'Sup guys. I'm not using this blog for a ton so I figure there's no harm in me also making it a de facto place to talk about Kawaiikochan out of character. When your comic's appeal hinges on not being completely understandable, it is kind of weird to talk about it as the author. Though Kawaiikochan frequently points readers back towards me, I wouldn't want to put posts like this on the main site.
(Edit 8/17: The book is out, and you can buy it here.)
Anyway! The book, "Kawaiikochan no This is Cool ~Gaming no Magazine~", is finally complete and in my hands. The book is 36 pages and slightly taller and wider than your average manga volume. As the title indicates, it really is patterned after the gaming mags of old, with features, guides, and even an anime section in addition to the usual 4-panel antics to which you are accustomed.
We also have amazing guest artists! Dan Kim of Clone Manga and game animator Jonathan Kim (Skullgirls, Scott Pilgrim), both Kawaiikochan fans for a long time, were incredibly generous and submitted some fantastic comics that I can't wait for you guys to see. I asked for just a couple of little drawings, and they both gave me feature material. I can't thank the dudes enough.
We did this via the Magcloud custom-printing service, just like Colony Drop did. It is definitely an expensive option, but the books (and the flyers, which came out looking so pretty you could hang them up, hint hint) look fantastic. And there's really no point doing a book in this day and age if it doesn't look good. I was so nervous about how they were going to come out, and I'm very happy to report there was nothing to worry about.
This took me quite a while, largely because I have absolutely no experience with putting together a book and had to learn how to do that from scratch. Technically speaking, I had to learn Indesign and then reconcile it with Comipo.
Remember that Comipo is extremely limited and it's really, really not up to the task of making a book (which is supposed to be its purpose!!). You can make it spit out a PDF, yes, but the page size is set in stone and it won't let you make a PDF bigger than 16 pages. Even the short book I set out to make was already too much for it.
(I'm pretty sure I'm the first person outside of Japan to actually publish using Comipo?)
The other thing was just having to think of it in terms of a book and saving my best ideas for the book as I went along. I did a 4koma where I said to myself, "This one's too good, it goes in the book" and just never posted it. Every time I had an unusual idea, I said "I'll put that in the book." So I wound up taking way, way longer than usual just brainstorming ideas and fighting with programs I didn't really understand, and it showed in our update speed over the last couple months. Sorry!
Anyway, I'm really proud of this book! You're gonna like it! Great! The plan for is to sell first at the Artist's Alley at Otakon. We are table P08. This is just an experiment I wanted to try: at the price I'm selling we barely break even. I thought it would be more fun for everybody involved to debut this at an event, in person, and I'm really curious about who will come by. As soon as I've passed out post-Otakon, I'll push the button at Magcloud to open sales to the rest of the Internet.
If you can pick it up, I really recommend you do. We won't just have the book, there'll be another little surprise...