First, and foremost, welcome to all the new members. I have no idea who you are but am sure you’re smarter, hotter, and smell better, than the sad denizens of the great unwashed who wander the sci-fi section at their local bookstore looking for romance in all the wrong Death Stars.
Have you ever had a simple project take on a demonic life of its own? Like it stops being “insert tab ‘A’ into slot ‘B'” and morphs into “define the quantum root of PI and divide it by the cube root of the Goldbach Conjecture.”
My week has been like that.
As my little mailing list grows so does its needs for space and safety. “Space” is obvious, things like address files are taking up more room than before. This is known as a good problem to have. “Safety” is less obvious but comes down to me being able to ensure my weekly missives don’t set off spam detectors or end up bouncing back unread.
Unread emails defeat the whole point.
Even so, just like BTS, I have some great people behind the scenes who can make this all look amazing and work flawlessly so we’ll get this right.
We discovered – as in someone hit McSciFi’s Merchandise Page and ordered all available stock (more is en route so don’t panic) – that there’s a Legends Parallel fan club in Utah. The next time someone tells you there are no surprises left, read them the previous sentence.
In the real world, since its initial release in July of 2016, Legends Parallel has developed a rabid fan base (see fan pic below as example “A”). They may be “small but mighty” but they more than justified keeping the title going. Instead of creating more issues for the devout, we decided to spend all of 2019 building the brand, attending every con that would have us, shaking every hand not holding a restraining order, and setting the stage to get the title placed in hundreds of U.S. stores as well as released in foreign countries.
Big plans for a little company.
Our partners, present and potential, thought those plans were viable and sensible. We totaled up the results of our efforts, both in hard sales and branding, and began discussing how to make dreams real.
Then 2020 happened. Supply chains got snarled and wholesale prices got jacked out of this world. Our distributor couldn’t ascertain bridge financing or a PPP loan and was forced to close its doors. Postage fees began to rise with no corresponding increase in service. Foreign licensors were forced to scramble just to keep their existing titles in play. There was no longer a practicable way for them to develop and release new product.
And 2020 kept happening all the way through 2021 and into the beginning of 2022.
Much like how nice people don’t talk about Bruno, none of us mention the Nigerian Comic-Con that was supposed to happen during this period. It was purported to be an introduction to a new market, which included brick and mortar distribution and animation studios, while we waited out the storm.
Yeah, not so much.
Long story short, I became more intimately involved with Nigerian customs officials than I might have wished and one of those whimsical scamps purloined a copy of the full trade paperback, a/k/a Legends Parallel Graphic Novel, out of the stock we’d sent.
I then discovered the easiest way to make a lawyer laugh was to tell them you have a contract with a Nigerian company. Seriously, they tend to sound like demented Santas on meth.
Still, given the number of scams happening at the time, I guess we got off cheap. We got, slightly over, ninety percent of our product back. I know others who weren’t so lucky.
As the pandemic lumbered on fulfilling fan orders became a break even proposition. Even so, we decided to keep that aspect of the business running. In as much as a complete lack of profit can be called a useful business model. But the hope was things would calm down, options would present themselves, and so on.
Also, we were helped by the simple fact all of us had other sources of income as well as outside projects that kept our names alive in the public eye and put food on the table.
Because of all this we felt we could nurse this, along with all the other Hadithi Sambamba titles, along.
And we did.
Nevertheless, some good came out of the downtime. In my case I was able to talk to fans about how they would like to see the story develop. What made me happy was how vested in this many of them are. Bonus? I liked some of their ideas more than mine.
All of this means I’ve dusted off the scripts, the original twelve issues were written and submitted in 2016, and begun making some fascinating visions real.
It’s fun revisiting these stories.
When that’s done, and the final edits are approved by Hadithi Sambamba Comix, Leslie Tejlor can get back to doing that artistic voodoo that he do so well, and we will have this show back up and running before you know it.
There are other titles in various stages of development and I will update you on them as soon as I have specifics.
Until then, stay safe and sane and feel free to spread the cult of McSciFi like a …. never mind, that’s kind of tacky all things considered.
Just stay safe and sane.