It was close. 80 percent funded isn’t a total failure. It meant there were still a good lot of people out there who believed in me, and believed in the story I started back in June 2005. It gave me hope in believing there is still a chance for me out there.
Admittedly, this time yesterday, I was completely deflated and depressed – I wasn’t even 50 percent funded and I had less than 24 hours left. If I couldn’t get even halfway funded, that would have been a huge wake-up call for me, telling me I’m not anywhere close to making a quality graphic novel. But in the last 12 hours of my very first Kickstarter, friends, family and fans alike came through – that donation scale rose like crazy, and I actually found hope again. Also, I had the immense love from the most amazing wife I could ever possibly think of. I don’t know what I would do without her, she is so very wonderful and incredibly supportive of my dream. I am so lucky.
I will likely make School #6 a downloadable PDF, to salvage the last year and a half of my time. It would be an even greater tragedy to turn all of that time into a waste by hiding it from the world. I will also be submitting to Comixology and see if the comic has any legs there. I have some magnificent pages in issue six, but I’m biased.
Despite how close I got, I can’t help to think about what mistakes I made, and what I can do/could have done better. The fact of the matter is, to me when it comes to living the dream, it’s about finding enjoyable work that is profitable enough to live on – not to get rich from, but enough that it can afford something of a decent wage. I have been touring conventions for as often as my working class butt can afford for years and years now, and yet here I am, still struggling to make a printing bill. Something is missing in my approach. I likely missed opportunities. Or maybe this story just hasn’t captured as many hearts as I hoped it would. I have said before the comic is mostly a one-man show; so to extend that logic, if I have lower-than-expected fan response and support, then the blame is on me. I will be going through some soul-searching for the next few months; rethinking my approach in selling School to the masses. Or, perhaps finding a new dream to chase. Maybe I will take up painting, who knows?
Until then, let it not be said that I, or you, did nothing. We gave it a good solid go. That has to count for something.
Next $50 donor to my Kickstarter receives the original art of this page, which is page 109 of the first volume (splash page of issue #3) if I hit my goal!
This is page 18 of the first volume of School – for the next $50 donor to my Kickstarter for issue 6; you get the original art of this page if I hit my goal. It’s on 14×17 Bristol paper.
Haven’t your parents ever told you not to play with broken glass? Good – but they didn’t tell you to WEAR IT. This necklace was made by Randella Defferding using glass and acrylic paint. Anyone who donates to my Kickstarter will have their name entered in a raffle and will win this piece of gothic swag along with everything else you will be rewarded for the donation level you made. The glass edges have been sanded down for your safety. But for others safety…..
For the next $100 donor to my Kickstarter, you will get this two page spread (provided in two 14×17″ pages, it’s shown here as one image) from issue #5 of School! I personally call it “The Bridge of Sighs.” Two days left to donate!
First item of the final stretch campaign - this goes to the highest donor of the campaign if I meet my goal. This is a 2 ft. x 4 ft. painting by Randalyn Defferdude – acrylic, glass and wax on canvas.
Okay folks! This is the final stretch of my Kickstarter – for the next three days, I will be jamming your social media feeds with all sorts of art and merch that I will be giving away to people that donate within the frame of time or donor level. Some of these things will be arts and crafty things from not just me, but from my amazingly awesome wife Randalyn Defferdude . Some of this will be small things, some of these will be big things. This is your opportunity to get some sweet fine art for a ridiculously low amount of money. I will be including raffles for people on my donor list, who will be rewarded with random amazing things.
Here is the thing – per Kickstarter policy, if I don’t reach my goal, no transaction occurs. This means you have nothing to lose if I don’t make it, and if I do make my goal, you get an incredible amount of fine art and merch from some local Wisconsin talent. For you, it’s win/win. For me, it’s cake or death. BRING ME CAKE!
Yours truly is officially a sponsor of this week’s episode of HP Podcraft’s literary podcast! Journey with us to the Canadian wilderness, where we’ll be meeting up with Algernon Blackwoods’ creation, The Wendigo!
Oh yeah, and donate to my Kickstarter or I will wish you a bad haircut!
This is a commission drawing, I call it “Booba” Fett. You too can get commission like this by donating to my Kickstarter for Issue #6 of School: A Ghost Story! There is FIVE DAYS LEFT - it’s pretty much Do o Die at this point of the campaign. If you haven’t yet, go ahead and give me a chance! To all my fans, I genuinely thank you for all your support so far.
Finished this 8″x10″ sketch of a flying Elvis Presley at Oshkosh Sketch Night tonight at the House of Heroes comic shop. I’ll give it to the next person that donates $50 to my kickstarter.
Painting of Asylum Point in Oshkosh, by local painter Tara Strong. Local legend has it that Asylum Point was known as a place where mental institute escapees comitted suicide, because it had a nice view of Lake Winnebago, so inmates got their last good view before kicking the bucket and hanging themselves from the tree. I love the choice in color palatte. It’s a haunting piece of Oshkosh. Special thanks to Heidi Erickson for allowing our house as place to hang it for all to see.
I just added this 14″x11″ drawing into the Kickstarter campaign for School issue #6 - it’s yours with a $60 donation! You also get a printed copy of the book, as well as PDF copy.
Can you guess the song they are singing?
In other news, Chicago Comics has restocked copies of the all current printed versions of School!
I will be at Dan Con 2013 this weekend at the Orland Park Civic Center in Orland Park, IL! Will I see you there?
The kickstarter has been launched! School #6: Girl with the Dark Halo, 120 pages – fundraising goal is $4,500 (a reasonable goal if I do say so m’self), and I have a month to fund it! Stretch goals are hardcovers at $9000 total funds raised, and a hardcover of the entire story’s run at $16,000.
Aaaaaaaaaand I have another person to claim her raffle prize from the convention last weekend – Liz Wisdom out of Chicago; she bought a set of my books at my table in Artist Alley, and I drew her name to win this 14″x17″ drawing from me. This is what happens when you buy my work. I reward you with more of my work!
Liz, thanks for buying School: A Ghost Story. I hope you enjoyed the heck out of it!
I always have a great time at Wizard World Chicago/Flashback Horror Weekend, and 2013 was no different! Met a lot of great people, caught up with some old convention friends, reconnected with some professionals, and saw lots of GREAT costumes.
Every day at the convention I gave away some original art in a raffle for those who bought my entire set of School issues, thus far one has claimed their prize – Susan Fry out of Milwaukee wins this original drawing (14×17″, pen and ink on bristol board):
When more come forward I will make announcements here and on various social media outlets. I can’t wait to see what Dragon Con has in store later this month!
KICKSTARTER NEWS: The Kickstarter for the huge sixth installment of School will be airing in a couple weeks! Still going through some video editing but I am getting close! Come back here for more info!
Today is International Children’s Book Day – and I’d like to take advantage of this opportunity to announce my first illustrated interactive children’s book series, Doggie Dreams, will be released by way of Golden Books for the Ipads and tablets later this year – more details to follow. I am super excited about this!
Page 75 is finished of School 6! Things are getting closer by the day of getting this issue wrapped up. My goal is to have this finished and printed by August, but I can’t make any guarantees.
Also, I just sent in my table fee for Dragon Con – it will be my first trip to the convention, I am *super* excited!!! Let me know if there are any other conventions you want me to be at, I will see what I can do.
Hope all is well with everyone!
The interesting thing about finishing paintings about murder is, at the end of it, my hands are literally drenched in shades of red…and I wash them clean, much like many culprits in history. I bring to you my first attempt at oil paints in over a decade. Still figuring out a title. Size: 18×24, Gessoed masonite.