How to Kick Ass at Kickstarter (Video)

Last month I had the good fortune to return to The Animation Workshop in Denmark to teach a week-long course in their Graphic Storytelling department. You might remember the talk I gave two years ago, The View from Aloft, where I distilled my foundational philosophy about social media, online communities, and gratitude economies. This presentation follows up on that framework by talking specifically about crowdfunding and Kickstarter. Thanks to the school’s exceptional video rental equipment there’s now a very nice recording up on YouTube:

I get a lot of questions from folks looking to learn more about this weird practice. It can be the most soul-crushing, time-consuming, heart-tormenting process, but also an incredible jolt of energy, affirmation, and community involvement. Between the generous souls who support me monthly on Patreon and the people who launch individual projects of mine via Kickstarter there’s no doubt that my career would look very different without crowdfunding.

Everything that’s made my campaigns work feels like it’s come from watching my friends get smarter and better every time they launch a project, so it’s great to have this recording to pay it forward to more people. I hope some of you find it useful if you ever launch your own projects (and I hope you do).

Good luck out there!

Announcing: 100 Demon Dialogues

Hi friends,

Big, big news today! My latest project, 100 Demon Dialogues, is now live on Kickstarter!

For the past three months, as part of the 100 Day Project, I’ve been illustrating a daily dialogue with the little voice in my head who tells me I’m no good. (You might recognize him from my Inktober drawing challenges from the last couple years.)

I just drew the 100th entry this morning and I’ve been so overwhelmed by the response to the project. Hearing from people who see themselves reflected in these drawings makes my heart swell. I’ve also heard from a lot of people who want to own these comics for themselves! So here’s what we’re gonna do about that:

  1. The Books!
    • Today’s Kickstarter launch will fund both softcover and hardcover editions of the book. I am very excited about the whole thing. Here are some of the special features I’m aiming for: 
  2. The Plushies!
    • The Kickstarter will also be funding a run of PLUSH DEMONS to keep you company as you do battle with your own voices of anxiety and self-doubt. This little fella will measure about 15″ from tip to tail, and can easily sit up on any surface you care to place him on. (If you’d like to read all about what it takes to produce a plush toy from start to finish, I just did an in-depth blog post about it over on Tumblr.) Here’s a look at the prototype:
  3. The Print Shop!
    • Lots of folks asked for prints of particular demons, but since producing, stocking, and shipping 100 different print types is a massive headache for a long creator like myself, I’ve partnered with the fine folks at Buyolympia to provide archival-quality prints of any demon your heart desires. The store is almost ready, and I’ll be sure to link to it here on the blog once it’s up.

So there we go! You can read all the entries in the series here on the site, head to the campaign page to preorder books and plushies, or buy prints (very soon, I promise) from Buyolympia!

Thanks, as ever, to my amazing supporters on Patreon, who gave me the stability to devote so much time to the this project over the last three months. Y’all are the best.

LET’S GO MAKE SOME COOL SHIT.

Time-Lapse Boats

I had a ton of fun wrapping up these watercolor paintings for my top-tier backers on the Baggywrinkles Kickstarter last week. Here’s a look at the final lineup of paintings:

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Clockwise from upper left, we’ve got El Galeon (hiding behind PDX YAR’s First Mate), L’Hermione, Brig Niagara, and Kalmar Nyckel (in disguise under a different paint job, for reasons outlined in this Tumblr post).

In the process of getting all of these done, I learned a bunch about making time-lapse videos, which you can check out below:

And if you’re curious about the tools used for these projects, here’s a sneak peek at a post I put up for my supporters on Patreon all about my watercoloring setup:

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I put up an informative essay each month about some aspect of my creative process, along with a load of other content for folks to read/watch/listen to/generally enjoy. I serious adore Patreon as a platform for making more of this work possible, so if you haven’t already checked it out, go take a peek! (There’s a lot of free stuff there, too, if you don’t want to commit to chucking some money my way each month.)

More news coming next week! Stay tuned.

Baggywrinkles Ebooks are Live!

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Dearest Bags and Wrinkles: I am so, so, SO excited to announce that the ebook edition of Baggywrinkles: a Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea is now available for purchase!

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If you supported the Kickstarter campaign, you can find a download code to get the files for free in this update, otherwise it’s $7 for a bundle of two versions—high-res and slightly-less-high-res—so you can read the book from any of your devices with comfort and ease.

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Thanks to your sterling funding efforts, and the hard work of colorists Joey Weiser and Michele Chidester, the book is coming to you in full color for the first time ever! You’ll also be enjoying the publication design efforts of Allyson Haller, who did a fantastic job of wrapping the whole book in the loveliest branding a girl could ask for. This ebook also includes the complete guest art gallery with work from a stalwart crew of amazing artists. Here’s a brief selection:

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Ready to hop aboard? You can buoy (GEDDIT?) a copy for yourself right here:

Thank you all so much for your patience, enthusiasm, and support during the production process. Next step: printing the physical book! Stay tuned on the Kickstarter page for more news about that as the year rolls on.

Love and boats and comics,

Lucy

Baggywrinkles Now LIVE on Kickstarter!

The day is finally here, friends! Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea just launched on Kickstarter and it’s time to get this sucker made. If you’re already on board and you wanna get straight to the business, here’s the page!

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Wait, what’s a Baggywrinkle?

A Baggywrinkle is furry, cylindrical device used for preventing chafing between a ship’s sails and the surrounding lines. It’s one of the most distinctive features of a ship’s rigging, made all the more ludicrous by the fact that you spend a LOT of time explaining what it is to visitors—a hard sell when it’s got such a weird name.

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But it’s also the namesake of my educational, autobiographical series about the time I’ve spent sailing on 18th-century tall ships!

So, you’re making a book?

THAT’S RIGHT. Baggywrinkles has been running in little micro-installments for five years now. With 90 pages of content under my belt I’ve finally got enough material to bind everything together into a really handsome 6″x9″ softcover collection.

I’m funding this book on Kickstarter because it allows for some really thrilling opportunities to do this collection right. You can check out the campaign page for full details, but the most important thing I want to tell you about is that if we exceed our funding goal of 15k by just $5,000 I’m going to hire Joey Weiser and Michele Chidester to render the entire collection IN COLOR.

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I cannot express with words how excited I am about this possibility. LOOK AT THESE LOVELY COLORS! THE BOOK WOULD BE SO AMAZING! I mean, it’s gonna be great either way, but I’m really gunning for color.

So go check out the page and take a look through all the rewards. There’s lots to enjoy—prints, original art, special PDF bundles, and more. And thank you for being such stalwart readers and supporters. You all mean the world to me.

FOR BAGGYWRINKLES. FOR GLORY.

T-1 Week to the Baggywrinkles Kickstarter!

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Ahoy, friends! I am so, so excited to announce that Baggywrinkles: A Lubber’s Guide to Life at Sea will be hitting Kickstarter July 20th.

What is Baggywrinkles, you ask? Why, it’s my educational, autobiographical comic series about living aboard an 18th century tall ship! You can read the first five issues online for free, and check out new content from the series every week on Patreon. I’ve been working on these short stories intermittently since 2010, and I’m finally ready to bring the whole bundle together under one cover.

So next Monday (July 20th) I’m launching a campaign to fund the printing of a 100-page, 6×9″ softcover collection featuring Issues 1-5, the never-before-seen-in-print Issue 6 (all about the history of scurvy), and a host of other exclusive goodies. Take a look at the finished cover design!

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I’ve been hard at work with a team of stellar professionals to make this collection something you’ll all be proud to own—we’re talking French Flaps, patterned endpapers, high-quality matte paper stock, and deliciously thick covers.

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So pattern. Very endpaper. Such nautical.

I’ve also got some really neat extra rewards. Like remember this giant guide to sailors’ tattoos I drew for the Vancouver Maritime Museum?

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Photo by Erika Moen

Well, I’m gonna turn it into a super fancy two-color, limited edition letterpress print in collaboration with the fine folks at Twin Ravens Press in Eugene, OR! And there’s more extra rewards to come.

This post is your official warning to watch this space (or follow me on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and Instagram) for the campaign launch next week, and to keep your eyes peeled because I’ve got a very special stretch goal that I’ll be announcing once the book goes live.

I can’t wait to share more with you—stay tuned!

New Recordings: Crowdfunding & All-Ages Comics!

Hey blog friends. Just wanted to check in and let you know I’ve released two new panel recordings on my SoundCloud page!

The Modern Realities of Fundraising for Artists ran at Linework NW here in Portland this month. Tristan J. Tarwater led a great discussion on modern techniques for funding creative projects and careers through the Internet, including Kickstarter, Patreon, taxes, generosity, and many things in-between. The panelists included me (True Believer), Hazel Newlevant (Chainmail Bikini), Taneka Stotts (Beyond), and Kory Bing (Skin Deep, Borogrove).

All-Ages Comics Aren’t Limiting ran at Emerald City Comicon back in March under moderator Rachel Edidin. The panelists—myself, Jen Van Meter, Janelle Asselin, Adam P. Knave, and Sarah Gaydos—discussed the elements of great all-ages comics, where to draw the line with content, and recommendations of favorite titles.

Thanks to my generous supporters on Patreon for covering the hosting fees for these recordings!

New Disruptors Interview

downloadHey gang! I’m away on the East Coast this week, but fortunately you can pretend I’m not on a boat by listening to my dulcet tones on The New Disruptors, a delightful podcast run by Mr. Glenn Fleishman, editor of The Magazine.

We sat down and had a fabulous talk about…well, all sorts of stuff. Careers and Kickstarter and Periscope and being a young kid in a professional life that feels like it’s moving a million miles a minute. It was a real pleasure talking with Glenn, and I highly recommend the rest of the people he’s nabbed for the podcast. Diverse, compelling discussions about new media, freelancing, and other topics near and dear to my heart.

And if you enjoy the show, why not support it on Patreon? I hear all the cool kids are doing it nowadays.

Thought Bubble Fundraiser, Girls With Slingshots Guest Arc, and the Oh Joy, Sex Toy Kickstarter!

Hey gang! So some of you may have noticed a new little widget on the side of my site. It looks like this:

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I’ve put up a donation button because I’ve been accepted to table at the Thought Bubble Festival in England this year (WOO!) and I would absolutely LOVE to attend, but the airfare costs are prohibitively expensive ($1200 for a round trip ticket plus train fare and lodging — haroo). I’m setting aside as much as I can from every job I complete this summer and pursuing other funding options, but I figure every little bit helps!

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Thought Bubble is one of those shows that I’ve been hearing about for years and wishing I could attend. It’s a great mix of independent and mainstream cartoonists, a hub for creative work in my home away from home, and an opportunity to dip my toe in the wider world of European festivals. If any of you feel like helping me raise the cash I would be eternally grateful. I haven’t been back to see family in England for six years (the longest I’ve ever gone without a visit) and this would be an amazing opportunity to bring my work overseas and connect with these dear people who I haven’t seen in an age — plus some new readers and fans!

So that’s that.

“But wait!” you say. “This charity stuff is all well and good, but what if I want to give you money and actually get something in return?” Well friend, I have exciting news for you.

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One of Thought Bubble’s special guests, dynamite comics lady Danielle Corsetto, is taking a giant road trip tour this summer and has hired me to write and draw a fill-in guest arc for her amazing comic Girls With Slingshots. I’ve been reading this strip since its inception ten years ago and was totally floored when Danielle took me on as one of her guest artists. What a trip! My guest comics will be going up in late July, so I’m right in the middle of inking them right now. Here’s a sneak peek at the pencils for strip #1:

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Okay so here’s where the money comes in: because Danielle is a rad professional, she’s paying all her guest artists a solid rate for their work, but she’s also running a Kickstarter to cover the costs for her summer book tour, and we’re really close to a stretch goal that nets all the artists involved a sweet cash money bonus. This extra chunk of change would take care of almost half my flight cost! So head over to the campaign page and check out the cool rewards she has lined up. It’s a great way for you to get some nifty swag and help me in my quest for international domination.

And as if that weren’t enough…

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You guys like these Oh Joy, Sex Toy guest comics I’ve been doing, right? So Erika Moen is also running a Kickstarter to print the collected first year of OJST, and her stretch goals also include paying her guest artists (new and old) a higher page rate for their work. If you like sex, sex education, sex toys, Erika, me, ridiculous laser cannon boobs, rope, or any combination of those things, pre-order her fabulous book!

My first guest comic (a beginners introduction to rope bondage) will be included in the print volume, along with over 200+ other pages of prime content. Again: you get sweet rewards, I get a super-helpful cash bonus that makes traveling to the UK financially feasible.

EVERYONE WINS!

If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to support my work, stay tuned. I have something exciting to announce before the end of the month. Until then, thanks for everything!

(Especially reading this massive post. You’re all champs.)

New Oh Joy, Sex Toy Guest Comic

OJSTGuestIlloI was so excited to return to Erika Moen’s Oh Joy, Sex Toy this week and deliver a guest comic about the exciting, unorthodox possibilities of the lowly Cutter Snake Bite Kit. The comic is (obviously) very not safe for work, but if you’ve got a spare moment in the comfort of your own home or exceptionally progressive workplace, give it read!

While you’re at it, be sure to check out Erika’s Kickstarter campaign to print the first year of OJST comics — including my first guest strip about rope bondage! The campaign has already shot through it’s initial funding goals, but all the excess funding raised past this point goes towards paying the guest artists a higher page rate, so every dollar helps make it more feasible for me to do many more guest strips in the future.

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