It was one of the original Image Comics, the technologically enhanced superhero team by Marc Silvestri that would also form the centre point for Top Cow Studios. Now Cyber Force returning from Image… via the crowdsourcing site Kickstarter.
This is the highest profile American comics industry project to be funded by crowdsourcing though, as Bleeding Cool has pointed out, the largest French comics publisher has taken it to its bosom to fund more esoteric projects. Cyber Force doesn’t really fit thatbrief however, it feels like a bit too much of a mainstream project to need funding in this way.
The difference is, however, that if the book is successfully funded, then the five issue series will be free to all. In both digital and print.
Talking to the LA Times, Marc Silvestri said;
While most everybody uses Kickstarter to fund a project in order to build it and then sell it, we at Top Cow are going to use the funds to build “Cyber Force” and give it away — for free! Plus we’re not talking just one issue but five full issues of the comic. And it won’t be free just digitally, but also as a full-color printed comic that will be available at any participating comic shop. So for people that want to read “Cyber Force” digitally — yes, including torrent sites — it’s free. And for anyone wanting to hold a traditional comic in their hands to read it — it’s still free. We figure this is a great way to reward loyal comic fans plus get new people to get onboard reading comics and see what they’ve been missing. Plus it allows fans to actually get involved in the comic making process and be part of something truly groundbreaking that will help all of us that love the genre. ”Cyber Force” obviously holds a special spot in my heart, so I’ll be doing all the concept art and working very closely with artist Khoi Pham. Plus I’ll be writing the book along with Top Cow President Matt Hawkins. I’m really excited and proud of what we’ve done with the stories and characters and believe that fans both old and new are gonna love all the surprises.
It’s a bold, diferent, distribution model. The cynic inside me feels that too many will wait, sitting on the sidelines, for others to pay, and then reap the rewards by reading the comic for free.
All I can say, is that the donor rewards have to be something special.