Category Archives: Somewhat Serious Business

Don’t Miss Out On A Bonus Patreon Sticker!

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This is a friendly reminder that anyone who supports The Annual’s Patreon before August 22nd will get a bonus sticker no matter what level they pledged!

Click here to lend a hand.

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We’re Back and We Need Your Help!

At long last The Annual is back from their three week hiatus. We may have missed the chance to cover events where comedy was most needed: The RNC, The DNC, and the release of Suicide Squad but our stone cold pack of weirdos are back for good… But there’s a catch!

Over the past three weeks we have been hard at work developing a new program that we lovingly call “Writer Compensation” and we need your help to make it a reality!  Starting today we launch our Annual Patreon. So if you’ve ever found yourself laughing or merely chuckling at the content on our site, we sincerely hope you’ll lend a hand.

We’ve got some great rewards lined up and if you pledge before August 22nd, we’ll throw in a free sticker at any level of support. So head over to Patreon.com/TheAnnual so we finally get our writers something nice.

Kevin Cole
Founder/Editor-In-Chief 

Editor’s Note

Hey folks,

Posts may be a little sporadic over the next two weeks. Things at The Annual have ranged from a 1-4 person job and lately it’s been fallen mostly on me. I need to take a little time to hone in on some side projects that need definite tending before the summer’s over and some projects that will eventually be produced under The Annual. To give these projects the attention they deserve, we won’t be posting much over the next two weeks, returning to our regular schedule on August 1st!

“But Kevin, what about the RNC/DNC?” Listen, I feel you, there couldn’t be a more important time for comedians to call attention to Melania Trump. We’ll likely chime in from time to time, but I can’t guarantee daily posts, at least not anything written by me. That said, if the spirit moves you and you feel compelled to write something and perhaps become a contributor to this fair humor-magazine-turned-website, send your material to Mailbag@TheAnnualOnline.com with the word SUBMISSION somewhere in the subject line and we’ll get back to you with all the info you need.

Thanks for putting up with us,
Kevin Cole
Editor-In-Chief

–UPDATE–

We will be extending the hiatus for one extra week, seems that some of the things planned for this time off are taking longer than expected, we will return on August 8th.

Crowdfunded Comedy: Reviving Print Humor with The American Bystander

The Annual wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for crowdfunding, so we aim to boost up other comedic projects whenever possible.

 The American Bystander is a new humor magazine that came to publication following a successful Kickstarter campaign last November. They’re just about finished with the second issue and need your help to bring it to print. Last week we spoke to Michael Gerber, a founder and publisher of The American Bystander.

In your publisher’s letter from Issue 1 of The American Bystander you wrote “It isn’t even really a magazine. This is willfully re-launching the Titanic, knowing full well it will sink…” Do you still feel this way going into issue two?

Well, it’s funny because people have asked about that. I was partly trying to play against type because those letters are like the statement of principles in Citizen Kane. A guy sits down and scrawls the way that they’re going to change the world, and I really felt like that was not the right mindset to be going into this with. The first thing that you should know about me is that I’ve been trying to do a magazine like this since I was 22 years old and I’m 46 now. I’ve seen them come and go and I know a lot about how The [National] Lampoon worked.

Maybe five years ago, I heard from a friend of a friend that Rob Hoffman, one of the three people who founded The National Lampoon, was very ill and was probably going to die. So I called him up out of the blue, he didn’t know me from anybody, and I called him up and said “Mr. Hoffman, I just want to thank you because nobody knows that you were the person who put together the money, put together the deal, worked with Matty [Simmons] to get it all set up so Henry [Beard] and Doug [Kenney] could do their work. Nobody knows how important you were” The difference between The Lampoon and every other humor magazine before and since has been someone like Rob Hoffman at the front.

I’m no Rob Hoffman but I guess I wanted to say in that letter that we want this to turn into whatever our readers want it to turn into. If that means that it’s a grand success and has a lot of money to spend and heralds in a new golden age of this material, great! If it turns out to be just one issue or two issues, that’s okay, too. Because we’re really just following what the audience seems to want.

Issue #1 of The American Bystander
Issue #1 of The American Bystander

The typical way that people do this is they come up with a business plan and a way of repeating what the Lampoon guys did, which is pump it up into something huge and sell out after five years or whatever, and walk away never having to work again. That’s a very contemporary way of looking at things; “I’m going to start a humor magazine so I can get rich.” That’s not how Punch was started; that’s not how Mad Magazine was started. For anything that lasts over a decade you have to have a different kind of attitude. So I was poking fun at that vain, glorious situation. But I was also trying to check myself to sort of say “the point of this isn’t in five years to have The American Bystander’s version of Animal House. The point is to follow our staffers and say what do you want to do? What’s interesting and challenging? What does the world need? Not what can we sell for a big pay day.” We know what that is and we know it’s what already exists out there. It’s the lowest common-denominator stuff. By saying that, I want to say to us on a managing side and to the contributors: Look, we don’t expect to walk away millionaires from this. We expect to make beautiful stuff and that’s what we expect from you. And that’s what we expect from our readers too. We want them to enjoy it on that level, not be perceived as something we’re selling to advertisers. Their attention and their eyeballs. That’s very different than a corporate magazine or a corporate website, and I want to start out with that idea.

Continue reading Crowdfunded Comedy: Reviving Print Humor with The American Bystander

Crowdfunded Comedy: Krimby Tales

From its inception, The Annual was meant to be a place that could foster new ideas and content from its contributors. Over the past few months Lydia Hadfield has consistently been suppling new material for the site and characters for The Last Hurrah. She went above and beyond this past holiday season when apropos of nothing, she wrote a short christmas play to be read on The Last Hurrah. It was aptly titled “A Christmas Play.”

Over the past two months, we have been working to turn the play into a short film, one which promises to be a 25 minute spectacle turning Christmas into Krimby. We’ll be teaming with Stephen Sues and Annual artist David Luna to animate portions the tales themselves. Familiar faces from The Last Hurrah will join us on screen to bring the story to life but we need your help to make this the best possible Krimby Film ever made!

On Sunday night (in lieu of The Last Hurrah) we began production on Krimby Tales, occupying the Curious Iguana (an independent bookstore in Frederick) to shoot the film’s first scene.

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We’re actively working to bring this tale to life but the bulk of the film will eventually be animated and that’s where we need your help! Give the project a look on Kickstarter and please consider making a donation to the cause. There are plenty of Krimby Awards for your perusal.

Click Here to Support Krimby Tales!