By Todd Allen
It looks like Top Cow turned their Cyber Force Kickstarter campaign on the evening of the 17th. I discussed the campaign during Comicon, but the short version is that Top Cow is trying to raise $75K and distribute free copies of the first five issues/first story arc of a new ongoing Cyber Force comic in a manner similar to Free Comic Book Day. It’s an interesting idea.
As I type this up, it’s not quite midnight, PST on the 18th, so the campaign has been up a bit over a day. There are74 backers pledging $7,641. That’s over $100/pledge and that’s a pretty healthy average. Roughly 10% of the goal in the first day is pretty good too, though not the amazing first day some campaigns see. On the other hand, they didn’t send the press release out until the campaign had been up for about a day, so the 19th might see a big jump.
Either way, this is a fascinating experiment.
INFORMATION WANTS TO BE FREE IN CYBER FORCE
Marc Silvestri’s top-selling series returns in October with five free issues
Berkeley, CA – July 18, 2012 – Image Comics and Top Cow Productions are excited to announce the highly anticipated return of CYBER FORCE, in celebration of the title’s twentieth anniversary, in October 2012. Comics legend and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri returns to the property that helped launch his company and Image Comics as co-writer, art director, and cover artist, spearheading his unique vision for the new series.
And now, CYBER FORCE is embarking on a new path, using 21st century social media to make the first five issues (to be published monthly) available for free, both digitally and in print. AKickstarter campaign launched on July 17, taking advantage of the year-long build-up of excitement for Image and Top Cow’s 20th anniversary.
Rewards for backers of the Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $75,000, include exclusive variant covers, a signed print, a hardcover edition of the collected first five issues, a smartphone case, original art, and one-on-one sessions with Matt Hawkins and Marc Silvestri. There are also several special rewards for comic book retailers who pledge — including exclusive signings by Marc Silvestri! The funding will not only go toward paying the art team but also toward offsetting print costs, thus ensuring the first five issues are available for free.
Excitement has been building for events marking Image and Top Cow’s 20th anniversary since the beginning of the year, including Top Cow’s REBIRTH initiative and exciting new projects from top tier industry talent. With an entire generation of fans who grew up on the series and new fans discovering Image and Top Cow every week, creator and Top Cow CEO Silvestri knew the time was right for CYBER FORCE to return.
“My obsession growing up was sci-fi and fantasy and the concept of Cyber Force has always been ripe for mining those genres,” said Silvestri. “The best sci-fi has its soul anchored in social commentary and the human condition and then goes nuts with the concepts. Comic books are unique in that they can add to that the thrill of wish fulfillment,” he added. “Mash those ideas together add a healthy dose of 21st century paranoia, and voila! You’ve got Cyber Force.”
Silvestri describes CYBER FORCE as an exploration of the consequences when technology — the product of humanity’s own intelligence — has interfered with the order of natural development. “We’re creating a world our species can’t survive in,” Silvestri said. “The end is coming and Mega Corporation Cyber Data Industries knows this when it happens. And now, a young girl named Velocity knows too.”
Joining Silvestri on the new series is interior artist Khoi Pham. Hot off of top-selling Marvel Comics titles including Avengers, Daredevil, The Mighty Thor, andX-Men, Pham’s art will bring to life this bold new vision of CYBER FORCE.
The new series will appeal to fans of the original, as well as reach out to a wider audience by creating a cutting-edge world based on real technology. Co-writer and Top Cow President Matt Hawkins (THINK TANK, THE TEST) will utilize his background in science to lead the series in a never-before-seen direction.
While staying true to the core concept of CYBER FORCE, cybernetically-enhanced resistance fighters on the run from a monolithic international conglomerate, the visual aesthetic of the new series will be updated for a modern audience coined “bio-cybernetic steampunk”.