Updates & Notes

Couple of tidbits and an informal poll for all you cool readers out there…

First off, my good pal Joe Nassise (with whom I’m co-authoring the HELLstalkers series on the Verizon/Vodafone networks) has launched an ambitious new novel project, THE MIRROR’S ROAD. This is a pledge-driven project over at Kickstarter.com. Basically, you pledge a certain amount toward his goal of reaching $5,000 and you can get all sorts of insider tips, see how he writes, behind-the-scenes stuff and much more. It’s a pretty intriguing project, and Joe only actually gets the money you pledge if he reaches the funding goal. All payments are handled by Amazon.com and it’s perfectly safe. If you’d like to read more about the project, please head on over and give the page a look-see – then pledge something!. Joe’s an international best-selling author and his stuff is good, real good. Plus, he’s one of the few folks I actually consider a true friend in this crazy business. He’s good people; so please lend some support.

Still waiting for news on when HELLstalkers will be up and running. Apparently, there are some technical issues that need to be worked through. More hurry-up-and-wait, which is frustrating but at least it’s better to get them out of the way now. News on the release when I have it.

THE FIXER television series is progressing slowly. We shot a second teaser trailer and there’s a bit of a hold-up on the audio side of things. So while that’s being worked on, we’re up to some other stuff but it’s all top secret and I can’t discuss anything yet.

Speaking of the Lawson Vampire novels, I *should* have some other news on them to release soon. Wish I could say more about this, but… 🙂

If you’ve been a fan of Lawson for a while, or even if you’re new to the series via the television show, then you might know that for a while now, it’s been a goal of mine to chronicle some of Lawson’s earlier adventures when he was operating more on an international scale. Lawson got really active in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s before being assigned to the New England AO (area of operations) and I haven’t detailed most of these missions as yet (although we are running THE MADAGASCAR MATTER right now and we’re already up the chapter 3 of the fun. You should subscribe and get in on the the fun!) but have wanted to. My thought has always been that doing so would be especially fun as a comic series or a graphic novel. Seeing Lawson come alive in illustrated form has always appealed to me and it’s another media platform I’d like to get involved with. But before I do, I’d like to ask you a few questions. Feel free to post your responses in the comments section immediately after this post, over on my Facebook Fan Page or email me.

1. Would you prefer a 5-issue comic series or a complete graphic novel for these missions? (Each mission would take approximately 5 issues of comics or one graphic novel)
2. Most graphic novels cost around $15.95 for a glossy trade paperback edition. Are you willing to pay this?
3. If so, would you be willing to pre-order it? (If I get enough pre-order now, I can secure the artist and hopefully we can get this out by October)

Hope you all have a great Friday! Thanks for taking part in my informal survey! Feel free to retweet this or share it around Facebook – the more input, the better!

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  • Zoe January 22, 2010  

    I’d be interested in the graphic novel, and 15.95 sounds like a fair price. I typically pay that much for most mid-list TPB print titles.

  • jonfmerz January 22, 2010  

    Thanks Zoe! Much appreciated!

  • Bob Freeman January 22, 2010  

    It’s a good idea, Jon. I believe Lawson would fair better as a graphic novel initially. If sales warranted, then moving into monthlies, with collected trades after the fact would be the next step. I toiled in the small press for years and the comic crowd can be a jaded and fickle bunch, but if you cultivate them properly you can build an empire that could easily generate a steady income from such a venture. Artwork is the key, because you already know the character is sound and the stories are solid. The visuals have to be up to snuff so choose wisely. Your art team has to be quick and efficient or your customers and fans will lose interest… but more than that, the art has to have punch.

    Best of luck.

  • Marianne January 22, 2010  

    I like the idea of a comic series!! Is it possible to do both? : )

  • jonfmerz January 22, 2010  

    Thanks Bob – I appreciate the input! And yes, I wouldn’t dream of doing this unless the art was top-notch stuff, especially since we’ve got an actor starring in the series who would need to be portrayed properly (all part of the brand continuity). But I believe I’ve found someone who can do it and do it amazingly well. I agree that the initial foray would probably be better as a graphic novel. That’s how I’m leaning right now.

    Marianne – possibly after the initial foray, we might switch over to a bi-monthly, but I think graphic novel is the way to go at first.

  • mystiquetur January 22, 2010  

    I say option # 2. That is a fair price. With my current money situation I would not be able to pre-order it but I know a lot of people would. Good luck & good fortune Jon!!

  • jonfmerz January 22, 2010  

    Thanks Mystiquetur! 🙂

  • Marianne January 22, 2010  

    Looks like I’m outvoted, lol.

    I was thinking along the lines of my teen boys wanting to read it. Since the invention of video games, unfortunately reading has become less enthusiastic. A novel is usually a tedious, overwhelming task nowadays for them. Short and graphic is more appealing to this generation of teens (obviously not speaking of all teens).

    Depends on your market : )

  • jonfmerz January 22, 2010  

    Absolutely! And doing this will actually help expose the franchise to a new demographic of potential fans. Plus, I happen to love the idea of doing a comic/graphic novel…and since the story is pretty much already scripted… 🙂

  • Stephen January 22, 2010  

    I think taking Lawson into comic books is the next logical step.
    I think getting a couple of graphic novels out first then adding a monthly series would be the best way to go.
    If you can get a monthly series into comic book stores then the casual buyer is more likely to pick up a single issue to try (and hopefully get hooked on).
    Thats the way its been in the store i used to work at.
    The price sounds about right to me for a graphic novel.
    And damn you for now making me impatient waiting for the graphic novels to start.

  • jonfmerz January 22, 2010  

    LOL, thanks Stephen! I’m hoping to get the artist going on it very soon!

  • Dave Maciver January 22, 2010  

    OGN all the way. The direct sales market isn’t all that robust, so your as well skipping that stage and going straight to the collection. Although setting it out as if it WAS a collection of comics, with cover art and the like, would be pretty damned cool.

    Price sounds right, though its hard to tell as it would cost a bit more than that in the UK I think

    And I can pre-order, but not right now (which is lucky as your not after the money right now ;))

  • jonfmerz January 22, 2010  

    Thanks Dave! I think the consensus is pretty much apparent at this point. Just need to see how many copies of this I can move since I’d ideally like to do mostly direct sales.

  • Brian McCulloch January 22, 2010  

    If I were you I would go with the graphic novel for direct sales unless you can partner with a publisher such as Image or one of the “creator owned” studios for distribution to help share costs in a monthly, printing costs are high enough and an initial managable printing might be advisable, plus if you can build buzz for the book it should be easier to move as a single piece, you might want to consider though still splitting the inside up into five issue 22 page “chapters ” so a re release as a monthly is possible. I would just hope you can go with a glossy color interior, even with “noir” muted colors and Blacks would seem a bit better than black and white, I just know how crazy print costs can get if one is not careful.

  • kezza44 January 22, 2010  

    Either way you would still be paying around $15 for the series if they were 5 issues @ $3 so yeah i would be happy to pay for a graphic novel

  • KC January 22, 2010  

    Best bet is the graphic novel Jon. Seems everyone else is on board with that too. You’ll get more with the graphic novel – and the artwork can then be used for posters, cards, t-shirts, etc. (smile)

  • jonfmerz January 23, 2010  

    INteresting points, Brian – thanks for the input! Much to consider, obviously!

    Kezza- indeed, and I’d rather have a nice trade paperback at that point.

    Kristi – you bet! And y’know, merchandising is pretty cool! 🙂

  • Dave Maciver January 23, 2010  

    OH, when I said direct sales btw I didn’t mean you selling it directly, I meant comic shops. Industry jargon, whatchagonnado… Since the no returns policy came in at Diamond they aren’t all that willing to buy too many of a new title so it can be a pain to get in to the industry selling a 22 page comic book.

  • Brian McCulloch January 23, 2010  

    I was just kinda brainstorming the obstacles from idea to launch, I am sure you have all those pesky publication issues already well in hand. I can easily see this project opening up a new audience for you.

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