On crowdfunding and a few projects that have really captured my imagination lately…

… to think it's been a little over a year since I first got involved with a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter. And I've been mainly pretty happy with the experience. Last year I dipped my feet in so to speak, putting my money behind board games for the most part, and while I do enjoy most of the games I've received (at least the ones I've played), I'm currently more excited about it being a good platform for other artistic projects including some of my more favorite creators and also some comparative unknowns whose art (whether in the form of graphic novels, prose, music, video content, technology or even food, yes food) inspires me whether for aesthetic or practical purposes. In the process I've read a lot, watched a fair number of train-wreck like introduction videos and chosen to stop supporting campaigns mid-campaign because of actions that have frustrated or stymied me. I've seen some really successful communications, stretch goal, and reward options and I've been really impressed (or not) by the products that I've received. A few personal favorites include: Theatre is Evil (an album by Amanda Palmer), Concrete Mode (a line of items made from used concrete bags), a skirt from the creators of Shorts Bus (though they ceased replying to my queries about a second skirt), Johnny Wander (webcomics collections), Hand Stylus (a great stylus), Wrong Chemistry (a board game), The Girl Who Would Be King (a great novel)…. the list goes on and on…

As might be expected, I've become a lot more selective in what I'm willing to fund as time has gone on (and also certain products fill certain needs which then no longer need filling). Some projects I've supported at the stage where the success of their campaign is already certain, while others I've supported from nearly the start. Some projects run into horrible delays in shipping (the worst currently is a project that was supposed to ship in November but ran into unfortunate quality issues), whereas others meet their deadlines in a remarkably short time, particularly considering the fact that I'm in Canada, and not where most projects are located no matter what funding platform they are listed upon. A great example of speed is Polterguys Vol. 1. which was received merely weeks (not even a month!) after the project successfully funded.

I'm currently supporting three projects: one on IndieGoGo (for a comics anthology which features at least one of my more favorite artists, Waterlogged — it hasn't met its goal yet though it is a flexible funding campaign, I do recommend checking it out!), and two on Kickstarter. The board game I'm currently supporting on Kickstarter at the moment has already met its funding goal so I'm not worried about it. That said the film project I'm currently supporting is the project that I'm the most enthusiastic about.

Blood Kiss, the film project that I'm really the very most excited about, is a vampire movie. But don't let that turn you away, these aren't sparkly vampires, instead this is a Film Noir (!!!) vampire movie set in the 1940s. And it stars Amber Benson whom you may remember from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes this movie is about a different kind of vampire, not quite this one either!)… but what gets me even more enthusiastic about this film is that Neil Gaiman has agreed to star in it as well! Yes, THAT Neil Gaiman, author of The Sandman comics, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, American Gods etc. Husband of Amanda Palmer (whose Kickstarter I supported earlier), and twitter sensation, who has acted as himself in The Simpsons, in Arthur, in The Guild… (but he's actually acting as a different character in this film… after all in the 1940s even Neil Gaiman wasn't the star he is now, even if this is a vampire movie….). Yeah, that Neil Gaiman.

But if that were not enough, this is a project of an excellent writer, Michael Reaves, whose story is compelling enough on its own (watch the Kickstarter video at http://www.PledgeBloodKiss.com), but he's written episodes for many well known animated and live action TV shows, received awards for his writing and much much more besides. I think that the project is pretty darn compelling and am really excited about it, but it's not just because of the cast or the writer, or the theme, oh no, I'm excited because of the fact that there's work going on on a graphic novel at the very same time. I know that this graphic novel will be made available somehow in the coming months and years (and I already really love the art for the movie promotion poster) but Tom Mandrake's artwork has a huge amount of appeal. It may not be my traditional style of comics artwork (but do I really have a graphic novel or comics style preference? If it's good enough and the story is compelling enough and it fits together well, that's not the issue), but I think it works for this style of a film/graphic novel collaboration. I really want to see this Kickstarter succeed enough that they meet their stretch goal of $200,000 which'll mean that those who support at $100+ will receive the graphic novel. That said, the stretch goals are structured such that the film will become THAT MUCH better with every new stretch goal met. They have yet to meet the initial project goal at this stage, but I really do wish them great success with this project.

This may be the most I've written about a CURRENT Kickstarter in all the time I've supported crowdfunded projects, but I feel pretty strongly that this film has what it takes to be worth my support.