Bird of Fire

Postby Daxhack on Mon Mar 19, 2001 3:16 am

My goodness, what an inactive board.<P>At any rate, Phoenix Rising is a good idea. I like the name, it works on many levels.<P>Now, food for thought, a lot of it:<P>I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with Tucson, but for several years a local paper has been printed called the "Tucson Comic News." It was a monthly publication targeted at high school and college students, and anyone living a lifestyle that enjoyed comics besides Garfield and Cathy. It featured many political cartoons and a bunch of local comic artist contributors. I speak of it in the past tense, because it died late last year. I don't know all the details, but money was one of them.<P>One of my many goals with my keenspace comic was to refine my skills enough to be able to submit something printable to this paper. Since it is now gone, I feel empty, alone, desolate. (Not really, but it sounds better that way). I'm a little disappointed that this publication went under. The comics in it weren't always great, but it was a good starting place for aspiring comic strippers. Later in its life, it was mostly advertisements and articles about upcoming concerts, and not as many comics, essentially competing with the accent or community sections of the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Citizen.<P>Well, call me a dreamer, but I'd like to see this kind of publication come back. I think Phoenix Rising is in a good position to offer such a replacement. Since I learned of PR's existance, I have been toying with the idea of a monthly compilation of our best strips, printed cheaply and distributed at well frequented places.<P>Here in Tucson, I think the UofA, Casa Video, the Main Library downtown, R-Galaxy, and perhaps somewhere on 4th avenue. I'm sure we can all think of other places where a publication like this would get read. Airports and the City Courthouses where we all do Jury Duty would be ideal as well, but probably harder to get into being controlled environments. I'm sure the Phoenix and surrounding area comic strippers can take care of distribution up there. I bet I could even convince some of my sister's friends at NAU to distribute up there for us.<P>But think of the reader base in an airport! You can either _buy_ an overpriced computer magazine in an airport shop, or pick up a free (or very cheap) copy of our best comics, and read them while you wait, or on the plane, or whatever. And everyone, from the most important to the least, if they're going somewhere by plane, they use the airport. This includes syndicate CEOs, newspaper executives, and everyone from your Grandma to your grandkids.<P>I'm probably not telling anyone anything they didn't know already. I'm also not saying that getting a cheaply printed paper is going to be cheap. I don't know what it costs to run a few thousand (or even a few hundred) Black & White, newsprint, 2-20 page papers, of undetermined size or strips per page. I don't know how to track our audience or come up with number of expected impressions to tell potential advertisers paper. I don't know how often we could print, how much profit is considered enough to have to start a business, how to distribute (besides ourselves), how much to charge advertisers, how much to charge readers... It's all just something in my imagination right now.<P>I think a lot of people were put out when the Tucson Comic News went away. I think a lot of good artists in the area without web access would be willing to donate to the cause. I bet we could even get help from the old editors if we asked. I think we could get the paper to support itself if we do it right.<P>Basically, I think we can do this. We just need a little effort and a lot of help. But we have the bulk of it already, the meat of the periodical, the comics! That's the easy part!<P>I doubt I need to explain the benefits, but here are some that I've come up with:
Increased readership
Extra money in artists' pockets
Increased site traffic
Possible money from Keen due to increased site traffic
Possible KeenSpot promotion
Possible Local or National Syndication
Groupies (as if...)<P>So that's my little fantasy. I don't know if anyone is with me. I'll do a little reconnaissance on why the old one went under, and see if I can't talk to the old editors and contributors. I'd love to hear what you all have to think about this. And keep in mind, this is all just in addition to the web stuff that Phoenix Rising already has, and is (I assume) planning to continue.<P>And as long as I'm dreaming, I want a pony.<P>Jason Bridgmon<P>------------------
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Postby Daxhack on Tue Mar 20, 2001 1:04 am

<A HREF="http://iwhome.com/ComicNews/" TARGET=_blank>http://iwhome.com/ComicNews/</A> <P>Here is the old web page for the Tucson Comic News. I was a little mistaken on a few things, It wasn't merely local cartoonists, but it was lesser known or accepted ones. It would also appear that the editor was somewhat of a political activist, or at least had a lot to say about the government. His rants stop somewhere back in 1999, as do the page updates. However, also his old pricing information for ads and stuff are there, as well as page dimensions and things.<P>He also conducted a survey over a period of 3 months to collect demographic data for potential advertisers. Only 5% responded, but apparently they were all fairly educated, which makes sense considering the nature of the paper was mostly political.<P>At any rate, it's a starting point. I am checking later today with the UofA Printing Press to see what is their capacity for newsprint and what their rates are for running copies.<P>I'll check the ecartoonists backlogs tonight.<P>Is your e-mail address in the UBB system here current?<P>JB<P>------------------
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Postby Daxhack on Tue Mar 20, 2001 3:27 am

I figure to cover the reproduction costs we'll probably have to look into advertising.<P>However, I'm not sure about how much profit is considered too much...<P>According to this government search engine, located at <A HREF="http://www.cc.state.az.us/corp/filings/namesrch.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.cc.state.az.us/corp/filings/namesrch.htm</A> ,<P>There are 16 Trademarks for companies that have "Phoenix Rising" in the title, and 3 corporations. Phoenix Rising Magazine is one of these, but there are none that I see that have anything to do with comics.<P>Here's the domestic profit or non-profit corporation filing checklist: <A HREF="http://www.cc.state.az.us/corp/filings/forms/checklis.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.cc.state.az.us/corp/filings/forms/checklis.htm</A>
From this it looks like the paperwork filing fees could run $60.<P>This site is supposedly good for starting a business in arizona, as the title states when you get there, but as this is a relatively new environment for me, I don't quite know what everything there is for. <A HREF="http://www.come2az.com/azemployers/starting.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.come2az.com/azemployers/starting.htm</A> <P>Is anyone a business student at UofA or ASU or Pima or something that could help us out here?<P>I don't know how much newsprint costs, I'm assuming it's cheap. I mean, a full Tucson Paper is 25 cents, but that could be government subsidized or something. The UofA Daily Wildcat is both daily and free, but it has the UofA to back it.<P>Just guessing at numbers, if a full issue costs 10 cents to print, then every 100 copies cost $10. A thousand copies seems reasonable for a startup, 600 in Phoenix and 400 in Tucson, or something like that, with maybe 50 or 100 per location. That's roughly 10-20 locations "state-wide," and a thousand copies only costs about $100.<P>Looking at what other small circulation papers charge for advertising, we could easily cover that with only one or two ads, for starters. Obviously I'm not a marketer either, but I think between all of us we can find 2 advertisers and charge them $50. Then as it picks up, we will get more advertisers, longer contracts, and charge more.<P>I don't know what priority for expansion we would have, be it more pages inside, or maybe color front and back, a larger distribution, whatever. Obviously, comic contributors should eventually receive a share of the profits (if there are any). Maybe go weekly or daily. Maybe hire a full or part time layout person to take care of the print copy and the web design.<P>I don't know how old everyone here is, there might be child labor laws or tax concerns to think about, or it might have to go through parents' or legal guardians' names for anyone under a certain age. I'm 23 now, so I don't think I'd have any trouble signing on government forms and legal contracts.<P>Of course this is all speculation, and I'm just thinking out loud... But I'd really like to see my comic amount to more than 60 hits a day on the web. I put a lot of time into it, as I'm sure everyone here does.<P>JB<P>------------------
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Postby RichVStone on Tue Mar 20, 2001 12:30 pm

Funny you should say that, before we stopped working on PR back in October or so we had started preparations to do a newspaper (check the Ecartoonists listing for old messages). Maybe we can restart this idea <IMG SRC="http://www.keenspace.com/forums/wink.gif"> Email me dude!
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Postby Daxhack on Wed Mar 21, 2001 7:02 am

A tour of territorial newspapers taken by some students back in 97. they seem to be upgrading their equipment to take stuff from computer directly to negative, so maybe by now they've done that. hopefully a PC copy will work. Any ideas on what publishing software or formats they use? I'll find out when I call on monday. I'm thinking quark...
<A HREF="http://journalism.arizona.edu/tech/tours/territorial.html" TARGET=_blank>http://journalism.arizona.edu/tech/tours/territorial.html</A> <P>JB<P><P>------------------
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Postby Daxhack on Wed Mar 21, 2001 8:19 am

Alright, after chasing my tail for half an hour, I finally got through to someone who prints newspapers in Tucson. The place is called:<P>Territorial Newspapers<P>I spoke with one of the staff there to find out a little of what was possible, and here's what he told me. They can do 34" or 27.5" sheets, broad or tab. Broad means the paper is like the AZ Daily Star, and Tab means it is like the Parade insert. (size and folds, that is).<P>They can do front and back page color, or spot color, 4 color, B&W, whatever. And they'll run a small job of a thousand copies, even if it's only a few pages. I said "somewhere between 4 and 20, probably 8-10 to start."<P>Anyway, the marketing guy is on vacation, but he'll be back in monday. I'll call again then and get some estimates.<P>Meanwhile, I'm going to read a little about publishing, to find out what all this stuff means. I felt silly when I had to ask what broad and tab meant, cause I felt pretty good about the intelligent newspaper creator facade I had going till that point.<P>Those dimensions are diagonal, I assume. The Daily Wildcat is 27.5" diagonal. I think that's an ideal size. I wonder what resolution they want for graphics and stuff? I guess we'll see... I bet it's 300, not the 72 we use for web posting. Funny thing is, newspaper printers print with something called a "web press". Jeez my inexperience at this shows.<P>JB<P>------------------
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Postby SuperdupeKid on Mon Mar 26, 2001 7:00 am

Good lord man!! We need to sit and talk in a chat room one of these days. I already did a lot of this research a few months ago so I can set you up with that info. Catch me in #phoenixrising on nighstar (irc for those who don't know).<P>Rich<P><P>------------------
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