Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Week three of Tiny Kickstarter

Last week got away from me and I let it slip by without a blog. Argh. We’re on week 3 of the Tiny Kickstarter is nearly gone leaving us with one week left. A whole bunch of you have pledged your support—and I am incredibly grateful for that. For those of you who haven’t pledged and intend to—stop waiting and get it done now.

JenniGregoryArtforTiny

JenniGregoryArtforTiny

Once it is all said and done, Tiny will be 52 pages of story and art printed in two installments. We’re over halfway done with it all, the first installment is finished! Check out this cool “snow” panel from the second issue! Wow!

For you fans of original art, there are still two pieces available from two fantastic artists (attached to this blog!): both Jim Hall and Jenni Gregory have contributed original art to help us get funds. They are fantastic pieces! Grab one now before they are all gone!

So, we’ve been honored to be featured on some pretty cool podcasts. You should go give them a listen because they were nice enough to have us on.

The Riley and Kimmy show:
http://rileyandkimmyshow.blogspot.com/2016/05/podcast-881-roland-mann-megacon.html

WeBeGeeks:
http://webegeekspc.com/wbg-ep-171-tiny-deonna-herrold-roland-mann/

The Derek Diamond Experience:

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/e/5/0e5e5d731d118afc/DDE_105_RolandDeonna.mp3?c_id=11856588&expiration=1466068318&hwt=05b51415d196dab9bc8da5fc7a02c290

JimHallArtforTiny

JimHallArtforTiny

The Worst Comic Podcast Ever (this is the name of the podcast, not anything judgmental from me!)

https://worstcomicpodcastever.com/2016/06/03/wcpe-episode-101-for-june-1-2016-pcc-recap-dcs-rebirth-caps-retcon-and-a-tiny-review/

We’ve got an upcoming session on Wayne’s Comics Podcast, and a live—yes, LIVE—session on Her Dork World/His Dork world. That will be June 23 at midnight! It’ll be just a few days before the Tiny Kickstarter campaign ends, so I’m sure we’ll be giving it a push. You can point your web browsers to vocnation.com on Thursday night to give it a listen. There will be a number you can call in and chat with us, too, ask us some hard questions.

I’ll be attending two comic shows in July. I’ll be in Paragould Arkansas July 9 and 10 for the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo (here: https://www.friendlyneighborhoodcomicexpo.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/Friendlyneighborhoodcomicexpo/). I’m hoping that many of my friends and family in the Clay County area will come out to see what I do that’s NOT newspaper writing/editing.

Then, from July 21-24, I’ll be attending San Diego Comic Con for the first time since 1999! I hear it’s changed a lot, but I’m hoping to see many old friends and make new ones…maybe even pitch a comic or two!

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Tiny Kickstarter Update and Megacon Report

Like last week, I’ve got two things to cover in this blog. Yes, I considered two separate blog entries, but figured you don’t want your notifications dinging with Ramblin’ updates so I’m combining them!

Roland and Deonna at Megacon with Tiny#1

Roland and Deonna at Megacon with Tiny#1

First up, a Megacon report. This year, the convention moved to Memorial Day weekend and extended the show to four days. I’m not convinced a fourth day was necessary, but Saturday didn’t see quite as overwhelming as it has in the past. Oh, it was still busy, just not claustrophobically so.

Booth/table numbering on the convention floor needs addressing, as there was no easy way for fans/attendees to find artist spots. The vendor area was clearly marked with aisle numbers, but those numbers did not correlate at all into artist alley.

I was fortunate to be beside my good pals Barry and Jenni Gregory who do some pretty awesome comic books! Additionally, it was fantastic to have sensational artist Deonna Herrold at the table helping me promote Tiny.

And that’s where I have the first of the two bits of good news I have to report. We sold completely out of all the copies of Tiny #1 we had! We were winding down to literally the last few minutes and had ONE copy left. So, I jumped in front of the table and started telling folks that and asking them to consider buying it so I could say we sold out! Mollie Tee sprang into action and made it happen for us! We captured the moment with a picture! (also, the link goes to her instagram photo, so show her some love since she showed US love!) THANK YOU Mollie Tee! Because of you, we can honestly say we sold out of Tiny #1 at MegaCon. I’ve never sold out of a new issue of anything like that before—not in 25+ years of conning! I’ve sold “bunches,” but never “out!”

The second bit of good news is that the Tiny Kickstarter is off to a great start! We were completely funded in a little less than four days—quite exciting for us. That doesn’t take you off the hook from supporting us. Yes, I EXPECT you to go over and support us. At this point in time there’s not a question of “making is,” your pledge is essentially pre-ordering the comics! Basically, you’ve just got to decide if you’re going to get the comics for yourself…or for someone else! So, what are you waiting for? Help us keep the momentum going—go do it!

 

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Introducing Tiny

Tiny, scared and alone.

Tiny, scared and alone.

I’m very excited to tell you about a new comic project and to give you a peek at what’s to come. But first, let me tell you how it came about.

Comic projects for me have always come about in different ways. Sometimes it’s that I have an idea and I look for a collaborator, but more often than not, it’s that I meet an artist and then the project comes together as a result of a friendship or conversations, etc.

Many of you are aware of my daughter Brittany’s acting—many of you have rallied and given her likes and shares when I’ve asked…and thank you for that…but it’s actually her acting that got Tiny off the ground.

Tiny and the troll mom

Tiny and the troll mom

Brittany had been to Disney a few times to audition for one of the performance roles. It’s an interesting process that I won’t go in to now, but she ended up meeting and befriending Deonna Herrold, who was there for the same reason. I don’t remember exactly how it all came about, but Brittany said she’d talked to her and that Deonna had “an interest” in drawing comics.

Now, because of my time in comics, I’ve heard that…a lot. I’ve also heard people tell me they have an interest in “being a writer.” So when I hear that, I generally just shrug. I’ve got an interest in being an astronaut, too.

But Brittany continued talking with her and eventually showed me a piece of Deonna’s art. I was pretty floored, and after seeing more, I had Brittany ask her how serious she was in her “interest.”

Turns out, she was VERY serious!

One of Tiny's rescuers!

One of Tiny’s rescuers!

The first time I met Deonna, she showed me a sketchbook chock full of art and it was clear to see the Disney influence on her work. So I did what I often do when talking with artists and asked her what sort of story she’d like to draw. She had a lot of interests (what creator doesn’t, right?), but she was very interested in fairy tales. And so because I always want my artist collaborators to enjoy the story they’re working on, and not knowing a whole lot of fairy tales, I did some research.

There are some really strange fairy tales out there, let me just leave it at that.

So I pieced together three that I thought would be fun to do and visually interesting to draw (as an artist) and see (as the reader) and pitched them to her. She selected what is now Tiny.

Baby Tiny

Baby Tiny

But here’s the cool thing—and this demonstrates just how serious Deonna is—the first issue—a full 26 pages—is DONE! This time next week we’ll be launching our kickstarter to get the 2nd issue completed. As you can see from the art samples here, Deonna’s got the chops! We’ll be counting on all of you to help!

So what is Tiny? It’s our version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story: Tiny must survive the trials of being Tiny and staying alive, all the while trying to find out who she really is.

Stay tuned for more info!

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Kickstarter reflection (or, part 4)

Did you miss me? I missed me. As I tell my students and writers conference attendees, there’s no real good reason for not writing. And while I don’t really consider this blog my “writing,” it is part of my writing process, something which helps keep my creative juices going.

Well, that…and reading. Reading a lot.

But it seems one thing or another has kept me from writing here. One of those things, I think, was wrapping up the Kickstarter segments. For pure transparency, I was a bit bummed we didn’t make it…and then afterwards, Joe had to move on to other projects, which effectively kills Citizens as is. That said, I DO have good news on other projects fronts, and I hope to be talking about two of them very soon!

But even though I finished the posts, I wanted to actually reflect a little on the campaign.

One of the telling things about running a Kickstarter campaign is that it becomes very clear where the “support” comes from. While you can get anonymous donors (I had a couple), most support and then get on board to help the campaigners get the word out. The supporters of Citizens did just that. There were some who I felt went above and beyond trying to help me and Joe make our goal—I saw multiple posts from them telling people to go check it out. Of course, I’m incredibly thankful for those people!

I think the biggest surprise to me from the entire thing was the overwhelming lack of support from the Christian community. Most of you here know that about me. I don’t blog a lot about my faith…I try to live it more than talk about it—though sometimes I do. Of course, you know too, that I fail a lot on “being” a Christian. I guess that’s just part of my path. But after my “religious conversion,” I tried to immerse myself in the “Christian creative community.” As a new believer, I wanted to be a part of it. I bought books, comics, movies, and music that I didn’t know existed. Most of it really bad, but I wanted to support it so that I could see it improve. Sad to learn it’s a one way street.

Will I do another kickstarter? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I will. In fact, I’m already thinking of them. One KEY factor is that the art is going to have to be mostly done so that the delivery date is closer. That, and I’m going to push harder for earlier pledges. So if you pledged to Citizens, I’ll be coming to you again asking you to support the next one. If the project looks interesting to you, I’ll ask that you pledge early–because it helps generate heat on the KS campaign.

Okay…now back to writing…and grading. Lots of grading.

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Kickstarter part 3, Wizard World Ft. Lauderdale

I’ve just come off of two back to back Wizard World Comic Cons (Nashville and Ft. Lauderdale) and am still battling some sort of Con Crud. Ugh. No fevers, just sore throat and coughing. Seems to be far worse in the a.m.

Wizard World Comic Con in Ft. Lauderdale was fun…but seemed to be light on attendees; not much foot traffic. Not sure if there was something else competing for folks or not. The Wizard crew was as efficient as ever and I got to chat with some cool folks including attempting to start some “charge for autograph” trouble with Neal Adams…but he didn’t take the bait! Haha Shared my spot (and hotel room) with the talented Joe Badon and had a blast doing so! Also got to meet Joel Adams in the flesh–I worked with him VERY briefly back during my Marvel/Ultraverse days.

But figured I’d get back to the Kickstarter thread and finish it up. The nervous feeling never went away, not during the entire process. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough, even though I was emailing folks, posting updates to social media, getting on podcasts, etc. But that’s exactly what I did after finishing up the video—hit “launch” and I began to send out emails and contact bloggers and podcasters to see if they were interested in featuring the book.

Now that the campaign is over, I think I probably started contacting the bloggers and podcasters too late. I think the emails were fine because most of those were very personal and I didn’t really want to suddenly become a spammer with “I’m ABOUT to launch” one…followed by the “I’ve launched so please go support.” I dunno, maybe I should have. KS tells you that the most successful campaigns are those that reach 30% or greater during the first few days. We only reached about 20%.

No one pledged for the original art from Kyle Hotz or Joie Simmons, either, which surprised me. I think, though, that maybe not HAVING the art hurt. When I try one again, I’ll be sure to try to get the art.

In the end, we quoted too high a print run and for too many prints. Very few folks actually pledged to get the prints—which is news to be as I thought those would be popular, particularly based on what seems to be popular at the comic shows. I probably should have build the campaign around a much smaller print run (100 vs 500) and knocked out the prints…or reduced them.

I’m not done with Kickstarter, though, as I think it is a good tool for creators. Not sure what project will be next, but I’m actually kind of anxious for it. Citizens won’t be immediately relaunched as Joe has personal projects to attend to…so not sure what the future holds for the book. I really wanted it to be a full length graphic novel and not a shorter work…but that might not be in the works for it.

Okay, this is a little shorter than normal because I’m headed back to bed (writing this in the pm hours). Thanks for reading, y’all!

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Kickstarter, Citizens, and Wizard World Nashville

This post will be shorter than I really mean it to be, but I want to get it out because there are only a few hours left in the Citizens kickstarter–which you can get to using this link: http://kck.st/1EUGp6v

I’ll get back to my entire Kickstarter thread, but regrettably I can’t get to it in this post…simply not enough hours in the day to let me do that. I will get back to it, though. The update is this, though: We’re not quite halfway to our goal. There are a bunch of you who read this (I know because wordpress gives me numbers!) and so I know there’s a bunch of you who haven’t pledged yet. So…WHAT ARE YOU WAITING ON? With your basic pledge, you’ll get to read a new story from me with really cool art from Joe Badon. Heck, I daresay (yes, I DARE!) this would be something you’d consider buying off the shelf. Only…it hasn’t made it TO the shelf yet–that’s where you and your help come in. And if sci-fi/steampunk isn’t your cup’o’tea, buy it as a gift. You know you can’t go wrong with it from me, right?

Okay, the other bit of news is that I’ll be appearing as a comic guest at Wizard World in Nashville this weekend. I’ll be set up at A-32 in Artists Alley Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I’ll be participating in two panels: Friday 6pm room 105, How To Write Comics, moderated by Danny Fingeroth; and then Saturday 5pm room 105, Beloved Villains, moderated by Genese Davis. So, come out and see me! Bring your books to get them signed, or better yet, pick up something new from me! Autographs are FREE!

KSbackgroundwithextra

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The Citizens kickstarter week 2

Okay, I said I’d blog about my kickstarter experience…so consider this part 2!

But before I dive in, I thought by now the bundle of nerves would be gone.

They’re not.

And we’ve got an entire week under our belt. But it’s also exciting at the same time. A good friend of mine who’d run a campaign before warned me this would happen. He was right.

So anyway…I mentioned the reward structure last week, but what I didn’t say was that it CHANGED several times. It changed based on the kind of rewards we could get. For instance, I was initially banking on (see what I did there?) convincing Joe to let go of some of the original art to offer as rewards. Problem is that Joe is a 21st century artist and all his work is done digitally! So, no stacks of 11 X 17 bristol board for him (which is the size and paper type comic artists general compose their pages on). That one tossed me for a loop. So we decided to ask some artist pals to help us out. I asked Kyle Hotz and Joe asked Joie Simmons, both of whom agreed to produce an original piece of Citizens art for the kickstarter campaign. That helped to give us two “high end” rewards (both of which I THOUGHT would be gone by now, but are oddly still available).

My last bit of restructuring came the day before launch. Literally. A couple of early feedback responses has suggested I had several reward tiers too close together—and I did. The tough part was figuring out how to move it around to make it work: we had prints, digital graphic novels, print comics all to get in. Ultimately, I had a few of them out of “order,” and when worked around, they actually fell into place quite nicely.

Next was creating the video. And this was probably the most challenging aspect for me. I mean, I’ve always worked in PRINT, even if that “print” is digital. I don’t mind talking or being ON video, but having to make and create it was something different altogether! So I recruited daughter Brittany to help me out. I didn’t want it to just be me sitting there staring at the camera for the entire pitch, so she recorded the audio for me in high quality, and then we added the images in, with me deciding to be “on” screen for the final bit (that image brought about a comment about my comic collection seen behind me! Ha). The final touch was also difficult to add, and that was layering the soundtrack (done by Joe) underneath the entire video. But once I got it figured out, it sounded great—or so I think. While it may sound easy here, trust me, that was the toughest part of the entire thing.

The other bit of imagery I needed—or felt I did—was the pledge images. Not every kickstarter uses them like I did, but I’ve noticed that many comic related campaigns do…so I chose to follow suit.

I created them using InDesign, and then exporting to jpgs.

Okay…run out of space already. More next week. And of course, if you’re reading this and you haven’t PLEDGED to the campaign, what are you waiting on? Kickstarter just gave us a STAFF PICK! So go help us out. Remember, you’re not just tossing money at me, you’re placing an order for a graphic novel!KSbackgroundwithextra

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