Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kickstarting Comics

I am continually intrigued with Kickstarter, that site where people post details about an upcoming project (comic, movie, book, etc...) and implore strangers to contribute to the costs of the project in return for some a perk (your name in the credits, original artwork, ect...)

It sounds almost too good to be true. If you make your goal, you get your money. So, after months of begging your facebook friends to contribute, if you asked for $5000, and you end up with $8000, you're golden. Like the project by Travis Hanson who is working on a graphic novel called Travis the Bean which looks like the sort of thing I would really enjoy:

The flipside is if you don't meet your goal, the people who pledge don't get billed and you end up getting nothing. For contributors, it's sort of a no lose situation and I've contributed to quite a few projects myself. Still, there are plenty of projects that don't meet their goal. Like this one Pierre sent me via email. This guy was was trying to get a set of Bronze Age homage called Magnet Comics funded.

He was asking for about $20K and only got $637 (which because it was short, means he didn't get anything.)

I think the key is to set a low goal, but then if your goal is too low, how do you publish the project?
Anyone out there have any personal experience with Kickstarter? Either as a creator or a contributor?

Also, I'm not really interested in making paper comics or graphic novels, so I wonder if people contribute to digital comic projects? I'll have to search the site some more and see if I can't get some meaningful statistics.

- Jim


Trey said...

I contributed some money for the Mystery Men! superhero RPG by John Stater, and I've pledged for this neo-serial pulp indie film Curse of the Phantom Shadow.

Jay said...

I've backed several projects including games (both video and pen & paper), comics, films, and toy projects. The first one I backed happens to be a favorite of mine called Johnny Recon which was to help fund a second issue to a local writer/artist team. I think it was a reasonable amount they were asking for.

I know them personally now, and my understanding is that Kickstarter gives you the platform but the promotion is all on your end.

They more or less require you shoot a video to give an overview of the project--which I think is where 80%+ of the excitement for the project is generated.

MattComix said...

I think print cost might explain where the Magnet Comics guy was getting is high number from. That and probably factoring advertising in Previews which by itself would require a pint of blood and your first born child. For issue 2 you have to let them have sex with your wife. That's not even for a full page ad! :P

I would say that in this day and age if you are a start-up comicbook company print makes no sense. I'm not even saying exclude the idea of doing a print edition entirely, but it's just not practical anymore when you're trying to get off the ground. Hell it was barely practical in the 90's.

Besides, why wrestle DC and Marvel for shelf space when you can have the floor all to yourself with no barriers between you, the work, and your potential audience?

It will stand or fall on it's own merits rather than be stillborn because it was underfunded or that a company didn't understand it or believe in it.

Caine said...

Thanks, I think I may contribute to that movie. :)

I think some of the elements needed in getting a digital comic funded is extra content.

THIS much gets you the comic in five or six formats. That much gets you the same plus the digital sketch book.

Then THIS much gets all of that plus three desk tops and a digital pin up.

Then these big amounts here (huge amounts) include printed versions like from create space and the fee is all ready plugged in.

Like that.


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