After making some noises about it for a while, Tom Spurgeon has joined the crowdfunding world for his award-winning Comics Reporter site with a Patreon that is up to over $500 in less than 24 hours. I think I might have been in the first 10 supporters, and I urge all Beat readers to go over and pledge their support. Spurgeon, who also runs the CXC show in Columbus in his spare time, explains his reasons in a post that it was time for a new way of covering comics. but future goals include a return to long form reporting and on general doing it better. But your $2 doesn’t just support Comics Reporter, it gets you whole new thing: a PDF magazine:
I’m going to try and do a monthly publication — The Comics Report — that reflects my best ability to put together a PDF-style magazine. I plan on keeping The Comics Reporter much the same as it always has been. I think I can make site and magazine independent reading experiences with very different purposes, experiences that key on what each form has to offer. I think this will lead to better coverage, and I hope it may serve a growing need for a way into comics that doesn’t count on your full immersion every second of every day. I hope it becomes destination coverage.
Everyone that signs up for the Patreon at $2 or over will get the next month’s issue: starting on September 1 with #1 (there will be a scattered “bonus issue” #0 on the first of August; it will be cool). You can also just send me the cash direct via pay pal for a sub as long as you want one. (send me an extra dollar, too: so $25 for a yearly; $13 for six months, etc.).
A couple of notes on this: I noticed a small spike in my own Patreon, with at least one contributor explaining that he wanted to be even steven—a guess a few people felt guilty for now supporting one site and not the other? Anyway thanks to whoever thought this was fair.
The other thing I that I noted was that Spurgeon had not contributed to any other Patreons, which I thought was interesting given that participating in crowdfunding is thought to be the best groundwork for running one. He told me that would soon be changing though.
You can also just paypal Tom (at firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to support him without Patreon taking its cut. I support about 9 other patreons and it’s a not insignificant cut of my monthly takings, and some of the people I support also support me, so we’re literally fassing the same $5 back and forth, diminishing with each transcation as micropayments extracted.
Does that make any sense? I think it does for several reasons. I feel Patreon and Kickstarter and the other crowdfunding platforms are valuable institutions and giving them a cut of that single $5 that circulates endlessly to support the comics industry seems beneficial to me.
Also, less altruistically, there’s a certain aspect of the crowdfunding world that’s built on getting in on hot stuff, so the more money that’s spent, the more people think it’s worth spending money on. So the $5 buys some prestige as well.
Anyway, my campaign in about a year old so I’m going to look at it in another post, what worked, what didn’t, what I’m doing next.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.