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You’ve probably already seen a lot of the business about CYDO this month. Tony Esmond wrote a lovely preview of it, The Lakes podcast had nice things to say about it, and a few of my peers who saw it seemed to like it. I covered what it is in a tweet thread that you almost certainly saw so I won’t go over it here extensively; if you missed it, it’s a one-shot printed on one sheet of A2 paper (four times the size of A4, fact fans) with a “cover” (poster) on the back.
CYDO has been in the script drawer for a long, long time. The first reference I can find to it in my archive was June 9th, 2018, where it was deemed “too stupid to work” (my wife protested at the time, showing remarkable prescience as usual). I’ve generally always got more scripts to hand than I can draw in any given time (a problem I’m taking steps to rectify, but that won’t be for a while), and some scripts will never see the light of day, but CYDO – as stupid as it is – kept luring me back. I’ve learned by now that if I consign an idea to the drawer for being too stupid, but continue thinking about it, that’s a sign to just do it. Bald was in the drawer for a while, as was Plan A/Plan B (fun fact: Plan B was originally written as a stand-alone, and was essentially a sequel to Bald; figure that one out). Trust your gut, innit.
CYDO was originally written up to occupy a similar space on my convention rack as Adrift; a short-form black-and-white thing that was silly and cheap. But after taking a full and frank inventory, I came to realise two things:
1) Not everything has to be a book, and
2) I needed something to occupy the £1 price-point; I am fond of Hell, the current cheapest thing on the menu, but – being frank – I think that price-point could be better-occupied by a more satisfying piece of work. I like Hell, but it’s very short and I don’t feel it represents my work as well as something like Adrift. This is a problem as a lot of people – who are looking to buy a little thing from everyone for maximum coverage – buy Hell and nothing else.
I wanted a full-colour offering at the £1 spot, something to give people a flavour of what I do without the big investment. Books are, obviously, expensive to print and manufacture, and it’s virtually impossible to produce a colour book at the £1 price point and stand a chance of making your costs back; with that in mind, I went searching through my printer’s other products. Aside from the books you all know and love, they also make posters. However, some research revealed that these posters are printed on the exact same paper stock as the insides of my books, and I’ve been very pleased with the quality of that paper. I know how my art looks on it, and I know how it handles and feels. If you have a physical copy of any of my titles, you know this paper too. In addition to that, I have observed – from the assorted conventions I’ve been to – that people’s eyes are naturally drawn to the more unusually-shaped books. Adrift does well, as do Gang Culture and Hell (my little square books); I think there’s certainly something to be said for experimenting with form factor. I am confident that – once this is out – I will offer the country’s most diverse range of comics in terms of size, if nothing else.
As you can see, £1 for a one-shot of this magnitude is a bargain for the ages, and once again I have absolutely demolished the brain-addled slobs who think comics must be a certain size or shape. Comics purists, eat your breakfast.
CYDO won’t be available to buy online for the time being, mainly because the price of packing and posting it would likely treble or quadruple the price; convention only for the foreseeable future. I’m sorry about this. The hope is that this will work really well, so well that I can make more comics in this format, and then sell them in a bundle to lower the impact of postage and packaging.
So for now they’re convention only, where there will be a small pile of banded, rolled-up tubes. If people want to keep it rolled up and put it on their wall, that’s fine. If they want to fold it up and stick it in their pocket, also fine. If they want to scrunch it into a ball and kick it into the Clyde, I wouldn’t encourage it but that’s their prerogative. I’m not fishing it out of the Clyde.
Will it work? Who knows. Maybe. Worth a go innit. Always worth a punt on something new. Fuck it.
CYDO will be launching at Glasgow Comic Con on June 29th 2019, and will be making its English debut on Small Press Day. If you want one in Wales just come to my house or get a job where I work.
- CYDO; it’s good, it’s cheap, and it’s big
- It’s coming out in June
- I am not under any circumstances retrieving rubbish from the Clyde