Sunday, 9 September 2012

Kickstarter Swag

When done right Kickstarter seems to be a fantastic idea.

Creators get to pitch ideas directly to the public, the public gets to throw money at an idea that they support that might not have gotten funding from suspicious and short-sighted financial peoples, and the project can get done right.

The failsafes in place - the project has to be deemed viable and the person running it non-scammy before it is put on the site, and if the project isn't fully funded no-one gets charged - helps you feel that if you fork out dollars you should get something back.

I've only started paying attention to kickstarter recently because Amanda Palmer was suddenly all over my internets explaining that she was making a new album.
I knew I'd missed a kickstarter she'd done with Neil Gaiman and had been bummed out about that so I decided to get in on this one at ground floor.

So I signed up for Kickstarter, chipped in, and seeing as Amanda Palmer's project got super-funded in a short amount of time I knew that was a lock, I started looking around at other things.

These are the projects I've flung happy wads of cash at so far.

Amanda Palmer and the Grand Theft Orchestra's Theatre Is Evil CD and Art Book

This is the one that finally got me to sign up. If you watch the video you'll see why.
Unless you don't like Amanda Palmer, which is OK, she's a divisive artist.
I like her passion and her nutso vocals.
And the great thing about it is that with how the funding turned out they've managed to produce the album for public sale as well.
So those who contributed get lovely extras and we got to make it available to other fans who might not have had the money at the time.

So far the digital download has been made available for backers and by all reports has been rocking socks all across the internet.
The live shows have been going off and the physical packages are arriving all around the world for people who are waiting by their mailboxes like this is Christmas.

This track that they've released - Want It Back - shows you what sort of stuff you can expect from the album and the inspiring music videos that it has already produced.


Smut Peddler

Smut Peddler is a collection of sex-positive, queer-positive indie comics with some incredibly sweet love stories mixed in with all the lovely smut.
There are a variety of different stories for people of different tastes (in art, in story style, in smut) and there is a very accepting feel to the whole thing. Not everything will fit everyone's personal inclinations but it's very much a case of 'your kink is not my kink and that's OK' and even if you aren't engaged by a particular story, the art is still lovely.

They did a wonderful job of presenting different sexual identities, relationships and dynamics of varying configurations in a very natural and respectful manner, making all the pairings or groupings seem very casual and natural and fun.
Some of the stories are also funny as hell which is nice.

My backer PDF turned up recently and phew is it steamy in places. Very very nicely done.
I can't wait for the physical copy.

All of the contributors turned out excellent work.
I'd already heard of and seen work by Jess Fink, Erika Moen and Leia Weathington before but I was really really impressed by the technical art skills of other new-to-me contributors like Betty Jean Doe, E.K. Weaver, Nechama Frier, Lee Blauersouth, Theo Lorenz, Dechanique and their writing partners like Alice Hunt and Abby Lark.

The Smut Peddler PDF is now available for sale to non-backers.



Tome is probably the biggest and most ambitious of the projects I've backed.
A hardcover anthology of art in what is shaping up to be a glorious annual series. This particular volume will be about vampirism and will feature the art of Ben Templesmith, Becky Cloonan, Dave McKean, Francesco Francavilla, menton3, Molly Crabapple and many others. Those listed here are just the ones I recognise instantly, I expect to fall in love with the art and music of the other new-to-me artists when it comes along.
Yep, that's right, it has a music component.
From what I've seen of the work in progress and what I know of the quality of work the contributors are known for, Tome is going to be a eye meltingly beautiful.
I cannot wait to have this ginormous book of art in my arms. And it will literally be my arms. It'll be too big to just hold in my hands.

The very best part about the projects I've backed so far is that there is a gap between funding being successful and the product being produced and mailed out so by the time it finds its way to me I will have completely forgotten it's on its way!
Thanks past-me! You're a gem!

If you've been looking at Kickstarter but haven't been sure I guess the advice I'd give to you is to pick projects you're excited about, hopefully by people who are known for their passion for their work and their joy in creating and give it a shot if you're in a position to.
It feels really good to be part of the process, knowing that you helped something amazing be made.

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