ROUNDEYE.jpgKickstarter, the website that allows creative types to raise money by direct appeal to a community of supporters, has been helping all sorts of folks get their dream comics out there — from reprints of obscure old comics, to webcomic collections. Most projects we’ve seen are fairly modest. But some are much bigger in scope.

Tony Harris has just turned to Kickstarter for his new project ROUNDEYE: For Love. That would be Starman/Ex Machina, five-time Eisner nominee Tony Harris.

And he needs $60,000 to get his project going.

A 96 page graphic novel Written, Pencilled, Inked and colored by Tony Harris. The $$ to be raised is for a page rate to produce all the art, cover production costs, and keep my children in PB&J samiches!!! The publisher is to be announced once the book is complete.

You can watch Harris’s pitch below.

Roundeye — once set to be published by Desperado — is his dream project for over a dozen years, he explains, but one that he can’t afford to do instead of lucrative paying work. So…take it to the streets. At $60k for 96 pages that’s $625 a page — although that doesn’t take into account printing or marketing costs.

In all the talk about publishing models and worries about piracy and the great darkling plain that a career in the arts has become, it should be no surprise that a top drawer artist is going the Kickstarter route. And $60,000 isn’t really that much money in the larger scheme of things. There isn’t much art posted but what there is looks wonderful.

Does he have enough fans to get there? So far, he’s raised $2,475. The deadline is January 30th. So get to it, Tony Harris fans.

PS: On his Twitter feed, Harris reveals that he’s doing 12 painted covers for a James Robinson– penned Shade miniseries. We’re guessing this marks Shade’s return to the DCU proper after a sojourn in Vertigo-land.

Here’s some art from the update page:











  1. PS: on his twitter feed, Harris reveals that he’s doing 12 painted covers for a James Robinson- penned Shade mini-series. WE’re guessing this marks Shade’s return to the DCU proper after a sojourn in Vertigo-land

    At Wizard World Atlanta, Cully Hamner said he was working on something with Robinson (actually he said the writers name rhymed with Bobinson), and that it was a return of a character. I assumed it was Starman (Jack), but after seeing this, I’m guessing this is the project.

  2. and now for some constructive criticism: I don’t think TOny Harris has done any research into Kickstarter. If he did, he’d have seen that the people on Kickstarter don’t donate money just so you can get a fat page rate, with little to no reward. On average the amount of money successful comic projects have raised are between $2000 and $3000 .
    And that was towards the actual production of the book: printing costs etc…

    If he loves this project so much, do what so many others do: do it in your spare time. One page a week isn’t that much and in 2 years you’ll have your project done. Many webcomickers do it like that.

  3. Just curious…in children’s publishing no one will touch a finished project. If a publsiher is going to pay for printing and promotion, they want to be involved in the editorial stage.

    Can you actually sell a completed work in the comics industry? Or will you be asked to change some stuff eventually.

  4. “Can you actually sell a completed work in the comics industry? Or will you be asked to change some stuff eventually.”

    My guess is that if Harris went to Image and said “Here’s a completed graphic novel” they would be happy to run with it. That’s probably true of a lot of companies that aren’t Marvel/DC.

  5. At NYCC it was announced that Robinson was writing a 12-issue Shade mini. Nice to hear that Harris will be doing the covers.

  6. @Mike: yes, as Joe said, most comics publishers outside of Marvel and DC are not only ok with finished projects, they often prefer them. Of course, this is because they’re not paying a page rate and are guaranteed on-time delivery, so it’s sort of a win-win for the publisher. I know of at least one creator whose graphic novel pitch to Image was initially reiected, but when he went ahead and finished the entire project and showed it to them, they picked it up.

  7. I was hoping he’d finish up War Heroes after he completed Ex Machina.

    If I wasn’t struggling myself, I might contribute to this venture. But as it stands, I’ll have to wait to support the comic when it comes out.

  8. I second the motion for a Kickstarter for Tony Harris to finish War Heroes. Maybe a new program called Kick-Ender.

  9. First I’ve heard of this Robinson SHADE minis-series in the works. I loved Starman and the Shade mini he did for it.

    If its going to be as awful as his recent JLA work, please don’t bother…

  10. “We’re guessing this marks Shade’s return to the DCU proper after a sojourn in Vertigo-land”

    Since when was The Shade ever in a Vertigo book? Did I miss something? Or is he being confused with Shade the Changing Man?

  11. So, he wants $60,000 (yes, this is a lot of money, even in “the larger scheme of things” – that’s more than I make in two years) for a project that he fully expects to be picked up for all the publishing costs by another company? He just wants his page rate? Well, he certainly has nerve, I’ll give him that.

  12. As a reader, I’m just curious not trying to be snarky or anything because I’ve never heard of Kickstarter before.

    Is that a website where wealthy philanthropists donate to help people fund their artistic goals of being published?

    Because like someone else had mentioned above, it seems quite odd that people would donate such an enormous amount of money without even getting a copy of the book or a sketch.

    Then again, many well known artists get grants all the time. If the site functions like that, I hope it opens the door for other artists to do the same.

  13. @Brent Kickstarter is a crowdsourcing fundraiser. So it’s not wealthy philanthropists mostly — it’s people who can kick in a few bucks to support a project they believe in.

    There are “rewards” for certain levels of donations which vary depending on the project — for instance my $20 towards Cursed Pirate Girl will net me a first edition of the graphic novel once they sort out their printing difficulties.

  14. While I like the concept of “crowdsourcing,” most of what I’ve seen on Kickstarter leaves me cold. A lot of it seems like vanity projects that the artists feel they are entitled to, and the rewards offered for the donations being solicited don’t quite match up.

    In Harris’s case, he’s basically asking for a $60K salary to create his personal project, with the implicit understanding that some publisher will actually pay for the printing costs (and presumably additional payment to Harris in the form of an advance or royalties from sales, on top of what his supporters have already paid him). And for a $200 donation, you don’t even get a copy of the book? You have to shell out more money to buy it on your own dime? I’m sorry, but that’s a lot to ask.

    Ultimately, though, it’s a very democratic process and the people decide if some project is worth their support. For instance, I find it heartwarming that super-talented indie creator Jeremy Bastian set a modest goal of $2500 to “offset the costs of printing using all recycled materials” for his Cursed Pirate Girl TPB, and ended up with over $36,000 in pledges! Obviously, fans found value in both his product and his cause.

  15. “And for a $200 donation, you don’t even get a copy of the book? You have to shell out more money to buy it on your own dime? I’m sorry, but that’s a lot to ask.”

    And yet, for some creators, I’d be perfectly willing to make that deal if it meant getting more of their work on a particular project.

    For example, had this been in existence when Big Numbers was being published, I woulda kicked in some cash to keep that going. Or when Linda Medley had to take paying work and set Castle Waiting aside for a while, I would have gladly chipped in to keep her on Castle Waiting. And when Steve Bissette’s Tyrant fell victim to the ’90s collapse …

  16. Hi all. Thanks for you comments. just a bit of clarification:

    i will NOT receive an advance from prospective publishers, or additional monies up front for publishing.
    This is what comics cost. PERIOD. GET UPDATES BY RSS
    This info is a must..
    Update #7 posted 41 minutes ago edit this post
    I hate to have to do this. But i feel it necessary. A friend pointed out a few sites where i am being crucified for being Smug, and Selfish. So I sat down ,and tried to think about all the question that people might have. Here goes.

    I am not a crook.

    hey guys. Lemme clarify a few things i have tried to, more than once on Kickstarter. I guess i have failed.

    To call me smug, or greedy is just, I dunno, kinda mean.
    You DO NOT have to donate a single dime. BUT, I am asking you to, if you are a fan of mine, and you want this book, which has been hard to get placed, see the light of day.

    WAR HEROES?? Kirkman and I are talking, It will finish. Follow me on Twitter @TONYFINGHARRIS and you will get weekly updates on that. The money is finally there to get it done.

    Whistling Skull??? Coming out in 2011 from DC Comics. Painted all 6 covers. Just got first script approved, start drawing next week.


    Heres the skinny? You asked for it? You got it. I was trying to be a gentleman and not spell everything out about my personal life, but if I am going to be blasted publicly for being selfish, to try and commiserate with like minded people, and as a public figure reach out to THOSE people, and ask them to help me make it happen and entertain them in the process, then i am gonna tell you, what is what.

    I get paid $275 to pencil a page, I get paid $150 t ink a page, i get paid $125 to color a page. Thats $550 a page. Thats $52,800. I am foregoing the writing $$ altogether. I am paying out for lettering, which is usually $10 a page. Thats almost a Grand. So I take it to a publisher, finished. DONE. they DO NOT HAVE TO PAY OUT A SINGLE FUCKING DIME TO PRODUCE THE ART BECAUSE I ALREADY TOOK CARE OF THAT THROUGH FUNDRAISING ON KICKSTARTER( PLEASE GOD!!!) Hell yeah, they are gonna guy it. And publish it, with a big fucking smile on their face. NO I WILL NOT be paid all over again by said publisher. I will share in profits after the publisher makes back all their printing , and advertising, and administrative costs. Which by the way includes anywhere from a 40, to 60 % discount off cover price from Diamond Comic Distributors. Not to mention Tons of Advertising costs and unseen bullshit.

    There isn’t really a whole lot of profit to be made. Serious, ask ANY comic book guy, or girl, and they will tell you they don’t do this for the money.
    And, any other book you can think of, from X-Men, to Ex Machina to Y- the last man, to Superman, to Batman, and to whatever, they all cost the same to produce. And in most cases more. Because they have bigger names than me writing and drawing them, and their rates are a lot higher than mine. So I could go on, and I will if need be, but i hope that clears up a few things. you are not a fan. Dont donate, if you are? i will NEVER forget what you did. And I will shake your hand and sign your book an draw in it, and make you know that you made it happen. YOU.


  17. WHA!?! First of all, as if the wasn’t the most unbelieavable request–60k from someone who isn’t a writer and who has left multiple books unfinished (not exactly qualifications for me to pay their salary, in other words),

    …who gets on a comments section where to respond to criticism by cussing everyone out and saying stuff like “they are gunna buy it, and publish it with a BIG F**ING SMILE ON THEIR FACES!” ? Gimme a break.

    Also, “TonyFINGharris”? Wooow.

    a qeustion: if he’s asking for $ here, does that mean publishers have already said “no we won’t pay”–and if so, what assurance is there that this book will be good enough to get published? Will everyone get their money back if it isn’t?

  18. Hey Tony, you really don’t have to explain yourself. You’re reason are you own and should stay that way. I see you’ve canceled the fundraiser. If you decide to do it again, I will contribute.