By Todd Allen
We have a new winner for largest Kickstarter-funded comic… and there’s still 22 days to go on the pledge drive. The “Order of the Stick Reprint Drive” is about a webcomic not acting like Marvel. That is to say, a few of the print collections of the Order of the Stick webcomic were out of print and creator Rich Burlew needed to get some cash up to afford the printing bill on some large full color books. $235K worth of pledges in a week? Yeah, I think it’s working.
This particular Kickstarter campaign is a little unusual in two ways. First off, Order of the Stick has been around for over 6 years. It’s a very well known strip. I’ve actually checked out one of the print collections from a library. That’s not unheard of for a webcomic, but it’s not exactly standard operating procedure, either. This is a well-established strip with a pretty big fanbase to draw upon.
Secondly, Burlew is getting pretty creative with the incentive premiums. To date, he has 34 different prizes for pledge levels. Starting with with a kitchen magnet and a PDF of a new story for $10 and going all the way up to $5K getting a walk-on part for your D&D character in the webcomic. Seriously, PBS could learn something about pledge drives from this guy. And his high-end incentives are mostly sold out.
If you look in the drive’s comment section, you’ll see Burlew adding funding-level based goals and bonuses (2 more original PDFs are going out) and keeping the funding going after he blew through the initial goals in record speed. Not everyone is going to have the happy problem of instant fund, but he’s making this an actual campaign and seeing how far it will go.
Very much worth watching to see if this plateaus, and to observe how Burlew handles it. So far, this is looking like a textbook case study for established properties to follow.
Todd Allen wears a lot of hats. At various times he’s been (alphabetically), a bouncer, college professor, humor columnist, Internet producer and an NBA/WNBA Beat Writer, among other things. He’s the author of Economics of Digital Comics. You should probably read it.