Monthly Archives: April 2014

Coming Down To The Wire…

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Well our Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl) has only a couple of days left- so if you want to advance order your copy of Girl Genius # 13- the one nominated for a Hugo Award- then you had better get a’movin’ there, buckaroo.

If you’ve already taken a look, you might want to take another, as we’ve been coming up with assorted incentives, such as patches, stickers and the much asked for Corbettite insignia pin. All aboard!

We recently ripped out our entire backyard and pretty much leveled it down to the bare earth. I now have a hobby for the next few years. The most interesting thing I planted is a tea bush. I didn’t know that tea could grow up here, but it says that you can “Grow your own tea!” Now personally, I prefer coffee, but global warming will have to progress quite a bit before I can put in coffee plants. I will let you all know how this particular vegetable experiment works out.

Girl Genius 13 KickStarter ending soon, and silly movies!

Our KickStarter campaign for Volume 13 of the Girl Genius Collection is almost over, we only have a few more days to go.

We haven’t been doing as many stretch goals this time, mostly because we haven’t had the energy for it. All our time has been eaten up with finishing the third prose novel and getting Volume 13 ready for the printer so we can get it out ASAP. I have all kinds of things I wanted to do with this KickStarter that I simply didn’t get to, and it’s really frustrating!

One thing we’ve been assuring people we’ll get to is an unlimited Mamma patch that will be made available for everyone to buy as an add-on. It will also be available later, of course. I finally got Phil to draw the picture for it, and tomorrow I’ll be doing my part of the work: turning it into a patch design. Here’s the raw art:mamma

I can’t wait to get started on it! Unfortunately, I’m having trouble typing because I am getting really tired. Still, by tomorrow night, I hope to have a finished design to show everyone. In the meantime, here’s my ridiculous new video, made by James Ernest! With this, I hope to keep you distracted until I finish the patch design! Muhahahaha!

Good Night! –Kaja

 

We’re helping Beta test something interesting

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We’ve started playing with a new social site called Tentacl. It’s very much still in the beta testing phase, so it’s a chance to watch a strange, alien creature grow. It’s been really interesting so far! Like everything I’ve ever poked at that was still in beta, I have my share of frustrations when I’m trying to use it, but I think it has a lot of potential, especially once there is more content there. Which we’re helping with! We’re still learning the ropes, though. The target demographic is clearly college students and up, I think they’re working on making it a place for the “grown ups” (phhthahahahaha oh dear, I actually typed that…) to hang out.

If you want to have a look at it yourself, please do! Just follow the happy link!

 

We Led Two Lives This Weekend…

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What a weekend it has been. Kaja and I co–worked both Norwescon, our local science–fiction convention, and SakuraCon, our local enormous amine convention. Two booths, two teams of assistants, two different schedules, one car.

Our most grateful thanks to Carol Monahan, Alice Bentley, Ellen Beeman and everybody else, who worked hard so that we did have to.

Certainly the most delightful news from the weekend is that we are once again nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Graphic Story! Girl Genius Volume 13; Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City. Awards are never a sure thing, of course, but as I’ve said before, the Hugos are one of those rare awards where just being nominated is a good thing. Personally, we couldn’t have asked for better timing, as this news comes out while we were running a Kickstarter for this very volume! (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl) Now you have even more cause to order this fine book, especially if  you are one of those exceptional people who enjoy collecting the limited hardcovers.

It was actually kind of odd, doing two cons at the same time. It felt like I was at one gigantic con that had two different dealer’s rooms. Sure, one part of the con was populated with young, energetic people in weird costumes, but the other part had weird costumes too. Everyone was friendly, and happy to be there, and surprisingly pleased to see us.

A Very Busy Weekend Indeed

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As if we didn’t have enough to do, what with worrying about our ongoing Kickstarter for Girl Genius Volume 13 (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl), we have a convention weekend.

Most pros, when they attend a convention, pretty much just chat on panels, sign things and sit around at the hotel bar, staring pointedly at the empty glass in their hand. I envy them. But this is not the lot of those who toil for Studio Foglio. When we attend a convention, we do all those aforementioned things, to be sure, but we also run a dealer’s table. On the down side, we have to lug a lot of heavy boxes around and be on our feet for much of the weekend and be sharp enough to make correct change. On the up side, we get to meet a lot of our fans face-to-face, and at the end of the day, we have the cash to buy our own drinks (Not that we’re insulted when someone else buys– we’re proud, but not insane).

Well, this weekend we are doubling down in the most literal sense of the word, as we are running a dealer’s table at not one, but two conventions in the same town on the same weekend. (Okay, yes, Seattle and Seatac are technically not in fact the same town. But they are both conventions we can commute to, so that counts.)

The first convention is our local snazzy anime con; Sakura Con (http://www.sakuracon.org/). In the last couple of years, we’ve been asked to be guests at a number of anime conventions, even though we are not anime, manga, or even from Japan. But we are also not traditional American superhero comics either, and apparently that makes all the difference. Now the Professaressa has collected enough shojo romance manga that the house has started to settle, so she will be appearing at the Seattle Convention Center, at Booth # 432. Phil plans to be there Friday afternoon.

The Professor will be working it old school at Norwescon (http://www.norwescon.org/), our local science fiction convention. Norwescon is a refreshing exception to the general trend amongst science fiction conventions these days. Due to the proliferation of genre entertainment and the acceptance of faux nerd culture, many science fiction related conventions have expanded and thrived at the expense of the core science fiction constituency. Thus in many places, general science fiction conventions that used to count their attendees in the thousands have seen their numbers dwindle down to hundreds at best. Norwescon, however, has bucked that trend. Possibly because Seattle has a very healthy book reading culture. Therefore, if you want to attend a great science fiction convention because you like the possibilities of the medium, but don’t want to sink into a specialized venue devoted to one particular movie, TV show or anthropomorphic, vampire romance series, them check out Norwescon. Kaja plans to be there on Thursday evening. Plus, in a move that dealers everywhere can appreciate, you don’t actually need a Norwescon membership to get into the Dealer’s Room. YAY!

Hope to see you there– Wherever there may be.

A Mighty Nice Start! The Plan Continues!

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Fully funded within 20 hours! Now if I could just keep up that pay rate for the rest of the year…(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl)

Obviously the first thing we have to say is muchas gracias! Books for everybody! Our next thought is; Oh crap! Now we have to start implementing Stretch Goals! This is a very mixed bag. On the one hand, Stretch Goals are fun and exciting (Oh hey! Howzabout we put a sound chip in every book so that when you open it, you get a clap of thunder?) But you must be aware of how much these things cost. The annals of Kickstarter are littered with “sucessful” campaigns that found that they now had enough money to build every backer a cybernetic ham– and then realized– while at the post office with a truckload of wrapped hams buzzing and blinking ominously behind them– that they had not raised enough money to be able to ship them out. Oops..

This is one of the things we have our business manager- Carol Monahan for. Whenever she is not off doing whatever it is she does that keeps her “happy” and “fulfilled as a person” with her “family”, she is cheerfully sitting in our office crunching numbers, which is why I can say, “No cybernetic hams for you.” At least, not unless we raise quite a bit more. This is certainly possible, and we will no doubt be forced into devising increasingly unlikely and convoluted goals to justify continuing to ask for money. This is frustrating, as we don’t particularly want to have to come up with increasingly outrageous add-ons, we just want to sell a lot of books. I mean, theoretically, we could run a Kickstarter campaign for just 24 hours, Get funded, and then just be obligated to print a thousand books. Ho ho what screaming we would hear. We do not want to do this. You do not want us to do this.

Thus we must work with the current system, which means that if people continue to sign on, it’ll be ham for everybody. this is a burden we are willing to accept.

This Is The Way We Do Things Now.

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Woo hoo! Excitements abounds! Today at noon (Pacific Standard Time) Studio Foglio flipped the Big Red Switch and we have launched our latest Kickstarter (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-13-agatha-heterodyne-and-the-sl). This one is for Girl Genius Volume 13- Agatha Heterodyne and the Sleeping City. Now, as some people might remember, we had a very successful Kickstarter last year. successful enough that you might be excused asking “So what for do you need more money? Did you blow it all on coke?” (On this point, you can rest assured. No one who does coke stays as fat as we are.) No, we calculated how much it would cost to get all of our books back into print, make tchotchkes like pins and patches and travel stickers, and hire us a business manager, and that is where the money went.

What we discovered however, is that using Kickstarter is the perfect way to do two things; One- Raise the money we need to pay our printer in advance. It is a sad fact that even though we have been using this printer for over ten years, they still insist on getting paid in advance. One would think that we have an established track record, but they claim that publishing is a tricky business in a tricky spot, and that established publishers go out of business at the drop of a hat, and their industry is full of stories of reputable firms sneaking out of town leaving large, unpaid bills and a warehouse full of unsold copies of the first volume of the latest failed vampire romance octology. This is hard to argue with, considering our beloved publisher of the Girl Genius prose novels -Night Shade Books- suddenly sank last year.

The second reason is that this has proven to be the best way to make sure that we actually print enough books to fill the demand of our readers, especially of the limited edition hardcover, which does tend to fly out the door once we start offering them to the general public. The last time, we had to short our distributor, Diamond Comics almost 200 copies (which, frankly, almost killed me). So don’t let this happen to you! If you even imagine you want a hardcover, get it now! The halls of the internet’s used book sites are filled with the plaintive cries of people trying to acquire copies of the earlier hardcover editions (and their screams when they find out what they’re going for [Yes, it’s a good investment. Just sayin’].)

Once again we are doing a ’shorter’ Kickstarter campaign. A little over three weeks, because if it runs for too long, we will go out of our minds, and because we want to get the cash in hand as soon as possible. This is because our printer, as untrusting and rapacious as they are, are completely booked up for the summer, because we want books in time for the summer shows, which would be a good thing, as it’s always embarrassing when we have to show up with The Same Old Books. People thrive on novelty, and if we don’t have anything new, they say hurtful things and throw rocks at us. This is why we always strive to have something to sell to those benighted, technophobic souls who rely on the vicissitudes of chance to get their book. Unlike you.