Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

May 15, 2015

Archie Cancels Their New Riverdale Kickstarter At 3:15 PM Friday

At least that's the best I can figure out. At less than 1/10th of the required amount in so far, conventional wisdom would suggest a really tough road ahead for the crowd-funder in terms of meeting that official goal. Designed to facilitate bringing three comics starring Jughead, Kevin Keller and Betty & Veronica to the market more quickly, the kickstarter was confusing to some for a number of reasons. Some in the wider comics community objected to well-establish companies using crowd-funding in that way. Some were not sure exactly what they were paying for. Others objected to the lack of physical reward until a significant payment took place.

While this does reintroduce the question if companies at Archie's size are suited to crowd-funders and the standards brought to such projects generally, I would imagine that Archie might be able to do what they want with this mechanism if they approach the execution of it much, much differently. We'll see.

Archie released the following statement from Jon Goldwater, which was provided to me after I asked Alex Segura.
We will be ending the Archie Kickstarter today.

We launched the "New Riverdale" Kickstarter as a unique and innovative way to celebrate the company's upcoming 75th anniversary and to bring attention to some new titles that we are extremely excited about -- "Jughead" by Chip Zdarsky, "Betty and Veronica" by Adam Hughes and "Life with Kevin" by Dan Parent and J. Bone. We decided to dive into crowdfunding as an energetic, interactive and different method to raise money to help expedite the launch of these titles. The chance to engage with our fans directly was really appealing to us, and we're extremely grateful and honored by the support and pledges we've received.

While the response to these new titles has been amazing, the reaction to an established brand like Archie crowdfunding has not been. Though we saw this as an innovative, progressive and "outside-the-box" way to fund the accelerated schedule we wanted to produce these books, it became another conversation, leading us further away from the purpose of this whole campaign: to get these amazing books in the hands of fans faster than we could on our own. While we fully expected our goal to be funded, it was no longer about the books and how amazing they will be. We don't want that. This is why we're shutting the Kickstarter down today.

We don't regret trying something new. It's what Archie's been about for the last six years. We will continue to be a fearless, risk-taking and vibrant brand that will do its best to embrace new platforms, technology and ways to interact with fans. As a company, we have always prided ourselves on pushing boundaries and challenging expectations and perceptions.

The wonderful New Riverdale titles we wanted to launch will still come out -- albeit not as quickly as we would have hoped had we attained the funding via Kickstarter. We believe in these books and know they'll find an audience in comic shops, fueled by great stories and amazing creators.

We'd like to thank the great team at Kickstarter for their guidance and feedback and the entire staff at Archie Comics for their endless hours of hard work and dedication to this very special initiative.

And, most importantly, to our fans that pledged money to this Kickstarter -- we thank you. Your dedication, love of Archie and his friends and endless positivity are examples to all. We will be in contact shortly via Kickstarter to get a special thank-you gift in your hands as soon as possible. Your support means the world to us.
I'm sure there will be more to say on Monday when this settles in a bit.
posted 12:55 am PST | Permalink

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