kickstarter Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources
How do trolls find true love? How do you a draw a sexy female dwarf with a beard? Those are the kinds of questions artist and long-time fantasy fan Milos Slavkovic has found himself wondering over the past few months. Those idle thoughts have turned into plans for a full-blown graphic novel, and he’s reaching out from his Serbian home for help making it true.
Slavkovic has turned to Kickstarter to raise $10,000 to fund the publication of Enchanted Explorer, a graphic novel taking a sexy look at dating in a fantasy world. The cartoonist says Enchanted Explorer is “by no means an adult comic book,” but rather a satire of the fantasy genre and dating in general.
Kickstarter announced this morning it has surpassed $1 billion in pledges, with half that figure contributed in the past year alone, giving an indication of the crowdfunding website’s growth.
Comics, the 10th-largest category, account for $25.47 million of that; games leads the pack with $215.93 million.
That $1 billion came from about 5.7 million donors in 224 countries and territories on all seven continents. However, the United States is responsible for the majority of pledges, $663 million, followed by the United Kingdom with $54.5 million.
Kickstarter also singled out a handful of donors, beginning with Neil Gaiman, which it labels as the “most influential.”
Other interesting statistics: The day Kickstarter launched, April 28, 2009, 40 people pledged $1,084 to seven projects; Wednesday is the most popular day of the week for pledging; and the biggest single day for pledges was March 13, 2013, when 54,187 backers pledged $4,029,585.45 to 1,985 projects.
Retailing | The manager of Dragon’s Lair Comics & Games in Omaha, Nebraska, estimates 50 to 60 percent of their inventory was ruined by smoke and water after a fire broke out Sunday in the building that’s housed the store’s main location since 1976. Employees have been sorting through tens of thousands of comics to determine what can be salvaged while directing customers to the Dragon’s Lair store in the city’s Millard neighborhood. The hope is to use a store room next to the damaged building to begin offering limited services to customers — pull lists and special orders — as the retailer plans for what comes next. “We have every intention of reopening, here or elsewhere,” manager Craig Patterson said. “More than likely it will be elsewhere. And hopefully bigger and better than before.” [World-Herald]
The publisher teamed in October with the Austin, Texas-based tabletop gaming company to launch IDW Games, with Pandasaurus overseeing design, production and distribution of 30 Days of Night and the aforementioned Kill Shakespeare.
“Pandasaurus has done an excellent job building a catalog of rich, engaging and in-demand board games,” Jerry Bennington, director of IDW Games, said in a statement. “They’re veterans in the industry and we look forward to developing some amazing titles together. This is a partnership that will have an immediate positive impact for both sides and you can be sure you’ll be hearing big things from us soon.”
With 16 days remaining, the Kickstarter campaign for the Kill Shakespeare board game has already surpassed its initial $25,000 goal.
The always-busy writing team of Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray are back with a Kickstarter campaign for Denver, a 72-page original graphic novel for mature readers illustrated by Pier Brito. As with most things involving Palmiotti, there is an interesting angle to this particular project (his sixth Kickstarter) in that the creators have added a soundtrack to the story, written and composed by Hans Karl. Denver comes equipped with a direct story pitch: “… one man going against all odds to get back the woman he loves, all set in the not-too-distant future.” With 15 days left on the campaign, Palmiotti was happy to discuss this latest Kickstarter.
The Fist of Justice is returning to defend Charm City once again in a trade paperback being funded on Kickstarter by Digital Webbing Press.
Created by Mike Imboden and Ed Dukeshire, the Fist of Justice was introduced in the anthology Digital Webbing Presents #24 (November 2004) as a 1970s superhero who made a fatal mistake that ended his career as the city’s defender. But decades later, he reemerges in the present day to face new threats (full disclosure: I worked with Digital Webbing Press).
Digital comics | The Korea Times takes a look at the comics market in that country, where government suppression of comic books in the 1990s (and school-sponsored book burnings even before that) has combined with the current demand for free digital material (in the form of the wildly popular “webtoons”) to create an uncertain environment for cartoonists trying to make a living from their work. “Unlike Japanese manga, which continues to drive a large part of the country’s publishing market and provide a creative influence to movies, music and video games, Korea’s cartoon culture was deprived of its opportunity to thrive,” said Lee Chung-ho, president of the Korea Cartoonist Association. “However, the most difficult process for us will be to find a sustainable business model. Readership has increased dramatically through webtoons, but you have no clear idea on how many of these readers will be willing to pay for content.” [The Korea Times]
After growing to 2 percent the size of the direct market in the last quarter of 2013, the crowdfunding sector of comics stumbled in January, even while the younger Patreon expanded.
Following up on my number-crunching and analysis from last month, I’ve continued tracking the progress of a market within comics that’s only beginning to mature. While there are more than two dozen crowdfunding platforms, Kickstarter and Indiegogo have been the established leaders from the get-go, especially in terms of comics-related campaigns. There is a smattering of comics projects on sites like GoFundMe, but by comparison those could be considered the long tail of this market. A crowdfunding hit has yet to occur on a platform other than Kickstarter or Indiegogo.
That could change with Patreon, however. As our ROBOT 6 contributor Chris Arrant noted last week, Zach Weinersmith of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal was already bringing in $7,500 a month after launching his campaign on Dec. 10. At the time of this writing, that amount is now $7,822.86 each month of comics he produces (minus Patreon’s fees). That;s coming from 2,839 patrons, or supporters. Meredith Gran’s campaign for Octopus Pie, which launched at the beginning of this month, already has more than $750 per month from 235 patrons. Last month, I would’ve included Patreon in the previously mentioned long tail with GoFundMe; however, those two high-profile campaigns are drawing attention to Patreon, so I wanted to see if I could better measure its footprint, and see how it stands up against Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Surprisingly, it turns out that Patreon could eclipse Indiegogo as the No. 2 comics crowdfunding platform.
After chronicling the story of Kill Shakespeare in comics, IDW Publishing wants to let you tell your own with friends in an innovative board game — but the company is looking for some help.
IDW announced this morning that it’s using Kickstarter to fund the Kill Shakespeare board game, the flagship title of its new IDW Games division, in an effort to publish the project as intended. According to IDW, the $25,000 goal will go toward improving “the quality and content” of the game with a series of add-on components and expansions.
Creators | Frannie Jackson talks with a handful of prominent creator couples — Mike Allred and Laura Allred, Kelly Sue DeConnick and Matt Fraction, Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin — about sexism within the comics industry. “I’m occasionally invited to participate in panel discussions about ‘women in comics,’” Coover says. “I’m usually emotionally torn by those invitations, because, yeah, I want women in comics to thrive and be seen as thriving, but I’d much rather be part of a discussion about ‘awesome creators in comics’ that’s stacked with awesome women and men.” [Paste]
Retailing | Andrew Wyrich visits several comics shops in the North Jersey area and finds they rely on a friendly atmosphere and incentive programs to keep customers coming back. “People who buy comics tend to have a $40 weekly budget,” said Len Katz, co-owner of The Joker’s Child in Fair Lawn, New Jersey. “We hear of people who love comics, but eventually just hit a wall with expenses. The key for us is to get customers coming back. The reality is we are not a necessary item; we aren’t milk, bread or cheese.” [The Record]
The crowdfunding site Kickstarter, a popular platform for creators to fund their comics or other artistic endeavors, revealed today that their site was hacked earlier this week. They said no credit card information was compromised, but other user data was accessed.
According to the blog post, accessed information included “usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers and encrypted passwords. Actual passwords were not revealed, however it is possible for a malicious person with enough computing power to guess and crack an encrypted password, particularly a weak or obvious one.” They urged users to change their password immediately.
Kickstarter found out about the breach on Wednesday, when they were contacted by law enforcement. They said they’ve only found evidence of unauthorized activity on two Kickstarter user accounts thus far. They later added that they don’t store full credit card numbers, but for pledges to projects outside of the United States, they store the last four digits and expiration dates for credit cards. Payments for domestic projects go through Amazon rather than through the Kickstarter site.
Publishing | DreamWorks Animation’s announcement on Monday that it is launching its own book-publishing unit doesn’t mean the end of the road for its comics licensees, at least not yet: ICv2 talked to representatives from IDW Publishing, which publishes the Rocky & Bullwinkle comics, and Ape Entertainment, which has had a number of DreamWorks licenses, and both say that this won’t affect their comics. [ICv2]
Auctions | A collection of comics that included the first issues of The Amazing Spider-Man and the British satirical comic Viz, as well as long runs of several Marvel series, brought in almost £25,000 (about $41,300 U.S.) at an auction in Newcastle, England. The majority of the comics were from a single collector whose wife decided to put them up for sale after he died. For those who are curious about the details, Duncan Leatherdale of The Northern Echo liveblogged the auction. [BBC News]
Sequart, the folks behind Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods and Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a film celebrating female comics creators and fans.
Directed by Marisa Stotter, She Makes Comics “intends to emphasize the valuable contributions women have made since the Golden Age of comics,” combining an oral history told by many of the key figures with commentary from industry observers. Production began late last year — interviews have already been shot with the likes of Karen Berger, Joan Hilty, Chris Claremont and Joyce Farmer — but funding is still needed to cover additional travel and interviews, as well as more than 800 hours of editing.
To help reach its $41,500, the campaign is offering some unique incentives, ranging from original art from Jill Thompson and Colleen Doran (they’ll draw you into a page illustrating the history of women in comics) to a script review to a certificate for a custom corset. The campaign ends March 7.
A few months back Utah-based freelance designer and comics artist Jake Parker revealed a series of Marvel characters he drew–Captain America, Wolverine and Iron Man among them — for his followers to enjoy. At that time, he asked readers to suggest other characters to add to the series. The past week and this week he revealed Spider-Man and Hulk pieces he completed in response to feedback.
It is particularly interesting to see how Parker uses one dominant color to tie each piece together with the respective characters’ costumes.
Events | The second annual Black Comic Book Festival will take place this weekend at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City. The lineup of guests includes Norwood Steven Harris, Grey Williamson and Tim Fielder. “It is the largest gathering of black comic book fans in the country,” says Schomburg Director Khalil Gibran Muhammad. “There is something for everyone from the aspirational 9-year-old illustrator, to the costumed superheroes, to the lifelong collectors.” [New York Daily News]
Creators | Ed Brubaker discusses the exclusive deal he and Sean Phillips signed with Image Comics, announced last week at Image Expo: ” It’s almost like having your own label or something. Just the fact that we can green-light our own projects and we have approval over format, everything. … I feel like we have such a core audience that seems to follow us from thing to thing, so let’s take advantage of that and really just experiment and go crazy and just be artists.” [IGN]