James Kochalka writes to tell us his kids book from Random House, Squirrelly Gray is out this week. Random House has an activity page up for the book which includes a trailer narrated by Kochalka himself, of course.

PS: Over on the TCJ.com board, Kochalka notes that only 200 copies of this were ordered for the direct sales market.

PS: The Pulse interviews Kochalka, and digs up a few nuggets:

KOCHALKA: My editor, Nicholas Eliopulos, approached me at the San Diego Comicon a couple years ago. He came up to my table at Top Shelf just to say “hi”, and tell me he was a big fan. The timing was perfect, because I had just begun work on Squirrelly Gray, although at the time it’s title was the much more somber “When the World was Gray”. He was a junior editor, and had never actually “signed” anyone before, but his enthusiasm for my work definitely helped sell my book to the higher-ups.

I’m not sure if many copies of my previous books for kids (Pinky & Stinky, Peanutbutter & Jeremy’s Best Book Ever) actually ever made it into the hands of actual children. They probably mostly sold to my adult fans. I hope that now, with the backing of a huge children’s book publisher, we might be able to get this book into the hands of more actual children.

I think my adult fans would still love it too, though.

I finished a kid’s comic for Top Shelf called Johnny Boo, about a little ghost, which should come out in 2008. It’s really, really good. And I’m currently working on finishing a kid’s comic called Dragon Puncher, which is spectacularly awesome, and combines drawing and photography. However, earlier this year I submitted a rough draft of Dragon Puncher to a bunch of publishers, and they all rejected it! Undeterred, I’m finishing the book anyhow, because it really is simply too awesome not to finish. And hopefully, the finished version will fare better that the rough draft did.


  1. >PS: Over on the TCJ.com board, Kochalka notes that only 200 copies of this were ordered for the direct sales market.

    The screengrab that I see with the squirrel sitting on the acorn is really not that compelling. It does not make me curious and want to buy a book… however, it must be discouraging to have only 200 copies ordered… did I read that right???

  2. Thanks for the link to the activity page Heidi.

    We’ll be pushing this book hard at Green Brain Comics.

    The direct market’s numbers may be small due to a less than desirable discount on a non-returnable item through Diamond. Alternative distribution channels that offer a slightly better discount with returnability are probably taking up a lot of the orders for smarter comic specialty stores.

  3. We ordered our copies from Baker & Taylor and if other comic book shops did the same, then the 200 copy total would be misleading as an indication of the total demand in the direct market.

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