Tuesday, 22 November 2022

You May Find A Bed

 
There is no convenient time to break your leg 
There is no convenient time to find your soul 
There is no convenient time to submit to force 
There is no convenient time to starve 
There is no convenient time to have a child 
There is no convenient time to lose your will 
There is no convenient time to have a flat tyre  
from You May Find A Bed, by Skeleton Crew

I had hoped, by now, to be selling a book called King Arthur vs Devil Kitteh. But, as is the course of things, obstacles have been encountered, delays endured, and it’s still a work-in-progress. But I find myself facing a new dilemma: once it is ready, when and how do I launch it? 

My intention had always been to run a Kickstarter: I’ve had great success with the previous two that I’ve run. But I'd wanted the Kickstarter to complete at a time which means I can deliver the book around about this time of year, in time for Christmas.

I really don’t want to wait another year before launching the book; but I now have more significant concerns than that: will anybody be able to afford it? 

Like I said, my previous two Kickstarters have been very succesful. But they have been for relatively cheap zines, they have piggy-backed off well-supported community games jams, have been moderately cheap to produce (unlike the properly bound hardback picture-book I have in mind for King Arthur) and, most importantly, were released when “spending money” was still a thing.

Sure, for many people around the world, it still is. But quite specifically here, now, in the UK, things seem to have changed rapidly for the worse. Fuel and food prices have gone up astronomically, and the government which has overseen this country’s decline over the last 12 years seem determined to push us into another round of “austerity” (AKA bubble-up economics). Friends in retail tell me that they’re turning over 20% of what they did this time last year. When is a good time to launch a £20 book which many, I know, will love but, let’s be honest, nobody really needs?

I don’t have an answer. All suggestions gratefully received.

Meanwhile, I flddle in my hilltop home as Rome slowly burns. I’ve been tinkering with AI “art” and, my god, it’s addictive. While I’m extremely sensitive to the concerns of artists who stand to lose work, wow, aren't these beautiful? (I want to stick some on T-shirts and sell them, but… ethics, damn it).








Back to King Arthur: while my brain takes its time over mulling a release date, you’d be doing me a great favour if you signed up to be notified when the Kickstarter starts kicking, you can do so here. Also, why not sign up for my email newsletter using the form below - one day, I may even send out an email.

6 comments:

  1. The devil did you put in on that last one? 'William Blake Fungal Panopticon'?

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    1. Heh, trade secret that one. I can't actually remember, but the word "Illuminati" was definitely in there. I've not actually done any Blake ones yet, but should give it a try - got a lot of Blake going on in my life at the moment.

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  2. If the KS fails, you can just relaunch it later, or rework it in some way like changing the goal or readjusting the prices. Is there a concern, or some reason why you wouldn't want to risk it failing? If you're committed to completing it first one way or another, does it make a difference?

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    1. Yeah, this is very true, main problem is that it will be very expensive to complete - and I'll have paid most of the illustration costs up front. But I'll get it made somehow!

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  3. I'm very interested in the book and I love the art in it. I don't have an answer on what to do with the launch. One thing I have heard is that luxuries often don't get hit by recession as much as other things. But I'm not sure if that's true here - it may only be that way for folks well off enough to not feel "the economy" (whatever that is) bite too hard.

    I love the AI art you are doing. I've played around a bit with these programs myself. I really like Midjourney, but not a fan of the way it is set up through Discord and the model they have for using it. Can I ask, what tool or tools did you use to make the images presented here? Some of them have an almost Edward Gorey-esque quality to them! I'm also really curious about what the prompts were for the image that contains a clear "2" near the bottom right and has a mushroom/skull thing on the top. I've seen a few other similar things where these programs generate what looks like writing, but isn't and it's kind of fascinating to see. That image looks like it has an "S," a "CTC" a partial "N" or "M" and a partial "V." It may just be the pattern recognition centers of my brain trying desperately to make sense of it, some kind of mind hack, haha.
    Last, Skeleton Crew! That's freaking great that you know them! They are a fantastic band and do not get a lot of recognition. Are you familiar with Henry Cow by any chance?

    Tell of the birth
    Tell how War appeared on Earth

    Thunder and herbs
    Conjugated sacred verbs
    Musicians with gongs
    Fertilised an egg with song
    Asleep in the sphere
    Her foetus was a knot of fear
    She butted with her horn
    Split an egg and war was born
    A miracle of hate
    She banged her spoon against her plate

    Upon the spoon this motto
    wonderfully designed
    Violence
    completes the partial mind

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    1. Wow, another Skeleton Crew fan! I didn't know such a thing existed 😁 Yeah, I do know Henry Cow, though less well.

      For the AI, the style mainly came from the use of the words "engraving" and "fungal". For the one with the "2", I did a LOT of requests for text, some specifically asking for the number "2022". I never got that number, but I did get some mad results!

      I started setting up a T-shirt shop yesterday so will definitely be selling some images from fungus-world.

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