Friday, 23 January 2015

Weekly Update #67: Not Cheap

Hello, everyone!

Looking over all of the great ideas for the HIGH SOCIETY bookplate, I'm still leaning in the direction of the first option presented (that's always the way: the first "take" is usually the best):  Cerebus with his drinking bowl at the top.

Mentally, I'm deleting the bottom image -- not because it doesn't look good but just because if you haven't already read the story, it might be a turn-off for someone browsing in a comic store ("What the heck is THAT supposed to be?").

So, I'm picturing the bottom panel deleted and the HIGH SOCIETY logo in black but in behind it in the vertical space one of the vertical panels of the Regency Elf with the linework burned to a gold colour. That is, a gold image.  And then I'd sign and number on top of the area between the HIGH SOCIETY logo and the bottom of the bookplate.

It would be nice to see some "gold colour hold" options of Regency Elf panels, now that we're "almost there".

Next week, I'll discuss the "Next issue:" deletions. If I remember!

1.  OFF-WHITE HOUSE COPIES goes "front burner" again as Dave Fisher prepares for a fact-finding mission to the warehouse in Leamington

2.  Learning curve on shipping JAKA'S STORY, MELMOTH, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY directly from Southern Ontario to the Diamond Star System in Mississippi proves steep:  everything needs to be RE-boxed

3.  Possibility raised of getting copies of the HIGH SOCIETY 30TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED GOLD EDITION TP (Diamond order code AUG120748 JAN150915) personalized through the two local Kitchener-Waterloo comic stores.

4.  Voice-work on CEREBUS: THE MOVIE, as far as I can see, will be virtually the last thing done on the movie

1.  Dave (CEREBUS TV and Kickstarter video editor) Fisher has completed his move to his new residence -- which turns out to be literally a stone's throw from the Kitchener storage facility where I had already planned to relocate the CEREBUS inventory (I'm taking that as a sign from God).  So, he already has the first long box of OFF WHITE HOUSE COPIES -- they are signed and designated -- and he is in the process of bagging and boarding them (we're going one step at a time on this).  Next week he's driving down to Leamington (which was chosen years ago because of its proximity to Preney Print & Litho) to measure the entire inventory, preparatory to moving it all to Kitchener where I'll be signing it and Dave will be inventorying it, bagging and boarding it and supervising the storing of it. And, ultimately, shipping of it to interested customers.

As I say, the OFF WHITE HOUSE COPIES will be signed and numbered first and -- if you're a Kickstarter Pledge Partner -- you will be notified as to which issues are available in your reserved number.  And then you'll have an extended period to choose to commit or not commit to buying them and be informed of the various payment plans we'll have available.

[I noted David B's concern that -- although he had been close to the first in line to be a Pledge Partner -- he chose a later number for its "Cerebus signifier" quality (#77 I believe).  Unfortunately, all I can do at this late date is to recommend that anyone who is REALLY interested in the OFF-WHITE HOUSE COPIES send me a postcard or a letter (yes, an actual postcard or letter:  I said you have to be REALLY interested) with your own Kickstarter number and indicating that you are interested in a "Lowest Number of the OFF-WHITE HOUSE COPIES".  I'll keep the information handy and -- if any Kickstarter Pledge Partner decides not to buy any or all of the OFF-WHITE HOUSE COPIES they have a claim to -- which seems likely -- then they will be offered to the person whose postcard or letter I get first, and then to the second person, the third person, etc.  I'll ask John to post this as a Kickstarter Update as well, so everyone finds out about it at roughly the same time.]    

The transition is going to be a bit of a problem since A-V will be paying rent both in Leamington and in Kitchener for however long it takes to make the switchover -- roughly $300 a month for both locations.  Nothing is cheap (you may have noticed) in 2015.  The temptation is just to do one massive "airlift" but from an organization stand-point, the books need to be moved at least roughly in a sensible order so they can be roughly in a sensible order when they get here and Dave starts the massive process of winnowing them down to the mint copies, bagging and boarding them and inserting the CERTIFICATES OF AUTHENTICITY.  Dave Fisher will crunch the numbers having $1,000 per as the ballpark figure for each U-Haul trip and this week's bill from the warehouse for shipping 200 copies each of JAKA'S STORY, MELMOTH, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY by TST EXPRESS to the packaging place in Waterloo:  $276.  "Not cheap" sums it up nicely, I think.

Which makes a nice segue to:

2.  Thought we were "out of the woods" with the delivery of the bar code labels (which are easily removable without leaving a trace of adhesive or label) which are now affixed to all 200 copies of MELMOTH, JAKA'S STORY, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY but then Chris B notified me that Diamond has a policy that no box can be taller than seven and a half inches high.

I don't know when the policy came into effect because Lebonfon had previously handled the books -- getting them from the warehouse in Leamington and then transporting them across the border with all of the other books they handle for small-press publishers and putting bar code stickers on everything.  Were THEY breaking down the boxes into "Diamond Compliant" sized boxes?  Nice of them if they were!

So this is another stage in the moving of the inventory:  breaking down the boxes that aren't "Diamond Compliant" and putting the books -- securely packed -- into boxes that are.  Ultimately it will be a time saver because the books will then be in boxes already labelled for Diamond with the product code, bar code, quantity, etc.  But, in the meantime, it's definitely a "make-work" project for Dave Fisher.

Not an emergency -- 200 copies should hold Diamond for a while -- but something that needs to be attended to.

3.  George Gatsis wanted to know if he was getting a copy of the 30TH ANNIVERSARY REMASTERED GOLD EDITION of HIGH SOCIETY (Diamond order code AUG120748 JAN150915) from me or if he should place a Paypal order for it.

The short answer is, Aardvark-Vanaheim won't be getting ANY copies of the 30th ANNIVERSARY GOLD EDITION.  The shipping costs from California just don't make any sense, the Off-White House already looks too much like a loading dock these days and I can't afford the time to wrap and mail books to people.

Hopefully, at some point we will be making books available by mail direct from the new storage facility, but that's not something that I see as happening in 2015.  The OFF-WHITE HOUSE COPIES first, just to get our feet wet and for Dave Fisher to familiarize himself with all of the shipping logistics that John Funk has had to learn with CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE and TWO, inventory protocols, packing, shipping options, etc.

George then prevailed upon John Funk to place an order for the book with one of the local comic book stores and to get John to pick up the book, deliver it to me for personalizing and then deliver it to George.

I've told John to make sure that he knows what he's doing since that's turning into a lot of work for little or no return.  I suggested he charge at least $10 per book on top of the $30 cover price. I have no contact with either of the local comic stores because they've chosen not to sign the petition, but I am willing to personalize copies if John is willing to pick them up, bring them to me and then take them back to the store.  What John wants to charge for that if John chooses to do that is up to him.  A phone call to one of the stores from John turned up the information that "the 30th Anniversary Gold Edition had been cancelled".  No big surprise.  But they did agree to order a copy for George and John.  We'll see if they actually do.

And that's as far as I'm going with that.

4.  Fax from Oliver Simonsen, Director of CEREBUS: FRACTURED DESTINY dated 17 January after he saw the 37 YEARS AN AARDVARK scan (and thanks to TimW for posting it!)
"I actually wanted a black actor to do the voice of Cerebus -- thought that could have really worked especially with Elrod -- but John Di Crosta did such a great job.  He also did the voice of Doctor in the TRANSFORMERS movie among other things. And Stephen Mendel, the voice of the Wizard [the Wizard character from CEREBUS No.1] has a huge list of credits including MED MEN and, in the comic book animation realm, Splinter from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and even as Nekron from way back in Frazetta/Bakshi's FIRE AND ICE -- just to bring it full circle: now to be remade by pioneer Robert Rodriguez  :)
On a related subject: I've gone over the audition recordings from both actresses a bunch of times and I've decided that it's not really practical to use the LATTER DAYS dialogue for the character of "Foy" because, at that point, she and Cerebus are pretty comfortable with each other, which they won't be in CEREBUS: FRACTURED DESTINY. Also, the LATTER DAYS dialogue is "bantering" and it's hard to know if someone can do "bantering" if you're only getting one side of it. So we'll have to wait until I have a good chunk of "Foy" dialogue intended for the movie and -- a more central point -- an actual monologue so I can see if they've "got" the character.

Georgina, in her video audition, definitely bears a striking resemblance to Lynn Morrison, the original model for Jaka.  Not big metaphysical surprise there.  :)

STRUCTURALLY: because we're doing this whole thing on a volunteer basis and not really letting go of anything until we're happy with the results (whether it actually gets approved as a film or just does a FAREWELL TOUR of Comic Conventions), the voices are actually ALL just placeholders right now. If we go the FAREWELL TOUR route, then we can stick with everything just as we have it so far.

If, however, it looks like a good film and a good CEREBUS entertainment vehicle in my eyes when it's done, then the next stage will be getting distribution and distribution is ALWAYS helped by Star Power.

So, we'll have a completed film, from which we'll transcribe a script and then circulate the script as far and wide as possible to see who is interested in voicing whom (the exact opposite of how animated movies are made where the voices come early in the process).  We're talking YEARS from now (how many years, we don't know) so it's very possible that the voice actors and voice actresses are complete unknowns right now but could be very hot properties in 2019, 2020, 2021.  If there is "buzz" about the movie, all we would need is one major name and that will probably lead to another major name and another major name and then we have The Big Mo when we look for a distributor.

Put another way:  Jeff Seiler?  If Brad Pitt wants to BE Elrod, your voice work is TOAST.


Tim said...

Quick question - has vol 1 actually been released as bu local store says that its not....

Oliver said...

Brad Pitt would be a blessing - for those who don't know he also got the film "12 years a slave" made via his production company "Plan B Entertainment". And he's no stranger to comic book adaptations as he's also optioned Paul Pope's Battling Boy.
One can always hope it won't take years and that we'll amicably make up for it to Jeff:)

Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...

RE: 30th Anniverary Remastered Gold Edition

The order code AUG120748 that Dave mentions was apparently cancelled and replaced with JAN150915 according to the local comic store I called to reserve my copy. The store confirmed that that number is an active solicitation for orders, so it sounds valid as far as I know.


Jeff Seiler said...

Well, we'll just have to wait, I say, wait and see, now, won't we son?

But if ah caint be in the final edit, ah better damn well get back the $35 bucks ah paid for studio time.

Recordin' mah voice, that is.

(Maybe I could get some face time with Brad to give him pointers on the nuances of the character, eh?)

Oliver said...

There Jeff goes again with his diva demands:)

Eddie said...

I don't know Jeff. I think I'd a rather have a some face a time with Mrs. Brad Pitt

Jeff Seiler said...

Nah, she's never done it for me. Brad is from Missouri, about 100 miles south of where I grew up.