Monday, February 20, 2012

A Quick Note About One of the Most Exciting Developments in Comics: Kickstarter

A lot has been said recently  in the comics community about what the recent Kickstarter campaign for Rich Burlew's The Way of the Stick may mean. Whatever you think about the strip, or even whether you've even heard of the strip, lets look at this simply from an economic perspective.

He raised a million bucks past his initial goal of $57,000 with little more than 12,500 backers. Diamond, the largest comics specialty store distributor in North America, made a total of $417 million wholesale last year. They make most of their profit from superhero comics. The average superhero comic sells about 30,000 copies. The highest selling individual superhero comic last year sold 231,00 copies. The Order of the Stick raised 1058,465 and counting with only 12,622 backers for a second printing. They offered premiums for people who donated more, such as iron-on patches, coloring books, magnets and a new previously unpublished story in PDF form. I doubt people were contributing as much as they were for the coloring books. They simply love the comic so much that they want to do whatever they can to support it.  Kickstarter seems to be rapidly becoming the main form of funding for comics in the U.S., but rather than relying on aggressive marketing and merchandizing like Warner Bros. and Disney (the owners of DC and Marvel comics respectively), the creators who use Kickstarter rely on small groups of very loyal supporters. And these are creator owned, self-published books. There's no denying it now: this is the future of comics. Music and film might follow suit. That means smaller audiences, creator owned product, and more diversity all around. What could be cooler than that?

If you want to contribute, or simply check out what all the fuss is about, you can go to their Kickstarter page, here.

Incidentally, my blog is getting more hits than my website by about 10 to 1, so if you like the stuff you see here, please check out my website.  There you can see most of my illustrations, sketches and comics at one central location!

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