When I think of the spirit of raw entrepreneurship in comics — that do whatever it takes to make it scrappiness — I think of two people who take very nearly opposite approaches. Today, we’ll be talking about Spike¹; she’s the master of logistics, wrangling ever-growing numbers of creators onto her anthologies, setting deadlines, making arrangements for projects sometimes a year or more in advance, and doing it all for the absolute minimum cost and maximum return spread as widely as possible². She knows how to do things in a frugal fashion, and having sufficiently shared that advice with the world, she’s now giving it away for free, so she’s a damn philanthropist as well.
Did I mention that today is Spike’s birthday? And that in celebration, she’s giving all of us a present? Yesterday she launched her latest Kickstarter, for the sequel to Poorcraft, dedicated to the notion of traveling on the cheap. Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here, years in the making, is once again illustrated by Diana Nock, and written by perhaps the most intrepid wanderer that comics has ever known, Ryan Estrada³. He’s been everywhere, man. In other words, she’s chosen the two best people to work on this project, and it deserves your support.
As of this writing, we’re at just about 24 hours since launch, and close enough to 40% of the US$15,000 goal as makes no difference. More importantly, the nearly 400 backers are overwhelmingly pledging at the low reward levels (US$500 tier [cover cameo]: 1; US$250 tier [interior cameo]: 1; US$150 tier [special thanks]: 0; US$25 tier [retailers only, five hard copies]: 1; US$18 and under tiers [various combos of hard and soft copies, possibly including the first Poorcraft]: 369), so while this will not be a record-setting pledge total, it’s going to be a project with mass support (or it won’t be a project at all). Go wish Spike a happy birthday, and snag yourself a copy of Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here.
Spam of the day:
This will be enough time that it will take to become free of debt all you need to do is visit the online site with the money lender you happen to be thinking about looking for a loan.
NO. Want to know why I’m saying NO? Spike’s gotcha covered, Sparky … start here and read forward to learn about the lowlifes that would prey on you. Then go back to page one and read the whole thing. As a reward, you can read the first thirty pages of Wish You Were Here, which Spike is posting one page a day during the Kickstarter campaign.
Note that you’ll have to mess around in the archive to find things; on the main Poorcraft site, pages are numbered backwards from the most-recently-added, so page 1 of WYWH is at http://poorcraft.com/page/2 today, but it’ll be at http://poorcraft.com/page/3 tomorrow. You’re smart, you’ll figure it out.
¹ For reference, the other is Rich Stevens; the guy comes up with an idea on Monday, puts it up for sale on Tuesday, takes it back down on Wednesday, and is dropping the packages in the mail on Thursday. Offhand whimsies become major sellers, sudden sales and clearances keep things fresh, and he approaches merchandise like it was guerilla warfare.
² Want to quantify it? Taking the published bonus schedules from the anthologies and multiplying by the number of contributors, you get US$17,550 for Smut Peddler 2012, US$7800 for Sleep of Reason, and US$40,000 for Smut Peddler 2014 for a total of more than US$65,000 over the past two years that she could have kept (she’d already paid her contributors) but instead spread around.
³ It is perhaps worth noting here that I first met Ryan the night before he walked out of San Diego Comic Con and across the border into Mexico, to start a commune dedicated to cartooning. That was more than seven years ago and he’s never stopped moving for very long since (although getting married seems to have rooted him to one spot for the past couple of years; then again, it’s in South Korea, a country that features a language that I don’t believe he knew how to speak before showing up).