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Pledge with confidence -- we WILL fund! Issue #7 of the all-star print comedy quarterly is here!
Pledge with confidence -- we WILL fund! Issue #7 of the all-star print comedy quarterly is here!
158 backers pledged $6,491 to help bring this project to life.

About

$6,491

158

The idea behind The American Bystander is simple: gather a bunch of funny folks from places like The Simpsons, SNL, The Onion and The New Yorker, give them the freedom to write whatever they want, then put it all together in a nice-looking book that feels just like the beloved humor magazines of the past. American corporate publishing is simply not equipped to produce this type of content — so we've turned to readers. And readers have responded, pledging over $200,000 to our campaigns. (Wow, even typing that is kind of impressive.) The American Bystander is the first successful US print humor magazine in 20 years, and it's all because of thousands of backers, just like you.

You can read more of our story in Newsweek and The New York Times, not to mention our website. And there's some material from the magazine on our occasional blog. But don't be confused: from the first page to the last, The American Bystander is all about print. And if you miss high-quality print as much as we do, you're going to love it.

Who would've thought we'd make it to #7? Some contributors are telling me it's the best one yet. Another guy said it was treasonous. I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call Bystander #7 treason? Why not?  

One of the highlights of Bystander #7 is this wonderful Eloise parody by Mimi Pond (art) and Nell Scovell (words).
One of the highlights of Bystander #7 is this wonderful Eloise parody by Mimi Pond (art) and Nell Scovell (words).

But seriously folks, issue #7 has material from 65 writers and artists, including: Ron Barrett (National Lampoon), Charles Barsotti (The New Yorker), R.O. Blechman (The New Yorker), George Booth (The New Yorker), M.K. Brown (National Lampoon), Roz Chast (The New Yorker), Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby), Drew Friedman (SPY), Tom Gammill (Seinfeld), Rick Geary (National Lampoon), Sam Gross (National Lampoon), Stan Mack (Village Voice), Brian McConnachie (National Lampoon), P.S. Mueller (The Onion), Mimi Pond (National Lampoon), Mike Reiss (The Simpsons), Mike Sacks (Vanity Fair), Nell Scovell (SPY), Ed Subitsky (National Lampoon), Steve Young, Jack Ziegler, and many others!

Our cover is by the inimitable R.O. Blechman. LOVE IT.
Our cover is by the inimitable R.O. Blechman. LOVE IT.

The issue is done and ready to ship. While printing and shipping costs are more or less covered by our subscribers over at Patreon, our Kickstarter campaigns allow us to pay our contributors. Each pledge increases, dollar-for-dollar, how much I can pay for material. That's why our goal this time is a little larger than it has been — I want to offset increases in printing and shipping costs, and show our amazing writers and artists how much people value their work. So please do pledge at the highest level you can, and tell everybody about the campaign!

Your Bystanders are, as ever:

Michael Gerber (Editor & Publisher): The American Bystander is the culmination of over 25 years as a writer, editor, art director and magazine consultant specializing in humor. Mike's written for The New Yorker, SNL, and many other places; his books have sold 1.25 million copies in 25 languages. In 2003, Barry Trotter and the Shameless Parody fried the brains of a generation of English tweens, and now we have Brexit. Sorry.

Brian McConnachie (Head Writer): Brian began his comedy career as an editor at The National Lampoon and the Lampoon's "Radio Hour." From there, he went to Saturday Night Live, and SCTV, completing the Holy Trinity of Seventies comedy. In the 80s and 90s, Brian amassed the coolest bunch of cameos in the history of cinema. In more recent years, he has written for The Simpsons and recorded pieces for NPR.

Alan Goldberg (Senior Editor): Alan has been making non-fiction television and radio for more than 35 years. His work includes biographies ranging from Fidel Castro to the Beatles; science programs with Dr. Richard Leakey; programs on drugs and epidemic diseases; histories of American railroads, diners, The Forbidden City and the Golden Gate Bridge -- and even live rock and roll and gospel concerts. Alan will be overseeing Bystander's podcasts and live-event programming.

Risks and challenges

The issue is completely done, and all files are ready to be printed. We are running this Kickstarter so that we can pay our contributors; once we fund successfully, the job will be printed, and about three weeks later, your book(s) should arrive.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Issue #7 in PDF only

    Bystander #7 in PDF for your tablet, desktop, or wherever else you read PDFs.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    #7 in PRINT and PDF

    Our most popular pledge level: your Bystander #7 in creamy luscious print. 4 out of 5 trees prefer to be made into The American Bystander. (You also get a PDF.)

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    Pledge US$ 26 or more About US$ 26

    Full Set (#1-7) in PDF

    All seven issues of Bystander in digital format. We've made these a bit cheaper because we want to addict you. Please reward us for our honesty.

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    10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Catch me up! (#7 in print; #1-6 in PDF)

    You get a paper copy of the current issue, plus all seven Bystander issues in PDF. So: some creamy lusciousness, but mostly lots and lots of funny schtuff.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $89 or more About $89

    FIVE PAK

    Five paper copies of Bystander #7 (and the PDF, of course). Put one in every bathroom of your McMansion, or reinvent yourself late in life as the Johnny or Janie Appleseed of print humor. WHY NOT?

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    THE COMPLEAT BYSTANDER (#1-7 in print)

    Print (and PDF) copies of every issue so far, #1-7! This colossal slab of prose and cartoons will ennoble any bookcase or coffee table.

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    6 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    TEN PAK

    Ten, count 'em, TEN print copies of Bystander #7! Say you like to read in the bathtub. Or you bleed a lot. You're going to need spares!

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Funding period

- (14 days)