As we stated last week, we are well aware many people have questions given our silence up until now. We will answer many of these questions with new information on June 1 in a release, but some questions being posed we want to go ahead and answer now to get them out of the way. So, let’s dive in, in no particular order:
Q: Are you really searching for a new CEO? If so, how is that going?
A: Yes. In fact, we have identified a couple highly-qualified candidates. To clarify what we are looking for, we feel we need a CEO who has experience and proven success in the worlds of finance, the entertainment industry, and especially understands the intricacies needed for the running of a publicly traded company. This is a tall order, and of course has taken time.
Q: Is the board still involved?
A: Yes. We have had no change in our board members.
Q: What happened to ZwagBox
A: ZwagBox is currently on hold for the next few months while we get things sorted. We cannot yet go into details on exactly what happened, but we will in the future. Suffice it to say, the vast majority of customers were refunded and/or initiated chargebacks which we did not dispute and actually encourage. Due to a major issue we had with our previous provider, data on everyone has not been readily available to us, which has slowed down any process on that. Once everything has been cleared up, we will relaunch with a campaign that we feel will please everyone. It is very much a part of our distribution platform plans for Absolute Comics Group.
Q: What happened to the Markiplier Comic?
A: It is completed and will be a part of the relaunch of ZwagBox and the launch of Absolute Comics Group.
Q: Why are you wasting money on so many PRs right now?
A: First off, we are being cash conscious and not paying for PRs but using PR.com, which simply requires us to submit two days in advance. The main reason we are doing PRs, is because we have news and are moving forward.
Q: Why are you spending money on conventions?
A: Other than SDCC, we do not spend money on conventions typically… we are usually guests at these events. With us now entering the comic publishing arena full steam, these events will become a vital and important component for reaching both our audience, and new creators.
Q: What is going on with your filing status?
A: We are working with a new audit firm and derivative accounting firm now and expect to be caught up shortly.
Q: Any update on convertible debt?
A: There is no new convertible debt and hasn’t been in a year and a half. There are only a few remaining with most of them for only small amounts.
Q: What is the Northbridge suit and what does it mean?
A: This is a 3a10 and is part of the restructuring plans we have. This is removing debt and most importantly, helping us to get current. The way a 3a10 works is through structured payments to owed vendors that can take up to a year to disburse. Shares are only issued based upon then current prices at a discount to market when the disbursements are sent.
Q: How are we to believe you are launching Absolute Comics Group comics?
A: Easily. We have six months to a year or more worth of material for many of our titles in a ready-to-print status. This covers both our “creator” and “core” lines for our in-house titles. Further, many of the outside creators have numerous months’ worth of work in a ready-to-print status as well. The key here is in catalog space. The companies that make publishing work to any degree have a “share of voice” within the catalog worth getting attention from the retailers. This is something we have never worked on because our focus was on the Giant-Size line that did not require that type of exposure to work. Shifting our focus means we now need to occupy significant space within the order catalogs – a feat we can manage. Orders from the retailers are in a non-returnable fashion, and as such we simply print to order and do not overstock. Because our costs are low, this makes it profitable and manageable. It moves us forward.
Q: What about distribution?
A: We will not only do the standard comic book distribution, but collected volumes into what are called “graphic novels” or “trade paperbacks” will be sold through stores. These components are already in place. And of course, our digital and online platforms will further monetize the work and increase our overall visibility. Further, we are working on international and translated editions of our work to broaden the scope and profitability. In short, we are going to maximize the profit from each piece of work to the fullest while increasing eyeballs and audience share.
Q: What is this news about hemp paper all about?
A: One of our goals has always been to push the envelope. In a world where our core audience is faced with the value proposition of choosing between buying a video game or 3-4 flimsy comic books due to a $3.99 starting cover price, comics are going to lose more often than not. It is a high barrier to entry, and we see the need to try to lower that barrier by lowering the price point. This would mean lowering the costs for us and the industry as a whole. Printing costs are one of the biggest components to that cost… which is primarily the cost of the paper itself. We currently have our costs incredibly low by printing in China. However, there is a time delay due to shipping that makes it less than ideal. Domestic printing on pulp paper is too costly despite the local convenience. Hemp paper would solve that. It is cheap, infinitely renewable, good for the environment, and more durable. It simply makes sense. Despite common misconceptions it is not in any way marijuana and industrial hemp should be legal. That is a fight worth facing and one we want to be at the vanguard of.
We hope this answers some of the topline questions we are seeing repeated so that we can drill down even further for the June 1 Q&As. To sum up, nothing we have been working on is dead in the slightest. We are working to eliminate debt, be current in our filings and move toward being in the black once again.