The webcomics blog about webcomics

How Does He Do It?

By he, I naturally mean Fleen Senior French Correspondent Pierre Lebeaupin, who sent along an unlooked-for update on what’s happening in France, on a day where I’m being subjected to thundersnow. Wet, heavy, needs-to-be-cleared gods-damned thundersnow. Thundersnow that has already caused Pénélope Bagieu’s book tour appearance in Philadelphia tonight to cancel. In other words, he has anticipated my hour of need and delivered unto us an interesting occurrence (and subsequent lessons learned) from Le Monde du Bandes Dessinées Web. Onwards …


What can you do when you’ve committed yourself to fai[re] un truc de fou (do[ing] something crazy) in a stretch goal?

You probably remember our coverage of the launch of Maliki’s Tipeee campaign and our followup interview, and it’s been going strong ever since.

One interesting aspect is that, given that Tipeee enables one-off contributions, this means each month is the start of a new crowdfunding campaign; of course, it does not reset to zero at the start of the month, rather at the amount of recurring contributions, but otherwise each month is different from the next: the illustrated print changes from month to month, which results in the total at the end of the month fluctuating, sometimes dipping to about 9000 €, but generally reaching the 10,000 € stretch goal, and once reaching up to about 13,000 €.

For January, the illustration Maliki unveiled was not only of a fan-favorite character, but was also the counterpart of an illustration created a few years ago; and while I am not up to date on my Maliki lore, I believe they represent an important event in the backstory of these characters.

As soon as the illustration was unveiled, the counters went crazy. Starting from about 8700 € at the time, the total quickly reached the 10,000 € stretch goal, and then after a few more hours went over the previous record. But it did not stop there. Remember from the interview the mention of the ludicrous stretch goal, the one that was never meant to be reached?

It was cleared (at 15,000 €) with time to spare, and the total ended up at 17,000 €.

While the description of that stretch goal varied before, for the last few months it had simply read je fais un truc de fou (I do something crazy). And now it was as if the contributors had collectively dared Maliki OK, now do something crazy. Oh no.

Understandably, Team Maliki asked for a bit of time in order to come up with something suitably crazy, even taking suggestions from contributors. And last week, they eventually unveiled it in a special broadcast¹: they are going to sponsor an animal shelter called le radeau des animaux through various means: immediate contributions so that they may complete their facilities, but also ongoing money support, illustration work (e.g.: visual identity), etc.

I think we can draw a few lessons here:

  • To borrow from C Spike Trotman, doing fan art may provide short term success², but building up your IP will result in readers supporting you more in the ways that eventually matter.
  • Stretch goals end up building on each other: that month the 10,000 € stretch goal was for getting the previous illustration in the diptych along with the new one at no additional cost, which made subscribing to the cheetah pledge level (where you get that month’s illustration) an even more attractive option, resulting in more contributions coming. In fact, there being a new illustration for the month is itself a stretch goal, though at 5000 €, it is reached every month.
  • This all went down during the same day (31st of January), in eight hours, from about 16:00 to 23:59 CET. When you have a good connection with your audience, support can come very fast.
  • Do not tempt fate in a crowdfunding campaign, because you never know how far contributors will go and make you live up to your commitments.

Pourriel du jour:

At the risk of kinkshaming, nnnnnoooooppppe.

¹ The broadcast also included live watercolor drawings, live play of antique games, and Maine Coon licking action³, so that readers could get something, too.

² Though I have to admit to sometimes buying one of their fan art illustrations. What can I say, I am weak.

³ Gary here; get your minds out of the gutter, people. Also, FSFCPL informs me the cats are at 2:08:41 in the video

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