As you may have noticed, The Beat has relaunched its Patreon campaign! We previously ran a very successful campaign from 2014 to 2017, when the Beat was acquired by Lion Forge/Syndicated Comics. Now that I own the site again, it’s time to rev up the crowdfunding engine.
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to spell it out for you, but supporting this Patreon is the best way to ensure that The Beat can keep running.
And ALL of the money will go towards paying more to writers and contributors. I’ve had to scale down the already very modest rates that the Beat was paying due to the decline in advertising from the pandemic — and realistically, advertising alone isn’t enough to support the site unless we turn towards the kind of clickbait content farms that you came here to avoid.
And we aren’t going to do that.
If you are reading this, I think you already know that The Beat stands behind inclusive, insightful, original journalism. We are not beholden to corporate handouts or PR. By calling it as we see it — honestly and fairly — we’ve won the respect of the comics industry, and that’s how we intend to keep doing it.
When I originally launched the Beat’s Patreon in 2014, I wrote: “This is a crucial time for the comics medium in America and around the world. With the advent of digital comics, tablet readers, graphic novels, and blockbuster movies, comics culture is increasingly influential in broader pop culture. And it isn’t just in the US, Japan or Europe: emerging comics scenes are blossoming in India, Eastern Europe and everywhere.”
That remains as true as it ever was but the challenges facing journalism have become even more steep over the last six years — and comics journalism in particular has become nearly impossible to sustain. Simply put, supporting this Patreon is the only way to ensure that the Beat is able to continue its mission of supporting diverse voices, and covering the world of comics with independence and knowledge.
Over the 16+ year run of the Beat I’ve been lucky enough to be helped by some of the best writers about comics and pop culture available — passionate voices who have gone on to have an even bigger impact on the comics industry as publishers, creators and journalists.
I’m proud to continue the mission of creating a platform to amplify these voices, and all money raised via this campaign will go directly to Beat writers. Too much of the very best writing about comics is done for free, but the only way for it to flourish is to provide the kind of financial support that will elevate it as a profession.
Please consider even a $1 contribution. Every little bit helps. If you are a company, please consider our $100 sponsor level.
We have tiers for everything in between as well. The rewards are pretty basic right now, but we hope to add some cool stuff including ebooks and swag in 2021.
Real talk: Sometimes when I look at the history of the Beat it doesn’t make any sense — realistically I’m running a website on a 2006 model in 2020. There are virtually no broad-scale news sites that are still independently owned and operated. Maybe I’m stupid, maybe I’m stubborn….or maybe comics are an industry that rewards individuality and creativity and thinking outside the box. Maybe this is the only place where a site like The Beat could not just survive but thrive.
But we can’t do it without your support.
PS: I know this is a very weird time to relaunch our Patreon campaign as people seem to be a wee bit distracted at the moment. My feeling was that it was better to get it up and running again now, and ramp it up a bit in a few months, when we’ll all have a better view of where things are going. In the meantime, I sincerely hope that the stories on this site continue to inform and entertain you. Thank you for your support and thank you for reading this.
(An earlier version of this post appeared in The Beat’s newsletter.)