Kickstarter – changing the game.

So I’ve recently been toying with the idea of running a Kickstarter.

But at the same time I don’t want anything to do with running a Kickstarter.

But I do.

Clearly, I need to spend more time thinking about it. Kickstarter just opened up to Canada, and I want to try it. I do. I just dread some of the business aspects of it. Pricing printing. Pricing the shipping. Okay, that stuff’s not too hard, it really isn’t. I can always rely on Julia to help me. She’s way more organized at that kind of thing than I am. I’ll just hire her to be my business manager. I just need to have a good, solid plan.

I’m encouraged to attempt the Kickstarter because of a few reasons. Right now, no less than three of my buddies are running campaigns that have proven successful.

First up is the mind behind FUBAR, the ever-busy Jeff McComsey, who is running a pretty staggering campaign for a FUBAR spinoff called Mother Russia right now. Jeff was looking for the modest sum of $3500, and is currently sitting at $63,698. Having recently met Jeff for the first time, I can say that it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. He’s been adding extra rewards, and he’s still got 13 days to go. Throw some support his way, there’s some amazing stuff you can pick up.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1607639297/fubar-mother-russia?ref=search

Jeff had these wise words about running a Kickstarter that really hit home with me: “Nobody plans to fail, they just fail to plan.” Fuck, that’s deep.

Next up is my buddy Tyler James, the man who ran the super successful Kickstarter for the Oxymoron book I had a short story in. Tyler is running a new campaign for his superteen action book Epic. Tyler was looking for the very modest sum of $1000, and cleared that in the first day and then some. Tyler has a proven track record for running and fulfilling a Kickstarter, and I’m excited to watch the Epic campaign unfold over the next 24 days. Some great rewards, including retailer rewards. Tyler knows his audience and knows who will carry his books. Tyler explains using Kickstarter as a “pre-order” system. Anyone who’s read my blog posts knows how important pre-ordering independent comics is.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tylerjamescomics/epic-a-superteen-action-comedy?ref=live

Tyler has also written a ton about running and fulfilling a Kickstarter. Check his info out here: http://www.comixtribe.com/2013/08/26/diy-crowdfunding-fulfillment-part-i-what-to-do-before-you-launch/ (this includes links to all of his other columns about Kickstarter.)

Third up is my buddy Fabian Rangel Jr., who just launched a campaign for his one-shot book Boss Snake, which is a spinoff from his Doc Unknown series. Fabian was looking for $2500, and hit and exceeded that goal in the first 24 hours. He’s sitting at $3841 with 28 days to go. Lots of reward options, including t-shirts. I picked the print copy of Boss Snake and the print copy of the Doc Unknown trade.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2005492660/boss-snake-cold-blood-cold-streets-noir-one-shot?ref=live

These are all worthy projects by guys who are passionate about comic books. And by guys who understand that crowd-funding is the wave of the future when it comes to independent comics. You don’t have to have a publisher behind you. You don’t even need a distribution chain, if you’re willing to put in the work. And those three guys aren’t even the tip of the iceberg when you’re talking comic books and Kickstarters. There’s tons of great projects there. There are also a lot of, well, not so good ones. You need to have a solid product before you ask people to donate money.

It is something I want to try. I’ve got a few ideas I want to attempt. I keep thinking of new ideas every day. I’ve been very lucky to form good relationships with publishers, so I know that with every new project, I can get eyes on it…but part of me does want to do something on my own, just to say I tried it, you know? My biggest weakness in being in the comic industry is that I’m not good at the business aspect, and that is a HUGE part of the job. I need to get my head around that part, and I think taking the leap and organizing and running and fulfilling a Kickstarter campaign might get me to understand that piece of the puzzle a little more. Either that or scare me off completely.

Today, do yourself a favor and go look at those three campaigns. Honest work by hard-working creators who couldn’t do it without our support. Instead of buying the same comics every month from the big companies, look at the depth and ingenuity coming out of the small press crowd. Don’t throw your money away on books that are going to be read once and thrown into a long box. Give your money to the guys who are bringing the future of comics to you right now.

And maybe one day, it’ll be me running that campaign and asking for your help.

Go listen to “Pythons” by Surfer Blood, and I’ll see you here again in a few days.

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