I’m sure, in your internet wanderings, that you’ve checked out Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, or at least heard about them by now. You’ve probably backed at least one campaign. Every week thousands of new projects are launched through these websites, and many creators have found that this is a great way to bypass the regular publication/distribution model, to get their projects directly into the hands of their fans.
It really is a bold new era, where creators come to you directly with their wares, and properties sink or swim based on the whims of the fans instead of editorial edicts and profit margins.
But seriously, crowd funding has been a game changer in its few years as a viable publication model, allowing many projects that wouldn’t necessarily have seen the light of day come to life because of fans like you. In a lot of ways it has become THE new distribution system, getting unique product directly into the hands of the consumer. Now, there are so many different campaigns being launched on a weekly basis, with a little something for everybody. But where do you start?
Let us be your guide to the thrilling world of crowd funded comics, art books, film, toys, games, and associated geek and sundry. Each week we’ll scour the aforementioned websites, and profile those projects that we feel are worthy of your Paypal fees. Those projects that are offering something different than what you get at your local comic shop. Projects that defy classification, ones with interesting backer rewards, books that you might love, but would otherwise probably not happen without your support. Plus, you get cool stuff!
This weeks column is rocking out with The Chairs.
“Mary and Nel were known for being close. Throughout the years the two of them zig-zagged the country as the rock duo “The Chairs” they never spent more than a day or two apart.
That is, until Mary mysteriously appears in a new city having given up her music, fame, and friends. She wants nothing more than to work her lousy job and be left alone, but the two people who just showed up on her doorstep are determined to make sure won’t happen.”
Matthew Bogart’s fantastic, funny, and touching graphic novel is finally coming into print as a 96 page hardcover with three color interiors. He has already reached his funding goal, but with 21 days left as of this writing, there is so much more he can do. He has already announced a stretch goal consisting of a new four page story, and I’m sure he has more up his sleeve including nicer paper, better covers, and better endpapers.
Not sure about The Chairs’ Hiatus? Matthew has the whole thing available to read here. Pretty cool, huh? The story is highly relateable, with a simple, whimsical art style lending it a certain credibility. If you are a fan of Oni Press’ wonderful output, than you’ll love this book. I read the whole thing and instantly fell in love with the characters, and Matthew’s writing.
The story has all of the elements of a classic work; wonderfully realized protagonists, a believable setting, plenty of humor, and a maturity missing in many comics coming out today. The best thing about The Chairs’ Hiatus though? It oozes heart and soul. You can tell from the first page that Matthew put everything into this remarkable work.
There are some really great incentives to pledge including pre-ordering the book in digital or print; a signed and sketched in hardcover for only 20 bucks; the first five issues of his ongoing Oh, It’s the End of the World series; memorabilia from the world of the book including a concert ticket, Jen O’Neil’s Bone Cellar Records business card, and more; a copy of the Chairs second album; a the Chairs rock poster from the venue of your choice; an original illustration; a tour t-shirt; and the chance to be drawn into the story! I love when creators get interactive with the backer rewards, as it brings YOU into the story.
The Chairs’ Hiatus is a very personal story, perfect in the same way that Craig Thompson’s Blankets is, with an emotional weight seldom seen in comics. They HAVE hit their funding goal, but I know you can do better than that, and give The Chairs’ Hiatus the hardcover it deserves.
There is more information, as well as the entire webcomic, up at http://www.matthewbogart.net.