Vault Comics and Zoop have partnered for a “transformative new approach to fan engagement to celebrate the release of Barbaric: Born In Blood #1, the newest arc of Vault’s smash hit Barbaric series.” Its “first-ever Crowdbuilding Campaign™” is live now through March 12 here.

Barbaric: Born in Blood

With the Barbaric “Join The Horde” Crowdbuilding Campaign™, fans will get free early digital access to the full issue of Barbaric: Born In Blood #1, which introduces a twisted new villain and gives readers a glimpse into the secrets of Owen’s past.

As more fans join, new treasures will be unlocked, including more digital comics, exclusive behind-the-scenes art, and other goodies direct from Barbaric creators Michael Moreci and Nathan Gooden.

Barbaric: Born in Blood Barbaric: Born in Blood





As a bonus, the first fans to join will get their pick of rewards from the Vault library and access to a limited number of special early-bird gifts. Crowdbuilders can also preorder other special exclusive covers, exclusive merchandise, and more. Lastly, the publisher will offer limited exclusive covers, exclusive merchandise, and special goodies available first through the campaign. And, these rewards will never be produced again.

So what’s the difference between crowdfunding and crowdbuilding? Read here:

Unlike a traditional crowdfunding campaign, a Crowdbuilding Campaign™ isn’t about funding, it’s about fandom. The goal of a Crowdbuilding Campaign™ is to bring together a league of both existing superfans and new fans, to give them unimpeded access to both free and premium rewards, and to create a path for greater fan excitement to unlock greater fan rewards.

The completion and distribution of Barbaric: Born In Blood #1 is not tied to the success of the Barbaric “Join The Horde” Crowdbuilding Campaign™; the book is already complete and ready to share with readers. There is no funding goal. It’s this simple: as more fans show up, more exciting rewards will be unlocked.

Zoop Co-Founder and CEO Jordan Plosky said, “We are always excited to work with trailblazers who are thinking outside the box, and trying something new. Vault’s Crowdbuilding Campaign™ for Barbaric is new, visionary, and exciting. It’s something that hasn’t been seen before in comics and Zoop is uniquely positioned as a partner for this type of initiative.”

The Beat chatted with Vault’s Damian and Adrian Wassel in an exclusive interview about the upcoming campaign. 

DEANNA DESTITO: How did this partnership come together?

DAMIAN WASSEL: We have wanted to do something like this for years. On the one hand, giving every reader a chance to read our books, no matter where they live, how they prefer to read comics, or what their budget is. On the other hand, creating a public gathering place for our superfans where they can get rewards and spread excitement for the series they love. We have explored many different ways to bring this to life, but we hadn’t quite cracked it. Then we had a chance to sit down with our friends at Zoop, and
together we hatched a plan to address both opportunities, with what we’re calling a Crowdbuilding Campaign™.

DESTITO: Why did you want to try this approach to fandom and building an audience?

DAMIAN WASSEL: Plain and simple comics deserve more exciting, more innovative approaches to marketing. Comics fans deserve more exciting, more innovative approaches to fan engagement. So, that’s what we’re here to deliver.

ADRIAN WASSEL: We want to keep connecting creators with readers new and old! I know we have comic cons, but how often do indie comic book readers get to come together and see their shared fandom actively enrich the thing they love? I know it’s something I’ve wanted more of since I first cracked open a comic book and found a letter column in the back. It’s a new era. It’s not just Disney that gets to offer fan experiences these days.

DESTITO: What can fans look for that is different than other crowdfunding campaigns?

DAMIAN WASSEL: Well, anyone who wants to can show up, read an incredible comic for free, and get rewards for being part of the fandom. So, right there, it’s a whole other animal than crowdfunding. The book is already complete and ready to share with readers. There’s no funding goal. It’s all about rewarding fans for showing up.

ADRIAN WASSEL: There is no funding goal. You don’t have to spend a single penny to be part of the fandom and to get rewards. You simply have to show up, and you get a free comic. As more fans show up, everyone gets more free unlocks! My hope, of course, is that all the cool unlocks we have planned will encourage diehard fans to loop in friends — maybe folks who’ve been thinking about reading Barbaric but haven’t gotten around to it yet, or
maybe folks who are just hearing about it for the first time and get to discover a whole new world they love with an entire issue for free. I think a lot of fans will be stoked to buy a cool t-shirt or pin or exclusive cover to keep supporting Mike, Nate, Vault, and the life of the series, but that’s all bonus!

DESTITO: Can you share some exclusive info about the book and some of the rewards?

DAMIAN WASSEL: Above all, I’m a reader, so I’m very excited to offer other readers out there free access to the book, plus all sorts of delightful exclusive editions. We also have some special unlockable free rewards that will give readers a deeper look into how Barbaric has come together as a comic. And we’ve also packed the campaign full of things for everyone like other digital freebies, special t-shirts, enamel pins, and more.

ADRIAN WASSEL: While I am especially excited about the t-shirt that we’re cooking up, I think fans are gonna love the free playlist from Mike and Nate. I know how many people are going to love hearing the music (maybe even put it on when they read!) that the guys play when they’re in the Barbaric mindset. Oh, and Born in Blood takes us back to baby Owen. Well, not quite. But we do get to see Owen’s childhood, and it certainly sheds light on why he’s such a grump now and (maybe) why he has a soft spot for Soren, who also had a rough go as a kid. All that plus a brand new villain who’s my favorite yet.

DESTITO: Do you have plans to do this with other titles in the future?

DAMIAN WASSEL: Yes, and lots more beyond this.