So yeah, this past weekend was pretty awesome…
If we’re connected through Facebook, you probably noticed a string of periodic updates, many of them highly excitable, and all of them centered around the fact that I was at a convention in my hometown signing posters and postcards for a project I’ve been working on for the last few years. Yes, that Miranda Mercury thing again, which as I mentioned awhile back has been turned into Archaia and is now scheduled for release this upcoming summer. I know this because it says so right in the Archaia brochures that were handed out at the booth all weekend. But I’m skipping ahead a bit, so let’s back up to Thursday, which is where my great weekend got its early kickstart.
I’d booked a meeting that morning with another publisher to talk over a project I’ve already started writing for them, and to discuss the possibility of some other things. Naturally, I can’t say who or what quite yet, but it should release near the end of the year and give me the opportunity to work with an artist I’ve been a huge fan of for years and years now. Forgive my overwhelming vagueness, but you know how it is.
Anyway, since I was already in the neighborhood, I stopped by the show floor and visited the Archaia crew while they were putting the fancy booth all together and got to hold the first official Miranda Mercury poster in my hands. Which felt pretty damn good after all this time and was a real spark for me heading into the show. Then when I showed up the next day there were these great looking brochures listing all of Archaia’s future releases, with the Miranda hardcover settled in amongst the other summer releases. And there were bookmarks that had a number of ISBNs on the back, including the aforementioned Miranda hardcover. All of this adding up to only one thing…The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury Volume 1: Time Runs Out will be coming out very soon and there’s no turning back now. So with that all finally settled, I found my chair behind one of the tables and got to work.
Over the next few days, I touched base with a number of people I’ve either met in the past or only interacted with online, and met a ton of new folks, lot of them younger kids and many of them black or Hispanic. Friday brought a large group of young brothers to the table as part of a local mentoring group that was at the show, and they all seemed pretty impressed that I wrote comics to begin with, let alone actually created this character. And honestly, every show I do I have a brief encounter like this, and even I can’t play it off and pretend it doesn’t mean anything. It’s the optics of the whole thing you see, and it’s only one of several reasons why after ten long years, I’m still at this and have never been more excited or optimistic. Still a ton of work to be done, but I’ve learned the hard way that every little victory means something, and we ignore them at our peril.
But after an entire weekend of these great little moments of conversation, it really seems like the people are ready and willing to support this book once it releases, which has been a strong assumption of mine for awhile now, but especially these last few months. The closer we got to the conclusion, the more convinced I became that somewhere out there an audience for Miranda Mercury comics exists. It might take some work to find it, and it’s probably not where we think it is, but I’m just confident/silly enough to believe we can and we will find it.
Until then though, I made a promise to myself that I’d actually find enjoyment in this next part of the journey—the somewhat frantic anticipation, beginning the outreach campaign, redoing the website, etc., etc. The last thing I want is to be huddling in a corner somewhere so terrified of how the book is going to do financially that I overlook the simple fact that even getting this far is a victory all its own.
And this past weekend reminded me of that over and over again. Even though I didn’t have a book, I had a poster, some postcards of my and my wife’s (mostly her) own design, a placard with my name on it, and a big ass, nearly uncontrollable Kool-Aid smile. Add in all of the new faces and people I talked to about the book, the people that actually bought #295 when it came out forever ago and came and found me just to tell me so, and the hospitality from the Archaia crew, and it’s pretty obvious that I consider the whole thing a rousing success. Just the first step on this next leg of the journey and something I hope we can build upon in the coming months.
Special thanks to: Stephen Christy, Mel Caylo, PJ Bickett, Mark Smylie, Mike Kennedy, Rebecca Taylor, Nate Lee, Tom Pinchuk, Steve Bennett, John Jennings, Bradley Hatfield, Andrew Rolston, Jiba Molei Anderson, Alverne Ball, Shanna Rudnick, Michelle Cahill, Doug Jean, Dan Dougherty, Sanford Greene, and Lloyd Henderson.
My apologies for anyone that was unintentionally left out, and I leave you with an interview I did with the fine people at MTV Geek, who were somehow able to edit the video into something almost watchable. Check it out and more soon…