The webcomics blog about webcomics

The Kickstartum Never Stops

If you’ll indulge me for one moment, a quick note from outside the world of webcomics: the Kickstarter to save the treasures of Frank Zappa’s vault (of recordings, significant artifacts, and literally who knows what else) — run by actor, director, and Bill half of Bill & Ted Alex Winter — is one of the few non-webcomics crowdfundings that I’ve backed. If you think about it, though, ol’ Frank was an indie creator of great energy and constant production, and if there’s a better analogue for the modern webcomicker in the period of the late ’60s to the early ’90s, I don’t know who it might be.

The campaign closed more than a year ago, and with so many backers (nearly 9000) due so many different items¹, they’re only just now getting around to fulfillment. I ain’t mad at the delay, I’m impressed as hell at all I got²; and if you think that an ambitious Kickstart can turn into a fulfillment task of nightmare proportions … well, that’s where you’re probably right. Only go complex on rewards if you have the might of the obsessive fans of a revered genius to help you.

Or just keep the Kickstart simple, that works too. Case in point: Retrofit Comics (aka Box Brown and Jared Smith) gather together comics they want to print, pre-sell them via Kickstarter, then print them and ship them. Pretty simple. It’s worked a couple times before, and the campaign for Spring 2017’s six new books looks to add to that streak. It started up on Friday, it’s running until the 11th of May, and per the Fleen Funding Formula, Mark II it looks to finish in the range of US$17.5K to 26K, on a goal of US$18.7K³. In other words (and considering the quality of past Retrofit offerings and the loyalty of its audience), this is virtually assured.

The rewards are simple: between six and eight bucks gets you a PDF of a comic of your choice (varying prices for varying page lengths); US$20 gets you PDFs of all six. US$25 gets you a hardcover of one particular book; US$45 gets you print copies of all six (with a US$46 tier if you’re in the DC area and want to pick your books up at a Big Planet comic shop and save shipping). Assuming you get all six (and why wouldn’t you), it’s going to act a little like a subscription: two books printed & shipped per month, in May, June, and July.

There’s higher tiers for those that really like the creators, with bonuses ranging from prints to original pages from the comics in question. It’s a smart approach, since Kickstarter books are really driven by interest in the particular creators; I’ve seen the books sell at non-cape comics shows if people stop and flip through them, or if they recognize the name on the cover. They don’t appeal to everybody, but those that they do appeal to, they really appeal to.

Creators this time around are Zach Hazard Vaupen, Laura Ķeniņš (mentioned on Friday for her Doug Wright Award nomination), Tara Booth, Yuichi Yokoyama, Will Cardini, and Warren Craghead III. Comics range from a series of Trump grotesqueries to gouache paintings to surrealist neo-manga. Click on through and give ’em a good look.

Spam of the day:

Turn your TV into a Smart TV today!

Dudes, I teach systems administration and security for a living. Ain’t never gonna be a smart anything in my house (yes, yes, we know where you’re going with the joke … just let it go) until the IOT chip manufacturers stop hardcoding in admin credentials and passwords. Hard pass.

¹ I was nowhere near a top-tier backer, and I received at least sixteen different types of items (including music on DVD, CD, and cassette), ranging from a poncho (not a Sears poncho) to unused backstage passes from some long-ago concert.

² I was promised a MYSTERY BAG and if had contained a quarter of what was actually inside, I’d have been impressed.

³ The McDonald Ratio predicts US$19.4K, so there’s a pretty close agreement.

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