She has been saying for years that we should hire her, and we have been saying that we couldn’t afford her. However, in a welcome bit of synchronicity, she is finishing up a government contract, and we are engaged in this fine KickStarter. Thus, our next Big goal. Hire someone who helps Studio Foglio make that incredibly difficult transition from tiny mom & pop art studio to an entertainment company that can hire other people to help us produce the thousand and one projects we have thought up over the years, but just haven’t had the time, money or extra hands to get done.

Plus, to show that she understands our readers and is fully conversant with the social milieu that she will be operating in, if we make this goal, she will allow us to photograph her with a pancake on her head. I should put that in the Employee Manual.