In January of 2017, we spoke with the creators behind the Terminal Pulp Anthology from Imminent Press, which was seeking to raise $20,000 in funding on Kickstarter. That effort fell short, but a new Kickstarter in April for Terminal #1 was successfully funded for over $6,000, and backers of that were also given copies of Terminal #2. The gang at Imminent Press is back again with a Kickstarter for the third and fourth issues of the anthology, featuring work by Justin Gray, Dan Lauer, Stephanie Chan, Eric Palicki, Ande Rummel, Vito Delsante, António Brandão, Matt Brady, Nikola Čižmešija, and Kirsty Swan. Five bucks buys a digital copy of both issues, while print copies can be had for fifteen, amongst other reward levels.
But with just 3 days left to go, the Kickstarter still needs to raise over $5,000 to be funded. Caught between a rock and a hard place, editor Steve Ekstrom had no choice but to give a new interview to Bleeding Cool…
You're in the final days of the Kickstarter for Terminal #3 and #4, and you've still got more than $5,000 of your $8,000 goal to raise. That's got to be a tough spot to be in. What happened? And what will it take to raise the funds needed to hit your goal?
I don't think any one particular thing happened. There were definitely setbacks with our first two issues coming out and making it out to our backers in time. I'm still fulfilling orders for it. October is the last month you can fund projects without worrying about the holiday season impeding our efforts—so there's this bum rush to get small projects funded. I'm not going to say that the project wasn't good enough to compete—these two issues were stacked with talent. Our launch was a little stifled by the lack of Thunderclap which helped generate a huge initial pop for our first effort—but that's just a one day gimmick.
Kickstarting a project is hard whether you've done one or twenty. You walk this line of thinking that's imperative where you're all, "I have to push this as hard as I can…" and, on the other side of the spectrum, you're like, "Holy shit, I'm going to annoy the hell out of everyone by posting 200 times about these pamphlets I want to produce."
We have about 3 Days to Raise $5000.
Do I think we can do it? Maybe. "Never tell me the odds." You know? [laughs]
I refuse to sulk. I don't want to push negativity out into the universe. I just want to produce comics that promote the very talented men and women that I've surrounded myself with at Imminent Press. We put our band together to help each other reach a larger audience. So, pass or fail, we're going to do just that.
Tell us about the creators and stories in these next two issue of the Terminal Anthology.
Well, we've got a VERY stacked deck this time around.
In Terminal #3, we're featuring Justin Gray with artist Dan Lauer for a quirky supernatural piece titled, "Fausto Colon". Imagine Dr. Strange by way of the Big Lebowski with some eclectic demonology thrown on top for good measure. Justin's writing has this amazingly wry tone in this story. It's witty and deft. Dan Lauer's artwork is gritty and perfect for our interconnected pulp setting.
On back-up, Eric Palicki teams up with Ande Rummel for "Oubliette" which is another strange story about a killer who ceases to exist if you're looking directly at him. It's extremely well-paced for a short comic and Ande Rummel's work is really gorgeous and unique.
Issue 4 of Terminal features the stalwart Vito Delsante and his Tech noir suspense story, "Steeltown" featuring my good friend and Portuguese artist, António Brandão, whose work continues to blow my mind as he develops. He's an amazing storyteller and, partnered with Vito…they just tear the house down.
The back-up story in #4, features ex-Newsarama Front Man, Matt Brady, working with Croatian wunderkind, Nikola Čižmešija, who I discovered through the MillarWorld 2017 online entries (Thanks, Mark!). Brady's story, "Gemini XIV", is an introduction to a Post-Modern Sci-Fi hero and his two witty children. The kids rescue their father's old buddy, an astronaut with an interesting past, from captivity.
Both standard issues feature interconnecting covers by Bob Rivard that also connect with the first two issues to create a panoramic subway platform featuring characters from every story. Our Ultra Rare Pro Artist variants feature Josh Adams, Vasilis Lolos, Richard Pace, and Jeff Johnson. My inner 14 year-old nerds out at the notion that my favorite artist from the old Wonder Man book has so kindly joined us for our variant. These covers also connect to feature a huge image from artists across the industry.
On social media, you've said The Kickstarter has been the subject of bullying, and you've turned it around into a marketing hashtag. What's that about?
Yeah…I picked up a stalker from the Bounding Into Comics ComicsGate Propaganda Trash News Blog. We'll just call him 'Kenny'. He's some really pathetic aging man-boy with a wife and four kids who has been following me for 10 months on social media, attacking me from a bunch of anonymous sock-puppet accounts. He managed to get my contact info off of a URL registry and he's gone as far as tagging my parents' home on Google Maps and he's constructed a Facebook page that insinuates that I am a pedophile. He's basically the Pumpkin Spice Latte Basic Bitch of Troll-dom who uses the same 3-4 not-so-clever digs at creators like "soy boy", "cuck", and says stuff like, "Did your girlfriend's boyfriend give you permission to say that online?"
He's just kinda pathetic.
Well, he managed to get my number and he decided to text me from an anonymous Google+ Number that he was enjoying watching my Kickstarter fail and that he wanted to give me $5000 so he could watch my book suck.
Sigh. He doesn't have $5000. Not with 4 kids. So his postulations were just sort of laughable.
So I made his handiwork into an ad for my campaign…because why not? And I decided to make him into a hashtag so he could potentially see other people agreeing that he's sort of this Bush League hack of a troll.
So we're tagging everything with #STFUKenny now.
Because, sincerely, this sort of behavior, especially from a grown-ass man with 4 kids and a wife…is just sort of laughable. The fact that he persists is laughable.
I'm not even mad. I'm just sort of like, "Welp…okay."
And we're not taking his theft of my identity lightly. Attorneys are putting together the stuff we've accumulated from him over the past several months and we're going to pursue him through proper legal channels.
As far as crowdfunded comics go, the Terminal Anthology has a pretty high value to cost ratio. It's $25 to get four issues of the anthology in print, $10 to get all four digitally, plus a ton of digital bonus content as part of the campaign too. It wouldn't be unheard of for a single comic to go for $25 in crowdfunding. What's your strategy there, and how does it play into the overall mission of Imminent Press?
One of the biggest issues that I have as an indie creator making stuff is that I also buy comics and I know how much they cost to make. I know how much they cost to send through the mail.
So I see a lot of disparity in the monies that are collected and how they are put back into the projects to give your supporters value.
Charging $25 for a 48-52 page book that you send through the mail on a media rate postage sticker is HIGHWAY ROBBERY. That's not how you turn a profit.
You turn a profit by taking the money you receive from investors and you invest into your project. You then take the products made from your investment money and you sell those books, shirts, prints, stickers, whatever…and you THEN make a profit.
So, before I ever tackled a project, I wanted to make sure that Imminent Press backed the Loot Truck up to the Backers and we made sure that you felt like you got a proper Return on Investment.
So, for $25, you receive 4 physical comics, on high-grade matte paper, 144 pages of content from up-and-coming indie creators, plus 2 prints and over 500 pages of digital comics from our squad.
For $35, you can get all 4 of our extremely limited variants (we're only printing 200 of each book…ever) and you get the same material. The same boat load of rewards.
I'm not here to turn a profit. Not yet. I want to make a living making comics. But I want to show our collective audience that we're not going to disappoint first and foremost.
I mentioned setbacks earlier. We have had some stuff slowing down the reception of our initial offerings. This has been a constant learning experience for me. I intend to continue to grow from the experience as I satisfy people who support us.
I'm thinking about what we should title this interview to maximize exposure and give it the best chance of getting eyes on the Kickstarter. Topics that do well, traffic-wise, at Bleeding Cool include the Snyder Cut, anything having to do with the X-Men, the Batpenis, Roman Reigns, retailers complaining about stuff, cosplay photos, Rob Liefeld, Twitter fights, the list goes on but you get the idea. Pick one or two of those things and give me your thoughts about it so we can get a juicy headline going.
Well, it doesn't have Batman's dick in it…but there's a naked Fausto Colon on the cover of #3. We're trying to draw people in and show readers and publishers that we're a crew of 25+ creators who know how to work like a team to make professional looking comics.
The Terminal Pulp Anthology is just a bunch of us kicking the door down and saying, "We're here to make comics." We're also going to be launching our own hub site for all of our content soon that will feature updating web content Monday through Friday. We're going to have regular web comics and we'll have some comic strip style content. We want to organize under one label together like a gang because we all firmly believe that a rising tide raises all ships.
Comics don't have to be this medium where everyone is competing for the same $5; the more of us that are flourishing, the healthier we become as a medium. I think that notion is lost with a lot of sour grapes in the scene currently. If you're a white dude who is bitching because a woman is making comics, or people of color are making comics, or someone from the LGBTQIA+ community is making comics and you think they're taking the job you believe you're entitled to?
You're not working hard enough, bruh. You're not making the cut and they are. Learn to compete or…like Kenny…kindly STFU and get out of our way.
It's not rocket science. And you don't have to try to undermine the careers of others to gain some sort of footing. Up your game or GTFO.
But I digress…
We have roughly 3 Days left. We want to sell you comics. We want to entertain you.
The choice is yours to make if you want to check out our project. I'm not going to sit and cry and stomp up and down that I wasn't supported. I'm not going to make excuses.
I'm still going to keep making these damn pamphlets and trying to help other creators publish their content in spite of the challenges in front of me.
If you're so inclined, head to the Terminal #3 and #4 Kickstarter and pledge within the next three days.