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arkhein
12-11-2014, 07:52 PM
It failed. Any idea why?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/chrisjohnson/anomalous-comics-presents-send-in-the-clowns/

Morganza
12-11-2014, 08:32 PM
I just looked through your campaign and I'll tell you what I think.

First of all you say 80 pages of art and stories but do not tell how much of it is stories vs pinups. I'd like to see a list of Story titles and page counts.

Ultimately, it's the art the put me off. Independent artists have a solid artistic foundation, the art in this campaign is too rough and full of errors, you may have underestimated people's taste in art over your own to sell this.

Did not like the story presented in the campaign either, it was not coherent it terms of story-telling and the art is sub par.

Sorry if this comes off as bashing, but you wanted an opinion, my opinion doesn't amount to much but I'm honest. I know it sucks to get negative feedback, but knowing what to work on is better than not getting an answer.

Good luck next year!

johnjohn
12-11-2014, 10:30 PM
Sorry mate, I have to agree with Morganza.

There are some bright spots to the artwork, but there are also quite a few pieces that shouldn't have been included.
The story also didn't have a good flow to it, there was a choppy feel.

Pissed off homicidal clown?
I could see that selling.
The angry after alien probe angle?
Beaten to death.

My $0.02 - ditch the bad artists, ( gonna be a dick here - the repeat use of the guy's face in the sunglasses image really killed it for me) and rework the story.
I think you have some potential with the main character, but be prepared for Violator references.

It sucks balls to put so much work into something only to have it fall flat, but unfortuntely that's one of the risks.

paul brian deberry
12-12-2014, 05:13 PM
My list (it's a very short list but longed winded.)

1. Not enough enough pimping. My guess. 10 of your 24 hours a day should have been shoving SEND IN THE CLOWNS down the internets throat. The other 14 should have been figuring out ways to shove SEND IN THE CLOWNS down the internets throat.

I don't mean just saying HEY LOOK AT MY COOL PROJECT ON KICKSTARTER!!!11 to your followers on Facebook and Twitter. You should have put SEND IN THE CLOWNS in ever podcast, comic reviewer, fans and sites that might be interested in this sorta story out there.

SEND IN THE CLOWNS failed because YOU failed to bring in enough people. Failed to get enough notices to have a successful campaign.

2. Your incentives suck. Example....

Let Double Trouble the Terror Twin Clowns bring you twice the terror! Pledge $50 and get not one but two printed copies of the Anomalous Comics Presents: Send in the Clowns anthology! We know you’re going to love the book so much you’ll want to spread the terror and here’s your chance! With this tier, get two copies: one for yourself and one for a friend! Plus you get everything in the lower tiers!

50$!? bucks for two 70 page books. This should have been a 25$ incentive. Just because I get everything else listed below shouldn't mean I pay an extra 25$ ++ shipping. No thank you.

Your money pledges are the tiers between 15 and 50$. These are the money makers. They are the ones that bring in the backers and should be the ones where your pledger gets the best deals. There is not a single deal listed.

3. (In this case) Less show more tell. Most cases I would tell people to show more. Let the product shine over everything else. Here, it's the opposite. I want to know who some of these "most talented indie creators" are.

If you would have lead with the video, rambled on about the "eighty" indie creators working on SEND IN THE CLOWNS then jumped in with everything else.

4. $$$$. I have no idea what Kraken Print quoted you for a run of books. If your campaign funding goal is to be believed that it's going towards "print, market, and distribute this massive tome of terror!" Then you need to find another printer.

Just looking at PrintNinja.com (http://www.printninja.com/pricing/graphic-novels) and printing out and ungodly amount of books. 1000.... the cost to print that many books is a little over 2100 and PrintNinja is little above the average when printing graphic novels and comics.

Either way you need to be clearer on where the money is going. I've seen much worse campaigns get funded for more money.

To be honest with better incentives, more pimping, clearer cost breakdown and who exactly is involved with the campaign. Looking at your updates. (Why the hell wasn't the DEADPOOL AND CLOWN print used as part of the Kickstarter?) 16 isn't enough. You said you would post a daily updates... the photos tell me this is an interesting group of people but some how that didn't translate well at all with the campaign.

Alyssa
12-12-2014, 07:39 PM
I'm running short on time at the minute, so I'm just going to tell it how I see it. Please don't read if you were in any way offended by the previous comments on this thread. ;)


The video is sub-par. Kickstarter videos don't have to be super professional, but they do need to be interesting and informative. I had no idea what was going on in your video. Why are we looking through a messy apartment? Why the whole fake "Oh, you surprised me!" deal? Over a minute into the video, and we haven't even started talking about the product or the campaign yet.

When you do start talking about the product, it's as vague as the written content in the campaign. The art on display in the video is all very average. I have the feeling that the reason no artist names are given is because we won't know who they are, and that if we look them up, we'll see they're still new to the comics scene.

I'm not against backing new creators- but they do need to produce work worth backing. The cover looks pretty cool, but then I look at the TVs in the background. The TV sets in the background look like they're showing snippets of interior art, but all I see are pinups and character designs. Not bad in itself, but those pics aren't well drawn.

Over 80 contributors to a book not even 80 pages long? To me, that seems somewhat excessive. It makes me wonder how piecemeal the book is going to be.

The language in the campaign is contradictory. First you call the artists "up and coming artists", then you call the artists "indie comics' best and brightest". Basically, the whole campaign reads like a puff piece, with little-to-no solid information, and nothing of quality to back up the big talk.

The book features "Eight chilling stories". No titles, no artist names, no samples from each story. The one story on display shows amateurish art, lettering which is virtually illegible due to the low res of the pics, and a trite, uninteresting story with bad dialogue.

Two of the pinups are paint-overs (aka the "artists" traced photographs).

Pledges aren't attractive. $5 for a wallpaper? And to get lumped onto a mailing list? Kickstarter updates are just fine. I don't want extra spam.
$10 for a digital copy? $15 for the digital copy and some extra digital pics?
$30 (or $50 for us overseas folk) for a paperback copy? (Just so you know, under 80 pages is actually going to be pretty thin for an anthology. It's only going to be a fraction of the thickness displayed in your product mock-up images).

I've written an article on my site about Kickstarter campaigns (http://alyssacrow.com/why-your-kickstarter-is-gonna-fail/), and linked to a bunch of useful resources. Feel free to check it all out.

Sorry dude, I know it sucks to not have something turn out like you hoped. I recommend simplifying. Find one or two talented artists, and produce a floppy. Better to have something small and amazing than something huge and amateurish. Bleeding Heart (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2055027289/bleeding-heart) is a 28page comic by a newbie to the comics scene, it's not even in colour, and it scored over $23k in pledges. Focus on quality, and getting a following/coverage, and your campaigns stand a better chance of succeeding.

paul brian deberry
12-12-2014, 09:16 PM
Good advice.

Umm.. Sabrina is not a newbie by any meaning. Her campaign succeeded because of her Gravity Falls following. There was zero chance she wouldn't get funded.

Better example would be Job (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/762567073/job-a-comic-by-egan)

Bleeding Heart (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2055027289/bleeding-heart) is a 28page comic by a newbie to the comics scene, it's not even in colour, and it scored over $23k in pledges. Focus on quality, and getting a following/coverage, and your campaigns stand a better chance of succeeding.

Alyssa
12-12-2014, 09:38 PM
Umm.. Sabrina is not a newbie by any meaning. Her campaign succeeded because of her Gravity Falls following. There was zero chance she wouldn't get funded.

True, I meant that she was a newbie to the comic market, not a newbie in the general sense.

That goes back to the promotion advice. If you haven't got a following, you gotta work extra hard to get word out there. But getting the word out there will only really snowball if the product is something of decent quality.

Alyssa
12-12-2014, 09:44 PM
Josh's campaign (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/753985167/super-issue-2) did well for a new guy, too. :har:

arkhein
12-13-2014, 12:30 AM
Thanks so much for the tips and great info, guys! I've already used a lot of your advice on my new campaign, adding artist's names (since i've finally gotten the chance to letter most of the covers), giving more of a story, and i'm going to include some more interior artwork as well as post some of the reviews and podcast interviews i've been doing recently.

One thing i dont understand is the "paint-over" thing. Alyssa, which ones are paint-overs? I hired my artists to do original work and not do bs paint-overs, so i really want to know what is not original.

The new campaign is at AnomalousComics.com/CLOWNS if you guys want to tear that one apart to. I really think/hope it will help us reach our goal. I'll be adding more info on where the money is going, too.

Alyssa
12-13-2014, 01:10 AM
One thing i dont understand is the "paint-over" thing. Alyssa, which ones are paint-overs? I hired my artists to do original work and not do bs paint-overs, so i really want to know what is not original.

It'll be hard to prove unless someone can find the original pictures, but I can pretty much guarantee that these two pics are paint-overs:


https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/002/643/271/13d36b46319324f51b05462b2fc6fc45_large.png?1411687 332

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ksr/assets/002/643/255/8757bc61f9c79286260897069db8c4a1_large.jpg?1411687 157

I don't recognise the photo used for the first picture, but I've been in the industry long enough to know a paint-over when it's this poorly done. Guarantee that this person painted over a photograph. Guarantee. Then they did a poor job of the reflection.

The second picture, I recognise as stock. YES, they've changed stuff, which is good, but it was similar enough that I recognised the image. If you dug long enough and hard enough, you'll find that picture (with changes to the head/face, obviously) either on DeviantArt or Shutterstock, I can't remember which.

There's nothing wrong with using photos for references, but paint-overs will usually mean the artist hasn't got the chops to draw decent-looking sequentials. At best, the quality of their drawings will be inconsistent, changing from piece to piece, because they use photos as a crutch, rather than a guide.

Best of luck with the new campaign!

Robert_S
12-16-2014, 11:35 AM
$30 (or $50 for us overseas folk) for a paperback copy? (Just so you know, under 80 pages is actually going to be pretty thin for an anthology. It's only going to be a fraction of the thickness displayed in your product mock-up images).


Would it be wrong to restrict physical copies to the continental US or whatever country it's being printed in to avoid the insanely expensive cost to ship overseas?

Evan Henry
12-16-2014, 01:27 PM
Would it be wrong to restrict physical copies to the continental US or whatever country it's being printed in to avoid the insanely expensive cost to ship overseas?

If I'm not mistaken, Kickstarter will now allow you to charge extra for international shipping. Before that was the case, some campaigns would "politely request" that backers in other countries add a few dollars to cover the extra expense. You might be surprised at how often the honor system actually works the way it's supposed to.