Template: A New Focus, A New Direction

00By Quinton Miles

So, here we are.

After five months of non-stop, weekly self-publishing online and a false start campaign, we've finally figured it out. Maybe. Possibly. I think?

TEMPLATE, our cyberpunk themed digital comic series, is funding on Kickstarter again with a drastically scaled back focus and direction for its print edition. And it's one that I'm hoping will lead to its success.

Those of you who happened to catch my other Bleeding Cool article on Light of Dawn know a bit of the backstory for this, but I'll recap just in case. After the original Light of Dawn campaign failed, I immediately knew things had to change regarding my approach to the platform.  Simply put, I'm an unknown quantity to everybody despite having written a few mobile video games you likely haven't played.

If my other campaigns were any indication, I wasn't going to win the lottery and blow up on Kickstarter with a few completed pages of story and a concept. No matter how good I personally perceived it to be.  Despite all of the stories out there on how to do a successful Kickstarter campaign, let me let you in on a little "secret": there is no absolute science to it and 99% of it falls on the strength of your network. And mine clearly isn't strong enough yet.

That said, I'm also not afraid of experimentation and throwing things against the wall to see what sticks. So, with that in mind, I came up with a new strategy to address that very weakness. The cornerstone of that was releasing my next story online for free in its entirety.

TEMPLATE is a story laced with themes of legacy, choice and determining the point of one's own existence. And I definitely can't forget the robots, mad scientists and conspiracy theories. I'm the writer/co-creator, with Andres Quezada being the artist/co-creator. Comics veteran Nathan Lumm is our colorist, and MaGnus is the letterer. As I mentioned above, we've been self-publishing this on a non-stop weekly schedule since April 3, and 63 pages of the 90 page story can be read for free right here at my web portal, qamcomics.com. If you're a fan of the Thrillbent model, that's basically what we're doing on a much lower scale. For now, that is.

The series has gotten some great reviews from the coverage we've been able to get, and readers have compared it to everything from Metal Gear Solid to Orphan Black to Dollhouse. Among others. It definitely makes me smile that people see different things in it when doing that.

We're on track to finish what we're calling Volume 1 of TEMPLATE on November 27, and we'd like to get the print version out shortly after in January. The original plan was to shoot for retail, which was the goal of the first campaign, but that level of support didn't look to be there so we scaled back our focus.  We now want to get a print copy to anyone who wants one directly, so we've been able to slash the project goal drastically to $1000.  Hence the new campaign.

Even if you have no earthly idea who any of the names are above, there's a tangible comic for you to check out to come to your own conclusions regarding the quality. Read as much or as little as you like, and if you want to help us out we definitely appreciate the support.

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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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