It all seems to be about the green¹ today.
- The first of the Big Four Webcomics Kickstarters of February Aught-Thirteen has wrapped, with the Cyanide & Happiness guys netting just over US$770,000 with a slight upward tick at the end there. For reference, as of this writing the other three of the Big Four are sitting at:
- Machine of Death: US$454,000
- Schlock Mercenary: US$115,000
- Dresden Codak: US$362,000
For a grand total of 1.701 million dollars American cash money. Granted, there’s Kickstarter² fees and Amazon fees and taxes and all the rest, but the compelling story remains: more money, more value for your backer contribution.
- The ur-example of more value for your backer contribution remains the Choose Your Own Hamlet by the Reconstituted Toronto Man-Mountain, who is even as we speak laying out the book, overseeing the recording of the audiobook, prototyping lil’ plush Yorick skulls, and giving us a sneak peek at one gorgeous map of the choices that can be made, which is itself made too look like Yorick’s skull. Dang, y’all.
- In fact, the only part of the increasing coolness of the Choose Your Own Hamlet that the aforementioned RTM-M³ isn’t responsible for would be the live-action version of Choose Your Own Hamlet, which will have its premiere this weekend in Busan, South Korea, thanks to local director (and webcomickin’ madman) Ryan Estrada. The presentation of To Be or Not To Be (a live, choose-your-own-adventure play) will be this Saturday at 9:00 EDT (GMT-4, or check your local time here) over the internet.
Sure, the live audience will have the thrill of watching the actors try to manage hundreds of possible story paths, but you at home can do the same thing, and you can vote on those choices that will affect the story. Just don’t make the choices that keep Ophelia in her original, put-upon, depressive, dishrag-type personality because if you do, the text of the book (and presumably the play) will say that you aren’t allowed to be Ophelia for a while.
The details on To Be or Not To Be (a live, choose-your-own-adventure play) are at Google+ where you can choose to watch the streaming glory and participate. It is in all likelihood the first live play designed for such social media technology and you’ll want to be able to tell your grandkids where you there at the beginning.
- As part of my theme on money, I was going to point you to a situation where a billing mishap left The Adventures of Dr McNinja facing a shutdown later this week, with the possibility of creator Chris Hastings being sent to collections4. Fortunately, that all got resolved before I had a chance to say anything about it, so well done McNinja fans. As always, there’s a lesson here, which in this case unfortunately is of the variety that you have to police the people that are (supposed to be) taking your money because if they don’t do so successfully they may make your life miserable.
I once had a cable company that received the checks I sent them and credited my bill as paid, but never actually cashed them. This went on for six months and only came to a head when I moved house and tried to get my cable disconnected. Then they tried to hit me with hundreds of dollars of “late fees” because I dunno, they lost my checks or something? The fact that I had statements showing that my bills were paid each month didn’t seem to matter until I mentioned involving utility regulators with the state of New Jersey, then they decided to write it off in the interests of keeping a satisfied customer. Then I moved and never used them again THE END.
Where was I? Oh, yes — it seems stupid to have to follow up with people to make sure they’re actually taking your money (you’d think they were really interested in doing so on their own), but sadly it’s true. You have to be more business type than artist to make it as an independent artist, so take those steps towards due diligence and it will make your life easier in the long run.
¹ Note for people not in the US: our paper currency is boring, kinda greenish on one side and mostly black on the other. We desperately need somebody from a country that knows how to make pretty cash convince the stick-up-their-asses types in Washington that bills don’t need to be drab.
² How ubiquitous is Kickstarter these days? My sister brought it up the other day, asking me to explain how her friend, a musician, managed to raise US$49,000 to master & press an album and what the crap-hell?
³ Known around the house as Ryan North
4 If you don’t happen to know Chris Hastings, you should be aware of two things:
- He is just the nicest guy, even nicer than he appears to be via the internet if you can imagine such a thing
- He is too pretty to be sent to collections, you guys