As we’ve had a number of people asking us about what’s going on with Issue #2, I figured I’d put together a little Q&A to hopefully clear things up.
Q: According to the “sneak peak” in Issue #1, the second issue was due out in January. We’re now in late February. What’s going on?
A: When we printed the direct-market edition of Issue #1 (the version that hit stores last November), we had every reason to think that we’d be able to have Issue #2 out to stores by January. And if you’ve been following the blog here, you know that we actually finished all the work on Issue #2 back in November, which should have given us more than enough time to meet that deadline. What we didn’t count on was Diamond throwing a wrench into the gears by dropping us from their distribution line-up.
Q: Who’s “Diamond” and why did they drop First Law?
A: Diamond Comics is the big comic book distributor. It holds a near-monopoly over distribution of comics to comic shops in the U.S. Most of the comics you’ve grabbed off the rack at your local comic shop over the last few decades were likely shipped there by Diamond. They’re the gateway into the comics market.
Unfortunately, they don’t make it easy for lesser-known books to get up and running. For Diamond to carry a title, they require it to maintain pre-orders above a certain minimum. And for a book with no track record, creator pedigree, or major publisher backing, that minimum can be quite difficult to reach.
Diamond was happy to give us a shot with Issue #1, but when retailer pre-sales of the book failed to meet their minimum, they decided not to continue carrying First Law Of Mad Science.
Q: Does that mean we’ll never see First Law #2 in comic shops?
A: Thankfully, no. We’re happy to announce that First Law Of Mad Science will be receiving distribution through Liber, a new up-and-coming distributor focusing on high-quality independent comics.
If you’d like to see First Law back on the stands at your local comic shop, ask the manager there if they have an account with Liber. If they don’t have one, talk to them about opening one. Liber’s catalog includes a lot of really stellar indie titles, many of which fall through the cracks at Diamond. And unlike Diamond, Liber actually keeps books in stock, so back issues will always be available.
We’ll also get another shot at wider distribution (through Diamond as well as traditional book-trade distributors) once we have a trade paperback collection. The current plan is for the first trade volume to include issues #1 through #5. So that’s still a ways away, but it’ll be something to keep an eye out for in the future.
Q: Where else can we get our hands on First Law #2?
A: You’ll be able to get it directly from us at conventions, and soon you’ll be able to order it online through ComiXpress.
We’re still figuring out our convention schedule for this year, and don’t have anything confirmed yet, but it’s currently looking like our next show will be NYC’s MoCCA Festival in April. As our convention plans solidify, we’ll be updating the Events page here on our site, and posting about it on the blog, so stay tuned.
Q: What about Kickstarter backers? Where are our rewards!?
A: Copies of Issue #2 are being mailed out now and should be arriving next week. Autographed copies, special-edition copies, and lab-coats are going to take a bit longer to arrive, but rest assured that they are in the works, and that we haven’t forgotten about you!
Q: What’s going on with the rest of the series? When are we likely to see Issue #3?
A: Issue 3 is well into production. At this point in time, all of the pages have been penciled, and half of them have been inked. All that’s left is the rest of the inking, Jeff’s grayscales, and the lettering. I’m hesitant to even estimate a release date, since most of our past estimates have been wrong and I don’t want to jinx anything, but it shouldn’t be terribly far off.
In the meantime, we’ve already got Daniel working on Issue #4, and Oliver is hard at work on the first draft of Issue #5′s script.
It’s unfortunate that the gears have slowed down a bit, but rest assured, they definitely haven’t stopped. First Law Of Mad Science is a story that we’re very enthusiastic about telling; we might run into some obstacles along the way, but we will not be stopped!