Kickstarter is starting to break all its comics crowd-fundraising records this year including right now regarding the latest by Skybound. As of writing this, the complete collection of the G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO compendium met its goal just minutes after its launch, with the series having raised over a million dollars in funding a little over 48 hours into the Kickstarter campaign. 

G.I. JOE COMPENDIUM hits fully funded. Blue joe books on left red cobra on right.

What the G.I. JOE COMPENDIUM presents is the original Marvel run of 155 issues, presented in four hardcover volumes that come in brand-new slipcases. The box art is being done by artists Andy Kubert and Brad Anderson and the collection comes in either a G.I. Joe blue or Cobra Command red. As we reported earlier, the set will reach comic book stores in October.

Each set, thanks to hitting its goal milestones record-breakingly early, comes with its own unique collectibles. Specifically, there will be nine campaign exclusive trading cards to come with it created by legendary G.I. JOE artists Chris Mooneyham, Lee Weeks, Rod Whigham, Carlo Pagulayan, Paul Pelletier, Pat Olliffe, Ron Wagner, Dan Jurgens, and of course, the legendary Larry Hama, who still serves as the figurehead of the original series. As of now, six of the final trading cards have already been revealed and the final three are to be voted on by any pledgers to the currently running Kickstarter campaign.

G.I. JOE COMPENDIUM blue joe versus red cobra

Despite the expensive economy we’re facing and there being more effuse levels of competition than ever before on the platform, Kickstarter still seems to be doing extremely well for established brand names. We’ve now seen major crowdfunding hits this year for familiar IP this year alone as GOOD OMENS the graphic novel raised over 2.4 million euros, while THE EXPANSE: DRAGON TOOTH reached 1.4 million dollars, becoming Boom Studio’s second-greatest hit on Kickstarter since Keanu Reeve’s BRSRKR. 

Now it’s Skybound’s turn as a publisher looking to cash into the indie market, as the company already has had loads of success on the platform in previous years. The studio had raised nearly 300,000 dollars with Daniel Warren Johnson’s EXTREMITY, and years ago, had raised over 100,000 for its first series ​​EXCELLENCE BOOK ONE. However, one big question remains:

Does crowdfunding this help or hurt indie creatives?

I stress this, as someone who’s a journalist, but also, someone who’s raised creative campaigns myself on the platform. On the one hand, getting big crowds to Kickstarter through big launches of continuing works such as the G.I. JOE helps increase the amount of pledgers onto the platform and of course, feeds algorithms that’ll overall increase Kickstarter’s visibility on the whole; thus in proxy, getting more marketing and more potential eyeballs on other campaigns. Plus, I’ll admit I love G.I. JOE and creator Larry Hama, especially as a child of the 80s-90s.

Yet on the other hand, I do have to ask, does this take away from indie campaigns that need visibility on the platform? Will someone who had dollars to spend on a new creator rather aim for funding something reliable like G.I. JOE’s entire run via boxset on Kickstarter and should the platform be used only for new creatives and not compilations of older works?

When I think of comics sales it’s often driven by the big two and your Spider-Man and Batman comics. When I think of video games, most people don’t know that a majority of your revenue comes not from the games themselves but external purchases. Bonuses you can purchase on your mobile video game or downloadable content and skins for your games as a service video game. Television follows that same exact realm where your hits come from Eurovision-like live events and sports. And in movies, it used to be the superhero film… though right now, we’re in uncertain times.

If everyone comes to kickstarter to fund these intellectual property campaigns that already have a following, will there be leftover money for the rest of us? 

I don’t know the honest answer. But I’d love to hear some responses regarding this and what thoughts are on the future of comics (because crowdfunding is looking more and more like the future for new comics). So feel free to drop a comment below.


  1. I understand the worry, but I honestly believe this will only increase visibility and potential success of other campaigns. It’s bringing new eyes and new supporters to the platform. This is a form of pre-order that is interactive with the reader and that seems to be something many crave in the age of social media.

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