Well, my family and I fell victim, like many of us, to the “super derecho“ that tore through the Midwest and mid-Atlantic states late Friday night into early Saturday morning, closing out the month of June. South Jersey, where I live, got walloped pretty good by a wall of 80-90 mph winds and three hours of consecutive lightening strikes that bordered on the biblical.
We lost a number of large trees in our yard that were either ripped from the ground or shattered in two by the onslaught of Mother Nature. My neighbor had a large tree crash through the windshield of her car, crushing the vehicle in the driveway.
The rare storm that left a trail of devastation 700 miles long and over 200 miles wide rendered us without electricity and water for six days during a week that saw temperatures rise close to 100 degrees. Did I mention we had no internet for an entire week?!
Despite everything, we were lucky. We had no injuries, no damages that could not be fixed and besides our being frustrated, uncomfortable and generally miserable, this weather event was to us more of a major inconvenience than a disaster.
Having survived this ordeal I have become much more aware of the conveniences we take for granted. Things like running water, refrigerators, ovens, lights, phones, toilets, television, radio and the internet did not even exist when this country, celebrating its independence in the same week, was founded back in 1776. It was a struggle coping without these things that we consider necessities today. My family overcame by being innovative, flexible, patient, and persistent.
Through it all CO2 Comics did not skip a beat, stewarded by Bill Cucinotta out of his studio in Philadelphia. Comics got posted, the blog was updated daily and three new books were released into a market that is a lot different than the market that we produced comics in when we began publishing Comico comics back in 1982.
Like my experience with the super derecho, how we approach producing and selling comics is going to require operating outside of a condition that we had been used to. There is new technology, new systems of distribution, and a new audience. As publishers, and as an industry, it is time to look forward and take full advantages of the new conveniences available; the internet, print on demand, digital content, crowd funding, and social networking. These are all great tools to approach a market that is in constant transition, far different from the comfortable Direct Market that we have all grown accustomed to.
Adapting to the new and changing conditions of the comic market will require those same skills of being innovative, flexible, patient, and persistent. These are the same qualities that got Comico off the ground thirty years ago in a Direct Market that was fledgeling at that time. CO2 Comics has the benefit of that experience as we stare into a new horizon that has the potential to be as stormy and as glorious as possible from one day to the next.
As I regroup from the storm, please take the time to check out CO2 Comics’ new print offerings, Heaven and the Dead City by Raine Szramski, The Heavy Adventures of Captain Obese! by Don Lomax, and Ménage à Bughouse by Steve Lafler all in paperback and hardback editions.
That’s one more thing I’ve come to realize, you can really appreciate books when there is no electricity and the internet is down! Thanks Super Derecho!
Steve Lafler Tour ALERT!
There has been a venue and time change for Steve’s stop in New York City. The panel that was scheduled to be held at MoCCA on July 12 has been canceled due to unforeseen circumstances. Steve’s NY our visit will instead be held 7:00 pm Friday, July 13, 2012 at
Bergen Street Comics,
470 Bergen St., Brooklyn, NY 11217,
See you there!