Go, look, enjoy, &c.
I’m not ashamed that I’m trying to jump on the blog-to-book bandwagon – I’d love a piece of that Belle de Jour / Stuff White People Like / Shit My Dad Says pie, and I reckon Monkey Punch Dinosaur: The Book of the Blog has got exactly the high-concept one-joke chops required to rub shoulders with the above. I just need to find the right publisher to take a punt.
I’m always heartened when I get a reasoned-out explanation of why someone is passing on one of my manuscripts. The fact that Diana from Murdoch took the time to reply to my proposal with a five-paragraph email that described her thoughts on why she wasn’t going to take it on, but which still described the proposed book as “rather wonderful”, gave a little lift to my week and my hopes for getting this thing published eventually, not to mention my self-confidence as a writer-slash-creative person.
(Counting the knock-back I got from Allen & Unwin last year, that’s two no-thankses so far for MPD: TBOTB. Which is nothing to get all choked up about, really. (Two rejections? Hah! I’ll take two and run a mile!))
I mean, sure, they don’t want it, but she didn’t say that the idea was terrible. At the very least the idea merited a human response and not a form letter. That’s more than reason enough to keep on trying to get this thing published.
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Back in June 2006 I started a dumb little one-joke blog called Monkey Punch Dinosaur. I had been inspired by having seen Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong on a flight back from Thailand a month earlier.
It’s a dreadful film – the epitome of the kind of film that doesn’t need to be made because it adds nothing at all to its source or inspiration (and indeed sometimes cheapens that source/inspiration by virtue of its very existence) – but there’s a glorious sequence somewhere in the middle there where, instead of King Kong fighting a Tyrannosaurus Rex as he does in the original, Mr. Jackson decreed that Kong should fight THREE T-Rexes, and not just for the five minutes that the skirmish took in the original – it should be a 20-minute special effects extravafreakinganza of state-of-the-art computer animated monkey v. dino mayhem.
Dear Mr. Snyder,
Bob from the Steve Ditko Comics Weblog passed your email address to me. I’m writing to you with a question for Mr. Steve Ditko about a possible artist’s commission.
I run a gag website called Monkey Punch Dinosaur (http://monkeypunchdinosaur.blogspot.com), which is simply that: lots of pictures of monkeys punching dinosaurs. It’s been going since 2006 or thereabouts, and my ultimate aim is to publish 100 of these pictures by different artists, and then retire the blog. I have, at this time, received 99 submissions, and would like to do something special for the 100th picture.
Do you think Mr. Ditko would be interested in contributing a picture of a monkey punching a dinosaur to my blog?
I am a huge fan – as many are – of Mr. Ditko’s body of work, and when it came time to think about who to approach to draw the 100th monkeypunch, Mr. Ditko was the top of my “shoot for the moon” list of possible illustrators.
The site is a nonprofit venture, although I am considering approaching some Australian publishers (I am based in Australia) about a print collection of the pictures, with proceeds from sales going to charity (it seems to me that it’s the simplest way to deal with the royalties question for an anthology volume).
What I would be hoping for from Mr. Ditko, should he be interested in contributing, would be one-time publication rights for the image on the blog. If any print volume is produced in the future from the blog, I would not include his work without obtaining express permission to do so.
Copyright for the image would remain with Mr. Ditko.
Given the nonprofit nature of this blog, I am unable to offer any payment for this illustration, but if Mr. Ditko is interested in this commission and is reluctant to contribute solely because of financial concerns, I would be happy to consider a proposed payment amount. I can’t guarantee that I will be able to afford Mr. Ditko’s rates, but I would be prepared to accept a quote in the first instance.
Thanks for taking the time to read this email. I appreciate it and look forward to your reply.
Dear Dan,Thanks for the offer but Ditko is busy with his own work and not available for other projects.Best,Robin