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

February 22, 2012

Rich Burlew’s Kickstarter Campaign Ends at $1,254,120

The final tally for Rich Burlew's Kickstarter campaign aimed at publishing his The Order Of The Stick comic in reprint form has ended at a staggering 1.2 million-plus. This is something like 20X the original amount sought, by itself an impressive amount of dough. It's in the pantheon of Kickstarter projects generally, and is its own Mt. Rushmore in terms of comics projects that have received this kind of campaign.

Our industry's dialogue about Kickstarter has been ruthlessly simple-minded in that anyone that voices objections to any element of such campaigns or even individual efforts that use Kickstarter or basically anything that could be summed in a written paragraph that includes the word "Kickstarter" is somehow anti-Kickstarter and is therefore suspicious of every aspect of every project in a way that displays irrational hatred for any benefits that might be accrued to the site or the idea of crowdsourced funding or any individual projects involved. For some folks you're either all in on all projects without reservation or you're an opponent. This seems crazy to me, but that's sort of where we are right now. It works the other way around as well; this drive and other positive signs of a similar nature regarding the wide support popular webcomics enjoy has triggered recently-dormant webcomics triumphalism in a significant way.

So I know I'm probably inviting some sort of scolding e-mail or three from one if not multiple directions when I say the following: it's hard for me to figure out any downside to this much enthusiasm over a comics effort and this kind of execution of a funding mechanism on a comic's behalf. I couldn't tell you what the wider effect might be, or if there will be one, not because I harbor doubts borne of hatred for these kinds of projects but because the degree of support involved here seems to me to make this an unprecedented thing. Right now the only word that comes to mind is "congratulations." And maybe "wow," if that one wasn't worn out several hundred thousand dollars ago.
posted 5:00 am PST | Permalink

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