The biggest project in my life for the better part of the aughts and beyond has been Robot of Leisure (formerly WHiRR, formerly BitterBots). While I’m not hanging up my Boris hat anytime soon, we have reached the end of the graphic novel series.
I began the series in 2010, completing two stories a year and releasing them in ebook form. Trying to release the books in paperback proved cost prohibitive. My full-colour large paneled masterpieces were coming out at $15-18 a pop when the content was only realistically $8-12. I knew I would squeeze it all into a one-volume product in the end, so I dropped the paperbacks from Amazon and started pushing the ebooks.
Graphic novels are not popular with the general public. Not to say the general public can’t (or won’t) enjoy them, but it is a bit of a niche genre that’s hard to promote. How do you encourage a regular person to pick up a book that isn’t a comic book and isn’t a kiddie’s picture book? Especially when the character is unknown and the references it makes are obscure? If Boris were a steampunk vampire with a yearning to be a superhero, I might be halfway to a successful franchise. As it is, we’re doing far too much work for far too little recognition (me and all the other people who create graphic novels and the like).
I’ve finished the massive Robot of Leisure collection. All the ebooks have been coded. The print proof is in the mail. All that’s left is to prepare the latest marketing scheme and annoy everyone in my acquaintance circles. I’ll be sharing all manners of videos and links and promotions in the coming weeks.
While you’re waiting for opportunities to snatch up the print edition of Robot of Leisure, please peruse (and purchase from) the Robot of Leisure Society6 shop. I’ve posted a bunch of designs for posters and t-shirts.