The Kickstarter Blog

Backer Becomes Creator: Trevor Charles Makes A Graphic Novel

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Before launching his own, Trevor Charles backed over 35 other projects, largely in categories that reflected the landscape of his personal interests: design, comics, and graphic novels. It wasn't long before he had amassed a tidy collection of books, an acknowledged addiction to paging through the Comics category, and a growing urge to replicate the narrative that, as an attentive backer, he had seen unfold over and over again: artists creating new and exciting things alongside a community of dedicated fans. 

"After seeing that it was possible, and that my dream might not be that crazy or far-fetched after all, it was only a matter of time before I got the idea fixated in my head that I COULD and WOULD do this," Charles explained via email. And he did, launching a project to fund the production of his sci-fi graphic novel, Sea Breeze Lane, on September 6. Based on a short story that he published in college, the plot centers around a colony of moon-dwelling humans at some point hundreds of years in the future, and a member of their most elite society who is striving to uncover the truth about his world. 

Having hit the Back This Project button on numerous project pages prior, Charles welcomed the flipside of the experience — hitting Launch. "It's nerve-wracking thinking about whether or not it's going to be successful, but it's an amazing feeling to see that people believe in you and want your project to be successful as much as you do," he says. "I felt pretty nervous, excited, happy, hopeful, anxious, and loved, to say the least." 

When crafting his own project, he was careful to apply the body of knowledge he'd gained from spending so much time on the other side of the page. Recollecting the recurring traits he'd found compelling in other people's projects, he spun them to be applicable to his own: "I had learned that giving people their money's worth was vital. Everybody loves stackable rewards. Also, quality updates are key, so people continue to stay engaged and feel like you are keeping them in the loop."

Nearing the halfway point of his project duration, as well as the halfway point of his funding goal, it's exciting to see what Charles' has learned taking shape. Check out his project page for more here. And be sure to keep an eye out for his upcoming appearance at New York's Comic Con.

Comments

    1. Kssplit.small

      Creator Mike Prasad on September 22, 2012

      Great article! I can definitely say moving from a backer to creator is a very different experience! That said, the insight I got as a backer of over 330 projects absolutely helped my Hawaii Bitters project reach it's goal and then go on to double it. I think (and recommend) all prospective creators should consider backing 3 to 5 projects before starting their own. If only to curate a sense of value and validation that must be demonstrated to succeed.