MARC ALAN FISHMAN: Kickstart My Heart
Here it is kiddos. My next-to-last article of 2011. I figured I might as well abuse what little power I have here and spend my time shamelessly shilling for a shot at your shekels. You see, my li’l studio, Unshaven Comics, launched a Kickstarter project all for a single goal: we want to turn our drawings into reality. For those not in-the-know about the Kickstarter movement, allow me to Wikipedia it for you:
Kickstarter is a site built to let creative types reach out to the world like a PBS telethon. People pledge money, receive fun rewards for doing so, and if the goal amount is reached by the end of the deadline, the project is funded. Some people raise money to publish their books, music projects, or films… others use monies raised for research and development of prototype products. There’s just a ton of awesome projects out there. And when many people toss in small amounts of cash, these indie projects are given a shot to become reality. In the instance of Unshaven Comics… we’re raising money to fund the creation of a costume for one (or more) of our superheroes… “The Samurnauts.”
Since professional grade costumes require professional grade funds, we figured it was a worthy cause. As of this writing, we’re only $122 away from meeting our goal. If we go over, we could potentially afford more costumes. It’s quite exciting. If nothing else, we’ve produced (with our great partners at Marktime Media) a funny video in which our resident penciler and painter threatens to sleep in your bed and stab you. I swear that wasn’t even scripted. And it was funny enough to make Kevin Smith (yes, that Kevin Smith) back us. For what it’s worth, we’re just as shocked as you are. He’s a stand-up dude. But Marc, you protest, what does making a costume have to do with publishing independent comics? Why friend, I’m glad you asked.
At a convention, when you’re just an artist sitting at a wee six foot table amidst more popular and important creators, you’re forced to do just about anything to stand out. Our writer and latent sales machine, Kyle Gnepper, has developed a keen sense of urgency during these times. He reaches out to any within earshot. “Pardon me sir, can I tell you about my comic book!?” He shouts. When we’re lucky, the fine patrons of the con will come and listen to our pitch. Thus far, it’s paid off.
In 2011, we’re proud to say we’ve sold 820 books face to face. 820 times, people have said “I like the cut of your jib, and I want to monetarily show it.” And so, we look to 2012, to improve upon these numbers, and continue to gain a head of steam within the industry. With a live-action Samurai-Astronaut walking the convention floor? We might just get there.
You see, our model for the Blue Samurnaut, Erik, is an amazing dude. He and his lovely wife Cherise (who just-so-happens to be our Yellow Samurnaut) have taken to travel with us from con to con… walking the floor and praising our name. Cherise has no problem making fast friends. You see, comic fans appreciate a mini skirt and high heels. Erik’s attempt to wear either hasn’t resulted in positive promotion. And rather than watch him continue to stand behind Cherise as she waves, and flirts, and passes out fliers… we want to see him armored up, shaking hands, kissing babies, and fighting evil! With a presence on the floor, we gain more eyes on our product. Marvel and DC already have recognition. We are but a pebble in the ocean of comic books. But we’d love to be a samurai-astronaut shaped pebble in 2012. That, and if funded, Erik said he’d storm the DC booths and fight Dan DiDio to the death.
Of course I’m not asking for just a handout. As you’ll see with our Kickstarter, there are plenty of prizes to be had. And since I’m the sort who likes to make an offer you just can’t refuse, allow me now to Billy Mays up this deal:
If you support the Kickstarter (if you haven’t already), and mention you heard about it from my comic mix article…I’ll gladly throw in an additional poster print of any sketch completed on Unshaven Comics’ website. I’ll also throw in the knife set, an additional cutting board, and trial subscription to Wizard Magazine. Scratch that. Just the poster print, and maybe a big shout out on my podcast. Fair?
Like I said in the beginning, I hate to be so shameless this week, but well, Wednesday is my birthday. I turn 30. And I have a kid on the way. And I love you. Did I mention you should have read this article while listening to Sarah McLachlan’s In the Arms of An Angel?
In all seriousness, I hope you and yours have an amazing Christmas, and a Happy New Year. Don’t worry, I’ll be back on my hater-train next week… ready to spew anger and loathing on something comic related. In the mean time, check out the Kickstarter, and give till you can’t give no more.
CHRISTMAS DAY: John Ostrander