Well here we are, coming up on the last twenty–four hours of our Kickstarter (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/girlgenius/girl-genius-volume-12-printing-and-reprint-frenzy), and the only question is will we actually make our last stretch goal? I certainly hope so, as I have long thought that the whole system could use a good shaking up, but that’s why I’m a fan of disaster movies, I guess.
Apparently I’m not alone in this. Sociologists say that there is a wide–spread yearning in a large percent of the population for some sort of unspecified mega disaster that sweeps away the old order and cancels all debts. Not don’t get me wrong, I haven’t met a corporate oligarch that I wouldn’t mind seeing up against the wall, but realistically, any doomsday scenario that would weed the human gene–pool to the point where I could toss away my mortgage records, stands a mighty good chance of snuffing out me and mine as collateral damage.
And let’s be honest, any reorganization that apportioned things fairly would probably result in me spending an inordinate amount of time doing heavy labor, which, if I wanted to do, I would not have become a cartoonist in the first place. Now don’t get me wrong, if I have to spend my declining years shotgunning zombies or serving our alien masters– like everybody else– then while I may complain about it, it won’t be because of the unfairness of the system, but just a general kvetching about the overall bad karma inherent in the situation.
So…where was I? Oh yes! Kickstarter! Right! Regardless of whether we make our final goal, we have certainly had our eyes opened as to the efficiency of this particular funding model. We are already planning our next couple of campaigns, which will involve bringing old books back into print, publishing new books, as well as brand new projects that we had always wanted to do, but honestly never thought we’d get around to, such as animation, games, secondary publications and assorted what not.
Kicksterter is very much a product of the web. We have long said that putting Girl Genius Online (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php) was the best thing we ever did, as it allowed us to bypass the Cultural Gatekeepers (who never really “got” our stuff) and present it directly to you, the readers, who could make your own decision about whether you wanted to read it or not, recommend it, or not, pay for it, or not. Kickstarter certainly helps us answer the last part of that question, and it does something else as well; It demonstrates to those people who only understand money, that there are people out there with money, who are interested in Girl Genius. This makes us look good, and increases the chances that someone will believe that they can make even more money by working with us.
However this is a two–edged sword, as far as they are concerned. It used to be that a creator would make something and desperately hope that they could sell it to Hollywood (or whatever) for big bucks and move on. However, thanks to the tools available to us in the modern world (the web, Kickstarter, Cafe Press, Spoonflower, Etsy, etc.) we now can reach enough people that we do not need to sell out. We can make a living– a good living– by dealing directly with our readers. This gives us the most precious thing you can have when dealing with the Entertainment Conglomerates– The Freedom to Walk Away. For example, if and when we make a deal for a Girl Genius movie (if we don’t Kickstart one ourselves) we will have the freedom to make damn sure that they will make the kind of movie we want. This applies to everything, and it is the reason we are the most grateful to the people who buy our books. So, thanks for that!