March 11, 2013
Comics By Request -- People, Projects In Need Of Funding
By Tom Spurgeon
* fans are attempting to raise $25,000
for the creator Roman Dirge after a short hospital stay caused by a hit and run accident. I am glad the cartoonist is recovering, and I would imagine that anything you could give to alleviate this particular financial burden would go a long way to both seeing to it that Dirge has time to make more comics and to showing your appreciation for the comics he's made, if you're a fan.
* Dave Kellett is doing another Kickstarter
on behalf of his documentary project, which will apparently feature audio from Bill Watterson. Usually when someone does a second Kickstarter project all sorts of alarms go off, but this is very specifically targeted and well-incentivized. It has already met its significant goal with more than three weeks remaining.
* veteran creator Art Thibert has a kickstarter going here
* the 2013 edition of the Steve Rude sketchbook is being kickstarted here
* here's a crowd-funder
from some nice person that wrote me asking that I go and look at it. Seems pretty straight-forward to me. If nothing else, it's a site with which I'm completely unfamiliar.
* finally, there was a big hullabaloo about a Kickstarter attempted and then suspended featuring a project by the writer Mark Andrew Smith and the artist James Stokoe, a project so massively and successfully funded during its first go-round that it was kind of a news story. You can start here
if you want to unfurl what happened this time.
It seems like there are a few threads there. One is the use of Kickstarter as kind of a substitute retailing mechanism -- which many people claim it is (usually when confronted with skepticism over cynical aspects of certain projects), and which it's my understanding the site itself and many of its most fervent fans believe it is not. In other words, there's a strong sense that Kickstarter is there to facilitate the making of projects, not to get projects into folks' hands with maximum reward. Another is that artist James Stokoe distanced himself from the project, with all the resulting claims of malfeasance and flashes of anger that this can sometimes bring, including a reminder that Smith had a previous falling out with another artist with whom he was partnered on a creative project. Another is a kind of general confidence in Kickstarter issue, whether or not one can always count on these projects being completed and if more successful projects are even more susceptible to being at risk and how much blame gets placed on Kickstarter, if any, and how much on the artists in question.
I always assumed that at some point there would be some sort of group-accounting mechanism for past projects woven into the fabric of the site, where you can go and see if people got their stuff, but I don't think that's happened at all yet except informally. At any rate, the second kickstarter was suspended, and I don't see any significant alterations in how anyone does business except maybe in what Smith is able to convince people to crowdfund.
posted 8:00 am PST
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