< Piro >
Friday - August 16, 2002
Before i start mubling along about nothing here, i've got one rather nice little announcement to make. Studio Ironcat (which just recently changed it name to Ironcat Entertainment :) has started taking pre-orders on Megatokyo - Volume 1. This is in every sense of the word a 'pre-order', since the books will not be available until December, but since people are chomping at the bit to put in pre-orders, i guess it's not such a bad thing :) Pre-ordering does a few things - you'll get your copy before they hit book and comic book store shelves (they are shipped to you right from the printer) and they really help us get a good idea of just how many we should print. Bigger the demand, more we print, and everyone who wants to buy one will be able to.
I'm always torn between the fact that i don't feel comfortable pushing my own stuff for sale, but at the same time i have this tiny little desire to see this graphic novel be, like, really successful. ^_^ My attitude with MT has and will always be the same - i'm not gonna overhype anything ever, i'd rather do something solid and build on that, and quietly let people find that they are getting *more* than they expected. I'll be working very hard to make this volume something a little more than just a printed collection of Chapter 0 - i view it as a real opportunity to add something special to the MT universe. I'm very happy with the fact that IronCat understands and shares my vision for the book (ok, 'vision' is such a corny word... ugh...^^;;).
Let me give you some details on where the book is at right now, because there have been some changes since the 'press release' (btw, no more 'press releases'. that thing sounds oh so professional and serious and ... so damn un-Megatokyo i can't see straight. It pains me to read something with such a positive spin to it :P)
The retail price on the book went up from $8.95 to $9.95. Why? not because we're being greedy, but partly because i want to make sure that the book is printed the way i want it printed :P My goal is for the book to be very much like a regular Japanese manga collection (called a "Tankubon") - there will be a dust jacket and a thinner 1/3 height 'band' over the dust cover. The book will be around 120 pages (about 2/3 the thickness of a standard tankubon). We aren't fully settled on the size yet, but it will probably be either 7" x 4.25" (standard tankubon size) or a little bigger. I'll let you know which.
The dust jackets will be full color, and the main cover will be black and white. (my intent is to have the color version of the cover art on the dust jacket and the sketch itself on the book cover itself). There will be a LOT of extra material (for instance, remember that much of chapter 0 was in 'square' format, so i have some space to play with) and... well... my artwork has improved quite a bit since chapter 0, so i want to put in some drawings that, er, show that i don't suck QUITE as bad as i did when chapter 0 was done.
The book will NOT read right to left, as people keep asking me. I know its all the rage to do this with Japanese comics, but people... this STARTED as an english language comic, and print it so it reads right to left... i'd have to mirror everything - which would not only be silly, but go against the very reason we have right-to-left english language versions of the japanese comics in the first place - so they dont have to change the art so much! So stop asking!! :P
I've heard rumors that Dom, who has been seducing interns at Ironcat for his own evil purposes, has been trying to get a "Super Special Squeaky Dom Supplement' inserted into the volume. I have teams of people working very hard to make sure that this doesn't happen. Please, don't panic. Or at least, try not to.
If after reading all this, you still want a copy, please visit IronCat's website and place a pre-order. (just click on the banner at the top) For those of you who do place pre-orders, thank you. Nothing would make me happier than melting down Ironcat's website a few times. If you feel more comfortable waiting for it to appear in stores, make sure your local comic book shop knows that you want them to get them for you :)
Ok, enough about the book. I'm sure you will all be sick of hearing about it by the time it is available.
Y'know, the biggest trouble with the 'slowly growing rumble' that has been the growth of Megatokyo over the past two years is that some of the changes haven't really been good ones. Oh, i'm not talking about bad things that have happened (and yes, there have been plenty, all seemingly matched by amazingly good things - life, it seems, is like that) but i'm talking in particular about these rant columns.
When i laid out the version of the MT site that you are currently looking at, it was really mainly a twist on two other webcomic websites - PVP Online, and Penny Arcade. I liked the idea of having the comic on the main page, and i also liked the fact that Penny Arcade had both an amusing comic as well as amusing rants. Clearly, Largo needed a place to rant and rave, but since i have as big a mouth as he does, this is what lead to the side by side format that we have. Since Largo left Megatokyo, the right column has pretty much turned into Dom's space. (scary concept)
What's missing is what's going on with my rant area. I always seem to have some big thing i have to announce, or a problem to deal with, or i just grumble and whine and grumble on about how busy i am and i have no life and everything sucks and i just wish i wasn't so tired. I kinda miss the days when i'd prattle on about miscellaneous things. The rant area is supposed to be a peek into our lives, a little something to connect with the thoughts and feelings of the inept people who run things around here.
What's sad is - i don't think that the rant area has changed, i think it really *IS* a peek into whats been going on with my head for the past six months. I've just been on the verge of having taken on too much. Missed comics dont happen because i'm lazy, they happen when i get overloaded.
having said that, i'm pretty happy with the past few weeks. With Otakon behind me, the Think Geek store almost ready to go, i've been settling back into doing what caused all this mess in the first place - the comic itself. Yes, the book will be a lot of work, but i can handle that. That's fun stuff.
My first goal was to get the comic back up and running on as close to a normal 3 per week schedule as i could manage. Next is getting more regular with the rants. Writing these things is fun when you do it causally. When you wait weeks between them, they become nothing more than announcement columns - i'm sorta tired of that.
Oh, one last thing. The new server is almost ready to go online. Ukyo, Cortana, and several other friends have been working hard on getting it fine tuned and ready to go all week. I've named the server 'Makoto' - i think it's a very appropriate name, if you are familiar at all with the character from Kanon. I think by next week the days of a slow site and unusable forums will be nothing but an amusing memory.
Makoto is a good girl. please be nice to her.