Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

July 3, 2014

Anders Nilsen Announces Two New Projects And A Unique Incentive For Buying Them A Certain Way


The cartoonist and illustrator Anders Nilsen has announced a couple of new works and a promotional angle that is a commentary on recent ideas brought to the forefront by waging interplanetary warfare against publishers that don't want to cede control over digital publishing rights. I'll let him describe things, with a couple of minor tweaks for flow.
I'm writing to let you know about two related things. The first is that I just self-published a book called God and the Devil at War in the Garden (monologuist paper update IV) It's 24 pages, 9" x 12.25", black and white, with a fold-out back cover. It has a story about the Devil that wasn't quite ready for inclusion in Rage of Poseidon (it's going to be in the German language edition of that book later this year). It's in that format -- the silhouettes. There's also a short collaborative piece I did with a friend, novelist Kyle Beachy, and a piece about a vacant lot in my old neighborhood in Chicago. And there's some drawings and things. It's $15.

The first orders will also include a little 13-page minicomic about the other thing I'm writing you about. It's called Conversation Gardening and it's both a comic and the beginning of a little experiment. It'll be inserted into the binding of the big comic.

The mini and the experiment it launches were prompted by all the bullshit Amazon has been pulling lately. Maybe you've been following it. The comic puts in a larger context why what they do fucking annoys me. The experiment is my response. And it comes down to this: I'm asking people who buy one of my books (any of my books, not just this new one) at an independent bookseller (or from my online store) to send me 1) the receipt, (a formality to show it's not from Amazon) and 2) a question or idea written on a piece of paper. I will then make a drawing in response on the piece of paper and send it back to them. I'm planning to do 100. Signed and numbered.

I have a few other cartoonists lined up to be guest artists on the project, to be announced over the next several months as they have new books coming out. The first will be Zak Sally, with the release of Recidivist #4 later this Summer.

The idea is to start a series of symbolic "conversations" -- questions and responses -- in order to a) create an incentive for readers to buy my work from people who actually care enough about art and literature to make selling it their livelihood and b) encourage people to see their cultural exchanges as real, human level relationships. I wanted to do something that would amount to a positive response – creating something new. A boycott or an anti-trust case or vaguely shaming people for shopping on Amazon are all fine, too, but they are negative responses that try to keep something from happening. I wanted to make something new happen.
That sounds like a cool thing to try. Certainly the PDFs Nilsen sent along are beautiful. I'm very interesting in people using the technology available to them to get maximum value out of a variety of sales strategies.

You can find the works here.
posted 12:15 am PST | Permalink

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