By Christopher Irving
Madman Comin' Atcha 3D Trading Cards
Michael Allred, Laura Allred, Christopher Irving, Christian LeBlanc
May 6 close date/July 2015 delivery
Mike Allred's Madman goes 3D again this summer! This set smacks of the awesomeness of old school trading cards, and shows a cross-section of all Snap City and all Madman's adventures!
I'm writing this piece a few hours after my Kickstarter campaign got funded. Mike Allred, who I've known since I was a college kid in the late '90s, gave Christian LeBlanc (Madman In Your Face 3D Special Starring Frank Einstein) and I the chance to make more Madman swag. I'd just helped Bill Murphy of Fresh Monkey Fiction successfully raise the funds for the Amazing Heroes action figure line–which includes a brand new '80s style figure of the Madman of Snap City himself I'd help set up.
So, Christian and I put our heads together and came up with the Madman Comin' Atcha 3D Trading Cards, something that has proven to be a logistical challenge in the early planning stages (like, three months of planning worth), but is gonna be so very worth it once they're printed. I've had to get pricing for everything from cards (and then, what type of stock to print on), custom packaging (a sweet tuck box), how people can view the cards (a special card-sized Spec viewer that fits in right with the cards), and even figuring out how I can bribe my friends to help me hand collate the final sets when they show up on my doorstep.
To spare you too much more of my rambling, here are a few things I picked up while doing this, my first full Kickstarter rodeo:
The video. I wanted the video to be great, short, funny, and to the point. I wrote the script and hired my friends Shawn Hambright and Joey Tran of DoubleTake to shoot and edit it. That is my actual niece in it and all her stuff was improv-ed.
Having a lousy video is like showing up for a nice dinner date in jeans and a t-shirt. It really is your best first impression of you as a person, and I'm very proud of the work they did.
The Artist Edition Deck. I got six incredibly talented comics pals to each contribute an original Madman card for a 10-card deck. Dean Haspiel, Simon Fraser, Bizhan Khodabandeh, George Folz, Ethan Young, and Terry Huddleston all created original pieces to go alongside new conversions of classic Madman pieces by Alex Toth, Jack Kirby, Darwyn Cooke, and Frank Frazetta. They're all rock stars, as far as I'm concerned, and starting with Dean's turning in his piece first, the email chain reminded me of my times back up in the Brooklyn studios with Dino, Simon, Reilly Brown, Laura Lee Gulledge, and everyone else.
The print costs. I met a swell guy named Richard Parks, who has an independent trading card company (RRParks Cards), and produces official 3D Three Stooges cards. He also has a Basil Wolverton set for sale. Richard has been a fount of wisdom, and after just talking to me for half an hour, set me up with his print broker. That made all the difference; without it (or Richard's constant advice and support), my goal would have to be much higher than $3,500.
The timing. My timing for the launch wasn't the best, because it was sort of between WonderCon and MoCCAFest. Comics media coverage has been spotty, since I think the cons and all the movie and TV news coming out has taken such a front seat. But, we still did get our initial goal in less than a week! Next campaign I do, I won't time it around any conventions or anticipated big announcements.
But the coolest thing: We're funded and I'm going to help make more Madman swag! Getting to play in the Snap City Sandbox is a dream come true for Christian and I!
The only thing better is if we hit our stretch goal for more cards ($5K), and then plow through to hit our second stretch goal of $7K.
Because I have even more cool cards I'm itchin' to do, and my work isn't done for three more weeks.
Check out the Madman Comin' Atcha 3D Trading Cards, and we won't complain if you want to drop a pledge or two on us. Like us on Facebook and spread the word.
Christopher Irving is a comic book historian, writer, and actor in Richmond, Virginia. His prior work includes the Graphic NYC/Leaping Tall Buildings project with photographer Seth Kushner, serving as Associate Editor of Comic Book Artist magazine, and writing copy for the Amazing Heroes action figure line.