Tag: crowdfunding

With Further Ado #180: Five and a Half Questions with Christopher Irving about Mike Allred’s Madmania Saturday Morning Cereal Box Fun Pack

With Further Ado #180: Five and a Half Questions with Christopher Irving about Mike Allred’s Madmania Saturday Morning Cereal Box Fun Pack

Chris Irving is a creative guy who’s always got something cooking.  One of his early projects, Leaping Tall Buildings, is still a favorite book of mine. He’s a comics historian and an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.  But with the new year here and his new Kickstarter just launched, it seems like the perfect time to regroup!

He is the latest participant (victim?) of the 5 and 1/2 question format.

Question 1: Your new project looks wild and fun! Can you explain exactly what Mike Allred’s Madmania Saturday Morning Cereal Box Fun Pack is?

Christopher Irving: Sure thing, Ed! I’ve run Fun Pack Madman campaigns where we keep adding more swag (yoyos, stickers, trading cards, you name it!) the more we fund. I was trying to come up with a campaign that would have a great gimmick, and it just felt it was a natural for a cereal box with prizes inside. I’m also a huge fan of creating cool packaging for all my campaigns, so why not START with the packaging and then fill it as we go? By the end of the campaign, we hope to have a box full of more and more goodies, all for just $35 (plus shipping).

The initial Kickstarter goal of $4K funds the cereal box, a Madman yo-yo, a Joe Lombard yo-yo, and two lobby card style 4 x 6 postcards of both Red Rocket 7 and The Oddity Odyssey (think if they came out as drive-in movies in the ’60s). Stretch goals include some mad scientist yoyos, and– A whoopie cushion with THE PUKE!

As I write this, we’re moving towards two new yo-yos: one of Dr. Flem and another of Laura Allred herself (to go with the surprise Mike Allred yo-yo last year).

This campaign met its initial goal in just six hours! That is the benefit of having a regular stable of awesome backers who keep coming back for more.

Question 2: What’s the background on this one? How do you guys ever come up with it?

CI: I’m really, really lucky working with Mike Allred: I just pitch an idea his way and he often just gives me the thumbs up, with approvals and suggestions on the way.

I was really trying to think of creative ways to package a fun pack and nothing says fun more to me than “cereal box”. A good chunk of this also comes from my four-year-old son, Grayson, who is unlucky enough to get breakfast cereals that are BOR-ING when it comes to prizes in the box. Heck, even Cracker Jacks prizes are super-lame! This is a way to go overboard and give him the best cereal box prize experience ever.

Question 3: Exactly who does it appeal to? Old fans? New fans? Cereal fans?

CI: Definitely Madman fans of any generation who love the cool swag! If you’re new to Madman, I’ve been self-publishing pamphlet style essays on each run of Madman (called Madmania!), which can be gained as add-ons and help the newbie learn about the world of Snap City. As for cereal fans, if you collect cool prizes, then this box is for you!

Question 4: I understand you’ve had success with past Kickstarters. What makes your Kickstarters successful?

CI: The backers, first and foremost! I’ve built a really loyal, reliable, and supportive backer base of Madman fans over the past few years. I also build the campaigns with a relatively low overhead for the initial goal, and simply upgrade the main attraction as we continue to fund–which gives old backers more reason to help spread the word of the campaign and gain new ones. That then helps grow the campaigns and benefits everyone who pitches in.

My goal is to give the backers more than their money’s worth by the end of the campaign. I’ve lost my shirt on one or two and broken even on another, but it’s totally worth it when I get nice emails and social media posts from folks who love what I’ve sent out to them.

One thing I’ll never forget is sending a campaign out RIGHT when the pandemic started in 2020 and got a ton of comments from folks who needed that pick-me-up.

Question 5: When does it launch and what will people like most about it?

CI: I launched right after the New Year and we’re going really strong just two days later. I think the best part about the Fun Pack is it gives backers the chance to get even more than their money’s worth through stretch goals. It’s also a chance to get a really substantial and sweet box of unique, limited Madman swag in just a couple of short months. I don’t go back and reprint or have any backstock in case someone misses it–so this is the only chance to grab the Saturday Morning Madmania Fun Pack.

Question 5½ : I know there’s no real cereal involved. But if there was, what cereal, or cereals, would it be?

CI: The cereal on the box was actually made of Sculpie and would (hypothetically) be “berry” red yoyos with marshmallow exclamation bolts, but if I could choose a pre-existing cereal:

Ralston made a Spider-Man cereal and Teenage Mutant Ninjas cereal in the ’90s, that were basically the same thing. I’d sit down with a box and eat it dry with Mystery Science Theater 3000 every Saturday night at 1 AM in college, and the sugar buzz kept me up all morning.

EC: Thanks so much, Chris!

 


For more on Chris, check out his page here.  And for more on this project, check it out here.

With Further Ado #97: What is Graham Nolan up to?

With Further Ado #97: What is Graham Nolan up to?

Back in my college days, I dated this intoxicatingly beautiful blonde who went to school at Buffalo State College. One time, when I was visiting her, it was during a vicious snowstorm.  It was nothing new for Buffalo, but I was astounded. There was so much snow.  In fact, I still remember the local kids throwing snowballs at my bus as it rolled into town. The amazing part was that the kids were throwing down at the bus. The snow along the roads was heaped so high that it was higher than the bus!

Comics creator Graham Nolan had a similar cold-weather experience in Buffalo, but the difference is that it sparked his uber-creative mind, and he has created a new comic from his wintery experience.  The Chenoo is his newest project. The backstory is fascinating. Nolan’s approach to business is ambitious, and I’m betting comic itself will be a pretty good read too.

A Hidden Entrepreneur

One of the courses I teach at Ithaca College is called Hidden Entrepreneurs. The basic premise is that not every entrepreneur is like ‘that guy’ who shows up in front of the sharks on TV’s Shark Tank. Continue reading “With Further Ado #97: What is Graham Nolan up to?”

Press Release: SOUND OF THUNDER Vocalist Returns from Injury with New Album

Press Release: SOUND OF THUNDER Vocalist Returns from Injury with New Album

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

October 29, 2019

A SOUND OF THUNDER Vocalist Returns from Injury with New Album

A Sound of Thunder vocalist Nina Osegueda was in a near-fatal car accident in July. After a period of uncertainty, Nina and band are back and have announced their new album Parallel Eternity. The album will be released in February 2020 and is available for pre-order exclusively on Kickstarter now. The album cover is by long-serving A Sound of Thunder artist Dusan Markovic.


Osegueda sustained serious injuries when her car was struck by a commuter bus. Her vehicle was rolled and crushed by the impact. Though she suffered multiple bone fractures, she luckily escaped without any spinal cord damage or internal injuries. After being confined to a wheelchair for several weeks and intensive physical therapy, she has now made a near full recovery. Osegueda comments: “That accident made me feel like I’m on borrowed time. I’m so grateful to be alive and well! It only solidified my desire to make music and keep going as long as I can!” Continue reading “Press Release: SOUND OF THUNDER Vocalist Returns from Injury with New Album”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection

Hey folks. It’s that time again. If it’s Friday, it must be time to tell you a about a Kickstarter that you should be backing. We search the current Kickstarter campaigns, and when we find one we feels needs a little boost, we let you know about it.

This week we are spotlighting The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: “What Fresh Hell Is This?” 9 Levels of Studio Hell!

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: “What Fresh Hell Is This?” 9 Levels of Studio Hell!

Hey folks. It’s that time again. We search the current Kickstarter campaigns, and when we find one we feels needs a little boost, we let you know about it.

This week we are spotlighting What Fresh Hell Is This!. It is a comic anthology collection that will be published in digital and traditional print formats.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: “What Fresh Hell Is This?” 9 Levels of Studio Hell!”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Shots Fired, A Comic Anthology to Fight Gun Violence

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Shots Fired, A Comic Anthology to Fight Gun Violence

Readers and followers of our site know that we are always looking for crowdfunded projects that are worthy of our support. It appears to be time for a new wave of Kickstarter projects to grab our attention.

A new project that we have been aware of even before it went live is the focus of this spotlight post. The project is called Shots Fired, and it is an anthology of comic format short stories aimed at calling attention to the tragedy of gun violence in America.  While there have been other excellent projects aimed at supporting the victims of gun violence. This collection is committed to using profits from the book to support violence prevention.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Shots Fired, A Comic Anthology to Fight Gun Violence”

With Further Ado #042: The Spirit …of Creativity and Entrepreneurialism

With Further Ado #042: The Spirit …of Creativity and Entrepreneurialism

Will Eisner was an astonishingly creative guy who was also quite the entrepreneur. All these years later, another very creative person with a strong entrepreneurial streak is combining these two strengths, with a dash of Einser thrown in. I was very excited to catch up with Chris Irving on his latest project:

Ed Catto: This new Spirit project sounds fascinating. Can you tell me about it?

Christopher Irving: Denis Kitchen and I have been talking about comics, comics history, and trading cards for a while, and it just seemed natural for me to create a set of cards on Will Eisner’s classic The Spirit. Truthfully: I’ve been jonesing to do a set on Denny Colt and company for a while, and am grateful to Carl and Nancy Gropper of the Eisner Estate, as well as Denis, for giving me this chance.

Also, this is a chance to work with Denis, who has long been one of my heroes as a publisher, creator, and advocate for comics. Funny thing is I was once going to intern for Kitchen Sink Press, but they then closed shop. In a way, this is my chance at finally getting to that internship.

The card set is fully funded, so far, for 50 cards and a tuck box; the stretch goals we’ve met include putting the character cards on old school vintage chipback (like the trading cards of yore!) and, hopefully by the time this sees print, a high quality thick card stock for the splash page cards. I think the real kicker with this set, and the reason I really want fans of Will’s work to know about the campaign, is there will be no backstock. 

In short: I won’t have packs for sale after the campaign and the only chance to get them is to pledge by May 17th.

[check it out here RIGHT NOW!  -Adriane Continue reading “With Further Ado #042: The Spirit …of Creativity and Entrepreneurialism”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: THE GOOD FIGHT: A Peaceful Stand Against Bigotry and Racism by Adam Ferris

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: THE GOOD FIGHT: A Peaceful Stand Against Bigotry and Racism by Adam Ferris


It has been a while since we highlighted a Kickstarter campaign. This one is important.

THE GOOD FIGHT is a comics anthology taking a peaceful stand against racism and bigotry. It was originally concieved as a reaction to the events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017. According to Adam Ferris, the curator of this project, “It has since evolved into a more timeless commentary on the ongoing struggle against hate. Because hate itself will adapt to survive.”

There is a fantastic group of writers, artists, colorists, letterers and editors involved in THE GOOD FIGHT who donated their effort to create a collection of more than 40 full color stories across a broad spectrum of genres.

While the campaign is already fully funded, there are only 6 days left from this publication to get in on this great project.  According to the creators all post-campaign money will be donated to The Southern Poverty Law Center.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: THE GOOD FIGHT: A Peaceful Stand Against Bigotry and Racism by Adam Ferris”

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #007: Indie Comic Book Publishing 101 Part 7

So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #007: Indie Comic Book Publishing 101 Part 7

If you google my name, and “Kickstarter”, “Crowdfunding”, or “Needs Money”, you will undoubtedly find a plethora of articles I’ve penned detailing my complicated thoughts on the matter. But, time has passed, and as such, it’s time within the context of this series to imbue you, the newly-minted would-be comic creator, with my hot take on all of your fancy IndieGoGoKickStartGoFundMe’ing. In short:

Crowdfunding is the blessing and bane of the indie comic movement.

Let’s just go ahead and lay out the forest before inspecting the trees, shall we? The good part about crowdfunding is that it offers the chance to level the playing field when it comes to raising funds before a project is ready to go—allowing successful campaigns to have a honey pot from which to build a budding empire. With the toolsets of all the major players set, crowdfunders enjoy having a working platform to process payments, organize purchasers, and promote their project both socially as well as natively to the crowdfunding site itself. And when a creator is extra good at creating a buzz? Well, sometimes those crowdfunding sites will organically promote those on-the-rise campaigns which can snowball a project from funded to stretch goals in a matter of hours. It’s exhilarating.  Continue reading “So Long and Thanks for the Fish, Man #007: Indie Comic Book Publishing 101 Part 7”