$10,533
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
88
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, April 13 2015 10:00 PM UTC +00:00
Jean MichelBy Jean Michel
First created
Jean MichelBy Jean Michel
First created
$10,533
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
88
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, April 13 2015 10:00 PM UTC +00:00

About

THE STORY

Comic books are a multi-billion dollar industry that threads through many different mediums—from print to toys to film—and involves countless numbers of people at some capacity.

It all starts with six basic roles: Writers, Pencilers, Letterers, Inkers, Colorists and Editors. Without them there is no comic book, which means there is no comic book store, which means there is no comic book reader, all the way down the line until there is no new Avengers film.

So many links in the chain and yet the first six are virtually unknown and often unappreciated by the world at large.

For comic book professionals, unless they are one of the few well-known names (like Fraction, Simone, Bendis, Kirkman), then it is very likely they are wondering when and where (and possibly if) their next paying gig is going to come along. Most of them don’t have the comfort of having an agent to do the legwork for them or the money and know-how to create an effective online presence.

Still, the many levels of career paths, whether highly successful or just starting out in the industry will benefit here, whether it is in project management, collaborating, trading techniques, getting inspired, or simply being available to the businesses who seek them out. 

That's where we come in. We are The Trade, a network for comic book professionals.

The Trade gives comic pros access to all aspects of the industry, be it publishers, talent, jobs, sales, convention news or information forums.

CREATORS 

Creators include editors, writers, pencilers, inkers, colorists, letterers. This site has been tailored to enhance your career in comics and entertainment. You will be able to network, promote, and sell your work. You can keep various portfolios for each of your varied disciplines should you be so multi-talented! This includes all the trades mentioned above, in addition to other 2-D media and storyboarding. Find jobs, collaborate, and even rate and endorse your colleagues. We also give you many options to control your anonymity and communications with other members of the site. There is even a system for taking commission orders with a wait list and order form.

(Below is an example of a creators profile page. This is not a final design)

(Below is an example of the lightbox view of a gallery. This is not a final design) 

(Below is an example of a creators "Command Center" or profile edit page. This is not a final design)

BUSINESSES 

Businesses include Publishers, Retail Stores, Convention Organizers, Producers in Entertainment. We crafted a number of features specifically for the advancement of your company as well. With our project and asset management tools, talent database, job board and Comixology integration—deadlines, networking, sales and promotion will become that much easier for you and your staff.

FANS 

Although The Trade is primarily a website for professionals and businesses in and around the comic book industry, we also constructed a few features for industry fans such as the ability to favorite, share, comment and collect the content of the creators on the site. As a fan you also have the option of buying and reading any of the books featured by publishers on the site.

:: OUR GIFT TO EVERYONE WHO PLEDGES ::

Regardless of your pledge amount, everyone will receive a FAN MEMBER beta key, so that anyone who supports this project gets the opportunity to participate and explore the site when we open the doors in October.

NOTE: Everyone who pledges a reward level that includes Creator or Business Level Membership will receive Premium Member Access for one full year. 

In an industry that involves exposing your work and your private life to the public at large through social media and retail market places, privacy and anonymity may play a very large role in choosing a network. That is why The Trade has implemented a series of security and networking protocols in order to make profile access a feature that can be controlled in varying degrees by each member.

How is that accomplished exactly?

•No creator can contact you unless you are following that creator’s profile

•No fans can communicate with you unless you expressly send them a private message or chat invitation

•The only site members that can send you messages or chat invitations without a follow connection or chat invitation from you are Premium Business MembersPremium Members can set their profile to “Stealth Mode”in order to mask their browsing footprints which alert other members as to who has been viewing their pages

•With the “Creator Cloaking Switch” Premium Members can make their profiles completely invisible to any site searches or uninvited views

•You have the power to block any site member on The Trade from communicating with you

Collaborations can be a delicate and fleeting thing, which is why finding a team of people that work well with each other and also enjoy working with one another is a rare commodity that should be valued and nurtured. That is why The Trade gives all creators the ability to create "teams." 

What can teams do?

  • Apply for jobs together 
  • Collaborate using the project management system 
  • Collaborate using the asset management system 
  • Attribute content together

With a Business Membership, you may have multiple projects and products—each of which is either created or managed by a different team of staff members. With your Business Membership on The Trade, we give you the ability to create “groups” made up of any number of staff teams.

What can groups do?

  • Collaborate using the project management system 
  • Collaborate using the asset management system 
  • Attribute content together

COMMISSION WIDGET

The bread and butter of many creators in the comic industry are commissions, small one-off jobs for various organizations and fans. At The Trade, we created a custom feature for all creators who join the site that will make taking commissions a much more organized and efficient task.

  • Toggle commissions “ON” 
  • Set the number of commissions you are currently accepting 
  • Add in description and pricing details 
  • Save your preferences and you’re done

Once you set your commission preferences and toggled them on, you can easily let your friends, family, and fans know on your preferred social media outlets. Those who visit your profile on The Trade will find a commissions widget alerting them to the fact that you are currently accepting commissions and how many slots are left. Anyone who would like to purchase one can then sign up on a first come first served basis. Once you reach the number limit you’ve set, the widget will automatically toggle “OFF,” telling any visitors that you are “not currently accepting commissions" until you reset it.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

A major a major part of producing a book industry is collaboration between multiple parties to create a final product ready for the presses. The Trade makes collaboration that much simpler for you and your team with our project management tools to streamline your workflow. Keep track of your project and keep it and your team organized and on deadline as you manage your digital proofs and reviews in one secure location. 

ASSET MANAGEMENT

For those creators or businesses that need a bit more control over their projects, The Trade offers it’s premium members an array of asset management tools that creates an environment of project transparency and accountability to keep your deadlines from chasing you. Your entire team will be able to provide clear and real time feedback and reviews on PSDs, PDFs, DOCs, JPGs, and AI files reducing inbox overload and providing you all with a clear view of your project at a glance and in detail.

EVENT CALENDAR

The Trade also provides an interactive event calendar used and updated by our members. Creators and business members can add their events such as upcoming convention dates or in-store signings which will automatically update the event listings on their profile pages. The event calendar also provides fans with an at-a-glance overview of the events happening throughout the year. Anyone can filter the calendar dates in a number of ways to give you a more personalized view of the events listed and with the save the date feature, you won’t miss out on any of the industry happenings again.

JOB BOARD

The members job board on The Trade is provided to give creators and businesses an opportunity to connect in a way that is mutually beneficial for everyone. All jobs posted must be paying jobs.

By giving each creator the opportunity to set their rates for each of their skills this will give the industry a sense of transparency like it has never had before, creating a marketplace of fair practices and a comic book talent database where companies can explore fresh new talent on a global scale.

ADVERTISING

Ads are one of the main sources of revenue on The Trade. Anyone is welcome to advertise on the site. Advertising displayed on the website will be restricted to relevant ads pertaining to the comic book industry. ie- ads for comic books, comic book stores, art supplies, conventions and comic book related events etc. There will be no advertising on any of the member profile pages and once a year each premium business member will receive one month of banner ad space free of charge.

WHY ARE WE USING KICKSTARTER?

Your money goes straight to the production costs of completing the beta site and getting it to your fingertips as quickly as possible. Some of the costs that go along with the production are for security, programming, legal fees and the project management tools.

SECURITY & PROGRAMMING

One of our primary concerns is making sure that the intellectual properties of the artists on our site are safe and secure. Our program team will be working tirelessly to create site wide security and encryption to protect everyones work as well as all the custom profile features and the state of the art job board. The fees for our programming and design team have been built in to our Kickstarter goal.

LEGAL FEES

In order to protect the interests of our members and have a clearly stated mission for our site, we must secure a legally sound set of terms and conditions for the display of copyrighted and non-copyrighted, but proprietary work. The fees for our lawyers contracting services have been built in to our Kickstarter goal as well.

PROJECT & ASSET MANAGEMENT TOOLS

These two features on the Trade will not only be an integral part of the website but also an sophisticated piece of software being built exclusively for The Trade and especially for your needs as a creator or business. It is an impressively elegant yet robust platform that also requires hours upon hours of programming. As we stated above, the fees for our programming and design team have been built in to our Kickstarter goal.

Also built into our Kickstarter goal will be the fees for all of our rewards fulfillment minus any international shipping costs.

OUR TEAM

A life long comic book fan, Jean ventured in to the world of self publishing and soon realized not only the many different roles and jobs needed to produce a comic book, but also the many pitfalls that come along with it.

After losing his artist shortly after his first publication, Jean became frustrated with the lack of online venues to find skilled freelancers in the comic book industry. The Trade was born.

As UI/UX Designer, Jean brings 15 years of design experience from the web and printing industries. He has worked for a number of small startup companies as well as Scholastic Publishing.

As head of software architecture and development, Jude brings 18 years of software development experience within the banking, insurance and publishing industries. He previously worked as an Information Architect for Mass Mutual.

Ken brings 15 years of digital product management experience working for great companies like Marvel Entertainment, Estee Lauder and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. A former Information architect focusing on user experience Ken has always made sure the strategy fits the needs of the users.  

Kristin Sorra co-founded Atomic Paintbrush in the mid 90's, one of the first computer coloring companies working in the comic book field. Along with her 19 years of design and illustration in the publishing field, she brings a truly unique and invaluable amount of skill and knowledge to the team as Creative Director.

Of course, we want all the help and support we can muster, but we realize while many of us have really really really…really been wanting a network like this for quite a while, we still need to offer some awesome incentives for your hard earned dollars. 

NOTE: When we say that you receive "each of the previous rewards" above your selected reward, that does not include rewards with a limited number.

GET YOUR KEY TO THE KINGDOM and pledge $15 or $25 and you will receive a beta key to test drive the site with all the other artists, writers and businesses. 

• A snazzy Messenger Bag featuring the "LET'S MAKE COMICS" logo to carry your portfolios, scripts, and signed comics.

  • A Snazzy T-Shirt (Women's XS, S, M, L, XL | Men's S, M, L, XL, XXL), so you can dress to impress 

• Time to put on your thinking cap. Baseball Cap featuring the "LET'S MAKE COMICS" logo

• A Coffee Mug for all your late night think tanking featuring the "LET'S MAKE COMICS" logo

• A 3.5" x 5" Sketch Journal featuring The Trade CMYK logo

• A black Zip-up Hoodie featuring The Trade CMYK logo

• Two Metal Buttons featuring The Trade CMYK logo and the "LET'S MAKE COMICS." balloon

Shipping

All international shipments will be delivered by FedEx and include tracking and delivery confirmation. Please select your country, and add the corresponding shipping amount to your pledge. 

Shipping must be added manually. If you have already pledged yet forgot shipping, you can edit your pledge amount through your account.

Shipping costs to do not apply to any pledges below $50

MORE LOVE FROM THE PROS
"...a great concept and something that will be extremely useful for comic book professionals and those just getting into the business!
Rus Wooton, letterer The Walking Dead

"The Trade is what we need and we need it right now. So much of the power to grant commissions is in the hands of people who have no idea what it's like to freelance. A site like this could be an amazing bridge between those who do superlative work and those who need it."
Dennis Calero, co-creator Devil inside, artist X-Men Noir

"...a much needed notion for networking creative types with professional work in mind. Freelancers have it hard enough finding talent or work for projects and this site is designed for dealing with those needs.

Joseph Silver, inker Animal Man, Threshold 

Risks and challenges

There are always challenges where developing new software is concerned. If the application is not written properly then it will be buggy or the user experience will be less than optimal. Even if the application is well written there is always the possibility that people will not want to use it. Our software team's experience creating public-facing software for large companies qualifies us to create a website that will be both reliable, intuitive and fun to use. We will use industry approved best practices to insure that each member's data is secure and that the community is one that everyone will be proud to use.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A thank you postcard because, thank you!

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A thank you postcard and two logo buttons

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A beta key for a PREMIUM CREATOR MEMBER PROFILE and each of the previous rewards.

    That means you get to use the site before anyone else! Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A beta key for a PREMIUM BUSINESS MEMBER PROFILE, postcard and buttons.

    That means your business gets to use the site before any others! Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Pledge this level and receive an 11" x 17" print of The Rocketeer. Pencils by V. KEN MARION, colors by NEI RUFFINO and signed by inker MARK MCKENNA. And each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards.

    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Pledge this level and receive an 11" x 17" print of Jubilee. Pencils by BEN HARVEY, colors by KATE FINNEGAN and signed by inker MARK MCKENNA. And each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards.

    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Pledge this level and receive an original 8.5" x 11" commission by Boudika Comics artist, CLAUDIA AGUIRRE and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards.
    Commission includes your choice of one (1) character, some background, in ink.
    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 40 or more About US$ 40

    Pledge this level and receive a 12" x 9" 6-color silkscreen print of a retro Batman & Robin, by Brooklyn based artist ALDEN VIGUILLA. Handprinted on gray pastel paper. Edition of 12. And you receive each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards.

    NOTE: Because of the handmade nature of silkscreening, there are slight variations on registration and color.

    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Your choice of a male or female style t-shirt featuring The Trade logo and each of the previous rewards. You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Five (5) years of Premium Membership, The Trade Coffee Mug and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards. You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key.

    International friends: Please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A sketch journal with embossed design and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards. You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    A baseball hat with embroidered design and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards. You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    A hero hoodie with The Trade logo and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards. You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 450 or more About US$ 450

    Pledge this level and receive an original 11" x 14" commission by Deadpool and Amazing Spider-Man artist, REILLY BROWN and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards.
    Commission includes your choice of half a figure (approved by Reilly) with little to no background, in ink and gray tones.
    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    An adventure satchel, also known as an oiled canvas messenger bag, featuring The Trade logo and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards. You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    Pledge this level and receive an original 12" x 18" commission by award winning artist of X-Men Noir and Legion of Superheroes, DENNIS CALERO and each of the previous rewards.
    Commission includes your choice of up to two (2) characters in pencils, inks and grey tones.
    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

    Also, our FREE GIFT to you—A beta key for a FAN MEMBER PROFILE to access and enjoy the site during beta testing.

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  17. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 800 or more About US$ 800

    Pledge this level and receive an original 9" x 12" commission by Eisner Award-winning artist of Superman for All Seasons and Daredevil: Yellow, TIM SALE, and each of the previous rewards minus any limited quantity rewards. Commission includes your choice of one (1) character (approved by TIM) some background, in ink wash.

    You'll need to specify whether you would like a CREATOR or BUSINESS beta key. Makes a great and unique gift idea for the artist or writer you know.

    International friends: please add shipping using the map below.

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Funding period

- (31 days)