Monday, January 30, 2012

How John Hambrock Made His BRILLIANT MIND OF EDISON LEE Book and Why It's Not On Amazon

My friend, cartoonist John Hambrock. has been drawing his newspaper comic strip THE  BRILLIANT MIND OF EDISON LEE for King Features since 2006. It is a labor of love. Since it's something he cares about deeply, he didn't want to go the cookie cutter approach when it came time to putting together the strip's first compilation.

Above: the cover of the EDISON LEE book. Order information here.

After being turned down by well known comic strip publisher Andrews McMeel ("It’s a tough market for cartoon book collections these days, with most of the larger publishers shying away from working with smaller, less established strips."), John decided to publish this first collection himself.

There were four qualities the book would have, according to his blog entry:

  1. We wanted to use a local American Printer rather than outsource to Asia.
  2. We wanted to print the Sunday strips in full color at a legible reading size and include the drop panels most people never see - this meant sizing the book larger than the print on demand options that are available.
  3. We not only wanted the book large enough to put in the Sundays properly, we wanted a book that read all in the same direction - not flipping side to side as one went from dailies to Sundays - but also did not wind up with only one daily on a page.
  4. We wanted to use a nice heavy paper stock for the interior and a durable high gloss stock for the cover so that the book would stand up to repeated reading and last for many years.
Publishers, such as the Amazon publishing unit, had pre-set book sizes and paper. But EDISON did not fit any of those. Deciding to create the book using a local printer became the solution. John describes the whole process of layout, editing, choosing the format, paper, getting an ISBN number and the one last minute thing he forgot. It's all here and well worth reading. It was a HUGE labor, but, hey, like I said, it was a labor of love.

1 comment:

Anne Hambrock said...


Thanks so much for the shout out!!