New kiwi comic seeks crowd funding
Faction, a new comic anthology featuring some of New Zealand's best emerging and established comic artists, is turning to alternative funding sources to launch and market itself. With a little over a month until the comic's launch date, the project is testing the water of comic crowdfunding in New Zealand as well as it's editors' nerves.
Faction is the brainchild of founders, Damon Keen and Amie Maxwell. Both were keen to create a new comic anthology that would provide Kiwi comic artists with a platform for getting their work in print, as well as hoping to broaden the comic reading audience in New Zealand.
“However, one of the major obstacles to getting any creative project off the ground is funding,” Maxwell says, “and comics pose a particularly tricky problem. Despite the flowering of the industry around the world – and in New Zealand, they remain an art form that struggles to find financial support.”
“That's why we decided to take it to the audience directly,” She added.
When asked about what made PledgeMe attractive, Keen noted that “it's a way of spreading word about your project and getting people invested in it early on. So it's actually a great communication tool as well as a fundraising one.”
PledgeMe is a popular crowdfunding website that allows visitors to pledge money to projects that appeal to them. However, in line with PledgeMe rules, the project only has a limited number of days to raise all the funds, or the project receives nothing. Faction has a 25 day window to reach it's target of $4,500, and if pledges fall short, they are cancelled and the comic will not be funded.
Overseas, the best known crowd funding website, Kickstarter, has now become the forth largest publisher of comics in the United States, and Keen hopes that their PledgeMe experience will help replicate that success here.
“But it's nerve racking!” he says. “When you've poured so much time and energy into something like this, it's hard to put it out there when it's not quite finished, and hope that everyone else sees its potential as clearly as you do.”
“But it's a good proof of concept,” Maxwell reckons.
A recent convert to comics, Maxwell was disappointed by the lack of publication platforms for talented Kiwi comic artists and encouraged Keen to bring his unrealised Faction dream to life. A graphic designer and video editor by trade, Keen has produced numerous comics – including The Sparrow which he adapted into the short film Last Flight which was selected for the 2011 New Zealand International Film Festival.
Since starting the project in April, they have been blown away by the quality of the art that has been coming in. “It's more of an art magazine than a comic. I can guarantee that no one will have seen anything like it come out of New Zealand before. I just hope we can raise the money to make it a reality.”
their PledgeMe page to support them at http://www.pledgeme.co.nz/537 or www.factioncomics.co.nz to sign up for
the free digital version of the anthology. Join the
Faction Facebook page for a sneak peak of featured
works. All going well, the full anthology can be downloaded
from the Faction website from early