hey everybody. it's zak sally. so, at long last, Sammy the Mouse Book 2 is done. done done done. 98 pages of comics in a 104 page book (in the same size and format as book 1), putting us at the halfway point of the story. if you're receiving this email, it means that you got book 1, probably straight from me, and you know good and well that it was written, drawn, printed and published by me, through my La Mano publishing imprint. i couldn't be happier with that book, and the process involved in getting it done. but i didn't do that with this new volume: with this one, it's published through my good friend/ cartoonist Tom Kaczynski's awesome Uncivilized Books imprint. i didn't print it. and i'm not publishing it.
here's why: printing it was a nightmare. at the end of that process, i had to face the fact that the 5 months of frustration and banging my head against the wall of the "steep learning curve of being an offset printer" was all time taken away from the primary goal, which is MAKING the COMICS. and it was too much; both the time and the frustration. i'm not saying i'll never do it again, or that i regret it in any way: doing every single aspect of that book was really rewarding, and i think it's a really singular book, but it left me burnt the hell out in a number of ways. what i DIDN'T burn out on (and what i'd like to keep rolling with) was the personal aspect of the thing: the books weren't being sent to distros and then stores, then passed on to whomever, wherever, that i never have contact or hear about. that's fine, but i liked sending the book to PEOPLE, and i still do. some people don't like packing up books and writing notes to whoever ordered it. i do. call me crazy.
and also for full transparency's sakes, there's just the matter of finance: each copy sold in the direct-to-reader model gets me (and my publisher) a hell of a lot closer to break even than the normal channels. selling directly to 300 people pays for the printing bill (we used a domestic printer, by the way). selling via distro turns that number closer to 800 books. neither myself nor Tom/ Uncivilized sees a dime until that cost is covered (that's our problem not yours, i'm just sayin'.)
i love comic stores, and i love book stores; but i also love making comics, and the fact is, it's often a job that pays very little, if anything at all. direct sales to readers is one way (and a way that i believe in very deeply, and i'm not just talking about ME, here...) to help lessen that gap. if this model sounds familiar to you, well hell-- it's a great model, particularly for artists who do work that's, lets say...not quite mainstream. and it its best, it's essentially a new version of the zine model (or buying a shirt or 7" from the band at their show): i made it. you want it? yeah? ok, here you go. there's something real pure about that. i'd rather sell 200 books to real people than 800 to...ok they're still REAL PEOPLE, but you know what i mean. chances are i'll never have contact with them.
so: i'm reaching out to the folks who supported me on Book 1 (and anyone else who's interested). hypothetically, you want the new one, right? you COULD just get it from a store in August or whenever, but if you want it from me, earlier and with extra stuff, i'd love to sell you one.
anyone who orders Sammy Book 2 during this thing will receive a signed copy of the book (and a thank you note from me), but what you'll also get is a limited edition 2-color print (which i'll do either on my press or the Riso, haven't decided yet. i also haven't done a sketch that i'm happy enough with to post as yet, but when i do i'll post it here. it'll be at least 5x7 inches though, and again, in 2 colors); the edition of the print will be EXACTLY THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO PRE-ORDER, and i'll never make more, period. if 113 people do this pre-order, i'll make 113 prints. if it's 300, same deal. they will be signed and numbered to the number of people who get in on this.
ANYONE and EVERYONE who takes on this pre-order will get the signed book and print, but that's it: stores won't get them, and i wont have them for sale at shows or whathaveyou. this is solely for people who got it from me, period.it's the thank you club. this offer is valid this month only (july 2013)!
thanks and best, zak.
p.s. here's the not final version of the print: