Rippaverse® Update | What We’ve Learned and What’s Cookin’

By Andrew Rodriguez

Hello, Rippaverse®!

What’s up, everybody? It has been a while since we’ve done an update, so we figured this would be a great time to get you up to speed on everything. The main focus will be telling you what we’ve learned since the last update. Isom #2 is currently in fulfillment, and we absolutely love that you are doing reviews. It seems many of you enjoy it more than the first one, and the book gives issue 1 more perspective. Bloodruth has also quickly become a fan favorite, and Goodyng is also getting some love. But from the end of Isom #1 fulfillment up until now, a lot has happened, and a lot has been learned.

In truth, we are still catching up to our demand. You all know that we spent time between campaigns building and moving into our new headquarters. You know we’re our own distributor, so this was important. And though we save a TON of money and headache by not using a 3PL, we are still understaffed. However, our team has already grown a lot in our warehouse and shipping departments. Since we’re still not there, Eric has been working in the warehouse for the better part of this campaign. Everybody knows good work is hard to find, but our team is much more efficient now. With more hands on deck and a more efficient process, orders are going out much faster than Isom #1, which will only increase with more staff.

The challenge now comes with our volume. To put this into perspective, we’ve sold over 170k individual items with 80k orders. That’s a lot of product that has to be accounted for and a lot of negotiation that comes with working with vendors and suppliers. This is a part of the business that many creative people never consider or put off on someone else. But we handle it all here and are proud of our team. Isom #2 allows us to see our capabilities and know where we need to improve. We want to get our fulfillment time down as much as possible.

But let’s get on to the creative things. As we entered the new warehouse, two books were being completed in addition to Isom #2. That’s Alphacore #1 by the team-up of Chuck Dixon and Joe Bennett and Yaira #1 by the Soska Sisters and Debora Carita. Outside of some minor edits, the art and colors for both books are complete. Alphacore #1 is finalizing lettering and pre-press since that releases this fall. But in addition to those books, we have other projects in motion.

Isom #3 and the finale to the Ill-advised arc is starting pencils and ink. Yaira #2 by the Soskas also starts pencils and ink this month. Chuck Dixon has another unannounced project that also starts pencils and ink this month, and we are also getting the ball rolling on some other projects, and we’ll keep you posted as we get closer to them. As you can see, our release schedule is speeding up fast, and 2024 will be a massive year for us. Because we release larger books, don’t expect oversaturation. We won’t release books just to do it, and the campaign format won’t be used for every single book release, either.

We’ve also learned a lot creatively. We better understand how long it should take us to finish each project. In full transparency, this company will truly shift into high gear once Eric no longer has to be at the warehouse on a daily basis. Everybody here understands that he’s most useful in facilitating creative projects and the business as a whole. Eric’s role should be acting as the CEO and EIC, but until we get the bodies, he has to split that time with warehousing and packing orders.

Which brings us to the editorial oversight. Minor errors happen all the time in indie comics, which doesn’t make it excusable. But it’s especially frustrating when you know it happened. For example, on one of the pages in Isom #2, there’s an added “you,” and on another, there’s a missing “to.” This is a lesson always to reread the proof copy. We caught both of these issues on the first proof. But after a completely different edit, the digital proof did not include our first corrections. We take responsibility for that, as that’s what we get for not getting another updated proof made because we were so ready to get this to print.

There was ONE thing that just got flat-out missed: the ad, which was a late addition, in which Goodyng’s name was misspelled on the headline. Again, that’s on us, as we should’ve included that with the editor’s copy despite it being a late edition. Our editors caught the edits they were presented with. We’ve learned that due diligence should be done, regardless of how antsy we are. If we need to push things back to allow the editors to do their job, then let’s do it.

However, those minor errors in Isom #1 and #2 will not be corrected. Maybe for the omnibuses, but not for the single issues. These mistakes don’t get in the way of the story, and 99% of you didn’t even know it was a thing until we told you. We also have no issue displaying our slip-ups, which will be forever showcased as a way of showing our growth, and we recognize that we have to do better in the editorial department.

Most of these issues will resolve themselves when Eric can focus more on the creative side. Either way, we’re all excited for the future of The Rippaverse. We have a lot of comic book material cookin’, but we also are getting things moving with Rippaverse Studios animation. Perhaps the greatest challenge is taming your expectations. Many would see the money we’ve brought in and either blow it on being too ambitious or get lazy, thinking they’ve already made it. The key is balance, being realistic and financially responsible, but also understanding that there’s a risk with anything.

Thanks to you all for being the best customers and fans in the world. Keep reviewing Isom #2, as word of mouth will forever be our greatest marketer.

We Will Win