We recently had a Guestbook post from a visitor, which we felt deserved an in-depth reply. Here is our response, along with the points put forth by the poster:
“I really think your missing the boat on your project. I personally thing you should make the comic to be web based project rather than a book. Times gentlemen have changed since you first began with a book based project.”
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us and, as we value all input, I thought it would be a good idea to respond to the points you presented. Before I go further, it should probably be noted that KJ’s professional experience is in Marketing/Advertising. His experience encompasses trends not only for the last part of the 20th Century, but well into the current market climate, including the use of the internet to augment sales and activities. That said, he and I both have extensive collections of books and artwork and we appreciate the tactile experience of holding a book or work of art in our hands. We do recognize the changes that have taken place, with regards to digital technology and the attention span of many new readers. However, we are ‘old school’ and know that true collectors of good illustrative art will want to have a concrete object to hold, and to add to their collections. Even some of our younger fans have mentioned how they are looking forward to having something that is not tied to their computer and can be read on sailboat, far from land, without requiring electricity.
KJ and I envision young people propped up on their elbows, smiles spreading across their faces, as they witness the miraculous activities of the Boys of St. Precocious Academy. We even dare to hope that a casually discarded – for a moment only – copy of our work(s) may be discovered by another actively seeking answers to the questions that have made themselves present in his or her thoughts. Can a computer offer this possibility? Perhaps, if one were found digging through someone’s files. It is more likely to occur when a brightly coloured book is found lying about.“I think now it should be website based where you can set up a the on going story line. I for one don't need a book in my life. Your fans can easily print out the images if they want to and the text.” Added in new message: “I neglected to mention I fully expect it to be a pay as you go site. I'm not asking you to give your hard work away for free.”
Perhaps the addition of a book is of no interest for you, and we appreciate different points of view. The suggestion you put forth would make our site be like any other pay site. Initially, we were approached by many different outfits telling us how we could make money by letting others use our site for advertising, as well as providing links that would provide us with additional money from ‘clicking forward,’ which we summarily dismissed as unappetizing for our fans, and dismal for us. Our site is not about money, although our illustrated tome will be sold at a reasonable price. To offer a ‘Download Now’ option would put us in the same league as the Czech sites offering half-dressed urchins for viewing. A basic review of the internet will demonstrate how often people who download from a site where they had to pay a fee will then post the items for others to consume for free. It is their erroneous assumption that they paid for the goods, so they can do with them as they wish. This copyright-ignorant attitude is the majority mindset on the internet, and we have enough understanding of this to do everything in our power to avoid it, prodigiously. As I mentioned earlier, KJ has a great deal of experience with matters such as this. I am no virgin, either.
In summation, I would suggest that trends are trends, and KJ and I subscribe to the concept that ‘only dead fish flow with the current.’ It’s just the way we are. We do hope that you will enjoy our work in whatever format it is delivered.