Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter. Even with the rough economic environment we’ve seen over the last six months, with rate hikes, inflation and layoffs, comics-related projects on Kickstarter have remained resilient — and have even grown compared to last year.
With Comic-Con on the horizon and the first half of the year complete, Kickstarter shared some of their recent data with us.
In the first half of the year:
- Comic projects on the platform grew by 14% when compared to the first half of 2022. Comic projects in the first half of 2022 numbered 1,457 and increased to 1,666 in the first half of 2023.
- Dollars pledged to comics campaigns also increased, from $14.4 million in 2022 to $17.6 million in 2023.
- While the number of overall projects increased, so did the number of successful projects. 1,171 comics projects, or 78.1%, successfully met their funding goal this year. This is a 13.5% increase compared to the same time last year.
Top 5 markets
While Kickstarter welcomed projects from many countries, the United States still holds a commanding lead, as 72% of all comics projects in the first half of 2023 were from the United States. Great Britain came in second with 11%, while Canada (5%), Italy (1.8%) and Australia ($1.6%) rounded out the top five.
“This data demonstrates a thriving and dynamic comics category on Kickstarter, where creators are growing their audiences, surpassing their funding goals, and bringing unique and compelling projects to life,” said Oriana Leckert, Kickstarter’s head of publishing and journalism. “The people who create and back comics projects on Kickstarter are constantly lifting each other up, cross-promoting one another’s work, and doing everything they can to keep the category successful and relevant out in the world. We’re so happy to continue to be the go-to platform for this generous, passionate, and supportive community.”
Leckert oversaw the comics category on Kickstarter for the majority of the year thus far, until new Head of Comics Bryce Gold joined the company in May.
Most funded projects of the year thus far
Of those 1,171 projects that have met their goals and raised $17.6 million, five of them accounted for $3.8 million, or more than 20% of that total. Three of those five projects came from comic companies — BOOM! Studios had two, with one from Bad Idea. Lorenzo Etherington and Brian Pulido ran the other two.
All of them had run Kickstarter campaigns before, with most of them now into the double digits in terms of the number of projects under their belts. The only exception is Bad Idea, who has ran two projects those far — although they are planning to launch a third one, so maybe they’re finding crowdfunding isn’t a … Bad Idea.
The top five projects for January-June of 2023 were:
THE EXPANSE: DRAGON TOOTH is the first new story since the finale of the Amazon Prime Video series. Developed alongside James S.A. Corey and TV studio Alcon Television Group, writer Andy Diggle and artist Rubine set out to tie together the threads of the show and answer any lingering questions in this 12-issue series. BOOM! Studios raised more than $1 million in just six days, blowing past its initial $25,000 funding goal. In total, the project raised $1,405,859.
HOW TO THINK WHEN YOU DRAW VOL. 6 is part of the How to Think When You Draw series, which are each 200-page, full-color, hardback books that bring together drawing tutorials from creator Lorenzo Etherington. Lorenzo is one half of The Etherington Brothers – a duo that has created comics, art and stories for Disney, Dreamworks and others. Lorenzo came to Kickstarter to raise funds for the sixth book in the How to Think When You Draw series and to get funding to reprint the first five sold out. The project raised $864,358 – more than 685x its original funding goal.
POWER RANGERS: A 30TH ANNIVERSARY COMIC BOOK CELEBRATION commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Power Rangers series. This BOOM! Studios Kickstarter campaign offered fans the opportunity to collect three Power Rangers 30 Deluxe hardcovers. The books spanned the first three decades of Power Rangers storytelling in comics–Power Rangers Archives Book One, Power Rangers Archives Book Two and Power Rangers Lost Chronicles Book One. For its backers, BOOM! Studios also offered a variety of new commemorative comic books and merchandise, including an exclusive Power Rangers 30 Angel Grove letterman jacket. The project raised $676,733.
LADY DEATH CYBERNETIC DESECRATION by Brian Pulido brought the Lady Death creator back to Kickstarter to raise funds for a new 48-page graphic novel. The new story would see Lady Death thrust into an alternative dystopian future Earth where her evil persona, Empress Death, has nearly extinguished the human race. The project raised $511,170 and earned its first $100,000 in pledges in just five minutes.
MEGALITH actually started life in 2018, when Matt Kindt partnered with the Lewis LaRosa to create a comic book. They spent five years in production to create this cosmic odyssey that kicks off when a gigantic, hundred-story tall humanoid crashes onto Earth. The team came to Kickstarter to raise funds to help bring the book to comic stores around the world. They raised $393,850, surpassing their $10,000 funding goal.
So, those five are setting the pace for the rest of 2023, but the year is far from over — so who knows who could join them at the top.
Gold summed up what he’s seen so far in his short time with the company — and what he hopes to bring to the table.
“In the first half of the year, backers pledged $17.6 million to comics projects on Kickstarter. Since I joined Kickstarter in May, I’ve seen the variety of projects that creators are working on, from international independent artists, small press publishers like Avery Hill Publishing, Fieldmouse Press or Shortbox, to major label comics publishers like BOOM! Studios, Oni Press and Skybound Entertainment,” Gold said. “It has been a joy to witness firsthand that no matter what the creative goal or project scale, Kickstarter is the de facto home for comics creatives to see their projects come to life. As we look toward where Kickstarter can grow next, I’m excited to help artists, publishers and comics creators forge their own pathways to successful publication, bring the best comics in the world to life, and support big ideas and boutique creative endeavors in the comics space worldwide.”