Robot 6

Marc Silvestri has a new approach to Kickstarter

Top Cow honcho Marc Silvestri gets what a lot of other publishing folks don’t:

The problem is that once the “genie of convenience” is out of the bottle, not all the lamp-rubbing in the world is gonna get him back in. I pay for all my music, but I’m fully aware that millions don’t, and I’m not going to fool myself into thinking that’s going to change. What it comes down to is that people spend a lot of energy fighting city hall when what really needs to be done is to simply make city hall work for you. The Internet is always going to be a numbers game about eyeballs and piracy versus the increased number of said eyeballs. This is especially true when it comes to entertainment.

So when Silvestri planned the relaunch of the classic 1990s comic Cyber Force, he decided to use Kickstarter to fund it—and then give it away for free, in both print and digital forms. “Even the guys filming our interviews for the Kickstarter campaign were taken by surprise when we got to the free part,” Silvestri told Geoff Boucher of the LA Times Hero Complex blog. Silvestri will write the five-issue miniseries, which will be illustrated by Koi Pham. The project isn’t up on Kickstarter yet, but the comics must be well under way, as Silvestri plans an October launch.

This will be interesting to watch, because the fundamental question will be whether people will be eager enough to be part of the creation of this comic to shell out money for something that will be given away for free. Will Silvestri appeal to their altruistic instincts, or will he offer premiums that non-pledgers can’t get? And will there be a collected edition that folks will be expected to pay for in the near future?That seems to be the way the industry is going, but as Silvestri seems to be determined to not just think outside the box but kick the box to the curb and flatten it, it’s hard to say which way this will go.

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Comments

11 Comments

Interesting idea. I’m not even slightly interested in the comic, but I might send money their way, because I am all for free stuff.

Oh man. I would like to support this, but the fact that it’s a revival of a title I have no familiarity with rather than something original and self-contained is holding me back for sure. It is an interesting approach to KickStarter, but it can’t really become the norm, at least if it did, that would put some creators in a tough position. He could have done a ‘pay what you want’ thing as an extension of the KickStarter afterwards, but it’ll be cool to see how this plays out.

@Dave
Maybe that’s what Silvestri figured out about the general consumer populace: NOBODY wants to pay for something, they always want it for free.

I am always very much in favor of distribution and monetization systems that get people their media in new and innovative ways, embracing technology and a culture that I sincerely believe doesn’t mind paying for stuff as long as they’re not bound to antiquated pricing structures that don’t suit their needs and wants as consumers. I will contribute to this project on principle alone. Id love to see more stuff like this, from any and all indie publishers. New ideas!

Acer – Is it “free” in the strictest sense of the word if people are willing to voluntarily “send money their way”? I think this is just an experiment if there’s a better way to fund comics.

Correction: “… an experiment to see if there’s a better way…”

If it was 1993 and this book was titled Uncanny X-Men, I’d be excited

Piracy isn’t city hall. It’s the mob.

@Michael
Crime syndicate mob or angry mob?

Clint Hilinski

July 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I was a big fan of Cyberforce back in the day and I really like Koi Pham’s art, so I’ll be checking it out. While your waiting for their kickstarter page to be up, I invite everyone to check out mine. (shameless plug)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1896786551/pirate-queen-of-the-star-raider?ref=category

It bugs me a little bit when established guys use Kickstarter only because I think it’s a step toward really established huge guys using kickstarter and taking stuff from small indie guys using it to establish themselves. But I still might check it out. Cyberforce and Wildcats were my favs of the original Image books.

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