About this project
* Special Final 24 Hours Addition: Limited-Edition Guy Fawkes T-Shirt *
We thought it would be cool to add a special, limited edition shirt because we so fell in love with Guy Denning's gorgeous illustration of Guy Fawkes-masked protesters and to commemorate V For Vendetta creators Alan Moore & David Lloyd both joining this project after having such an impact on the protests. Also, it enables us to get you a piece of Occupy Comics in the coming weeks while we work on the comics coming next year.
* Final 24 Hours: 5 New Items added at $150 pledge level *
Several of you have reached out asking that we add more items to the sold-out $150 pledge level. We just worked it out to add 5 more!
(The $150 reward level includes a piece of Original Art from Occupy Comics and has been sold out for a while now.)
What is OCCUPY COMICS and what makes it so special?
Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread across the country and around the world. We believe this is an incredibly unique movement that transcends the usual partisan gridlock and could have a profound affect on all our futures. Even if it dissolves completely, it has changed the conversation in the country and around the world in a way that deserves to be remembered.
Ok, but what's this book?
This book is intended to be a time capsule of the passions and emotions driving the movement. We are comic book & graphic novel artists and writers who've been inspired by the movement and hope to tell the stories of the people who are out there putting themselves at risk for an idea. What is that idea? Most of the media will tell you the idea is a vague and befuddled mess, but movements don't coalesce around vague, befuddled messes. We hope that through the medium of comics we can share some of the ideas and experiences driving this movement.
Does it actually support the protest movement?
YES! This isn't *just* about art and time capsules, it's also about direct action.
All of the writers, artists, business executives, and the publisher are being paid to produce this book... and they ALL are donating 100% of their revenue (not profits, but ALL monies they receive) to the occupiers. They want to support the movement through the winter by providing warm clothes, heaters and bathrooms if possible, and other amenities. For a more detailed breakdown on how the money will flow from pledges to production of the book to the protesters, visit www.occupycomics.com and check out the blueprint.
Who is participating?
The starting lineup (in alphabetical order) is:
Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead)
Marc Andreyko (Manhunter)
Susie Cagle (Notes on Conflict, arrested at Occupy Oakland)
Kevin Colden (I Rule the Night, Grimm's Fairy Tales)
Molly Crabapple (Dr. Sketchy's)
Tyler Crook (Petrograd, B.P.R.D.)
J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League, Spider-Man, Imaginalis)
Joshua Dysart (Swamp Thing, The Unknown Soldier)
Zoetica Ebb (Biorequiem)
Joshua Hale Fialkov (I Vampire, Tumor)
Brea Grant (We Will Bury You, Suicide Girls)
Zane Grant (We Will Bury You, Suicide Girls)
Joe Keatinge (Hell Yeah, Glory, Brutal)
Ales Kot (upcoming projects w/ Image Comics & DC Ent)
George Krstic (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Megas XLR)
Joseph Michael Linsner (Dawn)
Patrick Meaney (Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods)
Mark L. Miller (Luna, Nanny & Hank)
Caleb Monroe (Batman: Fearless, Hunter's Fortune)
B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick, Superman Confidential)
Jerem Morrow (Drive-In Horrorshow, Kingdom Suicide)
Amancay Nahuelpan-Bustamante (Hijos de P)
Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Batman: Gotham County Line)
Laurie Penny (Penny Red)
Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller)
Steve Rolston (Ghost Projekt, Queen & Country)
Riley Rossmo (Proof, Cowboy Ninja Viking)
Douglas Rushkoff (Testament, media theorist)
Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Witchblade)
Simon Spurrier (2000 AD, X-Men: Curse of the Mutants)
Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Fell)
Ronald Wimberly (MF GRIMM: Sentences)
*Additional contributors added as Week 1 Finale (11/16)
Mike Cavallaro (Parade (with fireworks), Life & Times of Savior 28)
Vito Delsante (Superman, FCHS)
Troy Dye (Shrek, Puss in Boots, The Goblin Chronicles)
Jenny "Devildoll" Gonzalez-Blitz (Coffin Factory art collective)
Joe Harris (Ghost Projekt, Spontaneous)
Tom Kelesides (Shrek, Puss in Boots, The Goblin Chronicles)
Jonathan Swifty Lang (Feeding Ground)
Mark Sable (Two Face: Year One, Rift Raiders, Unthinkable)
Salgood Sam (Dream Life, RevolveR One, Revolution on the Planet of the Apes)
Anna Wieszczyk (Godkiller, Lucid)
*Additional contributors added as Week 1.1 Mega Finale! (11/17)
Dan Goldman (Shooting War, 08: A Graphic Diary of the Campaign Trail)
Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls)
Darick Robertson (Transmetropolitan, The Boys)
*Additional contributors added in Mid-Campaign Climax! (11/29)
Mike Allred (Madman)
Shannon Wheeler (Too Much Coffee Man)
Eric Drooker (Flood!)
Ryan Ottley (Invincible)
Dean Haspiel (American Splendor)
painter Guy Denning
David Lloyd (V For Vendetta, designer of the now iconic Guy Fawkes mask)
*Additional contributor added in Final Week! (12/6)
Alan Moore (V For Vendetta, Watchmen, Batman: The Killing Joke, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, From Hell)
So what's the plan exactly?
By funding this project on Kickstarter, we can pay all the creators and executives upfront. They're pros so if they get paid, they deliver... but it will take a long time--months, at least.
However, the creators and executives will immediately be donating their payments to the protests... so even though the book won't be done until mid to late 2012, the creators and executives will be able to donate to the protesters during Fall 2011--when the movement needs the $$ most.
Deliveries will start flowing in from the creators throughout 2012, so as they come in we'll compile them into ongoing digital comics and limited edition print comics. Backers receive these as part of their pledges, but they will also be sold and all revenue from those sales will also flow to the protesters.
When all the art and stories are delivered, we will collect the entire opus into a limited edition anthology. Again, many of these anthologies will go direct to backers of the project and any revenue from sale of the anthology will flow to the protesters.
What if the Occupy Movement dissolves before all the money is spent?
Since the money is all being paid to the creators and executives and they are all agreeing to donate their payments to the Occupy protesters, they will have to make their own decisions of what to do with the money in the event the Occupy Movement dissolves before they can donate. Hopefully everyone will allocate their shares in a way that retains the spirit of the project, but we can't guarantee that.
Why should I pledge for this project?
There are many reasons to pledge for this project. It's the first project of its kind to bring together artists and writers inspired to create change by creating art together and utilizing that art to financially support a social protest movement. But maybe you don't care about that... it'll still be an awesome comic anthology by some of your favorite artists and writers. And even if you don't care, maybe the Occupy movement will make history and you can take credit for supporting it decades from now. Who knows?
[about the video: music by Atari Teenage Riot ("Black Flags" instr.), protester portrait by Molly Crabapple, "We Are All In This Together" by Molly Crabapple & John Leavitt, "Occupy Comics" by Anna Wieszczyk featuring Soledad from Godkiller, video edited by Matt Pizzolo.]
The final book will be a cross between a graphic novel anthology and an art book. Some of the creators are contributing a standalone piece of art in the form of a one-page pin-up style piece. Others are contributing 2-5 page short comic stories. It's a case by case basis, and the final book will be as varied and diverse as the creators participating.
Yes! All pledges above $20 get THANK YOUs on the website, in the digital comics, in the paper comics, AND in the anthology book. We stay thankful no matter how much you pledge!
Yes. If your pledge entitles you to a paper comic book or an anthology book, you also will receive the digital version of that book as soon as it's available. You won't have to wait!
Yes, but we would super appreciate it if you could add $5 for shipping outside the US. That would be awesome. Thanks!
Right, there's no automated solution. What you can do is select one pledge and add the cost of the other pledge, then message me saying what you want. The technical term for this is "double awesome."
Why are single issues being published? Won't that waste money when you can just publish the collected book and send the rest of the $$ to do good?
The single issues have multiple purposes: (a) they allow us to do a rolling release schedule of offering content as it is delivered without having to wait for all the slackers before anything sees print, (b) this could potentially create positive cash flow that can make smaller but consistent donations to the protesters, (c) the single issues (especially digital) will enable us to be more inclusive of up and coming artists whose work might not fit in the collected book, (d) single issues allow people to pledge at much lower entry costs than the book so we are able to include more people... plus the pledge amount for each format is designed with the unit cost in mind so as to generate as much money as possible for donations. Just think about the pledge amount versus average SRP for these formats: pledgers are contributing $5 for a digital comic, $15 for a floppy comic, $50 for a hardcover book... 5 bucks may not be much but there's no marginal cost... as opposed to the nightmarish marginal cost of a hardcover book. So no matter what format you pledge to buy, you can rest assured we will maximize the good done with those dollars.
We intend to start releasing the single issues in roughly May 2012 and the collected book in roughly Sept 2012.
Are the single issues being printed independently like the hardcover, or will a publisher put them out into the direct market?
The current plan is to print them on-demand unless we have enough pledges that it's more cost effective to do a traditional print run. If we elect to go to the direct market, we have various options: we can partner with an established publisher who'll eat the print costs but may or may not break even and pass along profits, or Halo-8 can distribute through its deal with Diamond and wouldn't take a cut of profits but we'd have to pay the print costs. So again it comes down to how many we're printing and if we determine it's more beneficial for us to hand off the print costs and send more Kickstarter money to the protesters or if it's worth risking some of the Kickstarter money to pursue revenue. We're fairly pragmatic about this stuff. Also, we may do smaller profile issues on-demand but issues with really high profile talent or stories to the direct market... we can be as flexible as we want.
A lot of people are trying to draw comparisons to what went down with Womanthology and we're cognizant of some of the challenges that project faced. We're not going to enter into any deals now before we know how big this project will grow. We're comfortable doing it at the current scale and we're also aware there's the chance it could explode exponentially. Since we're secure in our abilities to produce and distribute the project, we're going to keep all our options open and not commit to any particular deal, partnership, or pipeline until we're confident we have the right information to make the best choices.
Our goal is to keep the hard costs as low as possible. Our team is balancing two goals: (a) to create a time capsule in the form of an enduring piece of art in a hard format rather than a more ephemeral digital format, (b) to financially support the protesters. Printing a hardcover book is expensive. In fact, it's way more expensive than you'd think. So we have to be really careful about how the money is spent. Currently (and this is subject to change), the plan is to limit the hardcover books to pledges & pre-orders. We are going to see how many hardcover books are pledged for here, and then we are going to open up a non-Kickstarter pre-order space to purchase the book for a limited time (largely for international audiences). When the Kickstarter and pre-order window are done, that is the final number of hardcover books we will print. This is important because if we print overages that ship to retail with 50% off wholesale prices and traditional retailer-return policies, the bookkeeping will get too muddied--and, because of the high cost of printing the hardcover, we could risk eating into the donation pool. We need to establish a clear per-piece cost to each book that we can deduct against the pledge amount or purchase price. Until we know how many we're printing (and thus the cost, which is based largely on volume) we won't know the precise hard costs. We will likely keep the content in print as a softcover trade so long as we know its publication can at least be self sustainable, although we hope it will continue to generate funds for the protesters.
Each page will be valued against the number of pages in the book, and then the creators working together on a particular page will share that page's value. So for argument's sake, say the book is 100 pages and the donation pool we end up with is $10,000. The per page value is $100. If one creator makes a single page pinup, $100 is allocated. If a writer and an artist collaborate on a 3 page short, $150 is allocated to each of them.
Due in part to my love of playing craps, I am opting not to be the direct recipient of the funds. This Kickstarter is linked to the Amazon Payments account of Patrick Meaney (director of Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods & Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts, partner in Respect Films LLC which has financed and produced several projects through Kickstarter). Patrick is pretty skinny, so we suspect he'll get tagged if he tries to sneak across the border with cash duct-taped to his legs. Also, not that I don't trust Patrick implicitly (et tu, Brute), but Respect Films' revenue on their two documentaries flows through Halo-8 to them. So we have a check & balance here going both ways. Patrick and Respect will be assisting me in allocating the funds. If Halo-8 winds up publishing or distributing the book, that will enable better transparency than if Halo-8 or I were personally holding the funds.
There is a tax burden here, because we're essentially generating revenue on the book and related merchandise even though pledges are being made prior to the book's production. It would be easy enough to re-invest revenue and keep the project from being profitable, but in order for the money to eventually flow to the protesters it has to be spent or gifted and that's no longer a production cost. So someone in the cash flow chain will have to eat the taxes when the money is gifted. The workaround is to donate to the protesters through a 501(c)3 not-for-profit company, but the problem with that is we give up control of how the money is spent. Since the donations are being made on behalf of the creators (not the pledgers, who technically in the eyes of the IRS are buying stuff), this is an issue we're working through with the creators in an ongoing discussion. But you should be aware that most likely either part of your pledge will go to Uncle Sam or the donation will flow through an established not-for-profit (or a mix of both). And certainly we'll keep everyone posted on the truth & consequences of all this.
Again, the donations are being allocated on behalf of the creators. Since Patrick lives in NY, he may want his share going to NY. Since I used to work at Children's Television Workshop, I may decide my share should buy Elmo some thermal underwear... well, no, but you get the point. The way things are trending, creators seem to want to get the most bang for the buck by aggregating our shares into larger amounts that can do a lot of good for one specific part of the movement. But the creators retain the right to assign their shares to personally relevant sectors of the movement rather than aggregating with others. Just to reiterate, by pledging you're technically supporting the production of the book and receiving some good(s) and value in return... the ultimate donation to the protesters is being made by the creators with the compensation they receive from creating art & story for the book.
The funding goal is the *minimum* amount we need to be certain we'll cover the hard costs and also enable the creators to donate enough money to make it worth their efforts. When we pass the funding goal, we can add more creators and/or each creator can be paid more so more money will ultimately be donated to the protesters. All the money past the fundraising minimum will go to either (a) growing the scale of the project (time capsule goal), or (b) paying the creators more so they can donate more (protester-donations goal). If our Kickstarter goes above double the minimum, we will begin introducing more ambitious plans for what we can do... but let's not get ahead of ourselves here.
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