Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Problem With Zootanapuss

Zootanapuss #3
(variant cover to Glamourpuss #24, March 2012)
Art by Dave Sim
(from Cerebus TV Season 3 Episode 21, 23 March 2012)
You know, they say if something seems too good to be true it usually is, and that was the case in this case. I was working like a fiend to get Glamourpuss #24 done and hoping, fingers-crossed, that the Zootanapuss #2s weren’t going to show up too soon so that I would have to stop work and start signing and numbering, and bagging and boarding. And then I got Glamourpuss #24 done and I thought ‘Okay, oh well, this is getting ridiculous now’... so that was on Monday. Tuesday I called my rep at Lebonfon, "Mais, s'il vous plait, ou est le Zootanapuss numero deux pour moi?" "Oh, they’ve already been shipped out!" - unsigned, unnumbered, unbagged and unboarded.

So I phoned Daria Medved [my Diamond distributor rep] real quick. "Daria, call Plattsburgh and tell them that the Zootanapuss #2s are supposed to be signed and numbered. Have them send them back to Lebonfon." And she got back to me not too many minutes later and said they're all gone. They went out in this week's shipment. "Is there any way to get them back?" I already knew the answer to that one. Like the trains at the beginning of World War I, they only go one way - forward.

About six days and $870 later it was time for Zootanapuss #2 take 2.... "No such thing as a rare number two, anybody knows that!" said the C-minus Kid. Maybe he knew something I didn't. I tried a few different ways with Daria to try and get around it. "Can I charge the retailers for a regular issue of Glamourpuss if they keep the unsigned #2?" I mean, the deal was that they were getting a signed and numbered #2 not an unsigned #2, betting that most of them couldn’t strip the cover off an unsigned copy, "What if turns out to be a rare one?" No go. It would be a logistical nightmare for Diamond. One of those times as a self-publisher when you really know the meaning of Harry S. Truman's 'The buck stops here', or in this case 870 of them. As Gerhard used to say, "What are you going to do, cry?" It wouldn't do any good, even if I knew how.

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