Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Turtle Power, Kickstarter Style!

The Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls
Crowdfunding in general and Kickstarter in particular is becoming a more and more important source of money for comics’ projects.  When a huge name in the industry turns to this source of finance you know things are moving in a new and exciting direction.

Kevin Eastman, half of the team responsible for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles phenomena and publisher of Heavy Metal magazine, is bringing his latest project to the Kickstarter platform. 

Drawing Blood is a four part graphic novel telling the story of the co-creator of an indie comic sensation, “The Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls”, that becomes a huge success making its heroes, mutant cats carrying Katanas, household names and its creators rich beyond the dreams of avarice.  The comic focuses on the creator once he is burnt out artistically and his money gone and the project will feature at least one real life issue of the fictional indie title that led to his success. 

With David Avallone, who I know from some of his Pulp hero comics, Doc Savage and The Shadow, on board as writer and Ben Bishop, who draws a number of Turtle titles at present, as artist things are looking pretty good.  But I must admit that it is the idea of reading RRRR #1, with Troy Little on art that is the most interesting part of the project for me.

This is a big development for Kickstarter, Kevin is aiming high here, looking for $75,000 to bring this comic to market.   It’s one of the biggest targets I’ve seen and from a major figure in the comics industry.  If this works out, who knows, it might open the way for other similar projects. 

Kickstarter provides a platform for creators to de-risk their activities to a large degree.  It allows for pre-orders from actual customers, pre-payment in effect.   Drawing Blood could have been published in a traditional way, it may even have been a huge success.  But it’s also possible that Kevin could have ended up with a huge warehouse full of unsold books and huge printing bill waiting to be paid.  This way, he’ll either have enough pre-orders to cover his costs and stay solvent, or he won’t print the books and nobody will have paid him anything.  It's looking good so far, nearly $29k in less than 24 hours.

Hopefully this works out and it means we’ll see more invention and more risks taken by creators.  I for one wish Kevin all the best for this campaign.  It might just be a game-changer for an industry that is, by some accounts, in danger of going under.

Check out the campaign here and see for yourself.  And while you are at it check out the rest of the Kickstarter platform, you'll find some fantastic comic projects there. 

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