Reviewers and Retailers

Last week I sent out a bunch of Blink: So Far for reviewing at various blog sites (along with a select few comp copies to industry professionals-- such as Mr. Sim-- creator of Cerebus and long-time Blink/Ink supporter, who tops the pile). 

This week those seeds have borne sweet fruit-- the first few reviews have been posted!  On Monday, Justin Giampaoli over at 13 Minutes posted his response to seeing Blink for the first time (thanks to Ryan Claytor for giving me the tip to send Justin a copy!).  A choice quote or two:

"Ink populates the strips with the type of worldly observation that exists not merely for the sake of itself, but in the tradition of the best alternative comics. These human interactions explore the world around us in an effort to better understand our current social condition."  and  "The greatest strength of this creator in my opinion is his gift for the artistry of expressions and panel composition. The figure work, most notably the facial features, is in a space inhabited by craftsmen like Terry Moore or Carla Speed McNeil."  HEE!  Is that awesome or what?

The second review was posted by a long time reader/reviewer of mine, Johanna Draper Carlson on her Comics Worth Reading site.  In 2008, she provided me with one of my all-time fave quotes and this time around, she serves up another nugget of sweetness:

"(Blink: So Far is) a wonderful slice-of-what-I-wish-my-life-was-like. The friendship is rare and special, something to envy and aspire to, and they’re intelligent, insightful people. Even when I disagree with them about their opinions, it’s nice to have had the encounter."  I get a lump in my throat when I read that.

I can hardly wait to see what words of wonder (or wariness) will materialize in the days to come! 

~~

While last week was the initial push to get the book reviewers, this week I began invading the comic shop retailers.  A couple of weeks ago, I made some phone calls to double-check my list of indie friendly shops in order to: a) introduce myself, b) be sure that they were still in business, c) determine that the address I had was correct and d) establish who the contact person was that I'd be dealing with for each store.

I continued that process again this week and finally began shipping out sample copies of the book to prospective retailers (there are well over 50 shops that might be interested in carrying Blink).  Although Brian Hibbs/Comix Experience tops the pile, there are quite a few shops that I really, really hope decide to carry the book.  I dropped off a backpack full of envelopes stuffed with Blink: So Fars and introductory letters.  I'll also be sending out emails to those reatilers to let them know the books are on their way.  

The only sucky thing about these retail shop mailings is that I've run dangerously low on my initial stock pile of books and have had to order another print run.  The book's a POD, and since I'm not a rich man and don't have the cash to shell out major league bucks at one time in order to warehouse thousands of (unsold) copies of the book in my apartment, that means I shell out minor league bucks a little at a time and keep only a "meager" supply of dozens of copies on hand in my humble abode. 

I'm hopeful that these mailings generates interest in the book and, ultimately, more sales and new readers. 

Only time will tell.