Last year, Super! launched a successful kickstarter campaign that enabled us to dip our feet into the comic industry and made a lot of comic fans really happy! Not bad for artists working out of a bedroom in South Jersey!
** AFTER UPDATE 6, the custom poster will also be inked and colored by the Super! team! :) **
The * for the Blood Death Hoodie and Blitz toy indicates that these rewards can be improved to "choice of hoodie" or "choice of toy" through stretch goals. We wrote Blitz and Blood Death because those are our first choices to be produced.
Who we are: The entire operating staff of Unlikely Heroes Studios consists of Zachary Dolan, Justin Piatt, Laurie Foster, Everardo Orozco, and Tara Kappel - the 5 artists that create Super! That's it!
Where the kickstarter money will go: Creation of rewards, Amazon / Kickstarter's small slice of the pie, and if there's anything left over, it'll go towards the creation of Super! Each Super! comic costs about $8,000 to produce and print, and at our low $2.99 price point, we see a little over $1 from each one sold at a comic store (to which we can start chipping away at those production costs!) We raised about $6,000 from our first kickstarter, and the rest of the money used to create Super! issues 1 through 5 was all paid for through funds from our day jobs (and credit cards!) Needless to say, even if we were to suddenly raise the price of our books after issue 5, we're still not at a point where we can sustain ourselves from comic sales alone. We're getting great reviews (http://unlikelyheroesstudios.com/reviews/) and we've got the most AMAZING fans in the world, but we need to make some improvements so that we can sustain ourselves monthly and tell the story of Super! until it reaches its conclusion! Seriously, the story we've written is amazing, and ends roughly around issue 50. That's way too much to Kickstart, and it was too much of a gamble to comic publishers, even the cool ones, to take a chance on. To do this, we absolutely have to hit the comic convention scene hard, you know - get out there and spread the word! - and that's what this Kickstarter will enable us to do. We were approved to attend SAN DIEGO COMIC CON INTERNATIONAL, and if this kickstarter is successful, we'll be prepared to make a big splash on the biggest stage in comics! Keep in mind that to date, a good three years down the road, Super! creators Zack Dolan and Justin Piatt have not received payment for the work they put into Super! If we work hard enough, the time will come, but if there's a choice between getting paid and ensuring the future of Super!, Super! comes first. That is why our last Kickstarter was so successful. That's why we've been able to push Super! so far with so little. And that's why, after this Kickstarter, we're going to shock the world.
To print our trade paperbacks, we're partnering with:
Excited about the project? Join us at http://crowdfundingforum.com/showthread.php/9212-(Kickstarter)-Super!-Special-Mission-Toys-Trades?p=16310#post16310 and join the discussion on how to make this mission successful! :)
Risks and challenges
Toy and hoodie manufacturers are on standby, so we don't foresee any delays or mishaps there. The printers for the trade paperback are also lined up, which leaves the biggest obstacle to fulfilling our goal being a cost that was not factored into our kickstarter, paying our artists to keep Super! going. We're getting by on fumes as it is, so a few added twists in the road could lead to some delays for individual issues, which would put the trade back. But, that's what this Kickstarter was all about, setting the gears in motion for our comic to pay for itself every-month.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Nope! If we're not successful, no one gets charged.
Zack Dolan and Justin Piatt have been working on Super! for free for the
past few years, and even with that, the book is still costly to produce and print.
If the kickstarter fails, the two plan on continuing the series, but will
most likely be forced to slow production to pre-2012 levels, which was a page or
two a week, which is all they can afford from their other jobs.
If the kickstarter is successful, those monthly costs don't go away, but it'll be the first
domino in a chain that will eventually turn the ship around. With toys and trades, we'll
be able to get out to conventions and spread the word, without losing the money we'd need
to make the book.
The story of Super! is about 50 issues long, start to finish. Simply put, it's too
big of a number to think that we'd be able to raise it successfully in one shot, and
we don't want to go to Kickstarter for every issue. Last year, we Kickstartered the colors for
issue 1, and have been pushing hard on our own dime ever since.
I know we're in an era where established companies run kickstarters asking for fish, but we're no name creators trying to get a fishing rod.
Tons of reasons! They're awesome! They look cool. They'll be more profitable than our comics (until the word gets out!). They're something we'll be able to sell to all ages (our book is rated 16+ because of language), so we won't sell 'em to kids at conventions.
Since our first issue was out there's been demand for a collected version - which is crazy! Trades are more durable, and more people read each individual trade, because of the fact that they can get passed around.
We've really been trying to foster relationships with comic stores and get 'em behind Super!
If our kickstarter is successful, we'll be able to solicit trades to comic book stores to Diamond,
but those wont be signed by the creators, and the Diamond process will send 'em to stores a few months
after they'll be delivered to Kickstarter backers.
Our 2012 kickstarter backers received our first issue almost six months before the rest of the world, and there's a good chance that these trades will arrive at least a month or two before they're in stores.
The only item that might not be produced ever again would be the Blood Death hoodie. They're pretty expensive to produce, so outside of the kickstarter (where we can know the exact number of hoodies we need to make), I'm honestly not sure if we'll offer them again - at least for a long while any way.
Read through our updates for cool icons, our free social media thunderclap campaign, and more. But... in all honesty - for all the social media pimping we're trying to do, recommending Super! in person - maybe letting someone borrow your issue 1 or let 'em read it off your ipad or something, is worth its weight in gold to Super! We know there's a lot of that going on - fans loving our issues and spreading the word is the only reason we're still around a year after of last kickstarter - so thanks!
Why can you guys make superhero books off of almost no budgets, when two billion dollar struggle to do it?
We live in the era of editorial oversight, where the story or art isn't as important as sales and promotion.
The coming of Super! sends a message to jaded comic fans everywhere: you can enjoy your superhero comics AND not have your intelligence insulted at the same time.
We've got the best friends and supporting cast in the world, and fans that are so dedicated that it makes it worthwhile to sacrifice all that sleep!
But there are clear areas of improvement. Right now, we're making the best comic in the world, and the world is unaware. That's our fault. We've got to expand our reach, get to conventions and start selling some merch to offset the losses we take each month making our comic until our comic is self sufficient.
You can preorder our comic wherever Diamond comics are sold, and we're on Comixology as well!
Back issues: We're selling them ourselves on our website.
We're open to it, but so far we've sent in finished copies of our books, sent emails, bugged 'em on twitter... we haven't heard a thing. Image, Dark Horse, New-friggin' Jersey's own Dynamite, Valiant, and more didn't get back to us. Worse yet, because we're not really connected - as this was our first real comics project - we don't have a way to contact Boom! or other awesome by-solicitation-only publishers.
But if can we keep sitting on the same shelves as their books and making them look bad, keep getting positive reviews -- http://www.comicbookresources.com/… -- and ratings that from sites that are comparing Super! against their titles, maybe one of 'em will reach out to us. Crazier things have happened.
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