It’s been eight days and I’m still waiting to hear from Lulu.
Only now I’m not waiting to hear from a Content Evaluation Specialist. I’m waiting to hear from “Executives.”
“When should I expect their call?” I asked my Customer Service Representative, who had given me the good news.
“Yesterday,” he said. “Any day now. Monday.”
I thought, Usually, with publishers, you hear, “I loved your book, but…” Here, I’d heard, “…but…”
It’s Monday, and soon, in Indiana, Lulu will be breaking for lunch.
But “The Schiz” is cooking.
True, the family-owned printing company did consider the sample chapter I’d sent “not suitable” and withdrew its bid. But that meant we could unleash the advertising campaign Milo had proposed. “Too Hot For Aberdeen, South Dakota!” And one contender had already said it was unconcerned about the content, and one had said the prose would not be a problem, though it was concerned about genitalia in the illustrations. (I was concerned if I should mention this to the cartoonists and have it enflame them.)
But we have filled our last remaining slot and sent out chapter assignments. (Responses have ranged form “Cool!” to “I can work with this.” to silence — and one reply rough sketch!) Milo landed five of the seven cartoonists he asked, plus the cover artist he desired. I went 14 for 19. (We were also shut out by several neither of us had a personal connection to but had taken a flyer on.) A few explained they were too busy; more ignored us; and Robert Crumb sent a lengthy, blistering, hilarious response calling me a “skinflint” when he read what I was offering. Given that, I was touched by those who considered it an “honor” to have been asked to contribute — and most picqued by the refusal of the cartoonist who had previously solicited me to do things to promote him.
Our contributors span seventy years of comic history, and everyone in the know, who’s heard our line-up, is as stoked as we are.