We’re less than eighteen hours into 2013 where I am, and already things are off to a fast start.
- Firstly, more news of Strip Search has come to light, including details I couldn’t get Robert Khoo to divulge if his (or, more likely, my) life depended on it. Maki [Edit to add: I've discovered that Maki is not uni-named, and is more fully known as Maki Naro; Fleen regrets the deviation from our usual naming conventions], from Sci-ənce dropped news that he was a participant, that production took place in December, and that the other eleven creators vying for the top prize were Lexxy Douglass, Amy Falcone, Ty Halley, Alex Hobbs, Abby Howard, Monica Ray, Katie Rice, Mackenzie Schubert, Nick Trujillo, and “Hurricane” Erika Moen.
[Edit to add: Missed one! I took my list from Naro's posting, and did not notice that there were only ten names listed rather than eleven; Naro initially omitted Tavis Maiden, and I missed his name on Lexxy Douglass's post. Mr Maiden helpfully contacted me via Twitter to point out the oversight; Fleen regrets the error.]
Best news: most of these creators aren’t known to me, so I can now get exposed to new talent. Even bester news: the three whose work I am familiar with are really damn good, which gives me confidence in the other nine. Specifically, I’ve had my eye on Douglass’s¹ art blog since she was featured on PA: The Series going through the hiring process; Rice has been tearing it up at Dumm Comics for going on five years, and Moen is basically an unstoppable force of nature. My already-high level of anticipation for SS just went through the roof.
One last thought — I’m really hoping that Maki didn’t speak out of turn (it is mere days since Khoo wasn’t willing to tell when production took place or who was involved) and as he (Maki) rightly observes:
Khoo is a very kind, friendly, and utterly terrifying man
I kid, I kid, Douglass also disclosed her involvement today, but she didn’t make a show of terror so she doesn’t have as good a pull quote. Obviously, the NDA period is over — or Maki and Douglass are dangerously overconfident, not realizing that their doom is nigh.
- Speaking of fast starts, Ryan Estrada has launched the second iteration of The Whole Story (six months after the first), this time on Kickstarter. Since the launch at midnight EST, TWS: Winter 2013 has exceeded the extremely modest US$2500 goal, which had the entire purpose of reimbursing Estrada for the out-of-pocket costs that he fronted to creators and translators; everything that comes in from this point will be split among the creators (of which Estrada is one, meaning he gets a share, but not the entire total going forward).
Moving TWS to Kickstarter from its earlier distribution site makes sense — it’s easiest to just set the “pay what you want” model to a minimum of a buck, and to add bonus content by exceeding the average amount paid in the prior incarnation, than it is to adjust those pricing structures on the fly. Having a set period of time for the campaign creates a scarcity that wouldn’t exist otherwise for electronic content.
And holy jeeze, there’s a lot of previously-released and brand-new content available, including KC Green’s latest story comic at the pay-what-you-want level; the bonus level (a paltry thirteen American dollars) includes almost 200 pages of Ryan Andrews comics that bore themselves into your soul and don’t let go plus Green’s magnum opus, The Anime Club. At this point, just call The Whole Story the e-book equivalent of Benign Kingdom.
- Finishing up on the Kickstarter front, at the beginning of December we at Fleen mentioned a Kickstarter from longtime mystery man Eben Burgoon for a project called B-Squad, wherein characters will be killed off by the roll of a die and replaced by others waiting in the wings. Burgoon’s project is four days from completion, and I’m particularly interested in its progress, because it’s the first test of something I learned back in October.
Some may recall how I shared some information from Kickstarter Director of Community Cindy Au, at the B9 panel at NYCC; specifically, the magic inflection point appears to be 1/3 of goal. If you reach 1/3, you’re extremely likely to succeed, and if you fail, you very likely didn’t approach even 1/3 of goal. As of this writing, Burgoon’s B-Squad is at 39% of goal, with four days to go.
The projects I’ve had my eyes on since I learned of Au’s thumb-rule haven’t hung around the 1/3 mark for more than a few minutes before racing ahead to success, so I’m curious to see what happens here — a big push to get support and a slide over the line before the campaign closes? Or a statistical outlier? Dare we, as Kickstarter attention-payers, turn Ms Au’s prediction on its head? That could cause the laws of Kickstarter physics to start to fail and create a tear in the fabric of crowdfunding-spacetime, the likes of which not even the ghost of Ryan North could navigate. I’m just saying, if Kickstarter eats itself, we only have ourselves to blame.
¹ That’s entirely too many “s”es.²
² So is that.³