All the Things

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Over the weekend I braved repetitive strain injury and solvent delirium from the fumes emitted by metallic markers while autographing this stack of signing sheets. The weighty pile is now on its way back to PS Publishing which means that the forthcoming illustrated edition of Needful Things is closer to being with its needful purchasers.

Weekend links 602

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High Times, May 1980. Cover art by Frank Frazetta.

• Desperately Seeking Mothman: “The Scythian Lamb, after all, was equal parts Venus flytrap and baby lamb, a mysterious woolly gourd,” says Tara Isabella Burton, on the trail of cryptids old and new.

• “In my youth of course I indulged in such stunts as bringing forth a Boramez, or a so-called vegetable lamb.” It’s that lamb again, in a translation of pages from The Voynich Manuscript.

• “2022: Be willing to be dazzled,” says S. Elizabeth. Also, follow her blog because she’s always turning up strange and wonderful things.

• “Why do we count down to the New Year?” Alexis McCrossen explores the history of countdowns, from Fritz Lang to the present day.

• “Snow coats reality in a fresh layer of strangeness,” says Charlie Fox.

• Spending the War Without You: Laurie Anderson’s Norton Lectures.

• New music: Our Hands Against The Dusk by Rachika Nayar.

• Mix of the week: Fact Mix 840 by Time Is Away.

• Galerie Dennis Cooper presents…Piet Zwart.

Does It Matter Irene? (1979) by The Mothmen | Tardis (Sweep Is Dead, Long Live Sweep) (1981) by The Mothmen | Mothman (1981) by The Mothmen

Prints at Etsy

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I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was going to be opening a shop selling prints at Etsy. The shop is now up and running with high-quality giclée prints of my artwork. As with the Skull Print T-shirts, I’ve been doing all this at a time when I’m still swamped with work so there isn’t much there at the moment, but it’s a start. This was always intended to be the third phase of the revitalisation of my web presence last year, following the upgrading of the blog and the main site into mobile-friendly packages, but working through the options took some time. After finding a suitable printer I had to consider the best way to create a print-on-demand service that would pretty much run itself but which would give me greater control over the business end than outlets like CafePress. I’ve been with CafePress for over 20 years now but it’s never been satisfying. I’ll be keeping the CafePress shops open for the time being but I’m going to remove many of the links there during the next web update.

In the new arrangement Etsy is essentially a shop window which routes orders to a printer based in Britain. The printer also has a German wing of their business that takes care of Continental orders. I’ve still not fully tested the system but the sites say they’re connected to each other, and I have ordered a number of prints separately. The turnaround from order to delivery is very fast—two to three days in the UK/Europe, about five days in the US—and the print quality is excellent. One drawback with this arrangement is the time it takes to upload and price things on two different sites but it’s something that only needs doing the once.

The first two items were chosen not because there’s a great demand for them but because I already had the files prepared. Both pictures also suit being seen at a large size. At the moment I’m thinking more in terms of poster prints but smaller pieces will be available. Etsy limits the size variations you can apply to two options only, if you want more variation you have to set up a new listing (so they get more listing fees). Since my choices don’t always coincide with those of would-be purchasers I’m open to suggestions for future prints. The next upload is ready to go, and should be in situ next week. This is a big drawing that I started working on just over a year ago which will be available as a large poster print. I wanted to write something about the piece before making it public so I’ll be doing that next. Watch this space.

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T-shirts by Skull Print

Getting shirty again

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Another batch of photos arrived from the new Skull Print T-shirt range, this time showing how well the detail has printed on the Cthulhoid design. I wasn’t sure how this one would look on a light background but it looks fine.

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Meanwhile, I’ve been doing my best to iron out bumps in the ordering process which would still benefit from a proper shopping-cart system. The problem at the moment is that most of the available options for WordPress won’t work without my first upgrading the server software, a process that would require wiping then reinstalling the entire website. Ordinarily I’d be prepared to set aside a couple of days to take care of this but my work commissions this year have been arriving at a rate of knots so I won’t be able to spare the time for another couple of months.

On a related front, all of this activity has impelled me to look seriously at setting up an automated ordering system for high-quality prints. I’ve made plenty of one-off prints in the past but I’d prefer a service that didn’t require me to be packing and posting things myself. The printer I’ve been using recently is an excellent one who can also link their service to anyone with an Etsy or Shopify store. I signed on to Etsy several years ago in order to buy something but setting up a store there seems relatively easy, and the whole process would avoid the server problem. Earlier this year I finished work on a huge Lovecraft-related drawing that I’ve been eager to sell as a print, so this is a further incentive to get things moving. Watch this space.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Getting shirty
More shirts
T-shirts by Skull Print

Getting shirty

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Another post about T-shirts… I discontinued daily posting in 2016, and I don’t usually write anything on Sundays, so take this as a bonus.

Skull Print sent these photos of the first batch of orders from the new shirt range. Very impressive detail and colour quality on both designs, especially the Zones shirt which contains a lot of fine detail. My thanks to everyone who’s placed an order so far!

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Previously on { feuilleton }
More shirts
T-shirts by Skull Print