So, where have I been?
If we go as far back as August, Rose left Solution Squad and decided to pursue other avenues. That was sad, but not unexpected. I knew she’d quickly find work, and she did. She’s way too talented to be held to one project! I was lucky enough to hire her for her first professional job, and I couldn’t have done it without her. I love her and I wish her the best.
So, what to do without an artist? As it turns out, there was a lot to do! Josh Elder, President and founder of Reading With Pictures, recruited me to help his organization in a number of different capacities. First, I have been made Conventions Coordinator. I will be representing RWP at conventions, manning their (our) booths and organizing panels, like the ones I participated in at C2E2 and the ALA Annual Conference this summer.
Second, I have become a math developer. I have been helping Tracy Edmunds, RWP’s ace curriculum consultant in creating and editing materials for The Graphic Textbook. Josh approached me about including Solution Squad in the Graphic Textbook, and I jumped at the chance. With a little reworking, the first eight pages of the comic formed a self-contained story and it will be included in the upcoming hardcover collection! So, I got to write a lesson plan for that.
Then, Josh hired me as a letterer. I re-lettered a Mail Order Ninja story, and then did the lettering for two other stories for the Graphic Textbook, “Special Delivery to Shangri-La,” and “Lumina: Menace of the Mathemagician.”
Is that it? Oh, no. Then I accepted the assignment of designing the Graphic Textbook Teacher Guide, assembling the lesson plans, essays, comics, posters, and all the free content that will serve as a web-based companion to the hardcover book. If all goes according to plan, it will be released for free on the RWP website on Thursday. It’s clocking in at around 120 pages or so, and it’s quite wonderful.
So, that’s what I’ve been up to. And since it all began with a conversation on August 18th, which was the week school began again, you can probably tell I’ve been busy. There’s even one more function that I will be performing for RWP, but that hasn’t been formalized yet, and that news will have to wait. It’s exciting!
What does all of this mean for Solution Squad? It means there will be more! People tend to shy away from talking publicly about money, but I’ll just put this out there for shock value. The cost of producing Solution Squad #1 was over $10,000, and it was all out-of-pocket. I did it without using a credit card or incurring long-term debt. One thing that doing conventions has taught me is that trying to make a profit or break even on just a $4 comic is never likely. So I am turning my sights toward an expanded book with at least 100 pages that will start out on the web in a format that I am not ready to reveal. Now that I know what I’m doing, I will be applying for a Lilly Grant and running another Kickstarter to raise funds. My first Kickstarter failed when all I had to support the idea were a few model sheets and a story, but now I have proven that I will succeed one way or another, and that the concept is a winner. Teachers are using Solution Squad in the classroom! With the additional exposure that the Graphic Textbook will provide, more teachers will see it and use it. This is only the beginning for Solution Squad!
Thank you for reading and always remember, Be Part of the Solution!
P.S. Does anyone want to draw a comic?