We were never going to publish a thing, I swear. This was going to be an all-online venture, and never once would involve putting ink to paper.
And then, Rob Ullman came along a couple years ago.
Our staff artist's weekly Cartoon Canon has been among our most beloved features by readers, taking us through time to iconic -- or just eclectic -- moments in Pittsburgh sports history, as only Rob can render them. Every Tuesday morning, it's been a joy for me, especially as a lifelong comic book collector, to see what he's got next.
So, we thought, let's do some serious collecting ...
We're proud to announce here the publication of our first-ever book, "Cartoon Canon: An Illustrated History of Pittsburgh Sports,' a beautiful coffee-table-style assembly of 52 of his finest pieces that will be sold in conjunction with our annual holiday gift subscriptions. Meaning that's the only way they'll be available.
Here are the three ways to get one:
• One-year gift subscription: Same price as always, $39.99, and you get a softcover version of the book. Shipping is free.
• Three-year gift subscription: Same price as always, $87, and you also get a deluxe hardcover version of the book personally signed by Ullman. Shipping is free.
• Ultimate gift subscription: This one is nuts. It'll be $225, and the recipient gets a five-year subscription, the deluxe hardcover version of the book personally signed by Ullman, a separate autographed bookplate of an Ullman sketch of Pittsburgh's all-time greatest athletes, plus one of those foam Lunatic Bricks (yes, we still have 'em), plus a high-quality DK Pittsburgh Sports hoodie in your size of choice. Even here, shipping is free.
As I write every year, the holiday season is enormous for this little business. It accounts for roughly 40 percent of all new subscription sales. So the push here is very real, and we're proud to be able to partner toward that goal with Ullman, who's always been so passionate about what we do.
Oh, and these are on sale effective immediately!
PUSH FOR 500 VETERANS COMPLETE!
Inspired by one reader's recent contribution of 100 annual subscriptions to our Veterans Fund, we wound up getting another of 50, another of 100, then finally one of 61 -- among many, many others, all appreciated equally -- to achieve our goal of 500 by Veterans Day!
That latter one for 61 came yesterday, as one reader asked, plain and simple, how many were still needed and sealed the deal.
And get this: Not one person who contributed asked to have his or her name credited publicly.
Thank you! To those contributors and to everyone else along the way! Whether it was one or a handful or 100, they all counted and, most important, they'll all be distributed to matching veteran requests ... once we get there. Funny thing is, your generosity actually outpaced the requests, as we've still got 157 to give out, but we're working to get the word out for the rest and will keep you updated on that front.
One more time: Thank you! -- DK
LET'S MEET ... IN JACKSONVILLE!
We're having a PNC Main Street Meetup next weekend in Jacksonville, on the eve of the Steelers' game there: It'll be Saturday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. inside the Starbucks in Orange Park, Fla., specifically at 1963 Park Ave.
Dale Lolley, Matt Sunday and I will all attend, and I've already heard from a handful of you eager to get together. Should be a good one.
• Being completely candid, we're as disappointed as our readers in the lateness of the project to alter our new login/alert system, and we're meeting Monday afternoon with Build In Motion to find out what can be done to complete this. This was supposed to take one month, and it's taken three. We don't yet have all the answers as to why but, when we do, we'll pass them onto you right away. -- DK
• Couple small changes: We've added a full menu listing for Robert Morris basketball on the desktop version of the site. ... Bob Maddamma, one of our editors, now has a bio up there, too. ... There's now a permanent row on the home page to collect Taylor Haase's Penguins minor-league coverage, with an aim of doing likewise next year for the Pirates' system. — DK
• Can't stress this enough, but use the app. It's where we put almost all of our tech resources, it's got the best version of our Live Feed, and it's free:
SEEKING BUSINESS PARTNERS
Currently available for sponsorships: (Some) Steelers, (some) Penguins, Pitt, Duquesne, Penn State, West Virginia, Carter's Classroom, Friday Insider, Stats 'N' At, Wilkes-Barre Watch and Wheeling Watch. This is our updated media kit for much more detail. If you're interested in connecting with our large, passionate following, email me at Dali@DKPittsburghSports.com. -- Dali Kovacevic
BACK TO BUSINESS
• Subscriptions are at 37,514. That's plus-19 over the past week.
• We had 504,450 page views over the past week. Our most-hit article -- exempting live files -- was Dale's coverage of Le'Veon Bell tweeting that he was leaving Miami at 8,798. The Steelers accounted for 87,482 of our page views, the Penguins 68,791, the Pirates 34,260, Pitt 18,231, Penn State 4,083, West Virginia 1,721, and all the rest were below 4,000.
• We're at 29,211 (-17) page likes on Facebook, we're at 29,020 (+31) followers on Twitter, and we're at 9,018 (+4) followers on Instagram. These figures are just for our official company account on each platform, not for us as individuals.
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