ABOUT PUNCHING THE CLOCK
Two Nerds. One Store. Endless Fail.
This is how we've described our weekly webcomic, Punching the Clock, ever since we started production on it in 2011. 2 years, 100+ strips, multiple glowing reviews, a Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award nomination and 1 print edition later, we still hold true to that idea- that the every day misadventures of two nerdy friends stuck in a dead-end retail job together can and do make up the stuff of legend.
Punching the Clock follows the story of Jeff- a grizzled ten-year veteran- and Ryan- the new guy at work- as they struggle through the daily grind of working at fictional big box retailer Buy Lots. Through their shared love of all things nerdy, Jeff and Ryan form a fast friendship that helps them deal with whatever the day has to throw at them- usually via nerd and pop culture references.
Our initial idea was just to tell some fun "horror" stories about working in retail, but our storytelling has evolved into a really poignant mix of reality mixed with just enough niche humor and outrageous antics to create a really unique and fun concept. If you've ever worked retail, or any service industry for that matter, you can relate. If you enjoy movie quotes, comic book references or nods to pop culture and current events, you can relate. If you've ever worked a job with a friend who was less than psychologically balanced, you can relate.
WHERE WE'RE AT
We currently find ourselves at a point in which we want to do more with the comic- we've kept a solid deadline of updating every Tuesday since we launched the website in November of 2011, and have never missed a deadline. Most weeks, we've posted additional bonus content on our website to really flesh out more of the story from week to week. We released our first collected edition, Training Daze, in May of 2012 to a HUGE reception at Cherry Capital Con, located in Northern Michigan. we even created a limited edition print for the event!
SO, WHY THE KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN?
Our main goal, first and foremost, is to be able to self-publish not ONE, but TWO new print volumes of Punching the Clock that will release simultaneously.
Volume 2, The Daily Grind, will be a collected edition of all of the strips found on our website- from where Volume 1 left off all the way up through our landmark 100th strip that posted the day this campaign went live. Volume 3, Tales from the Graveyard Shift, will be a collection of completely NEW Punching the Clock Strips, and will follow Ryan's journey as he struggles to survive working 3rd shift at Buy Lots. The plan for Volume 3 is that it will be a standalone book, and will not be available on our website in our weekly post format. 2 books. At the same time. It is a challenge that we do not take lightly, and are well on the way to having the material finished for both books.
We want to be able to fund the print costs for both volumes, as well as promote the books properly and get our work out on the convention circuit heavily throughout 2013. All of the funds generated through Kickstarter will not only help us do that, but will assist in the creation of all-new merchandise, help cover website and convention fees, and will provide us the ability to continue making comics on a weekly basis.
What's a Kickstarter without killer backer rewards? We've got a TON of cool stuff to choose from- from merch such as buttons, pint glasses, coffee mugs, vinyl decals, poster prints, T-shirts and the books themselves, to awesome rewards like getting drawn into the comic as a character, being a part of our "Employee of the Month" page in the book, owning the original artwork to our strips, shop signings, filling in as a guest writer or artist, banner sponsorships and MORE!
WHAT IF I WANT MULTIPLE BACKER REWARDS?
Please check out the FAQ area located all the way at the bottom of this project. Thanks!
Those are just some cool examples of what we've got set up for backer rewards- but that's not all.
First, the books themselves come jam-packed with rewards, including bonus strips and pin-up art from some really, REALLY talented artists... not to mention that we have industry guests like Image Comics' Sina Grace writing the foreword in Volume 2, and Image Comics' Dirk Manning writing the foreword in Volume 3!
EVERY, and we mean EVERY BACKER will have a shout out on our website, thanking you for your support.
Now that we've hit our initial funding goal, we will be able to print our next two volumes of Punching the Clock, as well as hook everyone up with their cool backer rewards- but the campaign is not over! We still have time left to raise as much cash as we can, and to do this we're offering some new incentives- open to EVERYONE who has backed and will back the project before the end of the campaign on April 7th!
Here's how it works: We set new funding "Stretch" goals, and add a new reward each time we surpass those numbers. Everyone who has funded already gets access to them, so don't feel left out! It benefits you to encourage your friends to help support us, but don't feel like you need to pile additional money on your pledge (unless you want to!). Got it? Here we go:
STRETCH GOAL #1 -$4000 (Unlocked!)
If we hit $4000, EVERY BACKER over $10 will receive 2 BRAND-NEW PUNCHING THE CLOCK BUTTONS! We're finalizing designs right now, and will post the images once they're ready!
STRETCH GOAL #2 - $4500 (Unlocked!)
If we hit $4500, EVERY BACKER over $10 will receive a special 11 x 17 Punching the Clock "Sunday Comics" stylized print- in addition to the new buttons. This cool new piece of original art by Jeff Manley will be printed in full color on card stock, and is sure to look cool adorning the walls of the nearest nerd-related relaxation area in your home! Check it out:
Stretch Goal #3 - $5500 (Locked)
The Reward: A Variant Cover Option! The talented Curt Neeb has offered his services to produce a variant cover for Volume Three, that will ONLY BE OFFERED TO KICKSTARTER BACKERS! Each variant will be hand-numbered, and never produced again. Here's how it works- Once the $5500 goal is met, the stretch reward is unlocked. Curt will produce a badass variant cover for volume three. If you have chosen a reward tier which includes getting a copy of volume three, you will have the option to choose between the standard or variant cover version of the book. If you would like to add the variant to your pledge, and get both versions of volume three, simply add $10 to your pledge before the counter ticks down to zero. Easy as pie. If you aren't familiar with Curt's work, check out the samples located in Update #7. Let's do it!!! Variants and exclusives!!!
ON A PERSONAL NOTE
As anyone working in comics will tell you, it's a tough road. Punching the Clock isn't just a concept that was developed for a comic plot, it's the story of our lives. We've been (and still are) there. We're just a couple of regular guys who love comics, stuck working our own dead end jobs. We've been very fortunate that Punching the Clock has been a way to "break in" to the industry that we love so much, and we hope, that with your support, it will continue to drive us down the path to making comics a full time career- not only so that we may change our current station in life, but so we may be able to start living our dreams. By backing us, not only are you supporting the arts, an indie comic AND a cool project, but you are actively making a positive impact in our lives by allowing us the opportunity to do what we do best and create something special. Your support and belief in us means more than any of you will ever know.
What it boils down to is opportunity. We're looking for the opportunity to take our already wonderful and extremely dedicated fan base (seriously, you guys are the best!) and grow it into a larger following. We're looking for the opportunity to create more original content and get it in the hands of new readers. We're looking for the opportunity to live out our dreams.
As a Thank You for reading this far, here's another comic to enjoy, just for the heck of it. Thanks for your Support!
Risks and challenges
In publishing- especially self-publishing- deadlines can serve to keep creators on track, or help them on their descent into madness. Obviously, we strive to hit every deadline on time and with the best quality product possible, but sometimes issues arise that can throw off even the best and most organized of us.
What we are dealing with in this campaign are multiple facets of a much larger deadline- even now, we are working diligently to ensure that every piece of art, every script and every backer reward is near completion or already fully completed as you read this. However, we are attempting to self-publish two books at once, as well as fulfill a wide variety of rewards on the way there.
We're not magicians (wouldn't it be cool if we were, though?!?), and do not have the ability to see the future. With projects like this, you always run the risk of an issue with the printer, a delay in shipping, or damaged merchandise once orders have been fulfilled from our suppliers. We have planned for multiple outcomes, and our "near-worst-case" scenario is what we have committed to in our backer fulfillment timelines listed with the rewards to the right.
Simply stated, we're good at keeping our deadlines, but will not hesitate to extend one if the final product will suffer because of it. Ultimately, you are counting on us to deliver a quality product, and that is what we'll do.
However, fear not! We haven't missed a deadline yet, and have no intentions of starting now. As we wrap the campaign up, we will provide project updates every step of the way- letting you know when backer rewards have been approved, when they ship, when the books go to print, etc. And, as always, feel free to drop us a line if you have questions about your specific reward or if you just want to know more about the process.
We excel under pressure, and take our deadlines AND our finished product VERY seriously. If we let you down, we feel like we've let ourselves down.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Good question! When it is all said and done, Volume two will be between 80-100 pages, and Volume three will be right around 60 pages.
Easy enough. Kickstarter doesn't have an option set up to choose multiple rewards, so here's what you do: Add up the total amount of the backer tiers that you want, and then make that dollar amount your pledge. When it comes time to choose your reward, pick either the highest priced or most limited reward on your list. Next, send us a message letting us know which reward and how many of each you want, and we will keep it on file until we get fully funded and the campaign ends. Then, we'll use that info to get you hooked up with your bounty!
For example: You would like to choose the backer rewards entitled PUNCHING THE KICKSTARTER ($25), WE'LL DRINK TO THAT ($15) and START THE MORNING RIGHT ($15). Your total pledge would be $55. At the backer reward choice screen, choose the most expensive of your rewards (in this case, PUNCHING THE KICKSTARTER). After your pledge is complete, send us a message to let us know that in addition to the chosen reward, that you would also like (in this case) START THE MORNING RIGHT and WE'LL DRINK TO THAT.
The process works similarly with multiple orders of the same tier- for example: You want three of the T-shirts in the NERD PRIDE ($25) reward tier. Your pledge would be the total for all three added up ($75), and then you would choose NERD PRIDE as your reward at the choice screen. After you've completed your pledge, send us a message stating that you would like (in this case) 3 of the NERD PRIDE reward.
I did try to put together a lot of bundle options for everyone, so please look though all the different rewards before stacking up individuals. Feel free to message with questions!
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