This is inspirational.
Well, "success story" might be a touch premature (EDIT - not anymore), but they did achieve their goal of $6000 in about four hours.
Sullivan's Sluggers is a 200-page graphic novel from James Stokoe and Mark Andrew Smith, which apparently did very poorly in the traditional Diamond-ordering market. So Smith and Stokoe turned to Kickstarter to fund the book, and hit the mark in almost no time at all (actually, as of this posting they're at 16K and rising, with nearly a month to go).
I put in for the $50, 'cause Stokoe is a great illustrator (I've been a steady fan of his Wonton Soup and Orc Stain books), and 'cause I'm a sucker for a T-shirt. At first I was only in for the $20 (PDF and shirt) but I decided I wanted that 200-page hardcover.Long past their former glory, the minor league Sluggers get an invitation to play a baseball game in a cursed small town. After the 7th inning stretch, the sun goes down, and the dysfunctional teammates find themselves fighting for their lives against a town of flesh-eating monsters!
Now, it's up to coach Casey Sullivan to help his team escape from being the next dish in the town's terrifying feeding frenzy!
Eisner & Harvey Award-winning graphic novel author Mark Andrew Smith joins forces with Eisner nominated illustrator James Stokoe for a gripping roller coaster of a graphic novel, packed with shocks, gore, and screamingly outrageous humor, when America's Favorite Past Time becomes one team's ultimate nightmare!
Not everyone is going to be able to pull off this particular hat-trick, but when a couple of known Eisner-nominated creators put out something that sounds as fun as this book, it seems like a no-brainer. I gotta wonder if any of the traditional-market publishers are kicking themselves for not offering to publish this for them, and getting a cut. It's 16K today... in a month, who knows where it'll land?
Moreover, I wonder how many other artists with popular track records are looking at this? I know Kickstarter has already been a success for several webcomics creators... so why not?
Stokoe is awesome.
I know Jason Pearson is back on Body Bags, wonder if they might do the Kickstarter route for that.
He could get over 16k easy, there's so many fans of that book.
Also Humberto's book was a success on Kickstarter.
Days of the Publisher taking a cut may be over.
FINALLY! I remember Stokoe was working on this like 6 years ago! Seems like Image was going to put it out at one point and I think they were shopping it to Oni at another time. I think I'll kick 20 bones to the cause.
Party Tip: when mom gives you Cheerios, drink the milk too! It's a balanced breakfast and good for strong bones! PARTY!
It's awesome they are doing so well with this.
Definitely inspiring, but when you have creators with cult fan bases already, obviously they are more than likely going to make and surpass their goals than some random dude who no one knows, despite how good his work might be.
It rules there are now other avenues for getting books out when publishers pass on them (people could always self-publish, but I'm sure many great books didn't get out there because the creator could not afford to print it himself).
Ah, thanks for reminding me to check on their progress. 43K and 3 weeks left still.
Absolutely, they've got an advantage of name recognition and an existing audience willing to spread the word, but it's not as if they didn't earn those advantages honestly. They've put in the work for years now, and showed they got the skills, and hence they're easily seen as a reliable investment.
Not everyone can pull that rabbit from the hat, but there are a lot of creators who might. This is especially excellent for the independent creators, the guys who are willing and capable of running their own show but who might have trouble finding a publisher willing to invest in them.
Bear in mind as well, they didn't set out to make five figures. They set a wise, achievable goal (which has since been surpassed seven times over, with plenty of time left to go for x10 or more).
It's a good day to be a talented, reliable creator with name recognition.
Also, at my first posting, I hadn't looked at their actual Kickstarter. I just did.
Oh my god. That book is beautiful. I have to have it.
Mark Smith pontificates a bit about the topic:
(I suggest reading the Bleeding Cool repost there, rather than the original post on Smith's tumblr. Good lord, man, brown on blue? Readability matters.)
Anyhow, interesting thoughts. I think he's riding high on his success, but he's not wrong about the potential in all of this.
Four days left, and they're reaching for 80K.
One of the nice things about a project like this is that when they go way over the top, they often improve the quality of the original product. So now it's a larger book, with a big-ass gatefold insert, and if they hit the 80K mark (which they may well do, as they're at about 70K now) the book gets a slipcase.