The webcomics blog about webcomics

Kickstarts And Comfort Zones

Working outside them, finding places that can be them.

  • So if there’s one thing that I’m deeply conflicted on, it’s pointing out failures to fulfill Kicstarter rewards. I’m not talking about obvious scams or people that clearly have no idea what they’re doing; I’m talking about people who have the ability to create what they say they’re going to create, have every intention of making good, and then things happen.

    Sometimes, it’s out of their control. Sometimes it’s reach exceeding grasp. I’ve got one promised reward that I know I’m never going to see and I’ll never mention it to the creators (who are friends of mine) because it’s honestly not worth the headache.

    But sometimes it’s impossible to not talk about; case in point, the very prominent, very high-funded Kickstart from Strip Search alum Lexxy Douglass that started towards its stated goals, almost immediately stalled, and unexpected revived:

    After a two year hiatus, page 008 of The Cloud Factory is up

    At a certain point, no matter what kept you from fulfilling, even when those obstacles seem less and progress could be made, the thought of going back to something that you publicly promised and didn’t make good on when you said you would … you end up with the makings of the most vicious of circles.

    This unfinished page has been one of the biggest obstacles in my repeated attempts to resume the project.

    There’s more at the Tumblr; go read it. It must have been tough for Douglass to write, and she’s not making any promise about a defined schedule for future updates. From the outside, she seems to be staring directly into the classic dilemma of being so swept up into worldbuilding and backstory and design that the actual production fails to match up to internal expectations and keeps getting pushed back.

    I wonder how many intricately-plotted stories exist in the world, locked away in imaginations and never making it to the page¹? If nothing else, let’s try to remember that behind every well-intentioned crowdfunded campaign, there’s a person there feeling the weight of expectations. Even the best handled campaigns must be stressful out of all reasonable measure.

  • How about a less fraught story to send you out on the weekend? I knew this was coming on account of how at the end of TopatoCon, the TopatoCo store that I worked (alongside the legendary Ferocious J, under the guidance of Agent Paperklip) was, per the direction of TopatoCo Vice President Of Kicking Your Ass Holly Rowland, not torn down and packed out at the end of the show.

    The decision was made to leave the store stocked, and run it through the holidays for the benefit and convenience of Pioneer Valley locals. The shopping season begins tomorrow and runs past even the worst New Year’s hangover. Go nuts.

Spam of the day:

You have deferred notifications traitor
With many thanks, Facebook team
I’m honestly not sure if I’m more offended by the notion that I’ve committed treason, or that I have a Facebook account.

¹ And if my memory serves me, this is still the extent of ongoing story that she’s produced so far; she’s an amazing illustrator, but as I noted during her time on Strip Search, her ability to craft and pace a story is still unknown.

Along those same lines, Kickstarts like hers — intended to fund time to create something — have become markedly less popular of late, and remain inherently risky for both backers (who can easily end up feeling burned) and creators (who can kill the goodwill of their fans).

So I was surprised to see that a high-goal campaign launched the other day along exactly those lines. Jake Parker’s a known quantity as a creator, but if something comes up that derails his ambitious production schedule? SkyHeart could become the next Cloud Factory and nobody wants that.

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