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Kickstarter has been a great resource for comic book creators, writers, and artists. Womanthology raised 437% of its $25,000 goal, making it, at the time, the most highly-funded Kickstarter comic project. TwoKinds, a published book seeking higher-quality printing, shot past its $25,000 goal to make over $197,000. And the current highest funding project as of today is a reprint drive for The Order of the Stick, making over $1.2 million in its Kickstarter campaign.
However, there are many comic book Kickstarters that don’t get funded, and one wonders why that might be. Could it be that the artist or writer doesn’t have a wide fanbase? Could not having a finished product hurt the Kickstarter campaign? Or are they simply asking for too much funding?
Joanna Draper Carlson wrote an article about The Garlicks, a Kickstarter campaign by artist Lea Hernandez that recently failed. Hernandez was asking for $40,000 to create and publish The Garlicks and raised almost $17,000.
Commenters had a lot to say about the project. Some believed that The Garlicks needed to be more complete than a sketched-out six-page pilot. Others felt that $40,000 was a lot to ask for a brand-new serialized webcomic that wouldn’t be collected into a trade for at least a year. Still others had reservations because Hernandez wasn’t just using the money for publishing costs, but was also going to be paying her own salary from the Kickstarter funds.
Another Kickstarter failure was The Mouth-Watering Adventures of Bacon. In this funding project, three artists were vying for a shot at drawing the book. “Your pledges determine which of these talented illustrators will bring The Mouth-Watering Adventures of Bacon to the printed page. Every dollar you pledge is equal to one vote,” says the funding page.
This project probably succumbed to a perceived lack of direction and the fact that there was no product currently in production. While the campaign raised $2,334, it was well short of the $19,754 they were looking for.
Looking at the top three most successful comic book Kickstarter campaigns, you notice a trend. Two out of the three had completed projects that needed funding for printing and distribution. This seems to be a trend with the most-funded projects. Womanthology didn’t have a finished project, but had a large fanbase and great promotion behind it. Plus, none of the writers or artists on the project were being paid with Kickstarter funds.
What are your feelings on this topic? Do you feel that Kickstarter funds should be used to pay the salaries of artists and writers on a project? Are you less likely to fund a Kickstarter if it is too ambitious financially? Or do you feel that failed Kickstarters are under-promoted? Share your thoughts in the comments.