Friday, 20 February 2015

Weekly Update #71: Cerebus Archive Number Three

Cerebus Archive Number Three
Signed Limited Edition Prints From 'Church & State I'
Kickstarter Ends Saturday 21st March 2015

Hi, everyone!

Okay, the clock is counting down to the start of our latest CEREBUS ARCHIVE Kickstarter -- CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER THREE, the ten earliest CHURCH & STATE pages in the Cerebus Archive.  Funkmaster John's got everything ready, Dave Fisher delivered the fully edited video (thank you, David!) and we're still tweaking a few things, but...with pre-approval from Jamie at looks as if we'll be going LIVE at around 1500 hours!  Roughly one hour from now!

After I'm done posting this, the Funkmaster is going to post a "Visual Discussion" regarding the CEREBUS posters (which I get asked about A LOT).  So that will actually serve as a lead-in since it will go above this one in the pecking order.  It really involves expanding what John is already doing -- it's not that complicated on my end: autographs and head sketches -- so it's not going to be a matter of just making them another $9 Bonus Item, I'm afraid.  Please give us your input on these if you get a chance.  We might not be doing them with THIS Kickstarter,  but maybe the NEXT Kickstarter.

As you can see, this week is pretty much ALL Kickstarter Updates!

1.  Canadian dollar -- after plummeting earlier in the month -- seems to have levelled off at 80 cents U.S.  Good CAN3 news for our U.S. pledge partners!

2.  Funkmaster John's GRAPHIC EDGE PRINT SOLUTIONS will be sponsoring a "Sermon On The Chimney" bookmark I hope to have drawn next week -- one free to each pledge partner as well as producing a CEREBUS wall-cling for selected participants.

3.  All of the Kickstarter expenses are posted by John to the Kickstarter site. We both encourage ALL of the pledge partners to audit us.  Anything doesn't add up or anywhere you see that we could be generating savings, let us know.  It's YOUR money, after all!

4.  Upgrades to shipping are now an on-going policy.  If you pledge a large amount of money (in the most recent case over SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS! Seriously!!) and you've checked SEA shipping to an International destination, we will automatically upgrade you to AIR shipping. At our expense.

5.  We have confirmation that MELMOTH, JAKA'S STORY, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY have all arrived at the Star System warehouse in Mississippi and are now available for retailer order.

6.  Still waiting on final numbers for the HIGH SOCIETY SIGNED AND NUMBERED GOLD LOGO 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION but we're still projecting a "March or early April" delivery. 

Progress IS being made on THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND, the scanning of the CHURCH & STATE I artwork, prepping for the big move of all the CEREBUS inventory from Leamington to Kitchener.

1.  I got 21 cents on the dollar when I cashed my STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND cheque at the CIBC today.  A couple of weeks back it was up around 24 cents on the dollar.  It does mean I can't really recommend either pledging early or pledging late on this (I think Kickstarter bills you at the time of pledging but I could be wrong about that) because it depends on which way the dollar goes and when.  But, it's definitely looking like a minimum 20% off sale for our USA! USA! pledge partners.  John and I will try to keep you posted if there are any sudden and unusual fluctuations.

If the Canadian dollar hits another "air pocket" and drops a few hundred feet overnight, we'll probably recommend that all of our USA! USA! pledge partners cancel their previous pledge and re-pledge at the more favourable rate. 

2.  I haven't mentioned the wall-cling previous to this.  It's a relatively new technology which Funkmaster John has adopted for GRAPHIC EDGE PRINT SOLUTIONS.  Basically it's a textured poster material that comes on a backing paper on which you can print in colour or black and white.  The "new" aspect of it is that you can stick it to the wall and it will hold just as if it was super-glued there.  But you can peel it off just as easily as you can peel a light adhesive label.  And then stick it to the wall again.  And peel it off again.  THEORETICALLY -- the company that makes the stuff promises -- dozens, if not hundreds of times, with no loss of adhesiveness.

I ended up sending a "Cerebus Berserker" sample wall cling to a couple of people for their comments.

It does seem to be a non-comic fan kind of thing.  As soon as you take it off the backing material, it's no longer in mint, right?  But, that's the thing.  TECHNICALLY it IS, if you can place it and replace it with no loss of its inherent adhesive nature.  True, you couldn't get it back onto the original backing paper, but I'm pretty sure an oversized sheet of wax paper would serve the same purpose.

So we have yet to work out what the actual "distribution" is going to be on this: but it seems to me like a "win-win" for the pledge partners.  Either it's the FIRST EVER (i.e. of many) CEREBUS WALL CLING and rare for that reason or -- if we really can't get a substantial enough level of interest -- it's the ONLY CEREBUS WALL  CLING and rare for that reason.

Anyway, much appreciated that Funkmaster John is always on the lookout for the Next Big Thing in printing and is willing to try it out as a Kickstarter pledge item!

 The bookmark will be on the wall-cling material and the original artwork for the "Sermon on the Chimney" piece will be our "end of campaign" art auction this time around!

3.  I just wanted to repeat -- and emphasize -- that we're being as completely honest and up-front with the pledge partners as we can be:  posting all of the expenses for each Kickstarter campaign and always looking for cost savings (the latest was Funkmaster wondering aloud if there wasn't a cheaper place to get the gold seals used on the FIRST RELEASE BONUS PRINTS -- I checked the U-Line catalogue and found out that they were probably 50% less in U-Line quantities than they were from the office supply place we were using. Good call, Funkmaster!).  It's 2015 and every penny counts around here (as I'm sure it does around your own place).

4.  We're definitely trying to take a "Common Sense" approach to all of the various aspects of the Kickstarter campaigns.  Upgrading shipping is a good example.

The other one that we'll be trying for the first time with THIS Kickstarter is "referral rewards".

Basically, we've been hearing from CEREBUS fans who are just now finding out about CEREBUS ARCHIVE.

We don't know HOW common this is, but it seems not to be, let's say, completely exceptional.

So, in the hopes that we can get some links to those people who have been cut off from CEREBUS for a while now, we'll be offering a FREE Bonus Print, PERSONALIZED to ANY new Kickstarter Pledge Partner AND a FREE Bonus Print, PERSONALIZED to the person who served as a "link" -- even if you're not a Kickstarter Pledge Partner, yourself.  Likewise with the "Five-Copy Retailer Package" -- serve as a link to a new Retailer Pledge Partner and both you AND the retailer will get your choice of a FREE Bonus Print each, personalized to you. 

5.  Boy, that was a STEEP LEARNING CURVE shipping books for the first time directly to Diamond's Mississippi Star System warehouse instead of going through Lebonfon! The order came in in the middle of December and finally made it there in late January.  It's always the same story with self-publishing:  there are always problems that need fixing, but once they're fixed they tend to stay fixed.

Anyway, the good news is that MELMOTH, JAKA'S STORY, LATTER DAYS and THE LAST DAY are finally available to stores again for the first time in years.

Had to make the tough call to forge ahead with restorations on CHURCH & STATE I (which is SORT of "in print" with Diamond having 100 or so copies in inventory) rather than READS (which is completely out of print).  My gut instinct is that it's better to have the earliest volumes available in sequence so that retailers can get new readers "up to speed" on CEREBUS.

Which leads to point 6:

6.  I don't think I'm being particularly morbid or fatalistic in keeping my focus on "end of life" issues.  The fact is that there's a LOT that needs to be done before I die and I'm aware of how dramatically I'm slowly down in my late fifties.  It takes me about 70 to 80 hours a week to do what I used to do in 40 hours a week.

I really have no problem with working 70 to 80 hours a week, because I'm determined to get everything done.  If I end up having a few years AFTER everything's done where I DON'T have to work 70 to 80 hours a week, I'll consider that a bonus.

The fact that Kickstarter -- so far -- is able to supply reliable revenues to move all of these various projects to completion is a major plus.  I really don't worry obsessively about money, I just keep in my mind the next thing and the next thing and the next thing and the next thing.  I always knows what I'm doing next.  I'm able to do about ten pages of THE STRANGE DEATH OF ALEX RAYMOND in any seven-week period...

[and my focus has changed. Now that I know I'm not going to be bowling anyone over with my productivity, I get determined that "if this is the last page I ever do" that it's "wall-to-wall eye candy"]

...while keeping up with all of my Kickstarter obligations, scanning the original artwork for Sean's restorations, planning the preservation of the Archive itself, the disposition of the Off-White House Copies and the Uncirculated CEREBUS back issues.  Just since the last campaign ended, CEREBUS Volume One has been brought back into print, HIGH SOCIETY has been fully restored and prepped for being printed, CEREBUS ARCHIVE NUMBER ONE has been made available  through Diamond, half the foundation on the Off-White House has been reinforced to 21st century building standards, we've got a clearer picture of what moving the entire inventory from Leamington to Kitchener is going to involve...

All thanks to fewer than 300 devoted CEREBUS fans.

Okay, roughly one hour to the launch of the next Kickstarter!

Here we go!    


Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...

Hi Folks,

FunkMasterJohn here:

Ok, today has been 'not going to plan' to put it mildly, so I'm running behind schedule, while trying to figure out how to properly post and size photo's to this blog site. I'm presently working on the AMOC post about posters that Dave asked me to do. That will take until about 4pm (EST) and then I've got at least an hour of edits and some additional content to add to CAN3 before it goes live. I'm trying to have it go live by 5pm so that our friends in Europe have a chance to 'have at it' before it gets too late for them. CANT, I can give you a preview link so that you can see Dave's hilarious video (hint: watch the entire video for news on a special reward from Dave), and navigate your way around the content, look at how I structured the portfolio rewards (btw, shipping costs are now specific to your country and will be added AFTER your pledge, so you don't need to add shipping into your pledge like last time).

If you see something drastically wrong, leave a comment, but I will only have time to react to it if 'there is a sense of a major problem'.

Here's the URL:



Jeff Seiler said...

Page not available, at 16:52 CST.

Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...


Use this URL now, please. We've gone live and it looks like the old link is no longer valid.

I'll be posting and update soon.



Damin J. Toell, Esq. said...

Kickstarter processes the pledge at the end of the campaign, so there won't be any benefit to canceling and re-pledging; you'll get the same exchange rate regardless.

JLH said...

I notice there's no "pledge $2 or more for no reward" option this time around. Which is fine, since getting I planned on getting the bookplates without the portfolio.

Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...


There actually is a "No Reward" option in each and every Kickstarter project. It is there by default. It's the one at the top of the reward list (after clicking on the green "Back This Project" button.

Since it ended up really being the same thing, I decided to try it this way, which is how I think Kickstarter intended for it to be.

Thank you for your support again!

John Funk

Travis Pelkie said...

I'm not sure that reward mentioned at the end of the video is really a reward, is it? ;)

I think it makes sense to keep going with restoration on C&S 1 rather than leap to Reads, even if Reads is OOP. Not only is it better having the earliest volumes in sequence, but the current kickstarter is that stuff, and the progression of the art is on a through line (although I'm not sure how much of what Sean's doing is necessarily hinging on the art style, I suppose).

I got my CANT in the mail this past week, and I'm quite happy with it. Good looking stuff with meaty commentary to ponder. The bonus prints looked good and everything was packed nicely. I was a bit nervous getting the thing home from the PO, because there was a decent size nasty gash in the bottom of the package, but fortunately, Funkmaster did a fine job of protecting the border and nothing inside was affected. I'm definitely in for this new one, although money-wise I'm not sure how much bonus stuff I can get, but if the Canadian dollar is hurting enough, that'll work in my favor. um, yay?

Graphic Edge Print Solutions said...


That offer Dave made at the end of the video is 100% valid.

P.S. - the project dashboard reports 254 video views but only 47% watched the entire video, so if that leaves a lot of folks wondering "what's this all about?", then, well, watch the video through to the end and you'll find out!