NYCC 2012: Kick-Watcher at NYCC

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By: Henry Barajas

One of the main reasons why I started writing about Kickstarter projects is because I care a lot about independent creators trying to do their own thing.  If you have ever considered making something and putting it out there for the world to judge; a project that will either make or break you then you understand the risks and courage involved.  Since starting this “column” I have met some pretty ballsy and creative folks that have gambled and won big on Kickstarter. 

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While walking around the convention floor I noticed the theme of conversations. NYCC attendees wished they had attended Morrison Con, how funny the show Louie is (the best show on network television) and Kickstarter.  With the big conscious shift of creators moving to self publishing and taking control of their of their own properties, Kickstarter has been able to capitalize on the trend and make projects like LUST and the CYBERFORCE relaunch possible.  Of course it’s much easier to raise more money when you’re an established creator but it has worked for the lesser known creators of Benign Kingdom as well. 

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While I was planning my panel schedule, one of the panels I had to attend besides the My Little “Bronie” panel was the Kickstarter panel on Saturday.  I wanted to get there a little early for the panel so I pushed and shoved my way through the massive crowds a half hour early only to find myself last in a line for the panel.  The panelists included Kickstarter’s very own Director of Community, Cindy Au.
 
Au gave some very interesting statistics regarding Kickstarter and comic book projects.  Also keep in mind these are year-to-date numbers from the start of the organization back in 2009:
 
General Kickstarter stats:

2.8+ million backers

700k+ repeat backers

$384+ million pledged

30,000+ successful projects

44% success rate

Comics category stats:

$10+ million pledged

45% success rate

$4,800 = average goal of successful comics project

$11,000 = average raise of successful comics project

More interesting points that were discussed:

$25 is the most popular pledge

$100 is commonly the most people will spend on a project

When a project reaches 30% it is successful 90% of the time

Ideally you want to have 7-10 incentives on your project 

Alongside Au were the Benign Kingdom creators Evan Dahm (Rice Boy), Becky Dreistadt & Frank Gibson (Tiny Kitten Teeth), and KC Green (Gunshow), Yuko Ota & Ananth Panagariya (Johnny Wander), with guidance by George Rohac (Oni Press,GRohac), whom have successfully launched two projects on Kickstarter.  How successful you ask?  The two projects combined have raised $200,391 in one year.   The group of young and successful creators shared their experiences of what the process was like and what they learned from launching two successful projects. 

Benign Kingdom Fall 2012 by Benign Kingdom — Kickstarter1 NYCC 2012: Kick Watcher at NYCC

 

Their biggest advice was don’t forget about Uncle Sam.  I have noticed this in many Kickstarter projects’ people don’t taken in account the fees that Kickstarter, Amazon and income taxes incur.  If you can talk to a CPA or local self employed businessman and pick their brain on what you can do to avoid owing any money come tax season, it would be a wise consideration.
 
I wasn’t too happy about the placement of artist alley but it was the most impressive pool of talent for a convention I ever seen.  Among the laundry list of creators there were many successful Kickstarter creators.
 

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Brian Schirmer selling a copy of his graphic novel ULTRASYLVANIA to another satisfied customer. All made possible from the $11,507 he raised to print the in hardcover.

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I recently interviewed Victor Ochoa regarding his project NOBODIES, vol 2 and his table with crowded with his work.  Ochoa achieved 368% of his goal on October 10th.

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Justin Rivers is one of the very first  creators to launch a successful project on Kickstarter.  Back in December of 2009 Rivers raised $5,518 to publish his graphic novel Become A Citizen of The Wonder City. 

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Trevor Charles (writer) & Salomon Farias (artist) were at the Kickstarter booth with NYCC exclusive Sea Breeze Lane  copies of their comic book.  Their successful project raked in $11,216 on and was successfully funded on October 6th.

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It was a pleasure meeting comic book veterans Jamal Igle and Jim Calafiore.  They are responsible for the highly successful projects MOLLY DANGER (that raised $50,329) and LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS (pledged at $117,660).  Calafiore said to keep an eye out for his second Kickstarter project to launch, possibly in December.  This is just the tip of the iceberg for Kickstarter, it’s gaining more and more popularity by the day.  Don’t be surprised if you see Kickstarter on the same floor with all the other comic book publishers at the next convention.

I know Steve Morris has mentioned this before but believe it or not, someone actually liked my blogging enough that they nominated me for the Shel Dorf Best Comic book Blogger award.  I know Heidi is going to win but I’d appreciate it if you helped out the underdog and voted for me.  I’m making #teamheidi vs #teamhenry fanny packs, comment below if your interested.

Comments

  1. I hope to be one of those success stories! My Graphic Novel’Gunpowder Girl and The Outlaw Squaw is searching for backers on Kickstarter. I hope you will click the link and add your support! Click Here!

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