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

May 7, 2009

I Have No Idea What I Think Of This: PictureBox Seeks Pledged Support

On the eve of TCAF -- I think Dan Nadel, Dash Shaw and Frank Santoro are on the road to the Toronto show as this is posted -- PictureBox sent out maybe the most curious press release in recent memory. An announcement for two forthcoming books combined with a plea for advance patronage in order to make the projects happen. Here it is:
We have two amazing graphic novels scheduled for November 2009 and February 2010. They are fantastic, vital works of art.

Powr Mastrs 3 (120 pages, 5.75" x 7.75") continues CF's visionary narrative about the complex relationships between mysterious beings in a place called New China. If 'n Oof is Brian Chippendale's 650 page, 5" x 7" magnum opus, a sprawling, hilarious tale of two pals wandering through a desolate, hostile landscape.

Sure to be among the best graphic novels of our time, they need your support. Like a lot of publishers, I'm looking for new ways to navigate the current terrain. To that end, I'm attempting to raise the money for these books ahead of time.

So I am looking to you, as a community of readers, to help make these books a reality. Everyone that orders advance copies of these books (up until August 1) will receive the book itself and a signed print designed and silk-screened by CF and/or Brian Chippendale. Everyone that orders by June 20, 2009 will have their names hand lettered in the book(s), along with their level of support. We need about 400 of you per book to step up and help make this a reality. Let's come together as a community.

There are four ordering options:
1) Level 1:
Buy one of the books. Everyone that buys one of the following receives a corresponding bonus item and their name will be in the book.
A) Powr Mastrs 3: $18 plus an original, signed silkscreen print by CF.
B) If 'n Oof: $29.95 plus an original, signed silkscreen print

2) Level 2: $45
Buy both books and receive both prints as well as a slight discount off the retail price.

3) Level 3: $80
Buy both books and you will receive both prints PLUS an original 5" x 7" one-color drawing by the artist of your choice (CF or Brian Chippendale).

4) Level 3: $150

At this level you will receive a full color, 5" x 7" drawing by CF or Brian Chippendale. PLUS both books and the two prints.
This confuses me, because on the one hand if I were going to buy Powr Mastrs 3 anyway, I think I might be psyched to pre-buy one and get a print when it comes out. On the other hand, "please send us money before we go to press" probably won't encourage the average comic reader to bet on PictureBox as a long-term comics presence in the years ahead. Although maybe this kind of thing is done in art circles all the time. I remain confused. Although I want some of those extras, too, and I have to admit that appeal-wise they beat the pants off the latest Three Tenors CD.
posted 8:20 am PST | Permalink

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