I love the idea of KICKSTARTER. It’s why Gail Simone and I brought LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS there first. It’s why I currently have another project, CROOKS & NANNIES running there. KICKSTARTER’s just an amazing opportunity for creators; a chance to not be beholding to the whims of others. Warts and all, these are our visions, and we get to put them directly to the fans. No filters.
That’s similarly why over two years ago I started CROOKS & NANNIES on my website. For a long time I’d had all these ideas; thoughts and gags; cartoons. But I had nowhere to put them. They didn’t mesh with my regular comic book work. They’re one-offs; single panel strips. And that’s a very different market that I honestly didn’t have time to pursue.
But I did have a website. Mine. A place where I could do whatever I wanted to, not constrained by others’ opinions. I could say what I wanted, and how. I could answer all the nagging questions in my head:
How do men and women evaluate each other?
What if a Hasidic Jew’s car had a fender bender with Santa’s sled?
Which caliber handgun best suits a toddler?
What did it smell like on Noah’s Ark?
Am I the only one who thinks like I do?
Who created italics and why?
So starting in February of 2011, each week I’ve let my odd thoughts run out through my pen into a four-inch by six-inch box, posting a new strip on the site every Friday. They definitely reflect my sarcastic sense of humor, and a lot are just for laughs. But I hope and intend that some make people think too. And -rarely- even make someone ask WTF? Maybe, yeah, cringe now and again. My opinions are front and center. Again, no filter. There’s no one reviewing them, saying “This one’s funny, but does Jesus have to be in it?”
The web can be a great place.
Then again, I admit, there is something to be said for print. Physical books may someday, maybe even sooner than I think, be a rarity. But not yet. There’s still something to actually holding a book; feeling the pages turn; realizing that you’re nearing the end without checking the screen where it says 98% complete. I love strip collections. I have on my shelves all the Calvin & Hobbes; Far Side; Gahan Wilson and Charles Addams; Peanuts; etc. And as I entered the third year of my strip, I wanted to see CROOKS & NANNIES on my shelf.
That’s where the freedom of KICKSTARTER comes in again. Like I say in the video, I don’t have to worry about an editor saying they don’t want to publish it. I can show it directly to the readers, and ask if they think it’s worth a few bucks to have a copy. Direct marketing of the good kind. And the reader’s interests thrive there; not being dependent on a store deciding whether to carry a book or not, never being given the opportunity to even consider something new.
I really do think the marriage of crowd-funding and the web can be a great combination, and something that can easily become a genuine force.
So I’m running the KICKSTARTER campaign, and hopefully it will get funded. And the strip keeps going on my site. It will until my weird ideas run out, which hopefully (as any creator hopes) will be a long time.