Sunday, 20 December 2009

Round-Up of the Year

The recent and very unexpected failure of Borders has, of course, left its mark on Fenriswulf's current production schedule. Gone (but not forgotten) is the ashcan project - small freebie (or low-priced) paperback samples of our catalogue to date, designed to sit by tills in similar locations in-store. Once we find another bricks-and-mortar outlet for books again, this project will return. (It is in fact complete, and good to go straight to the printers - but as with all print-on-demand, I will get them printed when there is actually some possibility of demand...)

Mr. Chaz has been happily busy with drawing and illustration commissions since the Spring of this year which is why not much has been happening on the new books front, and this looks likely to continue well into next year too. Fenriswulf in general is not so much on the backburner, but rather branching out. There's a possibility of new personnel appearing on the scene before too long also, so watch this space.

A new comic strip, originally conceived as a traditional 3-panel webcomic, is also due to make an appearance somewhere in the very near future. A couple of publishing collaborations may also be on the cards in the New Year, but with nothing definite as yet, we can't say too much at this juncture. More info, of course, will be revealed as and when we have it, however, with Fenriswulf becoming at least as art-oriented now as book-oriented, we're in the process of considering some projects based on visual art - such as those listed in the experimental Cafe Press store - for example, a series of T-shirts, greetings cards, or calendars (which is looking like the most likely option so far).

In the meantime, have a good holiday and we'll see you all in the New Year for what we hope to be a busy and productive 2010.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Bad Day at Borders

Wednesday night: I had the rather unpleasant task of stopping off at Dundee's Borders store for the final time. I'd heard that they were closing down very soon and were selling off stock, so had decided to reclaim all of FB's remaining in-store copies before they vanished completely off the face of the planet. The huge "Closing Down! 50% Off!" banners had attracted browsers like vultures to a dying buffalo - I have never, in the past year and a half of regular visits to the store, seen it even so remotely busy.

After I'd navigated the knots of bargain-guzzlers, I asked the staff ( pleasant and polite as always, despite the circumstances ) if I could remove my stock. The whole business was over in a few minutes - a cancelled receipt signed, a chat about the general crumminess of the timing of the closure 3 weeks before Christmas, and I left with thanks for their support so far, and an armload of Maranathas and Mandrakes. One or two seemed to have been sold, but I didn't have the heart to hassle the staff to find out for me - I only hoped the buyers were happy with their purchases.

A strangely dispiriting experience, all told. One shouldn't feel sorry for huge global chain stores, who have systematically wiped out the smaller independent and family-run shops - and I don't, really. It's the ordinary people at the sharp end of it all which makes you feel sorry. At the end of it, I have a stack of books that I can split up and redistribute elsewhere, but they're all looking for a new job at the most expensive time of the year, should an unlikely last-minute buyout not occur.

What it does mean for FW is that I should probably get off my proverbial in the New Year and seek some smaller, more varied, stockists for the back catalogue, as well as the forthcoming new titles. We shall just have to wait and see what 2010 brings...

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners

Underground British Metal for Discerning Listeners
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