Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Unknown God Lives!

I know I haven't been doing a very good job of regularly posting here at "Eye Witnessed", but I had been working my tail off for months to get the fourth book in the Eye Witness series...Unknown God...finished and ready for press.

But I'm happy to announce that the book has basically been completed and we are now in the final stages of editing and proofing. So now I have a bit more time to share what we have coming up over the rest of 2010. First things first.


Unknown God is the final chapter of the Eye Witness series, which has been eight years in the making. People will ask me, "why has it taken so long between books (on average, 2 years)?" The answer is simple! Since I do most of the work involved in the books myself (writing, illustration, inking, coloring and production) there is no way I can rush the process on these books, that run from 96 to 120 pages each. The artwork for each book is what consumes about 14 months for each book and I'm pretty consistent that I can pencil or ink 1-2 pages each day I work. I just feel blessed that God has allowed me physically to complete this project, which took close to a decade of my life to complete.

The book is schedule to hit store shelves and websites in July 2010, but I'll start selling copies direct at my convention appearances begining in June (see upcoming post for my summer schedule).


Like a number of small and indy press publishers, we learned this spring that we have become a causualty of the more restrictive Diamond Distribution order thresholds. These new minimum order levels (established in 2009) have resulted in lots of wonderful indy comic titles to virtually disappear from many comic store shelves over night. Despite the fact that Diamond had filled orders for more than $10,000 of books in the Eye Witness series, it was not enough and now Head Press Publishing has formally severed our distribution with Diamond, ending a 15 year business relationship.

I'll put my prophet cap on for a moment here...when I owed a pair of comic shops back in the 90's, I became concerned when Diamond started signing exclusive deals with publishers (as a way to combat Marvel's move to self distribution at the time) because you could see it immediately started to put a strain on their competition. This trend continued, even after Marvel returned to their ranks, until almost all the major large to medium sized publishers had become exclusive publishers with Diamond.

Now, there is virtually no competition for Diamond and they are pretty much free to do whatever they like where distribution is concerned and we have situations like you see today... that they now determine what publishers and creators are made available to the retailers (hence the readers). And that's not right! I said it 15 years I sold my shops, because I didn't like how the business landscape for stores was changing....and I continue to say it today, as a publisher effected by their monopoly. Where's Teddy Rosevelt when you really need him?

But the good news? There are more ways to get your comic/gn novel fix then ever before!

Eye Witness is available to the general bookstrade through STL Distribution North America, which makes our books available through basically any book stores, (whether mainstream or Christian), big-box retailers who carry books and/or websites which sell books (including Amazon of course).

We have entered into a deal with Haven Distribution, which is catagorized as a restock other words they do carry product/publishers that Diamond no longer carries, but they do not publisher or market a regular monthy order catalog. Retailers go to their site and see what they are stocking currently. So any comic retailer can now get they Eye Witness books from Haven!

And finally, we make all of our books avaible for direct wholesale purchase to the retail community through our website. To help overcome the additional work from ordering direct, we've even upped our wholesale discounts to put more money in the store owners pockets!


I'm excited to announce that over the past few months I developed a friendship with comic legend, Brian Augustyn, and he has agreed to supply the forward for Unknown God! If you're not familiar with Brian's work, he has been involved as a writer and editor for some of the best crafted issues of: Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, JLA, Flash and the X-Men.

More to come....

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