Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Deck That Almost Was

For a few days this past week, my latest Tarot deck, Tinker’s Damn Tarot, was out of print and unavailable in Tarot size. I made the announcement and took it off sale completely.

Now it’s back. Why? And why declare it out of print in the first place?

I’ve been in negotiations with a printing company in Shaghai, China, to create a fancy new edition of the deck that would have retailed at less than half the price of the current edition. The reason I took the current edition off-sale is simply because I didn’t want anyone paying the higher price when a less expensive edition would be coming along in a matter of weeks.

But that’s not going to happen now, and I am forced to return the First Edition back to sale. Of all the decks I’ve done, it’s close to being my favorite, and I don’t want it to unavailable.

What happened is simply this: I was quoted a price on 1,000 copies of the deck. I signed a contract based on that quotation and turned it in… and the very next morning the sales rep emailed me to say, “Oh by the way, the price is not what we quoted you, but actually $1,200 more than that.”

Twelve hundred bucks. That’s not a minor change in the terms! And it put the cost of production well out of my reach unless I run another Kickstarter campaign… which I do not want to do at this time. 

I wrote them back to say, “Uhhh, no it isn’t. The price is what we agreed on, or the deal is off.”

That was more than 24 hours ago, and I’ve heard nothing back from then since, so I’m calling it a day this project.

About the only good thing to come of all this is that I did a bunch of work on the new edition creating a box design — and a Little White Booklet of instructions. I hate for all that work to go to waste — and so now I’m offering a PDF version of the Tinker’s Damn Little White Booklet (with keywords and definitions for each card, plus a couple of tarot “spreads”) as a Free Download for anyone buying the deck. And if you’ve bought the deck already, just email me here (or use the sidebar link), and I’ll provide you with a Download Link for your copy. Everyone, retroactively, gets a Little White Booklet! 

Judging from the number of people who have asked me to clarify various card meanings, I’m guessing that will be a welcome addition. Well… as they say in the biz, it’s an ill wind that blows no good, yes?

— Frede.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Whisper in the Air

And just like that, just like a switch was thrown, there’s Fall in the air. Just a hint; just enough to let you know it’s coming.

It’s my favorite kind of weather: mid to upper seventies, low humidity, and a firm but gentle breeze off the northwest. Just enough to let you know that another summer is winding down, another year more than half gone.

It’s the kind of weather that makes you comfortable after a stretch of hot days, that forces a sigh out of your body. It’s both a gift and a warning. Breathe deep now, and enjoy this moment of peace, for winter is not far away, life is short, and few are the moments when you do not have to be mindful of your place within it.

— Frede.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Always Something

--Hellboy © Mike Mignola and Dark Horse Comics

I’m going to be writing a longer article about this for the second issue of my irregular “bookazine” The Sanctum, but I wanted to make quick note of it here on the blog: in the second issue of Abe Sapien: The Devil Does Not Jest, Mike Mignola’s Hellboy makes a rare guest appearance,  although he doesn’t participate in any of the story’s main action. In fact, his only role in the plot is to reassure a young B.P.R.D. rookie that everything will be all right in the end:

“Calm down,” he says to the young man. “Of course there’s trouble, but stop worrying about Abe.”

To me, this sums up everything that’s finest about the series, and everything that comics do best. In the Hellboy Universe, “It’s Always Something.” There’s always some monster that wants to eat you, some spirit from beyond the grave that wants to devour your whole world. Just when you think you’re done with it, some other Horrible Thing comes along to growl and snarl at you.

Hellboy’s words to the young agent are typical of his character. In the face of some new Monster that’s ten times larger than the one he just had a hard time beating, a typical Hellboy reaction is a resigned “Oh, crap.”

This is what comics are for: to remind us that every time we turn around, every day, every issue, some damn monster or super-villain is going to come lumbering along to make trouble for you. Oh, crap — here comes another one. It never stops until you die (and in Hellboy’s case, it didn’t even stop then). 

That’s what life is: Always One More Thing.

How you face it is what makes you. Do you come unglued, fall apart? Or do you cock your fist and say to your problems, “Look, you. I’ve had about enough of this crap. Lie down. And STAY down!” — POW!

Of course they don’t stay down, or if they do, just wait for the bigger one to come along in its wake. 

Life is endless Trouble. Hellboy — and the other great heroes of the comics — exist to say to us, “Calm down. Of course there’s trouble. But stop worrying. Just take care of it and move on to the next thing.”

— Frede

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