Kickstopped: Jason Pearson and Body Bags – "A Series That I Really Hated Doing"

I believe that very few people turn to crowdfunding intentionally to con donors. But for all manner of reasons, whatever was being funded can get later and later and then disappears. Lateness is not uncommon, there are so many reasons, some creators keep people in the loop and give refunds to those who request them. But for other creators, updates stop. People who complain get blocked. And this response – or lack of one – fuels rage and turns someone who may have been a biggest fan, into a hater.

Of late I have been gathering details of a number of those cases. And I am trying to find out exactly what happened.

Jason Pearson is a very successful comic book creator, with work including Body Bags, Global Frequency, Tom Strong, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Deadpool, X-Men and many more. But it is his creator-owned dark comedy series about father-and-daughter assassins for Dark Horse, Body Bags, that has attracted the acclaim. And that appears to be the problem. He few uears ago, he had talked about  personal issues that had caused problems, but seemed to be pulling things together again.

Kickstopped: Jason Pearson and Body Bags – "A Series That I Really Hated Doing"

In late 2015, he received $39,514 from 466 backers on Kickstarter to create a 96 page Body Bags story, Don't Die Unless I Kill You, five people also donated $1200-$1500 each for commissions. Twenty-six people pledged $200 each for rewards including a sketch card. People were throwing down dollar.

Kickstopped: Jason Pearson and Body Bags – "A Series That I Really Hated Doing"

The comic in question was to be delivered in four chapters digitally, with the print version to be mailed later. He showed off some recent Body Bags work as well, which gave the appearance of somone prodigiously creating work.

There were delays but he showed some style/character examples and in July 2016 posted,

This is the line up of the characters for the Kickstarter mini-series. There might be design changes later. We'll see.

I just wanted to let you guys know that I'm on this new series like black on a black eyed pea!

The next update was the following April, saying,

To all the Kickstarter contributors and fans. BODY BAGS: 'Don't Die Until I Kill You' —

I'm late (over a year now); understand, that the last time I did a BB series, in '96, I ended up in a hospital, in ICU, with several thousand dollars in personal debt. So when people ask for another Body Bags story, I want to bash their heads in with a baseball bat. But here we are. No complaints. No sob stories. All the pressure is on me, never on you. This story is all heart. No love. It's as brutal as my perceptions of beauty. Story is done and art is finally on the train tracks and moving forward. Kickstarter–you'll see pages at the end of next month.

And that was that. No pages. On his Facebook page he has posted other art, other sketches, other work, but nothing from the planned Body Bags comics. Other crowdfunding rewards have not been fulfilled either.

So, with numerous e-mails asking me what's what, I asked Jason Pearson directly what was up, and what I could tell people who had donating to his Kickstarter. He told me,

That I'm writing and drawing pages for a series that I really hated doing and didn't amount to much. Ironically- This series is all that I have left now to right the wrongs that I never made. That I'm doing my best. That is always what I'm doing. I could kick out a comic book series with absurd characters and with an empty story. But that would be the usual. I'm anything but usual. If you, as others, are angry with me, it's up to you I'm always going to do my best with or without you. Patience is the key if any of you wish to be with me. Thanks for asking but I doubt that will be enough at this point and time.

Will it?

Kickstopped: Jason Pearson and Body Bags – "A Series That I Really Hated Doing"

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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