Item One: At this point, the w00tstock phenomenon has grown to the point that any number of geekly types can attract other geekly types to join them on a stage and just generally be as entertaining as heck. In expanding their usual PAX “Just being us” session to a PAX-adjacent two-night stand, Kris and Scott (or possibly “Scott and Kris”, take your pick) are joining the new tradition. In three years, look for all of nerddom to join together in one mega-variety-show that puts Jerry Lewis’s telethon extravaganzas¹ to shame, curated by the ever-present Dammit Liz.
Confidential to everybody attending the show: rumor has it slipping Scott and Kris a six-pack makes the show even hilariouser.
Item Two: I made sure to keep myself out of the very minor controversy launched by the inexplicably angry sell your boots editorial by Dan Nadel in The Comics Journal’s blog a few weeks back. If one is going to decide that Kickstarter is emblematic of all that is wrong with comics, the Box Brown-edited Garo tribute seemed like an odd target. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed, and the dominant reaction appeared to be Seriously, this is what you get upset about? Case in point, Evan Dahm took it upon himself to express the obvious:
People are still thinking kickstarter is fundamentally some charity operation. we are not taking donations, we are taking preorders.
I don’t understand the confusion about this. you are just allowing some of the people who want the book to buy it in advance.
It is not a magic bullet; it’s a convenient platform to allow promotion and preorders. that is all it is to me.
But there’s not lack of smart people on the internets², and a very thoughtful piece on a potential drawback to Kickstarter-only books appeared this afternoon from Gina Gagliano³ of :01 Books which you should check out:
The thing I see on Kickstarter that I am confused by is the only-published-through-Kickstarter graphic novel.
Sometimes there pops up a project on Kickstarter where an author’s like, ‘okay, I’m publishing an original graphic novel, it’s 200 pages long and it will take me two more years to complete after this point and you should all support it!’ And sometimes I’m like, ‘huh, that looks like something that we wouldn’t publish at all because the zombies are exploding whilst having sex,’ and sometimes I’m like, ‘huh, we didn’t get this charming and interesting project in our submissions inbox.’
The format of Kickstarter seems to heavily weight the promotion and availability of the book to the front end, rather than the back end — something I find problematic for these books that people say, ‘we’ll have this done in two years — or a year — or even eight months.’ Because what happens when your book is available — and then a school in Kansas wants to use it in their class and needs 40 copies . . . and then the New York Public Library system wants to carry it and needs 80 copies . . . and then BoingBoing reviews it and a few hundred people want to order the book?
There’s considerably more in the full posting, which should give a certain type of creator (namely, those already capable of doing top-notch work) some things to think about. And if you’re not that creator today, I sincerely hope that it’s your desire to be that creator someday, and to look at questions you’ll need to consider down the line instead of keeping your mindset static.
¹ And I have no doubt that such a nerdapalooza could raise enormous charitable dollars, perhaps in support of Child’s Play.
² All casual evidence to the contrary.
³ Who supplies me with review copies of the best stuff, you guys she is seriously awesome.