Home Indies So much for asking for a review copy…

So much for asking for a review copy…

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The Comics Journal message board comments on the fact that KRAMERS ERGOT #7, the new issue of Sammy Harkham’s epic and influential avant garde comics anthology will cost $125 for 96 pages. You can see the Amazon listing here. K. Parille explains.

The book is more expensive than earlier volumes because it is much larger. From an interview with Sammy Harkham:
“You’ve seen that Little Nemo book?” he asks, hands spreading reflexively to encompass the famous, full-page scope of Winsor McKay’s early-20th-century newspaper strip. “Issue number seven is going to be like that. Big—big—16 by 21! Every artist gets three pages. That’s it. But with that assignment, an artist is going to make work that wouldn’t exist otherwise. I’m so excited.”


Luke Przybylski weighs options:

A few things: Prices aren’t set arbitrarily. The size and overall printing quality, not to mention the quality of the art/comics themselves may very well be amazing enough to many of us that we’d drop $125. We’ll all have a better idea when we see the thing, but if it is that amazing, we should be congratulating Sammy and everyone else involved for making a great book, for pushing things in new directions. What’s the point if they keep doing the same thing every couple of years? KE is definitely in need of something or other at this point, and going bigger and badder will be really interesting to see.


Przybylski suggests setting aside $10 or $20 a week to save up for the book. We suggest setting hammer to piggy bank if necessary. Due to our own space problems at Stately Beat Manor, we may just leaf through a friend’s copy, at least until severe jealousy sets in.

Or you can order it from Amazon for $78.75 .

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  1. Bigger is not always better. This is one expensive tree cutting. I will wait for the discount section at Amazon in a few months. Pound for pound, Sunday Press Books’ version of Sundays with Walt and Skeezix sells for the same price. A niche market or out of reach, I don’t know. It’s for collectors only. This type of book will be the talk at the water cooler. (maybe not) I better get my self off latte and in a month or so I can buy this sucker.

  2. Won’t be buying this one. How about a $4 version for those of us who could love to read it, but are less able to spend large dollars?

  3. Unless someone is selling a copy at Wizard’s Chicago show, I’ll probably never even see a copy of this. LCSs in my area won’t order something this expensive. And I can’t afford to speculate on a $125 book.

  4. You may not be able to find this in Amazon’s discount bin. For obvious reasons the print run will be limited, and it won’t be reprinted.

  5. This is exactly what’s wrong with comics – trying to create “collectible items” for people who are already reading them instead of trying to get new readers to try comics at an inexpensive price point.

  6. Yeah! Sammy should do a mini-comics version and shrink down all those stupid big comics into something way more affordable, and then he should give about half of them away at NASCAR events, street fairs and minor league baseball games. Plus they should all star Naruto.

  7. Purely from a practical standpoint, DOES a 16 x 21 book actually cost so much more than a normal book as to justify the ginormous price tag? If so, and if the work actually USES that space, then fair enough.

    That said… I drop into the local modern art galleries from time to time and I’ve seen the sort of thing they sell in their bookshops. From what I’ve seen, $125 for 96 pages is expensive, even by the standards of art gallery bookshops.

  8. Tom:

    I used to manage the store of a pretty nice museum. I’ve seen what art books cost and at what size, and for what quality and quantity.

    These guys are high if they think those dimensions are worth $125. And I can say so without being a stupid redneck.

  9. Where did I say you were a stupid redneck? I’ve never seen a redneck at a street fair. I’m just amused by the notion that there’s some sort of effort at exploitation through what is an art comics publishing project — dumbest project choice to make one’s fortune ever! — or that Sammy’s goals should automatically include making his work as widely accessible as possible.

    Sammy’s not only been publishing really good and complex, interestingly formatted art comics for a while now, and has probably earned not having aspersions cast on his professional conduct via a series of gut reactions, there’s a precedent for this exact kind of project and this falls well within the range established by that successful and risky effort. There’s no need to hold up a thumb and make a cross comparison.

    Dimensions are never worth $125. The entire book will be or it won’t be; up to you. Hey, I likely won’t be buying one, either.

  10. I don’t see anyone here implying that Harkham is trying to rip people off to make a fortune. It seems that the criticism is more in the constructive “I don’t think they will make money off of that, and they should!” vein. I don’t think it’s inappropriate to openly opinionate on whether or not a brand new publishing idea like this one would work. Talk about gut reactions.

    Anyway, yes, go Sammy! I do hope it works though I also agree that I can’t imagine any publishing effort better designed for low sales than this one. The Sunday Press books have comparitively higher name recognition and more content per dollar.

  11. The actual cost to print, bind and ship a 16″ x 21″ inch book could vary quite a bit depending on the type of paper stock, how many colours it prints in, and how it is bound.

    For example, if it is printed in full process colour plus metallic inks and varnishes on premium Number 1 grade coated glossy white paper, then perfect bound with a thick cover? Priceless.

    Black and white inside pages on big ol’ sheets of 28lb Xerox brand laser paper, stuck together by hand with a couple of staples? Much cheaper.

    Also the print run could be a determining factor. The per unit cost of 500 copies would be outrageous, but much less for, say, 5000 copies.

    Anyway, I’m sure this one will do well in it’s intended market.

  12. Tom – while I understand the approach Sammy is using in trying to create a “rare limited edition”, I still find it limiting because it ignores one of the basic tenets of stories and literature (including graphic literature) since the invention of the printing press:

    Stories are meant to be shared and entertain as many people as possible.

  13. “Stories are meant to be shared and entertain as many people as possible.”

    What a completly bizarre rule . . . where does it come from? It reads like a commandment.

  14. “It seems that the criticism is more in the constructive “I don’t think they will make money off of that, and they should!” vein. ”

    Given how great that last few issues of kramer’s has been, I hope Sammy doesn’t take any of this “consrtuctive” criticism (“redo it so it costs 4 dollars” . . . ha!). He has proven his vision by hard work that has resulted in innovative books.

  15. “Tom – while I understand the approach Sammy is using in trying to create a “rare limited edition”

    Sammy has stated in print why he has selected this format, and your “understanding” has nothing to do with it. How is it that you know Sammy’s motives better than he does?

  16. For a “comic fan” expensive ALWAYS means “collector’s edition.” But outside of the bubble this isnt always the case. Sometines art and innovation cost money, and not everyone can afford it.

  17. I don’t see any constructive criticism here; I see people asking that Sammy justify his publishing decisions against some standard of theirs that he doesn’t share. Granted, because the emphasis is on price point and assertions on how this fails to match the demands of the format, I did make the leap that there’s a criticism in there regarding profit.

  18. Sheesh, what Tom said!

    KRAMERS is one of the most influential anthologies of the past decade, and I’ve loved the past 3 issues. I haven’t talked to Sammy about any of this, but given his dedication and keen eye, this will be an art object. $125 IS a lot of money in today’s depressed climate, but I’m willing to bet that the contents will be unique and impressive enough to justify that scale of economy.

    No name calling here, esp. from people who don’t like indie/experimental comics and have never bought a copy of KRAMERS ERGOT in their life.

  19. Chris said: “Stories are meant to be shared and entertain as many people as possible.”

    What a completly bizarre rule . . . where does it come from? It reads like a commandment. ”

    Chris, what you failed to quote was the line prior which said, “…since the invention of the printing press.”

    The print press was the instrument that helped take people out of the dark ages by sharing more and more stories (and other intellectual content) extremely cheaply, quickly and more widely. Prior to that of course, is the illuminated manuscript – very rare, very expensive, and “limited” to only the very rich.

    This will be a limited edition art book. Limited in audience. Very few people will hear about it. Very few will ever see it.

    I just don’t happen to think that this format and sense of exclusivity is a way to expand and strengthen the comics audience.

    To put it another way :

    More people have seen photos of the Mona Lisa than they have the actual painting, and thus many more have been able to appreciate the work.

  20. >>>I just don’t happen to think that this format and sense of exclusivity is a way to expand and strengthen the comics audience.

    No, it isn’t! But who said EVERYTHING HAD TO BE! Why can’t ONE BOOK be a high end deluxe package?

    Personally, I think KE #7 could do more to expand the audience of comics than DC UNIVERSE #0 has.

  21. All this is telling me is that I should buy Bill’s copy so I can burn Tom Spurgeon on the speculators market when it goes out of print after getting included in the Comics Journal’s best of the year, 2009. And it’s telling me that I can warn Spurge, and I’m still gonna get away with it.

  22. By “this,” and “it’s” I assume you mean the statue of Dr. Doom that occasionally speaks to you from its place on your bookshelf.

  23. Yeah, I’m likewise baffled by the idea that in using the printing press to forge a book one is honour-bound to engage some sort of duty to accessibility. Obviously, having a book pressed implies the desire to have a book available to an audience, but there is nothing within the entire apparatus (writing, drawing, publishing, distributing) that places any demands on the size of that intended audience.

    Some stories are meant to be shared by all across all cultures and all eras. Others are far more context specific. I paid $200 for the first two volumes of Absolute Sandman, not because I am much of a collector, but because I had heard amazing things about the book and thought such a great presentation might elevate my experience of the story. Certainly such volumes are not for everybody and I’m on the border of wondering if they are worth quite so much money as I paid for them (seeing as how though they cost much less, I might actually enjoy Naruto more), but I can very much see how a 100-page book might be worth $125. It all depends entirely upon its contents.

    People spent $125 on a much-lauded Mary Jane statuette. I’d bet that a well-done book of great caliber could do more for comics than even so dearly cherished a comics collectible as fourteen-inch tall memorialization of a time when a woman would handwash Spider-Man’s office attire.

  24. Heidi – of course it doesn’t HAVE to be. Sheesh!

    If Sammy wants to make the “Mona Lisa” of art books – fine. I understand.

    It’s just that in my view, far fewer people will be able to read and appreciate the book.

    And that – to me – seems to be a very sad thing.

    Your mileage may vary.

  25. Tom Spurgeon Says:
    05/13/08 at 4:58 pm
    By “this,” and “it’s” I assume you mean the statue of Dr. Doom that occasionally speaks to you from its place on your bookshelf.

    Dude, let’s not bring the Doc into this. I told you that in the strictest of confidences. Strictest. Of.

  26. If this was published by Taschen, no one would be surprised.
    Go take a look at: 3822830682 and 3822863947

    We should all wait for the format to be published to see what each artist does with the real estate on each page, and to see if the book is worth the price. (For the record, I passed on the Nemo and Gasoline Alley volumes. Too big, didn’t knock my socks off, too pricey.)

    And does anyone recall any criticisms of the various dimensions of Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library?

    Once the book sells out, the artists can always produce portfolios, no?

  27. Dane – the ONLY problem with your Sandman analogy is the fact that the stories were available in a less expensive format at the same time of the Absolute editions. There were different “levels of access” to the work.

  28. With a 6 year old and a shitty job and $4 a gallon gas, it’s not in the budget for me. I’ve loved every single issue of Kramer’s I’ve bought (the last 3 I believe) and felt they were all actually MUCH cheaper than they could have been given the number of pages, color and binding so I have no doubt the price is justified. Sadly, I can’t justify it, however “worth it” it might be.

    How many of the people complaining about the price have the paid the same amount (or more) for a “collectible bust” of a mainstream comics characters?

  29. Torsten, at least Taschen also have some amazingly cheap books as well, their Little Nemo collection is stunningly cheap at $20 or so, considering what a huge book it is.
    But that’s beside the point, I have to admit paying £38 for it through Amazon sounds a lot less scary than $125. I’ve got the last four, so I suspect I will get this one too. Whilst I don’t like everything that Sammy puts in the books, there’s always more than enough to justify their places on my bookshelves.
    At least I know about this one in advance. I’m still searching for a copy of Non #5…

  30. “Przybylski suggests setting aside $10 or $20 a week to save up for the book”

    I suggest he mind his own money. $125 for a book meant to be read hot off the press is insane. There is literally no content that could get me to buy this, and I only wish they sell no copies just to punish what could only be called “chutzpah”. I can afford this, and I would not buy this just on principle. I don’t even know who this writer or artist is, nor do I care. The price is just wrong.

  31. As a bookseller — and not a comic book seller — there are MANY, MANY books out there that are A LOT more expensive than this. There are books out there that cost thousands of dollars. But you aren’t forced to buy any of them. And you aren’t forced to buy this one either.

  32. Who’s saying anyone’s forced to buy anything? Geez, what happened to the normally rational and thought-out reflections that blog comments are known for? ;) Again, I see most people here questioning the wisdom of this move, not saying it’s broken some commandment or that readers will be rioting in the streets.

    I do agree that there are more expensive art books, an audience for everything, and all of that. But there are lots of oranges to apples comparisons here. I can’t think of any publishing project analogous to what Harkham is proposing. There are expensive art books for sure, but they have built-in time-tested audiences. There are oversized expensive comics for sure, but they have some sort of name recognition attached and most offer pretty dense reading. As far as I can remember there aren’t any slim-volume, oversized, art-book-priced comics featuring relatively lesser-known artists before.

    And that’s kind of cool. To get off the practicality of it for a moment, I think this is awesome as a middle-finger to established conventions. What is art anyway? In fact, what’s a comic anyway? Screw ’em all and lets publish some craziness!

  33. I wouldn’t consider Adrian Tomine, Carol Tyler, Dan Clowes, or Al Columbia “relatively lesser-known artists” in any way, shape or form.

  34. @Bill – You’re right of course that Sandman does come in a variety of sizes and contexts and in that my analogy is a bit off.

    But for me personally, it makes a good comparison simply because if I was going to buy Sandman it was going to be in the oversize. I felt as if it was the only choice available to me (simply because if I purchased the series in the more slight volumes I would immediately feel buyer’s remorse that I had not purchased the much nicer version—as I am not in the position to purchase both). In this sense, I was in a position not dissimilar to though contemplating the purchase of Kramers Ergot. There are consumers out there for whom the book might make an enticing purchase and, as ever, only the content can justify the price tag. Or not justify it.

    In any case, the book is clearly meant to get into the hands of those who will most appreciate it—and that doesn’t strike me as a bad thing. And I write this as someone who has never read Kramers and never until this post heard of Sammy Harkham. And strangely, I’m interested in the book because of this marketing strategy.

  35. Speaking as a retailer, I sold 30-40 copies of the last KE in the first 90 days or so, and as I can keep it in stock I still sell it steadily all this time later. I can see selling 1 or maybe 2 copies of a $125 version, and then it probably won’t be worth keeping it in stock after that.

    I hope I’m wrong, though!

    -B

  36. for that price the book better be printed with ink made of the excrements of the rare Sudanese mudslinging aardvark! Because as connoisseurs surely know that these pebbles mixed with Evian water produce an ink so glistering and perfume-y that even the biggest Scrooges are hypnotised into optaining anything this ink is used on.

    Or maybe Harkham should’ve found a cheaper printer instead.

  37. “Personally, I think KE #7 could do more to expand the audience of comics than DC UNIVERSE #0 has.”

    Hardly an exacting standard. In all seriousness, though, I find it hard to believe that anyone is going to spend $125 on a high-end art book for their first comic. This is going to sell to people who already have a strong interest in lit-comics.

    I think there’s a degree of wishful thinking in the idea that avant-garde experimentalism is going to “expand the audience” in any terribly meaningful way. The audience for this stuff is pretty minimal in any medium. At best, it makes the point that “comics aren’t just for kids” – but (a) everyone knows that, and (b) it makes that point by demonstrating that comics are also for the sort of people who go to arthouse cinemas, rather than by showing that comics are for adults in general.

  38. The passion that drives small Indie publishers makes them stand out and indeed a book like this will do that. At the end of the day, the mighty buck will speak. Do you pay your cable bill, cell phone or any other bill that will equal the sum of a book such as this. If people don’t buy then it is a failure. If the printing press bills are paid, and you are not in the red, then it was a good day. We all make decisions like this for the sake of art. I just have a hard time to find some shelf space for this sucker, and a garbage bag is the only thing that will cover this thing.

    There is one book store that bought two such volumes from another publisher and they are still standing up on the floor for months collecting dust and serve as a bridge for insects that crawl from the floor to the comic shelves. I never saw anybody pick up those books. They seem like props from Irwin Allen’s movie set of Land of the Giants.

    Not the most practical thing. Imagine reading that in the subway. There is no newspaper that will cover that thing if you are ashamed to read things like that in public. It would be funny to see somebody read that in a park, it would a story indeed. The general public would find it an oddity.

  39. EVERY conversation i’ve had or seen about the book in the last week has been about the price. every one. not a blip on the content or even speculation on the as of yet unannounced list of contributors.
    this is some bold new direction in an important series of comic books that’s all about bold new directions, and all people seem to care about right now is the price tag.

    for two such highly regarded people in the world of comics like Sammy and Alvin, this seems like a disaster from where i’m standing.

    feels like in the minds of a lot of loyal fans of Harkham and the series (myself included) the frustrations over knowing they will be unable to purchase (or reasonably justify a purchase) something that we’ve all spent the better part of two years eagerly anticipating has far overshadowed any enthusiasm that used to fill that space.

    i’m sure the fine people at Adovah and Buenaventura sat down, looked at what they had, crunched the numbers, and made a sound and logical decision on the price of the book.
    but whatever perfectly good reasons they may have had haven’t stopped the first major week of internet buzz from being 90% negative and the other 10% defensive

  40. Wow. How many of those aghast the price have no qualms about shelling out $4 a pop for a flimsy pamphlet with inks that lift off on your fingers and then pay FOR THE SAME CONTENT ALL OVER AGAIN as a trade? As a newcomer to comics, I find *that* way more ridiculous.

    There are people who aren’t limited by a paradigm that a comic book has to be cheaply printed and readable on the subway. (Really? Subway readability is a measure of validity?) They have a completely different view of comics, books, art and the value (culturally or monetarily) of all three. If this book popped up in a different arena, say, a store specializing in art books, the price alone would be intriguing enough to make someone check out the content… and then buy it.

    http://tinyurl.com/6kt6qh
    http://tinyurl.com/67o5vv
    http://tinyurl.com/5lx4nj

    And you can imagine that some of the following might be priced at a touch more than $125:

    http://www.aragopress.arago.co.uk/artistsbooks.html

    I can understand how Kramer’s Ergot #7 could be $125. I’m intrigued. My only bar to buying this would be budget, but I’ll be looking for it at Bud Plant in San Diego.

    Harkham is getting some great advertising value out of all of this.

  41. I’m going to steal a copy, pop some wheels on it, and skateboard away while Sammy and Alvin chase me with frustrated looks on their faces.

  42. Heidi made the point that KE has been one of the most important alternative comics anthologies of this decade. I would only disagree with that statemnt in that I would go further to say it is THE most important alternative comics anthology of this decade. No doubt it’s the “Zap” or “RAW” of the 2000’s.

    All that being said, this decade is coming to an end. The Kramers bullpen is mostly on the other side of 30-years old, and many are moving into new phases of their careers.

    From that standpoint, putting out a volume of the series that is indisputedly more exclusive and will reach less readers may be a signal that the Kramers generation may be at the end of the road. I mean, the book IS big enough to be a tombstone.

  43. Maija said: “There are people who aren’t limited by a paradigm that a comic book has to be cheaply printed and readable on the subway. (Really? Subway readability is a measure of validity?) They have a completely different view of comics, books, art and the value (culturally or monetarily) of all three.”

    I think you’re missing the whole point, and at the risk of beating more and more dead horseflesh I have to say that this is a discussion that relates to “accessibility” not a all-encompassing paradigm of what a “comic book” is or isn’t.

    “Subway readability” = portability, and while this may not factor into your habits, we see portability affect our lives in many other ways: IPods, laptops, cell phones, etc… We like having our culture accessible no matter where we are. We also want to access it when we want.

    In today’s society we can access our favorite television shows in a variety of ways:

    – We can pay (heavily) to watch it on a paycable service like HBO or Showtime.
    – Or we can download individual episodes or get a season pass from ITunes.
    – Or we can wait and see the show for “free” on an ad-supported channel like CBS has done with DEXTER.
    – Then, if we like the show and want it for our “library” we can pay to have a DVD set.

    Different formats, same stories. Accessible from many levels.

    What KE #7 is doing is limiting the ways people can access the stories within its covers. That, to me, goes against the very notion of storytelling which is an artform meant to be shared – ideally with as many people as possible. Good stories are an experience, and they make an impact. Books are meant to be read. Movies are meant to be seen. Does it really matter if the books are being downloaded or that the movies are seen on DVD rather than in theaters?

    This is a philosophical debate to be sure, but it has very real, very important economic consequences.

    I wish Sammy all the luck in the world, but I know as a (screen)writer, I personally want my work seen by as many people as possible. I want it to make an impact.

    I think that this format, at this price point, limits that impact.

  44. On the other hand, it’s going to hurt a lot more when it’s thrown at people, therefore increasing its impact in that sense.

  45. Bill writes: We like having our culture accessible no matter where we are. We also want to access it when we want.

    No we don’t. You do. See? You can’t see past your own paradigm. You admit you’re a screenwriter who believes his work can only have an “impact” if it’s box office boffo. You must appreciate that others might not measure “impact” in the same way that you do.

    There are millions of stories out there that you do not have access to for a million reasons. That does not necessarily mean that they have failed. Success doesn’t have to always have to be measured number of units moved or tickets sold. Not everything has to be mass-mediated.

    An art object goes into a gallery for three weeks and is seen by a few hundred people before it disappears into a private collection, unlikely to be seen by many people after that. It has a story invested in it by the artist. Does the artist consider herself a failure because that story only impacted a few hundred people or is she happy that it had an impact on at least one?

    The story a grandfather tells about the war at the kitchen table that moves his grandson. It may never leave that kitchen and never be known by more than the people at that table. But it inspires the grandson to write the story as a screenplay. He pitches it, but the time isn’t right for war movies and so it gets shot down and never read but by a few. Is it tragic that the grandfather’s story isn’t made into a feature film starring Tom Hanks? Or is it worth enough that the story impacted the grandson?

    Am I dismayed that I can’t engage the trillions of hidden stories in our world? A little, but I’d need a trillion lifetimes to know them all.

    Some (most!) stories go out into the world in small, intimate, relatively low impact ways. And those are not necessarily tragedies. Why is that so hard to accept? Why can’t they be intimate and treasured? Why do they have to be turned into feature films with Burger King collector cups?

    In the meantime, $125 is not *that* big a barrier.

  46. Maija said: “You can’t see past your own paradigm. You admit you’re a screenwriter who believes his work can only have an “impact” if it’s box office boffo. You must appreciate that others might not measure “impact” in the same way that you do.”

    Actually, no. My work has been seen on DVD, The Scifi Channel and been sold to territories around the world. It’s never been in a theater. I believe it’s also available for download.

    I would also point out Ipod and Iphone sales as disproving your argument that we don’t want our culture to be portable and accessible. YOU may not, but there are more of us than there are of you. The figures don’t lie.

    I have no problem with Sammy producing a $125 book. I voiced the opinion and made the argument that it does “comics” (both as a media and an industry) little good as it limits the audience. The project, IMO, is one borne out of an approach of “exclusivity and collect-ability” and as the comics market shrinks and shrinks, it runs counter to a healthy, diverse market where a wider range of genres exist and flourish.

    IMO: Accessibility and diversity are what’s required.

    Literary masterpieces are mass-produced all the time in a variety of formats – hardcover, softcover, trade, illustrated, graphic novel versions. Posters and Prints of famous masterpieces of art are sold all the time. Mostly by museums. Why?

    BECAUSE THEY WANT PEOPLE TO SEE THE WORK.

    Is this book going to get a purchaser into a comic store to try other material? Will Comics retailers order this book, or instead order multiple copies of other comics that come at price points that are easier to take a risk on?

    The comments in this and the other thread suggest limited sales, even lost sales…and that, to me, equals failure.

    There should be a $125 book, but there should also be a $50 book or even a $25 version or an online download. Something that people can take a risk on, read and then expand their repertoire by picking up other works by the authors. It’s not an “all or nothing” situation here, despite how KE has set this up.

  47. *sigh* Bill, you’re not understanding me. I feel like I’m speaking a foreign language, or trying to explain dry land to the fish who only knows water. You don’t speak for “us”. You don’t know that Harkham’s book will be a failure. It’s not your project so you can’t impose your personal goals on it.

    Literary works are reissued in a thousand different formats and optioned for films and lunch-boxes and masters’ paintings are recreated as posters and prints and t-shirts and tote-bags and lightswitch plates and mugs for the same reason other things are mass-produced: BECAUSE THOSE SELLING THEM WANT PEOPLE TO GIVE THEM MONEY.

    If it was just about accessibility and getting as many people to see the work as possible it would all be FREE.

  48. *sigh* Maija – I’m not speaking for you, and I’m not speaking for anyone else. I am speaking for me, which is why I’ve said “to me” and “In my opinion” (IMO) several times throughout my posts.

    These are my comments. My opinions. My philosophies. Backed by fact.

    Re: Free – it will be free…and it will pay handsomely.

    http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/16-03/ff_free

    You seem to think that by creating several differently formatted books that it somehow diminishes the work itself. I would argue otherwise. I also don’t see a problem with a publisher and creator getting paid from as many avenues as possible.

  49. Art ought to be accessible to everyone, but comics are not art anymore than rollerskating is. Any baboon with a blank piece of paper and a pen can make comics. There is no justifying any of this. All of you are so wrong. Sammy is wrong, too. But the book looks swell!

  50. I realise I’m chiming in a little late on this (and no-one’s likely to read it), but:

    My solution is simple. I can’t afford it, but I will ask our local public library to buy it. Luckily, they have an excellent graphic novels section (which includes earlier Kramers Ergots), and I will pitch this as an important addition to their long-term collection of fabulous books. With a bit of luck, they’ll buy it, and then not only will I be able to read it, but also everyone else in Auckland, New Zealand.

    Wish me luck! (and maybe suggest the same to your own library)

    P.S. If the public library don’t buy it, I’ll try the University Library and the Auckland City Art Gallery library. Neither would be as good, but at least there’ll be a copy somewhere in Auckland for people to access.

  51. The comics industry has never made much money. The people who run these companies are in it because they love comics, and they know how much they usually sell for. I have no problem inflating the comics industry’s economy.

    I mean Craig Thompson only got paid $300 for Blankets by Top Shelf.

  52. i haven’t actually seen any books in this series, but is this stuff considered “underground” or “alternative” comics? if yes, after reading the article here and the comments, I still don’t get why someone would put out such an expensive limited edition book. what is wrong with putting out some 15 buck magazine edition for the rest of us starving artists? man, gone are the days of the $2.50 edition of Weirdo, eh?

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