Happy Cinqo De Mayo, mis amigos!All of us here on ULYSSES “SEEN” are pretty sensitive to important calendar dates. Maybe it comes from keeping pace with Bloomsday (just 42days away!) and the yearly reminder it carries that this is an important novel to read (and read again). Maybe we feel this way because Joyce himself was such a stickler for the importance of dates and rather famously had the first copy of the novel delivered to him on his birthday. Stories like that are laced throughout the man’s life and in his works and serve, to me at least, as a good example of how chance and the universe often conspire to tell us things. Omens and portents and the like are something we’ve been inclined to take pretty seriously with this project.
May 1st is a kind of birthday for us on ULYSSES “SEEN”. While Josh and Mike and I were playing around with using digital comics to adapt Joyce’s novel in 2007, it’s in May of 2009 that our company, Throwaway Horse launched the website your using now. Well in advance of the iPad’s release we were looking forward to a way to get a community of the novel’s fans into a forum that makes sense for first time readers and help generate the kind of interaction that I need as an artist for drawing the adaptation. I think we’ve built a strong learning tool here with just these two chapters and look very forward to seeing how we can bring new and more experienced fans into the deeper mysteries of the novel.The launch of our iPad app in 2010 brought renewed attention to old battles for artistic freedom that Joyce’s novel waged in the past and still, 90 years later, seem go on today. Quite a lot of new readers found their way into the novel in these past two years of the iPad app and we’re certainly proud of that.
Quite a few of you subscribers to the site also supported us in a successful kickstarter fundraising drive at the end of 2010. This allowed us to keep the lights burning in the studio throughout last year and complete second chapter for release on both the web and iPad. As a small start-up company working on a very, very big project I can’t express to you enough how important that support was at a crucial time last year.
Now, with another BloomsDay fast approaching, its time to start planning for the future material and income needed to keep us going. While our first two chapters will remain open here on the website the ULYSSES “SEEN”iPad app will no longer be free. Beginning next week will be charging $7.99 for the app. We think that’s a pretty reasonable price for 123 pages of comics, as many pages of notes and the interactive discussion forums people have on their iPads through our app. As the first direct revenue stream we’ve set up for ULYSSES “SEEN” this income will go a long way towards funding the next 16 chapters as well as new interactive features we’ve got planned along the way.
To any of you who have already downloaded the app this change in price won’t have any effect on the content or updates you’ll be receiving. For those of you haven’t downloaded it yet, or have friends who’ve not, we’d like to encourage you to get the app this week while it’s still free. Maybe not the strongest business strategy on our end, but we’d like to give our supporters, subscribers and friends here on the website the chance to stay ahead of the crowd.
Right now, just 42 days from BloomsDay, we’ve got a lot more news and lot more fresh pages of the comic ready to come your way. But for today, Cinqo De Mayo, we suggest you trade in your pint of Guinness for a couple of Coronas and kickback in the sunshine while downloading the free ULYSSES “SEEN” app. There’s a lot more still to come…