I write, illustrate, and self publish a comic book called Arsenic Lullaby. It is one of the few independent success stories in recent years, acquiring a considerable cult following, nominations for a Harvey award as well as an Eisner award. Despite all that though, it was getting squeezed out of existence.
You see, most of my fans are young people who are more and more growing accustomed to simply pointing and clicking to get what they want. Getting them to go to comic book stores, to order a book, so the store could order it from the distributor, so the distributor could order it from me…so I could send it to the distributor, who could send it to the store, who could then give it to the fan, was becoming an experiment in futility. Without Diamond figuring out how to streamline their process, or stores learning that they need to be more accommodating to readers looking for something outside of superheroes books, I would continue to see sales through Diamond drop, and as an Independent publisher I couldn’t afford to guess at the number of books I would need, pay for the print run, and then have them get bought in drips and drops online. Arsenic Lullaby, despite its clout and quality was facing ruin.
Zenescope’s Raven Gregory told me to hold off on quitting, and try “Kickstarter”. So I did. It took me two weeks to raise more money on kickstarter than my average Diamond order, three weeks to double the revenue generated by my average Diamond order…and with still five days left I am closing in on doubling my kickstarter goal.
The point of all this is that Arsenic Lullaby, even though critically acclaimed, and loved by fans and respected by peers would have gone away forever if not for Kickstarter. Kickstarter leveled the playing field. It is now, idea vs idea. The screen shot of my best work vs the screen shot of someone else’s best work. Under those conditions Arsenic Lullaby is thriving. The antiquated Diamond process, the lazy store owners, the deluge of advertising from Marvel, DC and others is for the time being…is null and void on kickstarter. I would like you to take a look at the Arsenic Lullaby Kickstarter page. Arsenic Lullaby is, like other good indy comics, a book that is too off beat and bizarre for many stores to promote. If is often ignored because there are no tights and capes. But on Kickstarter the fans are the promoters. Instead of a postage stamped sized image in a Diamond catalogue, publishers can put their best effort on as much of the screen as they choose to fill up. I can finally let the quality of the work speak for itself, and you can see the results here.
The Arsenic Lullaby website is here, in case you would like to know more about the book itself.