Three months later…a cautionary tale for Kickstarter Campaigns

What I had known about my Kickstarter campaign before it began three months later!

Hi all,

I never thought running a Kickstarter would be easy but I thought I had covered my bases. I’m now almost three months post Resurrection Men #1 and I’ve still not managed for fulfil all my backer commitments. So with tonight’s post I thought I would share with you my experiences of running my first Kickstarter.

25446001_2005180663030728_2416642540633249849_n

1. Finish your product before you go live!

Now I know this might sound counterintuitive. You go to Kickstarter to find projects that have yet to be made, right? Wrong! Or at least for comics it is. If you have a finished product excellent, you are in such a better position than anyone else who hasn’t.

When I ran Rez Men I knew I had already got all the art drawn up by Rory and finished the majority of my lettering. If I did have to wait on art to be completed, my real life commitments would have made that challenging but by having the comic ready to go I could share it with it with world once the fees had cleared which I did!

Pro tip – Have the comic finished or as close as!

2. Speak to printers months before you plan to go live to work out your costs!

I was chatting with CPUK for almost a year before my Kickstarter went live and I’m so glad I did. I went through so many variations of what the final product could be that if I had left it longer I would be unsure of the product I would be giving to my backers. I was lucky to get recommend to Rick from CPUK as he humoured me to know end and helped me work out what I needed.

Pro tip – Find your printer early and chat often!

3. Get seen!

Jeez was I naive with this one! I thought, “I’ve spoke to people on social media and I’ve built up some social links of potential backers. That will more than cover any coverage I need for my Kickstarter!” Oh Nicholas, you silly boy!

Get your comic out to everyone that reviews comics. Tailor your targeting of people that like your type of comics. Build up a social media presence. Get involved with other creators in the community. At the end of day, you all tend to support each other anyway when it comes to crowd funding.

Pro tip – Create a press kit. Get your comic seen. Get yourself be seen. Share your love for comics. Be that person everyone likes cause your just so damn nice and no one can say no to!

4. Postage!

Postage is the devil! It is a money sink hole! Thankfully I was recommended by other creators to make sure I checked my fees before I launched the campaign and I would recommend you do this also! Do your research and always make sure you have all costings squared away! I still struggled with postage even with my prep!

Pro tip – Speak to your local post office and get your costings worked out and make sure to add the costs onto your rewards!

5. Don’t offer things you have little experience with!

So most of the stuff I offered for rewards I could create or had access too. As a result I have managed to complete most of my Kickstarter backers orders. However, one of the add ons was an audio commentary of the first issue. Now, I thought I could create that easily but I am three months down the line its still on my todo list.

Pro tip – Make sure all your digital materials are in place before you launch!

6. Stay strong when it fails!

As a teacher, one of my roles is to help instil a sense of resilience. We all fail. All the god damn time but it’s how we pick ourselves up and proceed that defines us. I know, it’s a cliche but it is cliche for a reason. There are nuggets of truth out there and this is one of them. I almost failed this Kickstarter. I was £500 short with less than a day to go but someone backed in at the last minute and saved the day. I was lucky. I hadn’t followed my other rules. I was cocky thinking I could raise £2000 easily. Don’t be me.

Pro tip – Be resilient.

7. Never forgot the kindness of strangers!

I think if there is one I can take away from this whole endeavour is that people that I have never met, backed big bucks to make my dream come true. Not all are stranger, danger! There are those that genuinely want to see your succeed!

Pro tip – There are awesome people in world. Be one of them!

Thats it for today. Hope someone finds this useful! Enjoy,

N.S. Paul

Resurrection Men #2 Teaser – How to Write Comics, the Indie Way!

The thing about writing comics and the reason I love it is that there are no set rules!

Sure there are guides, suggestions and best practices but comic writing at its heart is a no hold bars cage match of literature!

You don’t have to be an expert in a field to write comics. In fact, when I started Resurrection Men I was naive to believe that I could write a four issue series easily. Why not, right? Wrong. You may not need to be an expert but you need to able to create a plot, characters and drama.

When I write Resurrection Men I think of a scene. The scene often comes from some form of media I’ve seen or heard along the way. In the following examples taking from the upcoming issue 2 of Resurrection Men I’ll break down what I do and why. Let’s go write ahead.

So first things first, write Page 1 on the top of each page where you are writing for page 1. For example, this page stretches over a couple of pages in the script. When I hand this over to Rory it needs to be clear what page I am referring to.

Above extract from Y – The Last Man #18 by Brian K. Vaughan.

Next Panel 1. A panel is the place where the art the reader will see is placed. Pro tip; don’t hide details from artists. Jeez did I learn that quickly. Sure hide it from the reader if you need to but don’t hide stuff from the artist ever!

Above extract from The Killing Joke by Alan Moore – not my cup of tea but check out that description to the artist!

If you have references of what you mean fire that over to the artist. They are not a mind reader! Also when you introduce characters for the first time in your script, capitalise their names. It helps the reader who is really the artist know if someone is important.

On that note lets just highlight one of those pro tips again. I once read that your script is only actually for one person, the artist. Write it with them in mind. What do they need to know to make their job smoother. I can’t remember who wrote that piece of advice but follow it!

Above extract from Powers #1 by Brian Michael Bendis.

Right, the numbers before the dialogue. This is something for not only the artist but more importantly the humble and overlooked letterer. By having these numbers, first the artist can leave enough dead space for the dialogue to be placed but also lets the letterer know the order of the dialogue. Now if you are your own letterer, artist, writer and editor you can ignore this advice but if not please use this number system.

Lastly for today, keep your dialogue tight and not overly verbose. The old adage of show, not tell is paramount here. Think of all the comics you love and the ones you get bored with and you’ll probably see sharp dialogue. Also, want to stress something? Make it bold.

*Update*

Check the art by Rory Donald below based on that first panel.

Panel 1, Page 1

I hope you enjoyed this break down of the writing game and this wee teaser of Resurrection Men Issue 2.

See you soon,

N.S. Paul

The Oral History of Image Comics

Hi all,

Just wanted to share this awesome short documrty on the history of Image Comics. If you have been living in a cave the last 25 plus years, Image Comics are probably most well know for the franchises they have created such as The Walking Dead, Saga and Spawn to name a fraction. Click the picture below to watch the documentary now!

Screen-Shot-2017-11-20-at-3.46.47-PM

I really enjoyed this documentary and it inspired to get writing and making comics now more than ever.

Enjoy,

N.S. Paul

Wednesday Support – From script to comic

Good evening,

The following resource comes courtesy of current Thunderbolts scribe Jim Zub.

Making Comics Progression: Script to Final

Regards,

N.S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Why You Should Letter Your Comics – Carman Kay

This post is a repost of another blogger I came across in my searches for resources for aspiring comic artists. Please enjoy and check out Carman Kay’s website here.

Out of everything I have been passively practicing on in my recent comics, I have not thoroughly garnered such a sense of love for this until just recently. And that is: the awesomeness of Lettering. Lettering comics nowadays, especially in webcomics isn’t as common as it used to be with the fact that it’s a […]

via Why You Should Letter Your Comics — Carman Kay

Wednesday Support – Breaking into Comics and Others

original

Good morning,

This weeks support comes from many different threads and web searching. I remember when I started writing seriously and I found it difficult to find concise help and information so I do hope this Wednesday blog does that. Thanks for all those that have submitted or shared links.

The first is an article about breaking into the comics industry by Dark Horse Editor Jim Gibbons.

Breaking into Comics by Jim Gibbons

The next link comes from Fred Van Lente who has create a really cool info graph about common errors new writers make. Would recommend you check it out.

The top 5 mistakes people make when creating comics by Fred Van Lente

The next link has to do with writers learning to appreciate their artist collaborators which I think is oft over looked when you are new to comics.

The reality of drawing by John Chalos

Sticking with the theme of today, I though this was a great little comic about breaking into the industry by C. Spike Trotman.

This is Everything I I Know by C. Spike Trotman.

Writers, don’t be like this.

Illustrations of the People Who Want You to Work For Free by BOOOOOOOM.

The real cost for paying someone to work on your comic.

Scott Snyder Makes More on Wytches than Batman – The Price of Working in Comic Books by Rich Johnston.

The last post today comes from Charles Soule and Jim Zub.

So you Wanna Write Comics? by Patrick Dane.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Catch up!

Good evening,

I thought I would just do a quick we post on all the different topic I’ve covered so far.

Wednesday Support – Lettering

Wednesday Support – Lettering and colouring resources

Wednesday Support – Anthologies

Wednesday Support – Comic Balloons and clarity

More updates will be coming but please do check the above links out and develop your own craft.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Lettering

Good morning everyone,

This weeks resources is more a question and answer FAQ regarding common lettering issues from Comicraft, one of the big names of the lettering world.

Click the picture below to be taken to FAQ part of Comicraft’s site.screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-19-25-12

Regards,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Lettering and colouring resources

Good morning,

This week I’ve got two resources that I have really found useful in developing not only my lettering skills but also my colouring skills.

cbl1-2

The first comes from Comicraft and is all about lettering. I’ve found this guide really helpful due to the references to Adobe Illustrator and the different approaches to not only speech bubbles but to SFX and additional tips and tricks for lettering. You can pick up your copy from most retailers.

finished_hunter_preview

The second is a free resource for colouring. I found this really clear and easy to follow and I’m looking forward to exploring this technique with black and white art. You can check out the resource here.

See you next Wednesday.

All the best,

N. S. Paul

Wednesday Support – Anthologies

Good morning,

Now that I’m back in the swing of things I can share with you Support Wednesday, a weekly blog about resources that can help support your comic writing lives.

This week comes from anthologies;

http://sol-comics.com/anthology-submissions/

http://openroadanthology.tumblr.com/anthology-submissions

http://www.lezhin.com/en/page/contest

All the best,

N. S. Paul