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 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.
Follow Sarah on Kickstarter:
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?”
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?”
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...
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?”
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.
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?
REBELLION was never meant to be a high pressure campaign for Tom.
He deliberately set a low bar for the goal, and...
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.
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...
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?”
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...
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?”
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...
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?”
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...