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How Alton Simpson Got His Comics Into Shops and Raised More than $150,000 on Kickstarter

#creator spotlight Feb 02, 2024
by Clay Adams

This month, I talk to Alton Simpson, a writer, director, actor, editor, composer, producer, and media creator who started making short films in 2004 with his company 3 Heads Productions. He’s produced commercials that have run on Comcast as well as short films for the Philadelphia and New York City 48 Hour Film Festival. In 2010, he wrote, produced, and scored his first full length film which played in the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, and now his films can be seen on Amazon Prime. His music has been used in commercials for Youtube Content and Comcast TV Commercials and has been streamed over 1 million times. He writes the ongoing comic and graphic novel “Vampires of New Jersey” as well as the shared universe titles Blackjack, Werewolves of Brooklyn, Witches of Westchester and Bunny Goes to Space. Over ten campaigns, Alton has raised over $150,000 in crowdfunding.

In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you'll learn:

  • "long...
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Mad Cave Talent Search Winner Sarah Cooke Talks Serializing Her Comic on Kickstarter

#creator spotlight Jan 05, 2024
by Clay Adams

In our first video spotlight, I talk to Sarah Cooke, winner of Mad Cave’s 2023 Talent Search and the 2023 Negative Space Women’s Comic Book Writing Competition. She's the co-creator of the award-winning sci-fi web series My Human Experience. Her published works include No Spell Lasts Forever, Olive and the Ogre, and an essay in How to Analyze & Review Comics: A Handbook on Comics Criticism. As a comics reporter, she has written for Marvel, DC Comics, Women Write About Comics, CBR, Voice of Youth Advocates, WTAP Television, and more.

In the Edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you'll learn:

  • how small steps lead to big things
  • why Kickstarter is a great platform for audience growth
  • plus: Sarah's best advice for new creators


Connect with Sarah:   



Social Media:

Instagram: @sarahcookewriter

Twitter: @sarahcookewrite

Follow Sarah on Kickstarter:


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How Mike Connell (Over)Funded The First Issue of His Comic Book on Kickstarter

#creator spotlight Dec 05, 2023
by Clay Adams

Mike Connell was stumped.

He knew his campaign for FERAL #1: THE BEAST WITHIN would be very different from his previous Kickstarter. For one, this would be the first in a series, not a standalone book. 

Second—and more importantly—it was for a single issue floppy rather than a full trade. 

Mike knew he needed to price it so the numbers made sense, but every time he crunched them, he came out closer in price to the trade than felt comfortable. 

Worried about how his returning backers would feel about it, Mike wondered…

“How much should I REALLY charge for my single issue comic?”



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you'll learn:

  • how to serialize your comic book on Kickstarter
  • how to build buzz ahead of your launch…and one surprising place to do it
  • Plus: how to price your single issue comic book on Kickstarter 



How to Serialize Your Comic Book on Kickstarter

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How Randy Stone Grew His Audience and Serialized His Comic On Kickstarter

#creator spotlight Nov 03, 2023
By Clay Adams

For Randy Stone, the struggle was real. 

Serializing his comic, BULLET ADVENTURES, on Kickstarter was a constant juggling act. 

Social media posts, always trying to reach a wider audience, balancing family life with two young kids and a full time job outside of comics... it never felt like he had enough time to put into promoting his projects.

And with only so much time on the clock, and so many hours in the day, Randy was left wondering…

“How can I do it all?”



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you'll learn:

  • tips for serializing an ongoing comic book on Kickstarter
  • the power of team-ups to grow your audience
  • plus: time management for busy crowdfunders 


Tips For Serializing an Ongoing Comic Book on Kickstarter

Despite the stress, Randy was keenly aware of the benefits of serializing his comic through crowdfunding.

“One big benefit is that you start to build a back catalogue where people can...

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How Chris Brimmage Used FOMO and the Power of NOW to beat the Kickstarter Dead Zone

#creator spotlight Sep 06, 2023
by Clay Adams

Chris Brimmage felt gobsmacked.

His sixth Kickstarter campaign, for two prose novels in his MANDRILL P.I. series, had gotten off to a hot start, but a few days in, the Dead Zone had already settled in.

As the days went on, he realized he was in for a longer dry spell than usual, and if he wanted to inject some life back into his campaign, he’d have to get creative. 

But all the while, he couldn’t help but wonder…

“Is this the new normal?” 



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you'll learn:

  • how to build excitement during the Dead Zone
  • why FOMO is your friend
  • plus: balancing work/life/comics and the power of NOW



Are Longer Dead Zones the New Normal on Kickstarter? 

Chris had heard the chatter from other creators online: 

The Kickstarter Dead Zone was hitting faster and lasting longer these days. He chalked it up to a few different possibilities.

“Creators in...

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How Tom Leveen Redefined Success with These Five Kickstarter Lessons

#creator spotlight Jul 31, 2023
by Clay Adams 

Tom Leveen felt satisfied. 

Of his four Kickstarter campaigns, the latest, for his prose novel REBELLION, was his worst-performing. 

He did not reach his stretch goal. 

It’s the first time he didn’t earn a Project We Love badge.

He lost quite a few email subscribers during the campaign.

And he had very few returning backers. 

In fact, his fans REALLY did not respond to this campaign at all across social media. 

So why did Tom feel like this campaign was a success? 



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you’ll learn:

  • why you should use trackable links for your crowdfunding campaign
  • when to panic over unsubscribes to your mailing list (hint: never)
  • plus: Comics vs. Prose on Kickstarter



Lesson 1: Understand the Limitations of Your Crowdfunding Project

REBELLION was never meant to be a high pressure campaign for Tom.

He deliberately set a low bar for the goal, and...

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How Kelly Yates Overcame a Steep Learning Curve and (Over)Funded His First Kickstarter

#creator spotlight Jul 03, 2023
by Clay Adams

Kelly Yates felt daunted.

He’d never run a Kickstarter before, and as he prepared his campaign for AMBER ATOMS, he realized just how much there was to learn about the platform.  

But Kelly doesn’t give up easily. 

And if he had to learn the entire Kickstarter process from A to Z, so be it.

He would persevere.



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you'll learn:

  • how to grow your comic book audience
  • the most surprising weapon in your arsenal
  • plus: how to escape the Kickstarter dead zone



How to Grow Your Comic Book Audience

One of the first things Kelly realized was that he’d have to bring the crowd to the crowdfunding platform. The only problem?  

He didn’t have a way to contact past customers. 

“I wish I’d started my subscriber list years ago. I’ve met a lot people at conventions, but I never captured any of their information along the way. I could have had a...

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How David Lucarelli Re-Energized a Cold Audience and Had His Biggest Launch Yet

#creator spotlight Jun 05, 2023
by Clay Adams

David Lucarelli was nervous. 

It had been four years since his last Kickstarter campaign. And because all conventions were canceled due to Covid, he let his newsletter atrophy during the pandemic. 

So as he readied his campaign for the director’s cut of TINSELTOWN: LOSING THE LIGHT, David couldn’t help but wonder…

“Is anyone still paying attention?”



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you’ll learn:

  • how to re-engage a cold audience ahead of your Kickstarter
  • creative ways of spreading the word during the Dead Zone 
  • plus: it's OK if some of your efforts backfire



How to Re-Engage A Cold Audience Ahead of Your Kickstarter

David had built his mailing list over the years the old fashioned way: through a lot of hard work.

“Mostly doing sign ups at conventions and in-store signings. I also had a landing page, and an email signature with a link to it. I participated in a...

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How Gene Jimenez Overcame A Slow Start and Got His Kickstarter (Over)Funded

#creator spotlight May 01, 2023
by Clay Adams

Gene Jimenez felt confident. 

He’d done the groundwork, made a great book, prepped his audience, and now was certain his campaign for TRIBAL FORCE would fund quickly. 

Then he hit launch. 

After a decent first day, momentum slowed. By day 4, the pledges had run dry and he was scared.

And with a long month ahead of him, Gene wondered…

“Is Kickstarter the right place for me?”



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you’ll learn:

  • how to grow your audience before your campaign
  • how to turn around a slow start on Kickstarter 
  • plus: best practices for promoting your campaign on podcasts



How to Grow Your Audience Before Your Campaign

Gene started in comics in the early ‘90s. At the time, Image Comics had just exploded onto the scene, and independent publishers could put their books up for sale in the direct market and get orders in the 3,000 range—a number which seemed...

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How Scott Harris-King Battled Burnout on the Way to His Best Kickstarter Ever

#creator spotlight Apr 04, 2023
by Clay Adams

Scott Harris-King felt burned out. 

He was about to hit launch on his fourth Kickstarter campaign in ten months, and the only "breaks" he’d taken in between were for fulfillment. 

So as he readied himself for yet another go at crowdfunding, he wondered…

“How can I keep up this pace?”



In this edition of the ComixLaunch Spotlight, you’ll learn:

  • how to find and hire an artist for your comic book Kickstarter
  • why cross-promoting is essential for crowdfunding success
  • plus: how to avoid burnout--for you and your backers



How to Find and Hire an Artist for Your Comic Book Kickstarter

Fortunately, Scott had already started thinking about ways to combat burnout before he began working on the book. One way he decided to lighten his load was by hiring someone else to draw it.  

“This was my first issue of The Crimebusters working with an artist, as I drew the first four issues myself. It...

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