What’s the most stupidly ambitious aspect of “XKCD: Volume 0,” the book based on the wildly popular yet still very underground webcomic:
- Is it the assumption that cartoonist Randall Munroe’s uber tech-savvy audience would pay for a hard-copy version of the comic strips it gets for free in a comprehensive online archive?
- Is it that Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Conde Nast’s Reddit, turned his “un-corporation”Breadpig into a publishing company for his friend Munroe’s book, while Munroe, 25, declined several offers from established publishers, despite their persistence? “I kind of make it hard to e-mail me,” Munroe said on the phone from Somerville, Mass.
- Or how about the pledge to build a $32,000 school in Laos from a portion of book sales without the luxury of advertising or having copies on major bookstore shelves?
You’re right if you guessed all — or none — of the above.
“XKCD: Volume 0” is a gamble that’s paying off for Munroe, a former NASA contractor who left to pursue stick-figure cartooning full-time.