< Piro >
Sunday - July 11, 2004
Whew, what a week. I can't believe it's Sunday again. Looking ahead, I can see that the end of the month is coming up, and coming up fast. I need to get on the ball and update you folks on the two major things coming up at the end of this month. First there is San Diego Comic Con, and the second is the opening of the official new Megatokyo store, Megagear. I'll start with the Megagear stuff :)
It's weird, but I almost feel like i've been working on some kind of secret project. The blow by blow coverage of what it takes to get something like this up and rolling is interesting, but we've been too busy doing it to actually write about it :) Merchandise has already started to arrive here and I'm starting to get a feel for what the new line of Megatokyo stuff looks like. It's both exciting and nerve racking at the same time. Kinda like every comic i post - you have no idea if people are going to like them or not. In the end, my approach to designing t-shirts and stuff is the same as my approach to writing and doing comics - i make comics i'd like to read, and i make shirts that i'd like to wear and stuff i'd like to buy. I'm wearing one of the new shirts right now, actually. :)
Also, i have been getting a lot of emails about availability of things that were in the Think Geek store. Right now, if you head over to the ThinkGeek store you will find the remaining selection of what they have in stock, and if you'd like anything, please be sure to snap it up :) Not all items we were offering before we be available in the new store, but some will. For instance, we will have Ninj4 Hoodies, Megatokyo bookbags, the 3ViL L33t shirt and one or two other designs. Unfortunately, we will not have any more Miho or Kimiko blankets. We have other stuff in the works :)
It has taken quite a bit of willpower to not show you the new stuff. While it's true that a lots of my creative flotsam and jetsam never spills out onto the net, more often than not when i create something i think is worth showing people, it goes online (like this sketch of Saeko and Tomu I did the other day - I scanned and posted it on Fredart the next morning). In fact, on those rare occasions when i do finish a comic ahead of time, you have no idea how hard it is not to just post it. I'm spoiled, i guess. I tend to get instant feedback on stuff as soon as i finish it.
A lot of work went into the new stuff for the store. There are seven new t-shirt designs and six new ladies t-shirt designs, there is a new ball cap (it's so cute!) and knit cap (which is pretty cool). Sarah worked very hard to determine what would be the best kind of ladies shirt to use because we wanted girls shirts that didn't require you to have a Barbie doll figure to wear. I just finished a new mousepad design last night (it's the nice kind, not those horrid fabric things :P). I have to finalize the sticker designs. I have to figure out how to make this design for a coffee mug work. There's other stuff in the works too, stuff that will be coming in the weeks and months that follow the opening of the store. We will be offering a selection of art supplies, including sketchbooks (I have to keep resisting reaching into the box and grabbing them to use them :P). I'm having trouble locating a source for a particular .5 mm pencil i love to use that i'd like to offer in the store (i'll probably have to find a way to smuggle them in from japan :P). We're still working on the store website, i still have a lot of graphics to finish, i have only recently finished the overall design concept for the site. The list goes on.
It's all a little nerve racking because you really don't know if people are gonna like the new stuff, or if they will react well to the new website. I feel good about everything so far, and I guess we'll find out if you folks like them when the store opens on July 30th. That is, unless you are going to San Diego Comic Con.
Sarah and I are once again going to San Diego Comic Con, and we will be there for the entire show. We have a booth - booth number 2722 - and it's in a remarkably nice location right near the Dark Horse booth. We will be bringing a nice selection of the new merchandise to San Diego, so if you are coming to the show you'll be the first to not only see the new stuff, but to purchase it as well. The less we have to take home with us the better, too :)
San Diego Comic Con runs from Wednesday, July 21st (Wednesday night is Preview night), right thru Sunday, July 25th. Friday the 23rd will be a big day for Megatokyo at SDCC. The Megatokyo panel will be at 3:00 pm in room 8, and based on the fact that the room for our panel last year was *way* too small, the nice folks at SDCC have given us a much bigger room, so hopefully all of you can make it in this time. After this, I will be doing a book signing at the Dark Horse booth from 5:30pm to 7:00pm. It's kinda weird, having a signing scheduled right after Mike Mingola and Guillermo del Toro. ^^;;; While i will be spending as much time at the Megatokyo booth as possible, signing stuff and doing little scribbles for people, this will be my main scheduled signing, so feel free to show up and cause some havoc at the Dark Horse booth. Havoc is good. :P
Speaking of havoc, i was very surprised when i read this report over on ICv2 called "ICv2 Looks at Manga Channel Shift". Actually, the first time i read it, i didn't really look at the listing of the Manga top 50 for the 2nd quarter of 2004 as listed in the article. I knew that Megatokyo had been doing pretty well, but I didn't really expect it to be in that list - certainly not in the top 25 Manga titles. It took an email from someone to point out to me that not only was Megatokyo in that list, but it was number 10. Wow. Uhm, Wow. Give yourselves a hand, folks. That's some kind of support. Thank you, you have no idea how awesome that is.
One other little bit of havoc can be found in the July issue of Animerica. Y'now, years and years ago, when i first started really getting into anime, i started collecting Animerica magazine. This was back when i was collecting Ranma 1/2 VHS tapes - DUBS no less. ^^;; Now, here we are 9 years or so later, and this month's issue has a 3 page article on me and Megatokyo. ^^;;; I'm honored that Animerica felt that Megatokyo was worth giving a three-page feature. I'd also like to thank Dan for writing such a nice article. :) It's kinda weird seeing 'megatokyo' on the cover with Inu Yasha. Crazy stuff.
Anyways, this week is going to be a particularly long one. I have to do a comic each day this week in order to be ahead enough to keep the comic on schedule for our trip to San Diego. I'm taking a very serious approach to this, and i'm really keen on actually making this happen this week. It'll be interesting to see if planning ahead actually works. :P And on that note, i better get my butt to work. :P