Jimmy Palmiotti writes for Bleeding Cool about The Long Journey into Kickstarter – and a gift to the Bleeding Cool readers.
POP KILL #2 is currently running live. It's my 14th Kickstarter. We have art by Dave Johnson, Juan Santacruz, Brian Reber, Amanda Conner, and story by Dave and I; all put together by the amazing John J Hill.
The first Kickstarter I published was way back in 2011 for a hardcover called Queen Crab. I was reading about the exciting new way to crowdsource a project, and I was totally captivated. I decided to give it a look, see who was using it and study their campaigns to figure out how to apply it to something I wanted to produce. There was not much info available back then, so it took me a while to understand fully what had to be done. At the time, most of my comic book work was with big companies working on their characters, which they owned, or creating some new ones which I was able to share ownership with. At the time, I had a couple of projects put together for Image comics, but because I had to pay for those out of pocket to be produced, I was limited with funds or took on another partner to cover the costs of getting the book illustrated and put together. With this partnership, I had to promise each new partner a percentage of ownership. So, after a lot of research about Kickstarter, I loved the idea that I could pitch it to comic fans who could vote with their cash to see if the book would find its audience or not, and I found this intriguing.
So, to the present day, and 13 Kickstarters successfully funded…what I learned along the way I could write a book about all by itself, and put THAT on Kickstarter, but to be honest, it's a giant learning curve, and each project brings their own little problems and challenges along the way. This is good or bad, depending just how flexible you are. With this new POP KILL campaign, we've worked out most of the kinks, mainly because of my well-chosen partner with Paperfilms, Patrick Wedge. Patrick has been with me from the beginning, and he's been a tremendous help along the way because I found that we both really care how to treat the backers and understand that Kickstarter is all about your reputation as a creator and standing as someone that can communicate, respect, and have integrity with the entire process. We both worry about each and every package we send and even more, understand the frustration of the backers and what they have had to deal with other campaigns that did not communicate to deliver. We are all about customer service and its one of the most important aspects of any campaign.
Like everyone else that collects comics, I am a collector myself. I buy back issues, I have a lot of long boxes, and I slab the books I feel are gems. I collect original art. I support Kickstarters from creators I enjoy and so on. I am a consumer just like most of you, and our Kickstarter pledge levels are built with the collector in mind. We are offering exclusive covers, Mystery boxes, and even have slabbed a number of books with the help of the CGC people to offer as part of the campaign. One of the reasons I find the pledge levels, so fun is I am making them for a guy like me. Stuff I would buy off other Kickstarters myself, which I have a ton of. When I back a Kickstarter, the first thing I look at is to see if the creator is paying it forward and backing others. When they don't, this sends up a red flag for me. I only wish Kickstarter could come up with a rating system, even a simple one like they have on eBay would make all the difference.
Knowing people spend their hard-earned dollars on our projects, that means the world to us. When myself and lovely wife Amanda Conner are slumped over the table, signing thousands of books, it can be tiring. However, it's also highly rewarding to know and see when people open up our packages and post pictures and videos when they get their tiers. We laugh and smile knowing whatever we did, someone out there liked it. Here is just an example of someone unboxing one of our Mystery boxes
If you're still on the fence about our current project, we have digital rewards that cost very little. This will let you have a minimal investment to our POP KILL campaign. Want a bit more? We've got tiers for everyone. From catch-up packages to Mystery Boxes, CGC graded books, and variant covers. Giving a variety is key. Want another way to support our team? We sell a ton of stuff directly to fans on our personal website, www.paperfilms.com
Paperfilms has been our home for decades and the way we can interact with our fans, give them original art, signed comics, variant covers, exclusive options, and more. No distributor account needed, just head over, add to cart, and we'll mail directly to you. All this money, yup, you guessed it, we put most of it right back into the Kickstarters we mentioned above. Need some more incentive? How about a 20% coupon?
That's right, anyone reading this article can go to the website and enter BLEEDINGCOOL at checkout and get 20% off their total. This coupon will only last till 8/16/2020, so act fast!
Our future in comics is all about creators being able to express themselves in this amazing art form. Amanda and I are going to do more creator-owned projects in the near future, and having the Paperfilms website has been a great help in pushing our new ideas. We want to continue to make comics that exist as only comics and not worry about censorship, people holding licenses, and all the stuff that weighs down and restricts great ideas. We love the characters of the bigger companies, but it's time to introduce everyone to our own characters that we control and can be as goofy and as outrageous as we like.
In the end, we hope that you continue to support comics as much as you can at your local comic store. Buy the books and characters you have loved since you were younger and give new ideas a shot once in a while. We only hope and ask, give those Kickstarters, indie books, and self-published properties a chance. You never know what fun and excitement you might receive by backing a project.