Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Paying money to pay money to get a movie/comic/book/story/whatever...

Hey "Youth"-iverse!

We're prepping issue #2 as we speak.  Evan is finishing up, and we're really hoping to get it out to you soon.  We'll keep you posted for pre-ordering. Details as soon as we're certain when we can get it out to you.  Thanks for sticking with us...it'll be worth the wait.

I know there's a long wait between issues and there's reasons for that, as I've blogged about before, but that leads me into what I wanna blog about today.

As the title may suggest (or not), I'm gonna spend the majority of this post talking about Kickstarter.  Not because we're going to do one...but because we've been asked WHY we aren't doing one, and I want to explain why and then get into what it means to the indie community at large.

To preface...I've used crowd-source funding before.  I wrote and directed a play this year that I raised $3500 for on Indiegogo.  So, before you say, "...The hell does this guy know?"...these are my credentials, and I learned from George Carlin when you start talking about stuff like this, you should always have your credentials in good order, so...those are mine, just so we're clear.

In the last few months, Kickstarter campaigns have become the talk of the town (I'm in Los Angeles, for those curious or needing a frame of reference) because a lot of people are thinking it's going to flip the studios on their heads, and change the model for how films are produced/made/funded/distributed...what-have-you.

Firstly:  I totally disagree.  Studios are necessary, evil or not.

You can't crowd-source a flick like 'The Avengers'.  If you did, it would look like the poster below:

It's real.  So is the one parodying "The Dark Knight".

I think the lightning rod was Zach Braff.  I feel for the guy.  He got the brunt of the anti-kickstarter assault, and I figured it would happen because he's NOT Veronica Mars.

'Veronica Mars' is a brand.  It's a beloved cult classic that a lot of people wanted to see again.  There's dozens of these TV shows, unjustly cancelled before their time, that fans BERATE (and I do mean BERATE, because...well, I'm one of those fans) studios for shutting down.

The difference between 'Veronica Mars' and Zach Braff's flick, from my estimation, is you have a rabid fanbase for a cult favorite TV show begging for a revival, a reunion...

...and then Zach Braff wanting to make his follow-up to 'Garden State'.

The other issue with Zach Braff, and I actually appreciated this...was in his video, he was totally and completely honest.  He didn't want to deal with his financial backers regarding final cut and final casting decisions, so he came to all of us, as anyone trying to make an indie would...and we shit all over him.

Why?  Because he's perceived as a pretty rich dude, which he very well may be.  but I don't think that's the reason.  People hand rich people money all the time.

I think it's the entertainment factor.  Studios make blockbusters and big tentpole movies, and HUGE, billion-dollar franchises because that's what's making money.


And I say this as a writer of things that I believe are fairly 'indie' and someone who loves watching those kinds of movies.  But then, I also love watching the indie flicks...the tiny movies that cost nothing.  I LOVE those flicks.

But ultimately, I'd choose to see a movie in the theatres about a good-looking young gal detective vs. a struggling actor finding his way.  Now, when I'm in my living room...it's different, but spending 13 bucks at a theatre?  You wanna be entertained.  You wanna see shit blow up, lenses flaring, Avengers avenging, Superman...'super'-ing.  At least that's what I think.  I mean, he still met his goal, and so really, this argument of mine is total crap, but all this setup is to discuss why we at 'Youth' aren't doing a kickstarter.

Back before we printed the first issue, we thought about trying to raise about $1,000 for startup.

We didn't because we're partly too lazy.  We just never did it...and partly because I think a video with these two faces asking you for money might seem creepy:

It was New Years Eve Karaoke, Alright!
...But mostly because this us trying to get YOU to read what we've done.  I shouldn't be asking you to finance a book that then you are sort of obligated to read.

We want you to come to 'Youth' organically, and stick with it because you want the story.  Not because you gave us 5 bucks and we need to pony up with the prize.  It's our mission to write you a story you're going to be invested in emotionally, not financially, which is why we ask you to buy the issues, not pay us upfront.  It's what we want for you guys as readers, the experience we want to give you guys.  We're building a business, we're building our careers, and our philosophy (or mine at least...I can't always speak for Evan) is that you guys buy the issues to read the story, not because you know us and feel a moral obligation.

When we print 60 copies of #2, we don't have to pull it from our pockets because we were able to grow our support from an organic place...Granted, most purchases were from friends and family, but there were the odd strangers here and there.  We've got comics in three different stores now!  We've accomplished exactly what we've wanted in this first run, and we're gonna double our output and our fan base with Issue #2.

We're trying new things, story and panel-wise and this book still excites us.  We're hoping it excites you too.

We're gonna get more 'stranger buys'.

We're gonna get more in stores.

We're gonna get more press on this book.

And we're going to do it all without crowd-source fundraising, because we want you to want the book for REAL.

That's my two cents.  Now go fund some kickstarter projects!

A few things to keep in mind:

We've sold out at Paper or Plastik in West LA, but we have comics at these comic book shops still in the LA area:

A Shop Called Quest
101 N. Indian Hill Blvd. Clarmont, CA 91711

House of Secrets
1930 W. Olive St.  Burbank, California 91506

House of Secrets is my 'shop' as it were, so if you go buy there, check it out.  Great friendly staff, huge trade selection, and in general, just a fun place to check out.

I hope you guys are ready for #2.  We're ready to show you.

Stay safe and read "Jupiter's Legacy",

Alex (& Evan by Proxy)