Friday, 24 October 2014

Weekly Update #54: WOW! Again!

Repairing the Off-White House foundations

  1. Behind the scenes of the $33K threshold Tuesday to Thursday
  2. CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER TWO Bonus Prints to feature gold stamp embossed seals reading "Cerebus Archive First Release" and will be signed AND numbered by hand by me.
  3. We're putting this one in the "WIN" column for CEREBUS fans around the world!
  4. Work continues on the rebuilding of the Off-White House foundation

1. I'm definitely keeping with my "open governance" program for Aardvark-Vanaheim. Which isn't to say that there aren't fax conversations that I'm having in private "behind the scenes".  A good example this week with Funkmaster John 21 October at 9:40 pm just after he had announced the final threshold would be $33K:
$33K final threshold -- we're getting there, but still $3.5K off. If we hit the target at the very last minute or with only hours to spare, it doesn't give the patrons enough time to react, for those who want to max out the bonus prints to 10.  What if we set a "48-hour clock" on Thursday evening, meaning, if we achieve the "soft" target of $30K by 8:00 pm Thursday, then we simply say, "We're close enough and we need to give you some time to adjust your pledge -- you still have two days."  It's one of those "Catch-22" deals, isn't it?  What do you think?
Ha. It's my call, isn't it?  Mulled it over doing some mindless work at the drawing board, then went upstairs and faxed John (typing into the space below his above question:
My gut instinct tells me this is no time for "no child left behind".  This is like the playoffs.  You (that is, the Pledge Partners) have to WANT it.  The sooner they get it up to $33K, the more choosing time they get.  They have to be thinking, "We may never get up this high again and we'll never get First Release opportunities on THESE Bonus Prints again".  I suspect if you take away that pressure, you take away the sense of accomplishment and a lot of the fun.  
But, BOY, sitting there at the typewriter re-reading and re-reading that.  Is that cold? Is that TOO cold? These people have donated $30K already.  IF you crack, WHEN do you crack? You can't "read" the crowd reaction -- they're scattered all over the world.  We're all looking at the same situation board. That gave me an idea of a model of what was going on and how to frame it:
I'll address it as soon as we go live at 4 pm just as if I was announcing a hockey game: "Wow! It's going to be close!  Are you guys going to hit the $33K?  And if you do, are you leaving yourself enough time to decide and order any First Release Bonus Prints you're interested in/can afford?"
No response from Funkmaster, but I didn't expect any.  That's what "the buck stops here" means.  No one can countermand your decision.  Was the tone wrong?  I'm not really just announcing a game. I have control over the rules.  If you sound as if you don't and you do and the crowd starts tipping the other way...

12:30 pm update yesterday with "$31,660 pledged" at the top of John's fax and "(We're getting there...") right after it.

What is this like?  I decided it was like the 1993 World Series for me.  Sitting on the end barstool at Peter's Place, going, All we need is a base hit...or a walk.  Keep the inning going.  JUST DON'T FLY OUT, JOE!  Yesterday was a busy day and I got to the page late and just got absorbed by it, partly because I was still asking myself, "IF you crack, WHEN do you crack?"  What's the mood going to be like by 4 pm on Saturday?

Was within shouting distance of getting the page done, came upstairs to print out the Joe Kubert lettering for spray-gluing and there's a fax from Funkmaster, which summed it up nicely -- like Mitch Williams' hanging fastball that was suddenly headed for the fence in left field:
$33,642 pledged (FUH-GED-A-BOW-DIT!!!!)
WOW! again!  

2.  That wasn't ALL I was thinking about.

I also went to the "Marking Products" place I went to on Weber Street for the glamourpuss GOLD ACCESS labels I put on the Limited Fashion Industry Edition of glamourpuss No.1 (John's going to post a scan of one -- which turned out to be the one that I sent to Colleen Doran at her Newport News address and which came back as undeliverable) (I just noticed now that I spelled her name wrong).  (Which -- it not getting to her, I mean -- judging by the general female reaction to glamourpuss was probably for the best  :)

It's called an "embosser"  and I'm getting it changed to "Cerebus Archive First Release" so all of the First Release Bonus Prints (which are going to be pretty rare, even relative to CEREBUS ARCHIVE itself) will have a gold foil seal with those words on it.  And I'll be signing and hand-numbering those.  Which should make them REALLY difficult to counterfeit. 

3.  I hate to keep using the same analogy, but I do see this as a Fan Victory just around the size of, you know, Frank Miller's 300.  Not that analogy, rather: the way that STAR TREK fans brought STAR TREK back to life and got a movie made after however many years when STAR TREK had DOA stamped all over it in any conventional sense.  Well, you know, that's CEREBUS In Spades.

So, we're all really optimistic -- me, especially, more optimistic than I've been in years.  The possibility seemed completely remote that we would chalk up the same numbers as last time.  If you had asked me to handicap the odds on IMPROVING on those numbers.  Uh, I probably would have said, "Look, let's talk SENSIBLY if we're going to talk about this." 

4.  Work proceeds apace on the rebuilding of the Off-White House foundation as can be seen by these two photos (when Funkmaster gets them posted  :) taken yesterday.  The one above is Scott and Brodie with shovels pretending they dug these giant moats on two sides of the house by hand.  No, that was a full day's excavation.  I sketched in for Scott the long-term plans of the Off-White House after I'm dead being accessible to the fans who made it possible, so he's definitely stoked.  I promised to keep eating my Wheaties so I don't kick off TOO soon (Scott's got a lot of construction work to do in the meantime, but we are definitely talking about WHAT is possible and WHEN).

Second photo is what the foundation stones looked like after Tom H spent a couple of hours blasting them with a high pressure water hose to get 130 years of gunk off them.  This is how they built them back in the 1880s -- more than a foot wide.  And anything heavy enough to do the job.  Tom found a chunk of what looked to be an old marble washbasin that was probably taken out of a demolition site nearby.

Okay.  Miles to go before I sleep -- out to Waterloo to pick up the mail and groceries -- and I hope to get some writing and drawing in before we go live at 4 pm tomorrow.




Tony Dunlop said...

I'm just glad this moment arrived right as I hit my "peak earning years" (I just turned 50...). We love you Dave, you cranky old fart.

David Birdsong said...

Dave Sim optimistic about the future of Cerebus? I'm getting nervous.

M Kitchen said...

I knew he'd catch up to use at some point or another.


M Kitchen said...

I knew he'd catch up to US at some point or another.


(how did that e get in there?)

Mouse Skull Entertainment said...

Mike Kitchen,

Ie Don'te knowe, noe cluee ate alle...

Matte Dowe

Anonymous said...

Infected by the Booke of Ricke, perhaps?

-- Damian T. Lloyd, eee

Travis Pelkie said...

Well, with the bonus prints, you essentially doubled the amount of "stuff" available for us to pledge for, so it's no real surprise that we pledged more money (with about 20 fewer pledgers, I believe). It would be interesting to see, if Funkmaster gets a chance to tell us how many people came back and how many are new pledgers.

Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...


Yes, that's one of the metrics on my report-out for Dave. I don't have the exact count, but looking at the list of names, we gained a lot more than expected: i) first time KS backers, ii) first time Cerebus backers, and iii) non-CANO backers (from the High Society KS project of 2012). Looking at the total number of backers down from CANO (277 down to 252 = 25 less - just under 10% drop) and with the fact that we picked up a surprising number of new backers, the conclusion is that we also lost a significant amount of CANO backers.

However, as you point out, Travis, the big gain is the average pledge: $119 for CANO vs $166 for CANT = $47 more or a 39% increase.

I'm going to be posting the financials again for CANT, like I did for CANO, so I think that's a good place to add that type of statistic.

FM John