The Cyber Force Kickstarter Finally Launches

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By Todd Allen

cyber force 196x300 The Cyber Force Kickstarter Finally LaunchesIt looks like Top Cow turned their Cyber Force Kickstarter campaign on the evening of the 17th.  I discussed the campaign during Comicon, but the short version is that Top Cow is trying to raise $75K and distribute free copies of the first five issues/first story arc of a new ongoing Cyber Force comic in a manner similar to Free Comic Book Day.  It’s an interesting idea.

As I type this up, it’s not quite midnight, PST on the 18th, so the campaign has been up a bit over a day.  There are74 backers pledging $7,641.  That’s over $100/pledge and that’s a pretty healthy average.  Roughly 10% of the goal in the first day is pretty good too, though not the amazing first day some campaigns see.  On the other hand, they didn’t send the press release out until the campaign had been up for about a day, so the 19th might see a big jump.

Either way, this is a fascinating experiment.

INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE IN CYBER FORCE
Marc Silvestri’s top-selling series returns in October with five free issues

Berkeley, CA – July 18, 2012 – Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are excited to announce the highly anticipated return of CYBER FORCE, in celebration of the title’s twentieth anniversary, in October 2012. Comics legend and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri returns to the property that helped launch his company and Image Comics as co-writer, art director, and cover artist, spearheading his unique vision for the new series.

And now, CYBER FORCE is embarking on a new path, using 21st century social media to make the first five issues (to be published monthly) available for free, both digitally and in print. AKickstarter campaign launched on July 17, taking advantage of the year-long build-up of excitement for Image and Top Cow’s 20th anniversary.

Rewards for backers of the Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $75,000, include exclusive variant covers, a signed print, a hardcover edition of the collected first five issues, a smartphone case, original art, and one-on-one sessions with Matt Hawkins and Marc Silvestri. There are also several special rewards for comic book retailers who pledge — including exclusive signings by Marc Silvestri! The funding will not only go toward paying the art team but also toward offsetting print costs, thus ensuring the first five issues are available for free.

Excitement has been building for events marking Image and Top Cow’s 20th anniversary since the beginning of the year, including Top Cow’s REBIRTH initiative and exciting new projects from top tier industry talent. With an entire generation of fans who grew up on the series and new fans discovering Image and Top Cow every week, creator and Top Cow CEO Silvestri knew the time was right for CYBER FORCE to return.

“My obsession growing up was sci-fi and fantasy and the concept of Cyber Force has always been ripe for mining those genres,” said Silvestri. “The best sci-fi has its soul anchored in social commentary and the human condition and then goes nuts with the concepts. Comic books are unique in that they can add to that the thrill of wish fulfillment,” he added. “Mash those ideas together add a healthy dose of 21st century paranoia, and voila! You’ve got Cyber Force.”

Silvestri describes CYBER FORCE as an exploration of the consequences when technology — the product of humanity’s own intelligence — has interfered with the order of natural development. “We’re creating a world our species can’t survive in,” Silvestri said. “The end is coming and Mega Corporation Cyber Data Industries knows this when it happens. And now, a young girl named Velocity knows too.”

Joining Silvestri on the new series is interior artist Khoi Pham. Hot off of top-selling Marvel Comics titles including Avengers, Daredevil, The Mighty Thor, andX-Men, Pham’s art will bring to life this bold new vision of CYBER FORCE.

The new series will appeal to fans of the original, as well as reach out to a wider audience by creating a cutting-edge world based on real technology. Co-writer and Top Cow President Matt Hawkins (THINK TANK, THE TEST) will utilize his background in science to lead the series in a never-before-seen direction.

While staying true to the core concept of CYBER FORCE, cybernetically-enhanced resistance fighters on the run from a monolithic international conglomerate, the visual aesthetic of the new series will be updated for a modern audience coined “bio-cybernetic steampunk”.

Comments

  1. I love this experiment, I’m watching closely and I plan to vote with dollars, too, for what it does for fan-choice, community and piracy-defiance.

  2. Torsten Adair says:

    Interesting… funding the marketing before the issue is published, instead of after.

    If the goal is met, then there’s a “sold-out” press release which generates more publicity.

    After that, any sales to the Direct Market is icing on the cake… although some retailers will wonder how many customers got the copy from KS when placing orders.

    Oh, and some of those DM sales will be from the store signings! (Unless the KS incentive includes a certain amount of copies for the signing.)

    Would it have been better to launch this during Comic-Con? Reading with Pictures did a tie-in at C2E2… show proof you donated to the Kickstarter campaign, and get special exclusives at their booth.

  3. Todd Allen says:

    @torsten – Comicon is a tricky thing. You might be able to do mad business at the booth. On the other hand, you’re launching when 100K+(++) of your target demographic have limited Internet access. Damned it you do, damned if you don’t. I probably would have launched the Wed or Thurs before Comicon (and they did talk to the LA Times plenty early) and run something at the booth. Not a fan of announcing without a live link. I see the total pledged has doubled in ~11 hours. It’s a healthy start.

  4. Harry says:

    This is a very interesting attempt that I have already pledged to.

    I am looking forward to the repercussions if (and I’m almost sure it will), it succeeds.

  5. horatio weisfeld says:

    This is the future of the Comic Book / Graphic Novel (and maybe much of all creative business) unfolding before our eyes.

    We can only pray (or whatever) that it all moves toward something more just and equitable than what has gone before.

  6. Isn’t it a little weird for publishers to be using Kickstarter?

  7. horatio weisfeld says:

    Isn’t it a little weird for publishers to be using Kickstarter?

    >>

    @Nathan Schreiber:

    The question has given me pause (and still does) – but this may turn out to be a business model that really does work for / supports those who want to be independent – and are willing to work for it… time will tell.

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