Putting a simian in the rocket’s pilot-seat at EasterCon was both whim and gamble, lunacy born from Bart’s breakdown. Fearing a rerun of Curious George, I sat myself in the co-pilot’s chair… we had a blast at the Con – and then had to dodge the incoming missiles on the flight home.
The first salvo: ‘How much money will it make?’ Accounts don’t want long-term Brand visibility; they want pound coins. Sod idealism, how many woman-hours equal how much cold cash? If that’s your criteria for judging the project, then the MonQee didn’t raise as much as I’d hoped.
The second salvo: solid traditionalism. Flyers have design costs and print runs; you can measure the return of ‘money-off’ vouchers or count up new victims on your email list. Solid, easy-to-comprehend numbers calculating investment versus effectiveness; why take a chance on something wacky when we can do stuff with a reliable return?
The MonQee was wacky – but how good were his piloting skills?
At the Con, he was a magnet. His arrival on the Forbidden Planet Vinylsplatter website rippled out through the Art Toy world generating links and interest from here to New York to Singapore. Raymond Choi at Toy2R got behind the project personally – as did the Urban Vinyl guru himself, Toysrevil, and many of my Twitter friends – thank you to @linksmonkey, @Herne, @digitalmaverick, @loudmouthman, @deCabbit, @lproven, and @Loaf.
He crept out through LiveJournal, springing at me from fandom’s random blogs. He turned up in the Discworld newsletter and in the Orbital post-Con write-up. He was tracked, listed and reposted by over a dozen aggregator sites. And the authors and artists I’d shamelessly shanghaied were there for him as well –throwing their own blog support behind his success.
Watching the MonQee’s viral spread has been an exercise in astonishment. Some of science fiction’s leading lights now remember me because of him – (did I have to be MonQee girl?) – and he’s proclaimed both FP and the Alzheimer’s Research Trust wherever he’s seen been.
The MonQee, it seems, is a good enough pilot to land the rocket safely. I genuinely wish he’d raised a little more for the Trust – but I feel his ROI is off the scale. Should I ever be crazy enough to attempt this again, I’ll know what to change.
A final word – after his adventures, he was actually bought by someone who’d been at EasterCon and had watched him change from virgin whiteness to the character he became. My friend Zoe is his guardian now; she’ll be carrying him to more Cons and more fan-gatherings, continuing to get him signed – and continuing to tell his story.
Which benefits the Trust in its own simian way.