Publisher of Johnny The Homicidal Maniac, Milk & Cheese and Skeleton Key, Slave Labor Graphics of San Jose California, run and owned by Dan Vado, has been through some tough times in its almost-thirty years of operations, putting out some of the best comic books in the world.
But this looks like the big one. He writes,
Having weathered through three recessions and market downturns too numerous to count, SLG has long maintained an even keel through turbulent times. However the past few years a perfect storm of bad luck, bad economy and, yes, bad decisions have left the company on a terrible financial footing.
For a small business with a small staff, SLG maintains a fairly large footprint in the physical sense. Warehousing and storage account for a pretty large portion of the company’s budget.
Recently we were forced to relocate because our old building was being torn down. At the time I had a couple of choices, close up altogether or try and make a go of it somewhere else.
Not wanting to turn my back on a 28 year old business (which was struggling to begin with) I decided to try and keep going, adding a retail component to our storefront that we did not have before and add some other revenue streams to our gallery store as well as our publishing company like doing contract t-shirt printing and hosting live music. Sure, the smart thing to do was to just quit, but then publishing comics was never a really smart thing either, so go figure.
We had a line of credit, a couple of them, which I used to relocate with (this after a couple of different crowd-funding initiatives did not fund).
After running up our credit line during the move our bank decided to review our account and decided that the balance on the credit line was too high and, in their infinite wisdom, demanded immediate repayment in the form of a high-interest loan. This created a domino effect where, when reporting the change in my credit status to the various credit bureaus caused them all to cut my credit and in a couple of cases close my accounts.
Because of the nature of my businesses all of our debt was secured through personal guarantees and now I am in a spot where not only am I unable to get my business righted, but I have blown through all of my personal assets other than the home I live in to keep things going.
A simple bankruptcy for me is not an option as everything comes back to me anyway, so as much as this pains me to go this route I am asking for people’s assistance in helping me and my company get back on our feet. We are still in business right now, still trying to put out comics and are still running our gallery store and I am trying to keep both of these things running. However the revenue from comics publishing is not enough to keep us open AND pay down our debt.
We have exhausted all of the typical means of raising money, crowd-funding and sales eith pretty decent discounts being a couple of them. I am taking the GoFundMe approach because this is going to be an ongoing thing for the next couple of years. This isn’t something Kickstarter would touch anyway.
Vado is offering
With $61 donations totalling $3440 in the few hours since it’s started, he is at least off to a good start. But it’s a long way from the $85,000 he’s after.
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