By Christian Beranek
Things take time. Which is a weird thing to say in a day and age when 15 minutes in 1997 would feel like 60 minutes now. The faster we move, the slower things seem to take. It’s especially odd with comics. We have all of these amazing inventions designed to speed up the process of making these books — thing is, money ain’t worth what it used to be back in 1997 either.
Comics are expensive to make and buy these days. Especially if you’re doing it on your own.
So, a few weeks back I spoke about my efforts to raise funds for a project called Unhappy White Girls. I was looking to achieve $6000 in 40 days. I ended up with $2305 when time elapsed. Not a bad total, but the thing with Kickstarter is you do not receive any funds for your project unless you reach your mark. $6000 would have covered expenses on the book. $2305 would have helped, but not brought us home.
I spent a lot of time promoting and writing about the project, way more hours than I did writing the book! I did behind the scenes updates, interviews and articles. I talked to anyone who wanted to listen (and many who didn’t!) All in all the effort came up short, but there was a lot gained. You can check out the project here.
I reached for it and didn’t make it and I don’t regret a moment. One day Unhappy White Girls will see the light of day. I believe that.
So, what do you do when you don’t make it? You get right back up and fight. Hours after the UWG campaign ended I launched a completely different project: Blood and Bones.
Blood and Bones is a military horror graphic novella I’m co-creating with artist Andrew Mangum. It’s a take-no-prisoners tale that asks the question “How far would you go to survive?” There’s more death in this book than Kill Bill, Rambo and the third act of Macbeth combined.
Kickstarter is an attractive venue for a project like this because the story for Blood and Bones (and Unhappy White Girls for that matter) comes in at 48 pages long. I’ve always liked that length for a comic. DC’s Prestige Format was that size and it allowed writer Alan Moore to tell the The Killing Joke the way he wanted to.
These days however it’s not an attractive format for many publishers. Most companies shoot for a 4 – 6 issue mini so they can get a trade out of it. I don’t fault them, but many comics end up with a lot of padding to get there. It could be argued The Killing Joke would not have been as effective had it been decompressed to 128 pages. The pacing would have been slow instead of crisp and concise — every panel revealing the necessary information to the reader.
You were immersed in that world completely — it never let up, not even at the end. And that’s one of our goals with Blood and Bones: To immerse you in one of the most bloody environments comics has ever seen.
That’s a bold statement and I own up to it.
If you want to support Blood and Bones we have some very cool and reasonable rewards on our Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/christianberanek/blood-and-bones-a-military-horror-comic-by-christi-0
Help a 48 page comic stand up and fight.
Christian Beranek is a writer, musician, actor, film/tv producer and webcomic entrepreneur. He co-runs The Webcomic Factory with Tony DiGerolamo and is hard at work on several original graphic novels. He is also co-starring in High School Sucks The Musical for Lakeshore Entertainment and PDFlo Films. He is never late for dinner and invites you to add him on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/beranek