It was launched to help fund the publication of a number of new Archie titles, part of the Riverdale Reborn line. A new Jughead title, a new Betty & Veronica title, a new Kevin Keller title, all from top drawer talent such as Chip Zdarsky and Adam Hughes, to accompany the new Archie series by Mark Waid and Fiona Staples.
But from the start there were questions of the appropriateness of a mainstream publisher using crowdfunding. If retailers were being pushed out of the equation, Archie directly competing with them for customers, how much of this was down to cashflow problems, a new deal with Wal-Mart and Target and how was getting paid what.
Rather than about the comics.
Well, now Archie Comics have taken their ball home. The Kickstarter, which had raised 35K of its planned 350K is to be cancelled.
Archie CEO Jon Goldwater has emailed donors saying,
We launched the "New Riverdale" Kickstarter as a unique and innovative way to celebrate the company's upcoming 75th anniversary and to bring attention to some new titles that we are extremely excited about—JUGHEAD by Chip Zdarsky, BETTY AND VERONICA by Adam Hughes and LIFE WITH KEVIN by Dan Parent and J. Bone. We decided to dive into crowdfunding as an energetic, interactive and different method to raise money to help expedite the launch of these titles. The chance to engage with you, our fans, directly was really appealing to us, and we're extremely grateful and honored by the support and pledges we've received.
While the response to these new titles has been amazing, the reaction to an established brand like Archie crowdfunding has not been. Though we saw this as an innovative, progressive and "outside-the-box" way to fund the accelerated schedule we wanted to produce these books, it became another conversation, leading us further away from the purpose of this whole campaign: to get these amazing books in the hands of fans faster than we could on our own. While we fully expected our goal to be funded, it was no longer about the books and how amazing they will be. We don't want that. This is why we're shutting this Kickstarter down today.
We don't regret trying something new. It's what Archie's been about for the last six years. We will continue to be a fearless, risk-taking and vibrant brand that will do its best to embrace new platforms, technology and ways to interact with you, the fans. As a company, we have always prided ourselves on pushing boundaries and challenging expectations and perceptions.
The wonderful New Riverdale titles we wanted to launch will still come out—albeit not as quickly as we would have hoped had we attained the funding via Kickstarter. We believe in these books and know they'll find an audience in comic shops, fueled by great stories and amazing creators.
We'd like to thank the great team at Kickstarter for their guidance and feedback and the entire staff at Archie Comics for their endless hours of hard work and dedication to this very special initiative.
And, most importantly, to you, our fans that pledged money to this Kickstarter—we thank you. Not only do we thank you, but we still want to interact directly with you. Your dedication, love of Archie and his friends and endless positivity are examples to all.
We would love to keep in contact with all of the fans who wanted to contribute to our project. If you were one of our Kickstarter backers, please send an e-mail so that we may gather your e-mail addresses and send you all special thank-you gifts as tokens of our indescribable appreciation.
Your support means the world to us.
Time to write an e-mail…