Last weekend I headed to Kingston, Ontario—the halfway point between Montreal, where I live, and Toronto, where Code 45 designer Angela Hodge and artist Joe Ng reside—to meet up with my co-creators for the first time in nearly six months.
The occasion was to mark the printing of our final Code 45 Kickstarter, a stressful process that included our longtime printer doubling its rates the day after we sent them the digital proofs for the graphic novel edition of the book as well as the final two issues. This required us to scramble for a replacement, and since printing is a little like the Wild West right now due to paper shortages across the globe, we ran through a number of eye-watering price quotes before finding company that was both reasonable and able to hit our deadlines. That latter part was particularly important, since small-run books like ours (under 5,000 copies) aren’t exactly a priority for most major printing outfits.
Once in Kingston, Angela, Joe, and I signed a bunch of Code 45 copies, and I picked up the remainder of the Kickstarter books from them (as our printer was based in Toronto). I also handed off the Scout copies of Issue #1, including the cool webstore exclusive cover drawn and colored by Code 45 colorist Josh Perez.
It was also a great chance to hang out and celebrate the end of our long Kickstarter ride. The four of us (Josh included) were under a lot of pressure to finish Code 45, which ended up several months late compared to our initial estimates. The pandemic played a large role in pushing everything forward in terms of timeline, and as I’ve written in several blog posts here about what it’s been like to produce a comic book under those circumstances, this project has often been extremely stressful.
At the same time, I’m proud that we were able to create something beautiful, and meaningful to us, during one of the worst periods in modern history. To be able to tell a story like this with your friends is an incredible privilege I certainly do not take for granted.
The next step for me is to pack up hundreds of copies of Code 45 and ship them out to our incredibly patient supporters. That’s what I’ve been focused on for the past week, and I’ve managed to get just over half of our packages out the door. I’m very curious to hear what people think of how we wrapped up the story, and happy that it now lives in the world for others to approach, interpret, and enjoy in entirely new contexts.