WE HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT:
(Breaking news, as of 10/7/16.)
In Fall 2015, we asked: is there still an audience for a classic print humor magazine? Will people pony up their hard-earned for comics, cartoons, parodies and prose backed by beautiful design? Funny the way they used to make it, at places like The National Lampoon, Punch, and SPY?
The answer is YES.
For #1, we made our goal in four days. Bystander #2 was even more successful -- we got twice as many backers on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. In July 2016, COMPLETELY UNBRIBED, The New York Times raved over our first two issues, saying that we were a "delightful publication, an essential read for comedy nerds." Our moms were very proud.
So we're doing it again. And maybe, with your help, again-again.
We're shooting for $35,000 this time, so we can pay our contributors a bit more. And if we raise $70,000, we'll offer issue #4 in 2016, just in time for the holidays! (Otherwise, we'll hold a new Kickstarter for it in January.)
(Some of) THE PEOPLE IN #3: Cover by Drew Friedman; Merrill Markoe (Late Night With David Letterman), Gahan Wilson (Playboy, National Lampoon), George Booth (The New Yorker), Billy Collins, Sam Gross (Lampoon), MK Brown (Lampoon), Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby), Mallory Ortberg (The Toast, Slate), Steve Young (Letterman)...and many more!
And ALREADY IN #4: Cover by R.O. Blechman; Shary Flenniken (National Lampoon), Jack Handey (SNL, The New Yorker), Ron Barrett (Lampoon), Charles Barsotti (The New Yorker), Liza Donnelly (The New Yorker), Todd Hanson (The Onion), P.S. Mueller, Brian McConnachie and Frank Springer, Mike Reiss (The Simpsons)...and many more!
Finally, we're offering a special opportunity to backers. One of our Features in #3 — an hilarious piece by Joe Keohane, "Seven NYC Bars You Need to Drink At Before You Die on Tuesday" — requires big photos of, you guessed it, seven NYC bars. Normally, I'd just assign it to a photographer, but I thought it would fun to let backers have first crack. So if you're a NYC-based photographer, back the magazine — then drop me a note via Kickstarter, and I'll tell you the orientation and the bars we want. We'll pick the best ones, and you'll be paid for each photo we use.
Michael Gerber (Editor & Publisher): The American Bystander is the culmination of over 25 years as a writer, editor, and magazine consultant specializing in humor. I've written for The New Yorker, SNL, and many other places; my 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 kids, and now we have Brexit. Sorry.
Brian McConnachie (Head Writer): Brian began his comedy career as an editor at 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) 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 The Bystander's podcasts and live-event programming.
If we hit $70,000 with this Kickstarter, we'll publish issue #4 in December. (The math's simple: $35K for #3, $35K for #4.) We got so many great submissions for #3 that #4 is already being laid out. If we don't hit $70K, I'll run a separate Kickstarter for #4 in early 2017 -- we have the material, but we just don't have the time for two Kickstarters before the holidays.
As soon as we hit $70K, I'll add a new backer level so people can add-on #4 as well. The American Bystander makes a great holiday gift. Just sayin'.
Risks and challenges
As with our earlier Kickstarters, the issue is already pretty much assembled. If we are funded, I'll finish designing the pages, upload the files to the printer, and they'll get printed in late October. Fulfillment is being done by Amplifier, so issues should arrive about two weeks after they are printed.
If we hit our stretch goal, #4 (already 50% complete) will be sent to the printer the last week of November, and you'll get that before Christmas. If you have any burnin' questions or concerns, just drop me a line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (19 days)