This afternoon, the Kickstarter for Little Heart, the marriage equality-supporting comics anthology that I’m participating in hit its goal of $8500, and so it looks like the book is definitely going to be a reality. I’d like to offer a hearty congratulations to editor Raighne Hogan and all of the contributors on a successful campaign. I’d also like to thank all of you who read my words, shared them, and purchased a copy of the book: Your support is amazing, and I thank you. I don’t really ‘go to the well’ very often from my readers, but I greatly appreciate that you were there when a good project needed you. Thanks.
There’s still time to pre-order a copy, or get some amazing prints or original art–you’ve got until Friday in fact! Head over to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/765505753/little-heart-a-comic-anthology-for-marriage-equali?ref=live for details.
Meanwhile, I was just informed about another queer comics Kickstarter, though this one met its fundraising goal in just 48 hours! It’s for Alex Woolfson’s gay sci-fi series “Artifice”, and it looks like there will now be a graphic novel collection of that web series. I’ve attached the full PR under the cut below, but you can check out the Kickstarter at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/alexwoolfson/artifice-graphic-novel-print-drive.
While miles and miles has been written on Kickstarter and the like, I will throw in exactly 2 cents worth and say that that it’s pretty clear having a strong, dedicated following and a very public personality at the helm of your Kickstarter campaign yields very different results than not. I think the Little Heart book is an incredibly important project, but it “suffered” by not having a 25,000-readers-per-day lead-in (if one can suffer that), and it really did take the full month of non-stop promotion to get the word out about the project. I hope that other indy projects looking to use the service take note. A multi-creator book that supports marriage equality should, theoretically, have a much broader appeal for support than a dual-creator gay sci-fi graphic novel, but the web as a mass-funding medium is pretty darned unique.
(This also ties into my thoughts on why Kickstarter as a replacement for the NEA or governmental arts funding is abhorrent, but my two cents are up… for now.)
GAY SCI-FI WEBCOMIC REACHES $7000 KICKSTARTER PRINT GOAL IN LESS THAN 48 HOURS
[March 11, 2011] Less than 48 hours after launching a Kickstarter project to raise $7000 to publish his gay science-fiction webcomic in book form, Artifice writer Alex Woolfson has reached his goal. Now, following the example of other successful Kickstarter projects, he’s “scrambling” to come up with additional goals and rewards for remaining 28 days his project will remain online.
“I wrote Artifice because I loved action and sci-fi stories as a kid,” Woolfson said. “But I never got to see what I really wanted to see and that’s kick-ass genre stories with heroes who just happened to like other guys. Artifice was my attempt to write the kind of story I always wanted to see. And now it’s going to be a book that I can hold in my hands and you’ll be able to find in your local library. This is dream-come-true stuff!”
With full-color art by Philadelphia-based artist Winona Nelson, Artifice is about Deacon, an android solider, fighting for love and survival against the powerful Corporation that made him. Artifice starts just after Deacon has failed a mission spectacularly. Not only did he disobey orders, letting a 19-year-old business liability named Jeff survive, he also attacked and killed those who were sent to retrieve him. Soon, both their lives are on the line as his corporate masters push for answers and look to tie up loose ends.
Artifice has been running as a webcomic for just less than a year and, at 83 pages, is nearing completion.
Woolfson continued: “Even though I’ve been releasing Artifice as a weekly webcomic, I actually wrote first it as a complete sci-fi graphic novel script. We’re in the last scene, so almost all the pages are now available to read online. I launched this Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a small print run because I’ve always wanted to have this story be something you could hold in your hand, read on the bus, give to friends. But coming up with $7000 to do that seemed like a huge amount of money to raise. More than I could afford on my own, actually. So, I’m just bowled over and deeply, deeply grateful for the response from our readers. They’ve just blown me away.”
Now that Woolfson has reached his initial goal of $7000, in the tradition of other successful Kickstarter projects, such as for the webcomics The Order of the Stick and Diesel Sweeties, he has decided to offer “bonus goals”.
“With this amazing response and 28 days more remaining in the project,” Woolfson said. “I’m scrambling to come up with more awesome things to create for my backers, to show how grateful I am and keep the momentum going. I’ve talked to Winona and she said she’d be up for creating additional art prints and short comics that fill in backstory and pick up with the characters after Artifice the webcomic ends. These bonus rewards would be available to all backers and would certainly include another ‘romantic scene’ with our heroes. They’d all be parts of the story that I’ve really wanted to tell, but since I pay all my artists out of my own pocket, I didn’t think I could afford to.
“Either way, though, I’m very happy and very grateful just to be able to print our webcomic as a book you can kick back and read on the couch. Printing is very expensive and it’s something I was afraid would never happen. And now in just two days after launching this Kickstarter campaign, our readers have made it into a reality. Amazing.”
“I mean, when I grew up, advertisers would flee if you showed one innocent kiss between two men on a TV show. And now thanks to crowdsourcing initiatives like Kickstarter, I don’t even need to ask publishers for permission to get an action comic with gay heroes (who do a lot more than that) into the hands of my readers with a full offset print run. It gives me hope that over the next ten years, I’m going to get a chance to see a lot more of the kind of stories I always wanted to see growing up, but never could find. This is a really great example of the democratization of media that the Internet has made possible. It’s awesome to be able to reach so many people with one of my stories and something I thought I’d never live to see.”
Readers who are interested in finding out more about the Artifice Graphic Novel Print Drive Kickstarter project can go here:
The Artifice webcomic can be read for free online here:
Full Artifice webcomic synopsis:
“It was supposed to be a routine “clean-up” mission on the isolated colony Da Vinci Four, but Deacon, a prototype android soldier, has failed spectacularly. Not only did he disobey orders, letting a 19-year-old business liability named Jeff survive, he also attacked and killed those who were sent to help him. Now, the brilliant and uncompromising robopsychologist Clarice Maven has been summoned by the Corporation to determine why.
With Deacon at her absolute mercy, Maven will find out exactly what happened between the android and this boy—and she will use her terrible power to make sure Deacon never fails the Corporation ever again.”
Alex Woolfson is a gay male writer who creates action-adventure comics with gay characters for both women and men to enjoy under the playful banner Yaoi 911. Artifice is his first webcomic. He launched this Kickstarter project on Friday, March 9th at 10:00 P.M.
Winona Nelson grew up dreaming of making comics and painting fantasy and scifi book covers. She freelances in concept art and illustration and works on Magic: the Gathering cards and Warhammer novel covers. Winona lives and works in Philadelphia with artist Anthony Palumbo and their bad cat, Diego.