Right now, there’s a few major hold-ups. First, putting together a secure folder for large art files has been tricky, since it needs to be able to show only current members the art. We currently have a beta test on that code right now, and while it’s successful, it is lacking in actual enlarged files to upload to it (this is a special 2 a.m. problem – as in dern got the code working at 2 a.m., while O is already asleep and can’t upload the files until later). Expect that to get fixed really soon.
Then there’s the Black Market. Currently, we have no limited edition material in stock. However, there will be a printing of the LE-colored ninja attack shirt in a month, the original strip art is being shipped north by flying monkey, and Book 1 of Commissioned is getting quotes for publishing now.
Book 1 “Artist Editions” and other artist edition comics won’t be available for purchase until this summer, and won’t ship until late July/early August or late September. This is because they will need O to draw on them, and he won’t be able to do that until he’s in the USA (and he’ll be stateside twice in 2011).
Another chunk of coding is in place, but extremely untested, is the store credit model. It won’t be until everyone is signed up and buying stuff that I’ll finally get to test things out on the Swag Shark side of things. But in theory, that part is ready.
And what about Swag Shark, the site with really, really high international shipping rates? Well, I’m proud to announce that as of Tuesday, Dec. 7, we’re launching a first class shipping option. I will be leaving the Priority option up for those that want a rushed delivery, but now there’s a cheap option. The new rates are as follows:
For Canada, 1 pound costs $7 to ship, while 2 pounds cost $11
For Mexico, 1 pound costs $10 to ship, while 2 pounds cost $17
For the rest of the world, 1 pound costs $13 to ship, while 2 pounds cost $20
In the next two weeks, I’ll be fine-tuning the shipping rates to include rates for .5 and 1.5 pounds.
And the last big announcement for this post: We’re opening up beta testing for the Commissioned Ninja Clan.
Because there’s still a lot of work needed to polish up the Clan’s side of the site, we’re offering a free trial period of membership that will last until at least Dec. 31.
As of Tuesday, Dec. 7, the trial period is set to four weeks free. As we get closer and closer to 2011, this trial period will shrink – so if you sign up next week, you’ll only be getting three weeks free. And please note, once the trial period is up, paypal will charge you for the subscription if you do not unsubscribe.
But wait, there’s more.
Initially when we were floating the idea out of a deluxe membership subscription, the dollar amount was estimated at about $3/month or $30/year. Unfortunately, the monthly number is just a touch too low to make our numbers work with PayPal’s rates. We can’t charge less than $4/month – but we will hold to our promise that every dollar put in becomes a dollar of store credit. And if you sign up for an annual membership before Jan. 31, we will honor the original $30/year deal.
On Feb. 1, the rate will change to $40/year or $4/month.
Anyway, today I was working on some of the images that got commissioned for this season’s mini-COMMISSIONATHLON. My idea was to receive a much smaller number of commissions this time so that I didn’t have to work so fast and I could dedicate more time to each one, with the results hopefully being that much better because of it.
One of the main advantages of dedicating much more time to each image is that I can start work with “rough sketches”, which are basically very quick drawings of the general idea I’ve got for each image. For this part I like working with old sharpies instead of pencils because they allow much more freedom of movement as they glide in a much smoother manner across the sheet of paper. This is essential for me at this stage, since I want the ideas to flow as simply and as naturally as possible.
In the upper section of the image you’ll see the sketches as they were drawn on the sheet and scanned, and below you’ll see a very basic exploration in color. The idea here is that the client can see more or less what idea I’ve got for the image and we can discuss if this is (or isn’t) the direction we’d like the image to go towards.
Clearly O forgot that he left me a spare set of keys to the site, but for right now, that’s a good thing. While our little bald friend sleeps, I’ve got a chance to share something with you all – the very first Secret Commission Cast.
You might be asking – wait, what is this? It is the first of a couple previews that I’ll be putting up here, all letting you get a taste of the Commissioned Ninja Clan membership life.
The Secret Commission Casts will be short, 10-minute interviews with O, where we explore the Commissioned world. This will not be available on iTunes. Instead, they’ll only be available for download by CNC members. Listenify:
What, that’s not enough of a preview for today? Well, how about the month and location of the first Commissioned Ninja party? How about July? How about in San Diego, Calif. (USA)? Sound good?
Of course, those of you with really nerdy calendars (i.e. like me) might notice that there’s another shindig in San Diego around that time of year – San Diego Comic-Con (a.k.a. Comic-Con International, a.k.a. one of the biggest nerd-fests in the world). It’s running from July 20 to July 24 in 2011 – and Obsidian will be there!
We’ll hammer down the more finite details of the Commissioned party soon, fitting it around the schedule of SDCC. It’ll probably be either Thursday or Friday night, after the show.
That’s all for now. I’ll sneak a couple more updates in soon.
It’s nothing special and not even a sketch for anything in particular – I mean - it is the character Sol from “Bleeding Weapons” but it’s by no means what that comic is going to look like.
Just a little doodle I made and wanted to share.