Since the Portland area had 3 inches of snow on Monday AM, and below freezing temperatures through the middle of the week, the comic shop was late getting new books and I just picked mine up this morning. I was in for a nice surprise though when I checked the new issue of Comics Buyer's Guide for any Super Real reviews... turns out they made issue number 2 their INDY PICK OF THE MONTH!
To have the book not only receive a favorable review in a mainstream industry publication, but to also be singled out as the one not to miss (out of 25 indy reviews) is quite an honor!
The book received 3 and 1/2 out of 4 stars, coming in a bit better than the previously CBG reviewed issue 1 which rated 2 and 1/2 stars, still a decent grade. Considering CBG employs a large team of reviewers, and each issue was reviewed by a different reviewer, results may vary.
Anyway, it seems Wizard is the last frontier in terms of good comic media coverage, as Super Real has scored well across the web and now in print.
Be sure and pick up your copy of CBG#1627 in comic shops now, all you Super Real completists! ;)
I've been busy working behind the scenes and not really sharing much about the book of late. Since I got that spiffy new review, I went ahead and updated the website, which was a bit overdue (hadn't touched it for a 2 whole months!). Now the news section, review list, and issue info is up to date (for the time being).
As you know, the Super Real Special is due next month, and I'm pleased to report the book is off to the printer, which should make it the first issue since number 1 to ship on time. The only thing that would stop it is a top secret promotion with Diamond that's queuing up... more on that in a couple weeks.
The Special, for me was an experiment, in many ways. It was a format designed to be replicated if it was successful enough, and to hopefully bring more eyes to the book. Well, based on the initial orders, that didn't happen. It brought in just about the same number as issue 3, which with a new number 1 and a name artist attached is a bit of a let down. In retrospect, (don't you love hindsight?) I should've paid for some advertising in Previews, which I opted not too. I'd already spent the advertising amount on artwork, and going sans advertising on number 3 didn't show any loss in sales, so I didn't want to double down (plus there were some things that Diamond did that should've brought some more attention to it). I think a nice ad would've gotten word out though, as the basic listing didn't highlight Mr Mahfood's contribution too well. Oh well, who knows. I think it's not so much a reflection on the book, or it's push, but just the market in general. Things are really brutal with 52 and Civil War and the big guys making so much noise.
So, aside from the initial sales not improving, another aspect was a cost savings by switching to black and white. Well, turns out I'm using the same printer as issue 3, for the same cost. I didn't find a black and white printer that could beat their color price, so I could've printed a color book for the same amount of money. So, the only thing dropping color bought me was time, which is something. It would've taken quite a bit more effort to get all 29 pages colored up. At least there's that.
Now don't get me wrong, the book, if nothing else, is a smashing creative success, I feel. Obviously I need to get it out there for others to evaluate, but I'm really proud of it. Sure, it's my first comic book collaboration, I scripted the whole thing but only drew one section. It was a blast to play editor and work with cool artists I know who are coming up or working around the fringes in the industry, and they all turned in great pages. Also, as I've mentioned before, it was a thrill working with a pro artist in Mr Mahfood, and his pages are some of the most fun I've done! I can't wait for folks to get ahold of this one. But aside from being creatively different for me, it will be something different for the readers too, as the book takes a new angle than I've been able to in the regular series, highlighting the character enhancements the series only just set up, and going all out with action, something we've only seen in very limited amounts in the book to this point. It's awesome, but quite different!
So now it's time to focus on issue four, which I'm behind on, I haven't started, and had planned to by now. I do still have about 10 weeks and a clear schedule for most of it. However, I've got another commitment I've eluded to here previously, that I need to work up inbetween. I haven't revealed what that is yet, as I don't want to announce it until it's done, but it's a small contribution to themed anthology of sorts, for a known and popular creator due out around April. And as I've mentioned, would be my first non-selfpublished work. I should be able to reveal that within the next couple weeks too.
So, still lots happening, and much more to come!
I'll be sharing some of the artwork for the Special in the coming weeks as we close in on the release, so keep any eye open for that too (if you're so inclined).