If you've been following Bleeding Cool recently, you know that publisher Alterna has already inked a global newsstand distribution deal for their upcoming line of newsprint comics aiming to put comic books back in places where people who don't already buy comics might see them, and make them affordable enough that potential new readers won't die laughing at the price. What you didn't know, because it happened so fast, is that Alterna launched a 7 day Kickstarter last week to help support the release, and that Kickstarter ends tomorrow!
How could you have almost missed it? What? It's our fault? How could we have almost missed it?!
Thankfully, it's not too late.
As to why they're looking for Kickstarter funding, the page explains:
While we budgeted for the print runs that will go toward comic shops, we weren't able to foresee the budget costs of expanded print runs for newsstand distribution (this is relatively uncharted territory) or the cost of BIPAD numbers (unique – and costly – UPC numbers required by the magazine industry) and because of those two factors, we're hoping that the Kickstarter community will come out to support our endeavor as we'll be the first creator-owned publisher in decades to have comic books available on newsstands. Newsstand publications also have to have different bar codes than their comic shop counterparts, which adds another bit of a road bump. That's because the newsstand industry has a standard 2 digit supplement code and comic book distribution has a 5 digit supplement code. The cost to print different covers is minimal (interiors will remain the same) but it's still something that we need to do.
The BIPAD numbers are about $150 each, which set us behind on our budget by $3K as we needed 20 of these to move forward with newsstand distribution (yes, that's right, we'll be releasing at least 20 newsprint comics over the next two years+!) – so the first $3K raised will go towards filling that unexpected expense. The next $2K will go towards supporting increased print run numbers for our first 4 books.
So as long as we reach our goal of $5K we'll be all set to move forward – but it'd be great if we could raise more, as every $1K raised will unlock a small BONUS stretch reward for every backer (stickers, trading card, pins, coasters, window clings, signed mini-poster) and every $2K raised will unlock the ability to purchase a larger stretch reward at a discounted price (tote bags, shirts, beanies). The extra funding will also enable us to securely move forward on future increased print runs, and support them fully with advertising and promotional materials for your favorite comic shops and stores. From that point on, the line should be self-sustaining.
The good news is, the project has already surpassed its funding goal and begun unlocking stretch goals. The bad news is, you have to act fast if you want to get in on it. In addition to rewards that include digital copies of the books, tote bags and t-shirts, graphic novels, and physical copies of the newsprint comics, you can also purchase ads in the comics through the Kickstarter.
Alterna's newsprint comics launch in May with four books, each priced at $1.50 or lower, available in local shops, which can be pre-ordered through those shops now. Two months after, the books will hit newsstands, hopefully attracting new readers and, basically, making everything in the world like it was back in the 80s.
Ok, maybe it won't go that far. But it will be nice for comics to be an impulse buy again and not an investment that requires long-term financial planning.