Something pretty cool happened to me the other day. I walked into the local Barnes & Noble, taking the usual route. First to the magazine stand to scan the business periodicals and check for any new Mac magazines. Then I peruse the art and design publications or some creative inspiration before heading through the humor section and over to the business section. On my way past the bloated backlog of Garfield books, I saw something very interesting. Out of the corner or my eye, I noticed the likenesses of two characters; the ones I’ve made a habit of drawing every day for the last two-plus years. A double take revealed a stack of ten Kim & Jason Annuals, laid out face up on a table filled with humor books. It was right next to a pile of Calvin & Hobbes books. If the smile in my face was as big as the one in my heart, I probably looked like a big dork. The rewarding thing about that moment was that I knew how those books got there, and it wasn’t because I begged and bribed the store buyer. Earlier this year, we signed a deal with a book distributor, who is in charge of trying to sell our Annuals to stores all over the country. Apparently they’re doing their job. The ironic thing about that moment was that we had to ship the books from our printer here in Madison to the distributor’s warehouse in Pennsylvania in order for them to then ship them back here to sit on the shelves of Barnes & Noble. That almost inspired me to drive to San Francisco to buy a bagel that I’ll eat back here in Madison. The most hopeful thing about everything is that since that warm fuzzy moment, we’ve received confirmation that our books are also selling in Barnes & Noble bookstores in states like New York, California, Arizona, Vermont, and Alaska. Things continue to move in a positive direction, which is the continual selling point that keeps me pushing forward on this crazy dream. Because everybody knows that the surest sign of hitting the big time is getting your book onto the shelves of a bookstore in Alaska.
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Congratulations, Jason! That must have been such an exciting moment. Sometimes I feel like I have a precious secret in reading Kim & Jason. When I see that stack in Barnes & Nobles, I can appreciate what others are missing. Now I wouldn’t drive to San Fran for a bagel, I would drive to New York City for a slice of pizza that I’d eat here…