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Been An Expensive Day On Kickstarter

First it was chiming in on the Chocolate Milk Cuties vs Spaghetti Sweeties debate. Then I, shamed by a young member of my EMS crew who has turned the quiet times of Duty Night into Boardgame Funtimes, finally got on the Bears vs Babies bandwagon. And in the past little while, for the first time in my Kickstarter career, I managed to be Supporter Number One for a campaign that both delights and saddens me.

Jam vs Not Wanting To Do A Weekly, Hand Drawn, Hand Colored Comic Anymore¹ has gone live, wherein we learn that Angela Melick — mechanical engineer and webcomicker par excellence — is funding both books four and five of her long-running diary comic (today’s update is #787, minus a few guest strips while getting married/going on her honeymoon), and simultaneously announcing the Wasted Talent will wrap in four weeks. There will be two updates this week (check back on Wednesday) and each week between now and then that’ll be it. Strip #795 (if I have my count right) will be the last one in book five, and Melick will retire from this phase of her cartooning career.

She’s got more stories in her — she’s shared work on them in the past — and we’ll see her create more in the future, but it won’t be on a weekly schedule. We’ll miss Jam and Trevor, psycho squirrels and psycho engineers, bikes and corgis and swords and Vancouver, but we’ll still get the humanity and humo[u]r that infuse her work, no matter what those stories are.

It’s been two years since her last book released, covering the strip up until the 2009-2010 timeframe, which is about the last time I saw her), so there’s pent-up demand and six years of strips to print; this probably explains why before her Kickstarter launch announcement was cold people were rushing to pledge. As of this writing she has 43 backers and US$4094 in pledges, which is easily explained when you realize all but seven of them have pledged high enough to get a limited reward². I’ve not seen a per-backer pledge average of US$95 in … actually, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. And it’s not for doo-dads and fancy bits, it’s for books (signed or personalized) and art (prints, and for up to five lucky people, originals); okay, yeah, there’s a cloisonne pin and a magnet, but I think the other backers are thinking as I am — that’s nice, but give me the pictures and words.

To what degree? How about this — just before I started writing this post I realized that I’d pledged for both new books signed, but not personalized like my earlier WT books, so I upped my pledge. And just before writing this sentence I realized that the top tier featured three original WT pages in the bundle and upped it again. There is no further upping possible, that is how much I love Melick’s work (and Jam, if you’re reading and will allow requests for original pages, the moustachethemed strips are pretty cool).

If you aren’t convinced, check out what I’ve said about Melick’s comicking previously; her comics are that good, and if that’s not enough to impress you, she can both build a robot to kick your ass, and teach the robot enough longsword fighting to kick your ass even more effectively. She and her comics are a delight, and you should check them out.

Oh, and in the time it took me to write and edit the last few paragraphs, she’s up to 53 backers, US$5452 pledges, US$102.87 backer average, and the top tier is gone. As well, last night the Cloudscape Comics Collective of British Columbia (of which Melick is a member) was recognized with a Joe Shuster Award last night (the Gene Day Award for self-publishers) Jam, you can’t see it from three time zones away, but I’m generally facing in the direction of Vancouver and tossing a snappy right-hand rule salute in your direction. You rock.

Spam of the day:
None. Melick’s engineering prowess has scared the spammers off.

¹ Not its actual name, but come on! Things come in threes, and we’d already established the vs theme.

² Which starts at CDN$65/US$48, and goes to CDN$350/US$261.

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