I'm going to (probably unwisely, but fuck it.) weigh in on this because I seem to be one of the people that Manuel seems to be railing against.
I'm not rich, by any stretch of imagination. I work from paycheck to paycheck, most established comic book creators do. So this idea that an established comic book creator shouldn't be able to use a crowdfunding site to raise money for a project is bullshit.
You're argument seems to be that there should be a "level playing field" for crowdfunding projects is unrealistic. Crowdfunding sites, kickstarter especially have been courting established companies since the beginning. Kickstarter is about development of ideas, like angel investment, except instead of money, you recieve a good or service in exchange.
I could have never afforded to do Molly Danger the way i'm doing it had I not gone to Kickstarter. Even if I had taken the project to Image instead of Action Lab (which was never part of the plan) I would have still have needed to raise the money to fulfill my vision. Taking it to a DC, or Marvel sized company would require me losing a large portion of the rights to my own creation. Why should I be forced to take a shit deal, if i have an option to do otherwise, just because I have "a name"?
So does that make me a bad person because i used a resource designed for exactly what I needed?
The "level playing field" argument, really doesn't make sense since there is no such thing as a "level playing field". There is always going to be competition with people or products more established than your self. Even if I had the financial means to produce Molly on my own and you were producing a book at the same time, you would still have to compete with me for the very limited shelf space available.
That's just reality. This is not my first creator owned project and i know what it's like to have one fail miserably.
Yes, somebody took a shot with Scott Snyder, but Scott worked his ass off to make that shot happen. I've been working in this business for 23 years, no one handed what I have to me. I worked my ass off to make this Kickstarter a success and i work my ass off every day to make sure that the people who pledged to my project get the best comic book I can produce. However, that takes time, and money and making the assumption that I, or Jim Califiore and Gail Simone, or any other established creator are so flushed with cash that we can just take six months off to do something, is false.
So getting angry at Zach Braff because he decided to go to Kickstarter is stupid. He's not the first celebrity to have a Kickstarter, he's not even the one whose made the most money. People are attacking him because he has visibility. No one attacked Whoopi Goldberg, Emma Caufeild or Eliza Dushku. http://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2013/05/14659-today-in-should-celebrities-use-kickstarter/
"While it’s not likely Kickstarter will overthrow Hollywood any time soon – making a single episode ofGame of Thrones costs more than any crowdfunding campaign has ever raised – there can be a bit of uneasiness when Hollywood plays in the indie world’s grassroots sandbox. Even Thomas acknowledged this when he told Wired it “would be so gutsy” to attempt crowdfunding a million-dollar-plus project that wasn’t a known property."
Kickstarter Backlash: Ken Levine And Kevin Smith Weigh Inhttp://comicbook.com/blog/2013/05/07/kickstarter-backlash-ken-levine-and-kevin-smith-weigh-in/?fb_action_ids=10151618495670590&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=
By: Scott Johnson on May 7, 2013
In : Kevin Smith, Kickstarter
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Kevin SmithThings are heating up when it comes to established celebrities and directors using Kickstarter to raise money for film projects, and Kevin Smith is starting to look like a wise prophet. When Kickstarter was used to raise money for a new Veronica Mars movie, fans rallied to support the film. There was a little backlash about Veronica Mars, but most seemed accepting that the film would never get made without Kickstarter. The Veronica Mars Kickstarter became the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, raising $5.7 million for production of the film.
Inspired by the success of Veronica Mars, Zach Braff took to Kickstarter to raise money for a follow-up to “Garden State” called “Wish I Was Here.” The Zach Braff Kickstarter project has also been very successful, raising over $2.4 million to date. However, there seems to be noticeable more backlash against Zach Braff’s project, as people are starting to realize that celebrity projects could soon become the new norm for Kickstarter.
In a blog post that has been taking off via social media, Emmy winning writer/director/producer/major league baseball announcer Ken Levine wrote, “I won’t give Zach Braff one dime.” In his post, Ken Levine makes the point that Kickstarter should be for new talent that doesn’t have access to Hollywood and serious investors. Levine writes, “Support young hungry filmmakers. The next Kevin Smith is out there… somewhere. He (or she) just needs a break, which is what Kickstarter is supposed to provide. Zach Braff can find his money elsewhere.”
Kevin Levine also points to Kevin Smith to draw a parallel between what is happening now on Kickstarter and what happened with the Sundance Film Festival. Ken Levine points out that Sundance once featured modest movies with unknown filmmakers, but now every entry has major Hollywood stars. Levine writes, “And now today’s equivalent of a young Kevin Smith can’t even get his movie into a festival much less Harvey Weinstein’s screening room.”
With Ken Levine using Kevin Smith as an example, many have been wondering on where the director himself weighs in on the Kickstarter controversy. It turns out that Kevin Smith gave his personal take on Kickstarter before the whole Kickstarter controversy erupted, and his words of wisdom appear to be especially prophetic given the current backlash.
As reported by Comicbook.com back in early April, Kevin Smith said, “As for funding the flick [CLERKS III] – we nearly Kickstarted the budget back in November (talked about at great length here). But now I’m feeling like that’s not fair to real indie filmmakers who need the help. Unlike back when I made CLERKS in ’91, I’ve GOT access to money now – so I should use that money and not suck any loot out of the crowd-funding marketplace that might otherwise go to some first-timer who can really use it. So if I can get away with it, I’m gonna try to pay for CLERKS III myself. As much as I love the crowd-funding model (and almost did it myself in early 2009 with RedStateGreen.com), that’s an advancement in indie film that belongs to the next generation of artists. I started on my own dime, and if I’m allowed, I should finish on my own dime.”