The crowd funding train left the station a few years back, and there’s a few websites that have taken their place above the rest. What perks do they really provide a comic book creator? If you aren’t impressed by the crowd funding platforms that are out there, what other options do you have? The Werewolf of NYC creator Edwin Vazquez sheds some light on his decision to cancel his Kickstarter and utilize his own means to fund his second issue.
SMC: Tell us a little about yourself and Werewolf of NYC.
EV: Well, my name is Edwin Vazquez. I was born and raised in New York City. I’m the artist that created The Werewolf of NYC comic book series which is about an overweight werewolf trying to change the direction of his mediocre life with drastic decisions to become known to the world.
SMC: You have a killer artistic style that’s very unique. Have there been any particular artists that have influenced your work?
EV: Thank you! I think I’ve worked in that style for a while now that I finally am getting compliments for it. It wasn’t usually the case. Two artists that come to mind but you may not notice a direct influence would be the art of Jerry Robinson during his Golden Age run on Batman (which I had the honor of actually working with before he passed away) and Jack Kirby’s attitude/approach in creating art.
SMC: You recently cancelled your Kickstarter campaign for issue #2. What led you to that decision?
EV: My successful Kickstarter with The Werewolf of NYC issue #1 was used mainly as a way to gain more of an audience and it did. By the time I decided to start another Kickstarter for issue #2 a year had passed and I felt I could broaden my audience even more. But when I heard that Kickstarter was hacked and customer information was stolen I found that unacceptable. I value my supporters privacy more than my financial publication gain.
SMC: Can you elaborate on the differences between running a project on Kickstarter versus a pre-order format your own website?
EV: I really don’t find it much of a difference to be honest. I mainly get to take out the middle man and use 100% of the funds gathered opposed to a service taking a cut that didn’t promote my work to begin with other than having a spot on their over crowded system. I’m doing just as much work on my own as I was doing under Kickstarter but benefiting more so in the value of my supporters.
SMC: Kickstarter has a long list of rules to abide by. Are there any that would get in the way of how you’re running the project now?
EV: Kickstarter is funny. It’s one of those services that caught on like a matchstick and soon everyone was jumping on the bandwagon. I think it is a good idea but not the only option. But I feel that a lot of creators do feel it is the only option to gather up funds. Whatever their list of rules are… I think if you truly are creative and passionate about your project, you will get it produced by any means necessary.
SMC: Do you think you’d ever return to Kickstarter or other crowd funding website?
EV: I say try everything once and see if it works out for you. But no I won’t be joining in on Kickstarter or crowd funding websites anymore for my personal projects. I’m pretty confident to do it all on my own. Which goes along with my personality much better than joining in on the established means to an end at the moment.
SMC: Are there any special incentives for those who pre-order your book?
EV: Oh yeah! With this current pre-order campaign I have about 30 extra Werewolf logo silkscreen prints that I’m giving away free with any pre-order item ordered at $35 and up. The image will actually be seen in an upcoming episode of Comedy Central’s Broad City. But there is a secret incentive that will come with every $5 + order as well.
SMC: Any other thoughts on crowd funded comic books?
EV: Again, I think it’s a great idea but there isn’t anything that you couldn’t do on your own. You don’t need these types of services unless they are really pushing your product. In the case of Kickstarter they usually don’t. But if you have the right contacts I’m sure they would, just like anything else. Try it… see if it’s right for you. If it’s not… then DIY. Check out the Suspect Device books by Josh Bayer which is one of the few best out there now!
SMC: What else are you working on?
EV: My head is pretty much spinning now with the projects on my plate. I’m currently working on a super secret project with an artist I met last year at Puerto Rico Comicon Jose D. Velez, I’m illustrating a short story for Ulises Farinas and Erick Freitas‘ Amazing Forest, a Dark Horse comics Hellboy show in L.A. and working on Werewolf of NYC #3, pitching various stories to numerous comic companies and finishing a mural that will travel internationally.
If you’d like to support Vazquez’ efforts to bring Werewolf of NYC #2 to print, visit his website and choose from 11 different options ranging from $3-500! If you’d like to keep up with him via social media, he can be found on Twitter or Instagram (@werewolfofnyc).
Chip Reece can’t get enough crowd funding and generally writes about it for StashMyComics. He recently funded his first graphic novel, Metaphase, using Kickstarter. The book will be published by Alterna Comics and feature artwork by Kelly Williams. You can read the Metaphase preview for FREE at ComiXology. If you’re in Kansas City March 14-16th you should stop at Planet Comicon and say hi to him and Kelly!