Kick It New School: a quick look at kickstarter for cartoonists

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NewBoxBrown-194x300Once my darling ex-cartoonist friend Anders made a Kickstarter page to fund his first album I had to take a second look at this Kickstarter thing.  As I write this, his request has been up for one day and already he’s half-way to his goal.  That’s $400 just out of the blue, which completely blows my mind.  Could it be that Anders is very popular and has many rich friends?  Well, not exactly.

Kickstarter is an internet infant, having only been around since April 2009.  If its existence is news to you, I suggest that you read this excellent Publisher’s Weekly article from Terri Heard that illuminates some of the service’s history.  Most interesting to me was that its origins lay in the effort to keep Arrested Development on the air.  Oh, how I wish it had succeeded!

This month’s Wired Magazine also featured Kickstarter in its award-winning Start section.  It reminded me of specific Kickstarter success stories like the Calvin & Hobbes documentary Dear Mr. Watterson which is still openly accepting donations and generating mad cash.  In fact, it’s almost doubled its goal amount through Kickstarter donations.

I’ve lived a number of impulse purchase success stories, including the time I bought an orange coat I totally didn’t need but always receive compliments for wearing.  Basically, I’ve been a big fan of this model even before it existed.  The fact that it’s here now is so remarkable and unbelievable, I hardly appreciated it was real until someone I know well got involved.

Then I remembered an old friend from far away, Box Brown, had already made the Kickstarter system work for him.  Boxy makes the webcomic Bellen! and self-published minis until he won the Xeric to print his graphic novel Love is a Peculiar Type of Thing.  He recently ran a successful Kickstarter campaign that earned him $3,279 to print issues one and two of a new comic series Everything Dies.  We talked over email regarding his experience as a Kickstarter success story.

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