Tag Archives: Kickstarter

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!

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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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It’s (a)LIVE!

Well, one or two of you will get that, but the Kickstarter I mentioned last week is now LIVE! That means, if you have not been to the page to look around, shame on you. Get there now!

(you can click here to get there)

Go on. We’ll wait.

Okay…so now you’ve at least seen it. Thanks. I hope you were able to back the project with a pledge. If you’re unable, I trust that you’ll share it and tell everyone you know to go support it and help me and Joe get the graphic novel made!

One of my pals asked me if I’d be willing to talk about the campaign…and I am, so I figured I might as well start now, since my next month will be focused on raising the money.

To begin with I’ll answer the first question of how did I choose Citizens? I’ve got several other ideas cooking, why this one. The simplest answer is that I thought it would be the easiest to make happen. Citizens is just me and Joe. My other working comic projects involve more hands, and while I trust those hands, it’s just like an engine with more working parts. I’m HOPING, of course, that the Citizens campaign will fly through with amazing colors, we’ll produce an amazing book, and then everyone will want more! I’ll have a kickstarter campaign under my belt and will feel more confident about maybe asking for a little more and getting more hands involved.

The next thing was how to decide how much money to ask for. That one, too, was pretty straightforward. We need to the money for some basic stuff: printing the book, packing and shipping the book (supplies and postage), and money for Joe to eat! The numbers are based off printing 500 copies of the book. THAT is our goal. Yeah, I get it might be a lofty goal for a kickstarter print run, but we feel if we can sell 500 copies (or close) through the kickstarter, it’ll take care of all the requirements. If we have to print more—then that means we received more pledges and that’s even better.

Once we had that, I actually began building the page on Kickstarter. It wasn’t until I started the process that I realized much of what I needed to do. So if you’re thinking of starting one, I recommend you go ahead and click “start.” You can save your progress and come back and work on it as you can. To me, that’s a really nice thing KS lets you do.

I already had some art from Joe, so I was good to go there with something to show. The “pitch” was pretty much written, I just needed to attempt to tighten it up.

What came next in was trying to figure out how to structure the rewards…that wasn’t easy, but my process included visiting a LOT of comic and graphic novel kickstarter campaigns, those that I’d supported and those that I hadn’t. Those that succeeded and those that failed (to try to figure out WHY they failed). I asked for help/suggestions from some and am VERY pleased to say that just about everyone I asked was incredibly helpful and forthcoming—which is part of why I want to try to do the same.

Okay…I’ll continue on next week. Before I go, I’m happy to report we had a great day 1 (thanks to all who helped make it that way!) and I’m looking forward to the rest. So whaddaya waiting on? Go pledge…and tell your friends to do the same!

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I’m counting on all of you!

CitizensProfilePicFacebookIf all goes according to plan, next Tuesday I’ll do something I’ve never done: I’ll launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money to fund my new graphic novel, Citizens. In a word, yeah, I’m a little nervous about it, but I’m excited at the same time.

For those of you who don’t know about Kickstarter, it is one of the premier “crowd source funding” websites. (One of the other major sites is indiegogo, but I found there were more film projects there and more comic/graphic novel projects on Kickstarter) Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal. Which means, we either get all of the money we’re trying to raise…or we get none of it.

I say “we,” because Citizens is a collaborative effort with artist Joe Badon. Joe’s run several campaigns before and has been very supportive of all my nervous-nelly emails. He hasn’t come right out and said it, but I keep expecting him to tell me, “Chill, Roland. It’s all good!”

Some of you might be thinking: why do you need money? Just do it. It takes time to pencil, ink and color a graphic novel—and that’s what he’s doing. Which is really the lion’s share of the work. Yeah, yeah, writing it is hard work, too, but it takes me much less time to do it than it does those three jobs—and Joe is doing ALL THREE of them. He can’t just stop his life not get any money! How would he pay his bills? How would he eat? THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

cover to the CITIZENS graphic novel

Seriously, though, I wish I could tell you I was independently wealthy, but that’s just not the case. If it were, I’d just “hire” Joe and be done with it. But then I’d still have to PRINT it and SHIP it…and that costs money, too.

So basically Kickstarter acts a bit like a “pre-order” system. We’ll crank up the campaign and then you’ll decide which “level” to pledge: each level comes with a “reward,” the focus being you get a copy of the Citizens graphic novel. So yeah, you’re pledging money, but you’re also getting something for that money…and you’re helping me and Joe get it done.

So, it comes down to this: I’m going to be depending on YOU to help us make it happen. That means, yeah, I’d like you to consider pledging—as a writer, I’m really hoping you’ll enjoy the story—but I’m REALLY going to count on your telling YOUR pals via your social networks to go pledge. Tell them you know me and I’m a pretty swell guy (most of the times)…and that THEIR cool factor is upped if they support one of your friends!

It should happen Tuesday…so expect to hear from me again. 🙂

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Free Comic Book Day 2015

Saturday, May 2, was Free Comic Book Day all over these United States. Hopefully all of you reading my blog already know that. If not…well, I’ve failed you.

FCBD300WFree Comic Book Day (FCBD) is the brainchild of comic store owner, Joe Field. I’m fortunate enough to have met Joe during the 90s and enjoyed talking to him about his take on how to run a store. A short history of the day is written here by John Jackson Miller much better than I could attempt. This is the fourteenth year for the annual event. If you’ve never been to one, shame on you. It’s your opportunity to snag free comics and check out new material.

Interestingly, I told everyone I saw on Saturday that it was the second time I’d participated, the last time was two years ago. That’s part true. It was the second time I’d been at one of the cool local stores to promote comics (and myself), but the last time I did it was actually 2011. Wow, that was FOUR years ago. My how time flies. (and I just learned that the store where I signed books is no longer open. Very sad, because Heroes and Dreams was a very good store!).

Me manning the table during FCBD 2015 at Coliseum of Comics Fashion Square Mall. You can see my pal Barry off to my right.

Me manning the table during FCBD 2015 at Coliseum of Comics Fashion Square Mall. You can see my pal Barry off to my right.

This year I was honored to be a part of the creative assemblage put together by Aaron and his crew at Coliseum of Comics in the Fashion Square Mall in Orlando. To help matters, Avengers: Age of Ultron was playing in the theater right above us. Hundreds of folks turned out there, so I can only guess what it was like all over the US.

The day was also made fun because I got to sit right next to my old pal Barry Gregory (and son, Fox). Barry was there pushing his new comic John Aman: Amazing Man. He’s also got a kickstarter going on to support the next issues, so you should consider going to support it!

Speaking of kickstarters, Chuck Bordell’s Victor’s Horror Compendium was a success, so be looking for it. It contains a short Civil War ghost comic based on a short story I wrote. Chuck will be illustrating it and I’m very excited to see it! If he lets me, I’ll post some sneak peeks here, and also let you know where to go grab it if you didn’t pledge (shame on you!).

Events up next for me are Space Coast Nerd Fest on May 24th (I’ll only be there the one day, but all day); Daytona Comic Con on June 7; and Leesburg Public Library Comic Con on June 13th. If you’re in the area then, come see me!

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