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Thread: Sullivan?s Sluggers: Worth The Weight

  1. #1
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    Default Sullivan?s Sluggers: Worth The Weight

    Cameron Hatheway writes;

    Back in June when the Sullivan?s Sluggers Kickstarter was successfully funded, the crowd went wild. What started as a simple graphic novel about monsters and baseball suddenly evolved into an oversized slipcase hardcover with iPad covers, ribbon bookmarks, and a stellar gatefold. It?s without a doubt one of the most successful comic book Kickstarter campaigns ever to be launched.

    Unfortunately though due to all the extra upgrades, printing and shipping started becoming an issue. And while us Yanks have started receiving our copies in the mail this month, the international backers still wait patiently while wondering if it?s going to be worth the 9-month wait.

    Having just received my copy today, I can assure you international backers that yes; it is indeed well worth the wait.

    Pledging at the $50 level, I received both oversize hardcover and a t-shirt in my bundle. The shirt actually arrived yesterday, making me anxiously awaiting the UPS guy all this afternoon. Ripping open the packaging with practically my teeth, and sure enough the book glowed and an angelic choir was heard from upon high, for this comic has now replaced The Umbrella Academy: Deluxe Editions as ?Most Prized Hardcover? in my collection. Sure I?ll eventually allow my friends to read my copy, just as long as they wear latex gloves and don?t leave the room. Body scanners may also be required.

    James Stokoe?s art has finally found the right medium, and that medium is ?oversized.? Because of the beautiful spreads in this book, I was allowed to scan and absorb every intricate detail on every page, taking my time making sure I didn?t miss a thing. If it?s one thing that Stokoe does well, it?s insane-looking monsters, and having Sullivan and his Sluggers battle these demonic beasts throughout the book never grows tiring to the eyes. It?s genuine eye-candy, and an absolute steal for $50 (also included; baseball cards and a print).

    The real unsung hero in this entire project is Sullivan?s Sluggers creator Mark Andrew Smith for the constant communication with the backers, and making sure everyone is still in the loop after all this time. Who could have possibly foreseen how massively successful this project would have been? Smith has remained professional throughout, delaying his other projects such as Gladstone?s School for World Conquerors and the eventual Sullivan?s Sluggers sequel, Pele?s Pounders. Has he learned a thing or two for the next Kickstarter project he starts? Absolutely.

    I swear this article wasn?t intended to be bragging that I received my copy and you filthy foreigners haven?t yet. Don?t despair, the final product is definitely worth this wait, and think of all the bragging you?ll be soon doing to both your local comic store and friends.

    It's also pretty awesome that Todd Garner has teamed up with Adam Herz and Joshua Shader of Terra Firma Films to produce an adaptation of Sullivan?s Sluggers, so that will add even more bragging rights in your arsenal when the eventual movie comes out. ?Yeah, I helped fund that Kickstarter before it became a mega-Hollywood franchise directed by Sam Raimi.?

    Cameron Hatheway is the host of Cammy?s Comic Corner, an audio podcast. You can pick him last for your monster baseball team on Twitter @CamComicCorner.

  2. #2
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    Honestly, I imagine there will be less bragging and more feeling like a sucker...the "This book is exclusive only to Kickstarter backers and available here for a limited time." has gone out the window and the book will be available in stores and on amazon (already available digitally)...so given that my copy hasn't even been mailed yet and given that Amazon ships for free...the public will almost certainly get this book just as fast and probably cheaper than I will have.

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    All I've heard about this is negatives, due to how the Kickstarter was handled. I can certainly understand people being upset that the finished comic was being sold digitally before even digital versions were offered to backers.

    For those that backed it, I hope you get your books soon, as it's been an unreasonable amount of time.

  4. #4
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    I'm still waiting on my copies. I'm only one state over. My LCS has had copies for a month or so (at the same price as the Kickstarter). I've resisted looking through a copy, anxiously waiting for mine.

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    I still haven't gotten mine and I'm in the continental US. I did get the free digital copy but I haven't read it because I wanted to enjoy the HC first. I was pretty disappointed when I saw it go up for sale on ComiXology before I got my download.
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  6. #6
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    I got my copy now I'd say about over a month ago. Haven't read it yet but its absolutely gorgeous. I'm surprised people in the states are still having trouble.

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    I'm in FL, still waiting on my copy. Is the version available for retail the HC? I thought it was only going to be softcover.

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    My LCS has the hardcover.

  9. #9
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    Mark Andrew Smith says:

    For International Backers:

    I made a huge error in calculating the actual shipping price for international because I used another book that was doing well on Kickstarter at the time as my template and on that books international shipping option it said "International Orders Please Add $10" and as it was doing huge numbers at the time I said to myself "Hmmmm this is how it's done" and followed that.

    Which was completely off and shipping is much much more. With sending a book next door to Canada being about $25 a book and that's next door.

    WIth the upgrades to the book the shipping costs went up hugely and costs all around. The book packaged is 3.8 lbs, without packaging 3.5 pounds.

    What I should have done, was to ship out on a boat 200 or so books from the printer to Europe and then break them up from there. But I was so pleased with myself at the time having wrapped tedious printing to make sure all of the details of the book were perfect that it wasn't on my radar.
    When I first read this email my first thought was "he's gonna ask for more money", but it looks like he's trying to sort out some kind of deal with fulfilment houses in Europe, Australia and Canada. There are a few folk bitching and moaning (it is a pretty long wait) but I genuinely believe he's trying his damn best to sort this problem out, he's being pretty straight up and admitting it's gotten a bit big. The interest in the book swelled so much, I've seen photos of a load of people carefully packing the books up, and it really looks like there are TONS of em.

    It sounds like it will be worth the wait, so I shall do just that. I'll be pissed off when after all this it will get here, and the blasted postman will drop it or leave it out in the rain or something.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Johnston View Post
    The real unsung hero in this entire project is Sullivan?s Sluggers creator Mark Andrew Smith for the constant communication with the backers, and making sure everyone is still in the loop after all this time. Who could have possibly foreseen how massively successful this project would have been? Smith has remained professional throughout, delaying his other projects such as Gladstone?s School for World Conquerors and the eventual Sullivan?s Sluggers sequel, Pele?s Pounders. Has he learned a thing or two for the next Kickstarter project he starts? Absolutely.
    Really? I'm an international backer who has another month wait or something - so I've got some bitterness - but I won't be having anything to do with that guy again. He's sung about a lot, actually, just not in the hero role.

    First off, is this an insane wait. He clearly just made up the dates and the shipping costs - both have been waaaay off the mark, at times we have been kept up to date with what's happening, but other times there has been radio silence.

    Next, he made the book available on comixology for sale before making it available to backers.
    He also decided the book which he said would be exclusive for Kickstarter backers had changed enough due to so many backers - the stretch goals making it deluxe - that it was no longer the same book and thus no longer exclusive, so he'd be selling that edition in stores (again, a lot of us are still waiting for the books).
    He accused David Brothers of stalking him when asked about it and ignored Rich Johnston's questions.
    If you look at the article, go to the comments and see James Stokoe distance himself from the project - and according to some, Stokoe has all but requested his name be taken off the book around the net.
    You'll also see mention of previous creative partners ending up in fights with Mark (over Aqua-Leung).

    After I read that I went to the Kickstarter to see what was going on, and I saw a post of someone bringing up their feelings, complaints and worry about what they'd heard (rightly or wrongly), and Mark wrote "@Josh This is my first time publishing and learning on the job. A private message to me would have been appropriate. This is not. You accuse me of a lot of things here, many of which are not true. I've Flagged your comments as Spam and will ship your books to you next week and be done with you.".
    Myself and another person both commented on how gross we thought falsely reporting a customer for spam was, and I asked if I could get my book early and be done with, but Mark didn't make another comment on the subject.

    And as I say, I'm still waiting on my copy - he's got to figure out a way to be able to afford to ship them to us, because that $97K wasn't enough - whilst he muses in his mail outs about lessons learned for his NEXT Kickstarter, which I won't involved with.
    (However, if you want to do free production work for that next Kickstarter, you know who to call!)
    Last edited by FunkyGreenJerusalem; 02-24-2013 at 07:28 PM.

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