Here’s a history comic on Newyorker.com by Julia Wertz about when pinball was illegal in New York City

In other Wertz news, she’s working on Impossible People, a memoir about her alcoholism that she started years ago and then abandoned. To fund it she’s running her own crowd funding effort, which you can support at the above link. Why her own thing?

While many cartoonists have had success with Patreon (a monthly donation site) or with Kickstarter for specific projects, I decided I would rather create my own page for two reasons. 1) Both those sites are built on a rewards model for donation amounts. While that sometimes works great, my time is very limited and I think it would be more beneficial for readers, and myself, if I use all my time to generate new material for everyone to read, rather than spending time making extra nonessentials for an exclusive group of people. I’d much rather be making less money while producing substantial work, than making more money and creating extraneous things. A) I am uncomfortable with the transparency sites like Patron and Kickstarter that make public financial amounts and goals. It is really no one’s business how much or how little anyone is making, and I have no set financial goal, as I’m just grateful for anything.

Here’s a page from the original version:

I’m a big fan of Wertz’s work—it’s funny, perceptive and brave. Her reasons for going with her own platform make a lot of sense for some creators—fulfilling elaborate Kickstarter pledges are a lot of work, and Patreon, while not as complex, has its own time-consuming maintenance. I hope a bunch of people will support her in her work.


  1. I was never the biggest fan of her work, but her autobio comic really turned me around. However, crowdfunding only works because of the transparency. If she wants to ask for money, I’m essentially an investor. Kickstarter and Patreon mitigate the “return on investment” by offering goods, essentially becoming a sort or pre-order system, which I’m fine with.

    But this is straight up begging.

  2. Begging? I don’t think so.

    Artists need money to eat and pay rent. Wertz has a huge track record of completed work so it’s not like she’s a flake. I think she’s earned enough trust to appeal to her fans without going through a crowdfunding platform.

  3. The vast majority of donations on kickstarter and Patreon are for less than $5, either flat or monthly, and do not provide the donator with the product or kickbacks, unless they make a higher donation. I made my donating site very clear that I don’t have the time to make “kickbacks,” and it’s simply a way for someone to support me while I work, and in the mean time, I will continue to post new, free work like I do already on my site, which is the entire model of Patreon anyways. The only transparency I don’t have on the page is how much I’m raising, because I don’t have a set financial goal, I’m just happy to accept anything. Crowdfunding doesn’t work “because of the transparency,” it works because people support other people’s work.

  4. I applaud Julia for going her own way on crowdfunding. (Jeez. There really needs to be a better term for that.)

    It’s a brave thing to do and it’s better thing for her because rather than Kickstarter or IndieGoGo or Patreon taking their cut of the money, 100% of what people give her goes directly to Julia (or, at least closer to 100%). I love Julia’s work and put my two cents in to help her make more.

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