I’ll admit, physically Dawn and I have been feeling cruddy for the last few days. It’s like we’re getting the “con crud” ahead of the convention this time instead of after it. Still, I can reach over now and hold in my hands the 200-page published trade paperback collection of our comic book. I can do a search for Zombie Ranch on Amazon.com and bam! There we are. This weekend as we sit down behind our table at the seventh annual Long Beach Comic Con, we’re going to have the books for sale to Ye Publick for the first time.

That’s all kind of amazing to think about. Sometimes we joke about how the comic is our “child”, and if I ran with our comparison we could think of our debut online and at the 1st LBCC in 2009 as the occasion of its birth.

This, then, would be like seeing that kid graduate college. I mean, if our kid were graduating college at Age 6, which is one of the ways the metaphor falls apart. The sense of pride (and time and money and effort spent) is undeniable, though, even if it’s not really comparable. I really feel like we’ve reached a positive milestone, and that’s a great feeling to have.

Of course, as many college graduates find out, graduation doesn’t guarantee victory in life. Even as we reach further, Dawn and I try to be very careful with our expectations and not get too heady with any idea of success. I expect that this weekend’s debut of the trade will sell maybe 5 copies at most to people we don’t know. I am ready and willing to be proven wrong, but if we sell absolutely none at all beyond fulfilling Kickstarter backers and friends who missed out on the Kickstarter for whatever reason, I am prepared for that. Pride in achievement is a very subjective thing, and if I wanted to get back to the parent thing, well, mom is far more likely to pin their kindergartner’s first drawing to the family fridge than The New Yorker is to feature it in their magazine. Unless maybe mom runs The New Yorker. Mine, while a lovely and very capable woman, does not. On the other hand, I still like to think this product came together well enough that I can unashamedly ask thirty dollars for it.

It’s entirely possible that not too many people out there will agree, which is understandable, especially if they don’t know us or our work. But for now I want the “kid” to know that its parents, at least, are proud and glad to know it’s here.