ATTENTION CONSERVATION NOTICE: I'm asking you for a few bucks to help me resurrect Electric Sheep Comix. If I had you at "hello" (woo!) go ahead and click the shiny green button to the right. If you need more convincing, or would like to know more details, please read on........
I've always been terrible at self-promotion. I couldn't auto-pimp my way out of a wet paper bag if the survival of the solar system depended on it. Fortunately the stakes aren't that high in this instance. The only survival on the line is my own, and it's not even a life-or-death scenario; it's a question of, will I eschew Web comics forever in favor of a stable, solvent, "adult" career?
I earn my living as a visual designer. I illustrate other peoples' stories, and nearly all of these stories are corporate marketing briefs. You've probably seen my work in ad banners and email marketing campaigns. In fact, chances are good you've seen my adbanners blinking and distracting you, and wished that whoever created this eye-pollution would be boiled alive in a vat of ebola-tainted monkey piss.
I'd apologize, but — it's where the "stable" money is for a person with my skill set.
And in truth, designing ad banners all day is not really what I expected I'd be doing as an adult. Forgive me if I sound like a whiney Emo bitch, but — it feels like a "life half-lived." Sure, the craft of graphic design is enjoyable enough, but I want to be illustrating my own stories.
Yes, there, I've said it: I want to devote the core hours of my life to making Web comics. I no longer care how juvenile or unseemly this sounds; it's what I want to do. And if there's any way my want can coexist with (a) happy landlords and (b) a well-stocked refrigerator, I'll be the happiest primate on Terra.
I had given up on that possibility in the autumn of 2003. I won't go into the details of what went wrong. Suffice it to say, I was in the grip of a wrongheaded publishing philosophy ("Story Dump or Nothing!") and I placed a little too much faith in micropayments. I went out on a limb, and that limb snapped, plunging me down, crashing, through the foliage, where, squealing in terror, I scampered back to find a nice, comfortable hole in the sturdy trunk of Corporate America for the next few years.
But that was 2003 — pretty much the pre-Cambrian age in Web years. Web comics, as a business, have evolved since then. Not into anything air-breathing, mind you, but certainly into some sleek, self-sufficient forms which are providing a livable income for their creators. I believe I have what it takes to join this elite force of Webcomics professionals; I have the skills, I have the desire, I have the branding; all I need now is the TIME.
Time, on this planet, costs money, and this is where I drop all pretense of bourgeois respectability and just ask you straight up: Would you pay real money to see more of my comics? If the answer is "yes," (a) YOU RULE, and (b) the dollar value is up to you to decide.
Your pledge, via this Kickstarter fundraiser, will help me resurrect Electric Sheep Comix, share my weird shit with you, live a creatively fulfilling life... *and* eat a hot meal once a day that doesn't come with a seasoning packet labeled "Oriental Flavor."
The six thousand dollars I'm asking for in this pledge will cover (a) my living expenses for two months, (b) the purchase of software and hardware upgrades to my trusty Macintosh, and possibly (c) a trip to San Diego Comic-Con in July to promote my resurrected comix site.
And what do I promise in exchange?
Like I said, I hate self-promotion; but I hate even more lying awake at 3 a.m. wondering if I'm squandering my talents designing pop-up ads for dog-food companies. So here goes: a list of Electric Sheep Comix core value propositions:
*Cue the synthesizers and bendy EXTREME GUITAR squeals*
VALUE PROPOSITION #1:
Less Walt Disney — More Rod Serling.
Electric Sheep promises to bring "adult time" back to visual fantasy, and entertain you with big, weird, disturbing modern-day questions.
VALUE PROPOSITION #2:
Making the Future Freaky Again
Electric Sheep will burrow as far away from cyberpunk, steampunk, zombies, vampires, and all variety of Gothic/noir/retro-futures as it is possible to go.
Electric Sheep will spread out into warm, sunlit, bacterially-overgrown, bamboo & ceramic, wireless nomadic bio-futures, riddled with terrorists and fabulists, awash in Global Warming superstorms, and inhabited by people who will scare you in ways you didn't know you could be scared, and arouse you in ways you didn't know you could be aroused.
VALUE PROPOSITION #3:
Fighting Bullshit with Sheepshit
Electric Sheep will culture-jam the LEFT BEHIND franchise (and all Biblical Prophecy scare-mongering in general) via the manga series APOCAMON, whose images of a ludicrous apocalypse will dominate Google and YouTube.
VALUE PROPOSITION #4:
I Won't Write a Story That Doesn't Interest Me
I will never base my creative choices on test-audiences, marketing trends, or what I imagine you might like.
Electric Sheep will NEVER try to second-guess your tastes and pander accordingly.
I promise I'll only burrow into narrative spaces that I find personally fascinating, and which I hope you will find fascinating too.
VALUE PROPOSITION #5:
Fresh From My Brain to Your Eyes
I can't promise that my stories won't suck. I CAN promise you they will be fresh, weird, and exciting, coming straight from my brain to your screen without any editors, sponsors, or censors getting between us. Electric Sheep will be raw, unfiltered independent content the way the Gods of New Media intended.
That's the mile-high overview; the real-world milestones look something like this:
- May 2010:I will overhaul and redesign electricsheepcomix.com into a superlative, Web 3.0 incarnation. The new Electric Sheep infrastructure will be community-driven, social-media-friendly, and might even function on your frackin' iPad.
- June 2010: I will develop new content — which is to say, I will sit down, focus like a fucking laser, and draw.
My goal is, by the end of June, to have Electric Sheep updating three times a week: one page of The Spiders, one page of Apocamon, and one page of the rebooted Delta Thrives serial.
I will also have a blog up and running, featuring sketches, concept art, previews, tutorials, digital freebies and other bits of random Electric Sheepshit. Plus me opining on things I really should just shut up about. What's not to love?....
SCANNING THE PAGE? HERE'S THE FINAL ACTION ITEM: If you've enjoyed Electric Sheep comics in the past, and you'd like to see more in the future, NOW is your chance to be a part of making it happen. Click the big green button to your right and Kickstarter will walk you through.
I realize my online persona is 95% smart-ass, but in this instance, please know that I'm sincere in thanking you for your attention, your support, and your generosity. I look forward to bringing you new comics in the decade to come!
- (41 days)