Kickstarting a new way to publish

Kickstarting a new way to publish

As someone employed in the media profession, I keep an eye on new trends but also wait for them to fall apart (I know, I know, call me a cynic if you must). Which is why, when everyone started going crazy talking about Kickstarter lately for that very reason, I tried to stay away. My feelings were reinforced when some outstanding flops started cropping up. The Amanda Palmer imbroglio has also been an interesting issue to follow.

But then something happened. My mood shifted. It may have just been from over-saturation or it may have been when I heard about outstanding success of the Ouya gaming platform. Or who could forget the bullied school bus monitor that received over $500,000 on the competing site Indiegogo?

So in the last month, late to the party on purpose, I started funding a couple of projects that I really liked. The first one that caught my attention was one for the genre magazine Electric Velocipede. They needed to get funding to keep the lights on for one more year. I was happy to donate and then see them funded well enough to get into a “stretch goal” (where money above the initial goal is used to fund additional goals). Now, they’ve been given enough funding to digitize their entire back catalog.

The second one I funded (after the deadline) was the new Nightmare Magazine, edited by John Joseph Adams (who also edits Lightspeed and some anthologies) which features new voices and established authors in the horror and dark fiction genre.

The most recently funded was probably my favorite though (how’s that for burying the lede, journalism school?). Larime Taylor describes himself as a, “disabled artist and storyteller”. His good friend (and famed comic book artist) Gail Simone said of him,

Larime is an extremely talented artist and writer. He is severely disabled, he has to write and draw with his mouth.

He’s created a story that is just downright fascinating, about a POC young woman who is also a serial killer. It’s beautifully drawn, it’s intelligently written, it’s just masterful work. And he drew this thing with his mouth.

Larime makes it to cons when he can, but his finances are extremely limited, far, far below the poverty line. It’s very difficult for him to break into comics in the traditional way.  Drawing and writing comics isn’t just a calling for him, it’s also therapy. And thank god, he’s ridiculously talented.

Seeing him get funded AND get stretch goals on Kickstarter was fucking awesome. He’s ridiculously talented and couldn’t deserve it more. Thank freaking god that the same old negative, sniping, troll-ridden internet exists because without it, people’s dreams would be a lot harder to make a reality.

Have you seen any good Kickstarters lately? Are you trying to fund your own dreams with it?