We are in the last few days of the Multiplex: The Revenge Kickstarter project! Thanks to a veritable onslaught of pledges (and pledge increases!) yesterday, things are looking less grim than yesterday: we’ve just passed 80% of the funding goal! This means there is less than $5000 to raise — but only three and a half days to do it in.
SO. Let’s do this. I’ve set three milestones, at $2,000 increments, to get us to the funding goal with a little time to spare. If we pass each of them (any time before MIDNIGHT), I’ll do the following Multiplex Movie Review comics — one page per movie — and share them right here in the Deleted Scenes blog… you know, after I watch the movie and make the comic. (In case you’re curious, of the movies here, I’ve only ever seen the first three Transformers movies.)
The first one’s easy, too, since we’re (currently) at $19,250…
I’ll be giving this sketch away to one lucky Patreon Patron OR Kickstarter Backer (at any level), shipping included — just leave a comment on the posts about this at either Patreon or Kickstarter. And if you’re both a patron AND a backer, leave a comment both places, and you can have two chances to win! (Or, you know, you can just look at the sketch. I’m flexible.)
The winner will be chosen at random at the end of the month, once the Kickstarter funding period has ended and July’s Patreon funds are collected — whether the Kickstarter project is successful or not.
(I forgot to sign it before I scanned it. Yes, I’ll sign it first.)
Long version: Much of this is also on the Kickstarter project page, but I wanted to mention a few other things here that aren’t necessarily relevant to people who aren’t already familiar with Multiplex. Apologies about the long-windedness, but I want to be as transparent as possible in these projects.
So today’s good news is that because I’m almost finished with grad school (December! Hopefully!), I finally have the time to make a third Multiplex print collection. For the rest of the summer and into the winter and spring, I can work on Book Three — if we can raise the funds to cover the printing costs, of course, and to supplant the freelance work I’ll need to forego to work on the book.
The bad news is, printing costs have skyrocketed in the last two years. The quotes I’m getting are uniformly much higher than they were for Book Two (which had identical specs), which not only raises the printing costs, but the taxes and fees associated with the whole project. And so, the funding goal is significantly higher than the last project: $24,000.
Hopefully, I can count on you to help make Book Three happen!
And, ideally, we’ll even surpass the goal, which would let me move straight into working on the new material for Book Four. I’d really like to put the remaining books out once a year — or even faster, after the webcomic ends. For those of you already lamenting the imminent end of the comic strip (in a couple of years), the print books are not just a great keepsake — but the bonus comics mean they’re also more Multiplex.
Book Three can only happen if we hit the funding goal by July 31st at 9pm Central, so please don’t wait. Remember, you are only charged if and when we reach the funding goal by the deadline!
“Tell me more about this ‘Book Three’…”
Multiplex: The Revenge, as Book Three is officially titled, will collect #217–338 (March 2008 to March 2009), which includes Jason and Angie’s brief relationship, the Multiplex 10’s ultimate battle against Flickhead Video, Gretchen getting her due, and much more. It will have the same high production standards as the award-winning Multiplex: There and Back Again (Book Two) collection.
These new strips will also answer one of the most common questions I get at conventions: “Whatever happened to Brian?” Brian and his accomplice will appear in new strips throughout the book, building on their appearances in the original strips, and culminating in the Watchmen arc that closes off this volume.
This plot line just kind of unceremoniously slipped between the cracks of too many other storylines back in 2009, and I eventually realized that it made more sense to revisit it in a print book rather than try to pick it up again after too much time had passed.
Rewards include sketches, the Multiplex Chapter eBooks, movie parody mini-posters, cameo appearances in the book or the online strip, and much much more. You can see the complete list on the project page, but one of the coolest ones (in my opinion) is the set of three 11″x17″ movie parody mini-posters, though, which includes The Breakfast Club and Serenity (previously seen on the backer-exclusive T-shirts from the first two Kickstarter projects) as well as a new design based on suggestions from the Kickstarter backers! Brokeback Multiplex? Multiplex Strikes Back? You decide!
(Not final art — I mean, obviously, with the last one)
But I don’t have Book One or Two!
Book One is nearly sold out, but there is a (very!) limited number available at some reward levels, and I have a second printing of the book as a stretch goal. Book Two is available in some of the reward packages, as well.
Many of the reward levels also include the Chapter eBooks of Books One and Two, as well.
I plan to use BackerKit to allow backers to upgrade their rewards packages even after the funding period ends and for “add-ons” — but those orders don’t contribute toward the funding goal, and they won’t open up until after the project has been successfully funded (if it is funded).
What if I already own too many things, maaan?
Now, if you’re not interested in having the printed book, you can also read all the new stuff by pledging to receive the eBook collections (which, personally, I love reading on my tablet in ultra-high resolution) or back the Patreon project instead — although that doesn’t contribute toward the funding goal.
Other ways to support the strip and the book project
The Patreon is an ongoing subscription for the ongoing production of the comic strip. It currently raises roughly $600 a month after fees and such, so while those funds are ostensibly for the comic strip, it still lowers the amount of money I need to work on the book (that is, to pay my rent and bills so that I can work on the book instead of freelance work). I’d rather work on Multiplex than do most of that freelance stuff. You’d rather read Multiplex. Win/win, right?
All funds raised by the Kickstarter will be used for the production of the print collections and the various Kickstarter rewards (including “hiring” myself for the time to create and fulfill everything). If you want to support the comic but aren’t super keen on the monthly patronage thing (which I totally understand), supporting the Kickstarter project is a great way to make a one-time contribution.
Patreon patrons will have access to all the bonus comics for Book Three that Kickstarter backers do through the Patreon Activity Stream, so unless they want to get the printed book — or just want to chip in a little extra money to make sure the book series continues, there’s no reason to contribute to both.
If you’re allergic to Kickstarter, BackerKit will also facilitate pre-orders for non-backers — but again, those orders don’t contribute toward the funding goal. For Patreon patrons: I don’t yet know whether BackerKit supports coupon codes (all Patreon patrons at the $3 level and up get Multiplex Store discounts), but I’ll figure it out when the time comes.
Finally, if money is tight, you can still help by telling your friends about the books and the Kickstarter project! It all helps me, and that means more Multiplex for you.
Did I mention again that Multiplex is ten years old this month?
I’ve just launched a new Patreon project. (“What’s Patreon?” you ask? Well, you can either just click through that last link, or I’ll get to that in a second.) It’s kind of a soft launch at this point — I don’t have a video made for it yet, because I was busy drawing the actual comic instead. I’ll add one soon. But I wanted to post about it today, so here’s a wall of text of me rambling about what Patreon is:
So I’ve been making Multiplex for about eight years now, supporting the production of the strip mainly through advertising.
Multiplex has had a small but passionate audience for most of that time. The comic barely makes a profit from ads every month — but that’s before factoring in the time I spend working on the comic.
Once you factor that in, Multiplex is a money-losing business. And that’s fine — Multiplex is a labor of love. It’s a story I want to tell and share with the world. But when you add up all the costs it is also a fairly expensive hobby: hosting costs, Amazon S3/Cloudfront fees, domain registrations, Creative Cloud subscriptions and other software, iOS Developer Program subscription (for the free iOS app), the new laptop I got this fall (upgrading from a five year old machine!), etc. As a grad student now, these costs are less easy to absorb.
To make money, some websites just throw in more and more ads — an approach that has ruined many of the websites I visit. They’re annoying. The slow down the page load times, and compromise your personal data. And even if you block the ads, they still take up valuable space that could be filled with — you know, actual content.
Ads are killing the Web, and there has to be a better way.
That’s where Patreon comes in.
Patreon is a crowdfunding platform — like an ongoing Kickstarter project, but instead of paying for the printing of two books, it’s paying for the ongoing production of the comic strip. Or kind of like PBS, I guess. I’d heard of it a while back, but it wasn’t until Zach Weinersmith launched a hugely successful (so far) Patreon project that I thought, “Hey, maybe this is viable.”
Just like Kickstarter and PBS, you should only give if you’re able and willing to. Some of you are more casual readers of the strip, and that’s totally cool! No hard sell. If we only raise a few bucks a month, great. It will supplement the ad revenue, and make my life a little easier. If we raise a few hundred a month, I can get rid of the ads — awesome. That’s really my wildest dream for it. My readership is the teeniest, tiniest fraction of the size of Zach’s; I hardly expect to raise as much as he is. (SMBC is great, read it.)
Multiplex updates twice a week (sometimes more), which is equivalent to a quarterly, 24-page comic book. Basically, a graphic novel a year.
I wish I could put out the print books that fast! But in print-comics terms, that averages out to around $2 a month. If three hundred of you chipped that much in, I’d be able to chuck the Google AdSense crap. If six hundred of you did, I could chuck all the ads and redesign the site a bit to make the strip images even bigger.
Again, just like Kickstarter and PBS, you’re not just making a “donation,” you’re getting something in return. First and foremost, for $1 a month or more, you get access to a Patrons-only “Activity Stream.” Those of you who supported the two Kickstarter projects will know what kinds of content to expect in there: bonus comics, sketches, illustrations, and other behind-the-scenes type of stuff. And I’d like to do even more: Adobe Illustrator tutorials, Q&A Google Hangouts, comic strip movie reviews with Jason or Kurt, and other early or exclusive content. So tell me what you want to see!