Kickstarter Flimflam

Posted by servbot30 
Sanjeev (Admin)
Okay, just finished the Meredith Gran piece. Definitely agree. Mos said, "fuck you, pay me." It's in a similar vein as MK Reed's article on Comics Beat above, in that it focuses on what's truly best for women, and comics as a whole.

Again, the only thing potentially troublesome based on Gran's and Ayo's writings is the whole "rugged individualist" thing. On one hand, you have achievement based on solid fundamental skills and hard work as an individual, regardless of race or gender (people like Ayo or Gran). And every time people like these are "othered" by gender- or racially-themed discussions, anthologies, conventions, etc., their hard work can seem devalued next to the overriding theme of shared gender or race. That's understandably frustrating...and insulting.

But it's a spectrum, right? On the other hand, there are plenty of black folks (or other people of color) and women who--despite their abilities--are unable to make it because of disparate opportunities. Of course, this is hardly unique to comics. So having *any* kind of contradiction to the bullshit underrepresented people face on a day to day basis is a good thing, whether it comes in the form of anthologies, conventions, or whatever. It's just important not to lose sight of the accomplishments of the individual--and, in fact, to honor those accomplishments--when building a community, network, and relationships.
Sanjeev Wrote:
>
> But it's a spectrum, right? On the other hand,
> there are plenty of black folks (or other people
> of color) and women who--despite their
> abilities--are unable to make it because of
> disparate opportunities. Of course, this is hardly
> unique to comics. So having *any* kind of
> contradiction to the bullshit underrepresented
> people face on a day to day basis is a good thing,
> whether it comes in the form of anthologies,
> conventions, or whatever.

I agree, but I think that *because* of that, the most important thing in these efforts is to make sure the work is good. If you put out an anthology of up-and-coming creators from a specific, identifiable, discriminable group, and half of the contributors aren't ready to be published, then it makes the group look... not bad, necessarily, but mediocre. It creates a question of why this anthology was published, instead of the upper tier putting out work on their own or as a group. I think if the purpose of an a publication is PRIMARILY to promote a group of creators, as opposed to presenting the best work by creators in that group, that generally weakens the overall showing. I think a strong editorial/curatorial hand is necessary for an anthology project, particularly if, like with the comics anthologies in question here, the purpose is to reach an audience not predisposed to be interested in the creators. That disinterested audience wants to be shown work that's as good as or better than what they're reading now - and it's harder to reach that point if you're concentrating on giving everyone a chance regardless of merit.

This even goes for efforts not divided on racial or gender lines, like for instance the attempt to present comics as literature - or genre fiction as literature, or action movies as great film, or anime or video games or whatever marginalized medium or genre. You can't make your case to the mainstream, from a niche or minority or marginalized group, if the work you're presenting can be dismissed because it's only meritorious by comparison to the rest of that niche or group.

-Paul Segal

"Oh, the anger is never far, never far." -SteveH
Sanjeev (Admin)
MOAR Kickstarter flimflam!

Only this time, less of a critique of the whole system...and more just an announcement of a particular project that seems potentially interesting to folks here. [I figure crowd funding's here to stay...warts & all...so might as well just get over it and look at what folks are actually trying to do...]

World War Kaiju...what appears to be an interesting take on the end and aftermath of WWII, where the nuclear bomb seems to be abandoned in favor of nations using kaiju to war with one another. I think.

The art looks gorgeous. I guess my only beef with it is that it's CLEARLY "bootleg" kaiju! Like, there seems to be a Mothra-like character...complete with shobijin (the singing miniature girl-avatars)! Of course, it'd be likely impossible to tell the story they wanna tell using licensed kaiju characters...but I'm sure how I feel about them making their characters SO similar to Toho's lineup.

Anyway, more here.
Sanjeev (Admin)
EVEN MOAR flim for your flam!

If you're a fan of Garbage Pail Kids, you may wanna check this out:
[www.kickstarter.com]

I threw down a bunch because I *really* wanna see this documentary get made. It ain't looking great...but hopefully, folks will jump on board near the end (as they often do).
Sanjeev (Admin)
I'm deeply disappointed the Garbage Pail Kids documentary failed to get funded. $49k ain't bad...perhaps $75k was just a bit too ambitious. Anyway, it looks like they're going to continue trying to get it made (YES!) via traditional private funding.

Anyway, this is new...and hysterical:
[www.gofundme.com]
You've got to be bleepin' bleep bleeeeping bleep bleep bleepinging me. That's bleeped.
Sanjeev (Admin)
I LOLed.
Not toy related, but an example of someone losing his mind on kickstarter, even after successfully being backed:

[www.kickstarter.com]

excerpt:
I shipped about 75% of kickstarter rewards to backers. I will not be shipping any more. I will not be issuing any refunds. For every message I receive about this book through e-mail, social media or any other means, I will burn another book.
Quote
fujishig
Not toy related, but an example of someone losing his mind on kickstarter, even after successfully being backed:

[www.kickstarter.com]

excerpt:
I shipped about 75% of kickstarter rewards to backers. I will not be shipping any more. I will not be issuing any refunds. For every message I receive about this book through e-mail, social media or any other means, I will burn another book.

That's some crazy ish, whether it's a stunt or not.

- Mike


Deep in the Hasbro Jungle
Sanjeev (Admin)
Bat. Shit. Crazy!
I'm kinda lost on this one... there's a new company trying to make vintage public domain heroes into shitty looking action figures, and apparently they are offering retail preorders (currently available) AND are going to be holding a Kickstarter over the summer:

[www.collectiondx.com]

Is this the end? Are we just done pretending Kickstarter isn't a scam that has been completely subverted by big corporate groups that figured out it's raining cash out there based on misguided goodwill? Like, if you are offering preoders of your toy in the hopes of reaching a Minimum Order Quantity needed to move into production, I get that. In that case, what could you ALSO need a Kickstarter campaign for? If your product is worth a damn, people should preorder it and it'll get put into production. I can't imagine they'd be too popular with many retailers under this plan. BBTS is alright because no money is exchanged until the items are in stock, but many retailers charge upfront for preorders, which means they would have to issue refunds if the project doesn't hit this magic MOQ number. So now not only is the business offloading risk using a Kickstarter, but they are further pushing off any remaining risk onto unwitting retailers. Am I crazy for having a problem with this?


In other news, I'm surprised nobody posted the Facebook purchase of Oculus VR here:
[www.giantbomb.com]

The Oculus Rift was a massive Kickstarter darling where the Oculus VR guys asked for funding to produce their first development model of their new (very good) VR headset. The KS was a success, they raised a bunch of money, then went quiet while they worked on the product. They took on a bunch more money from venture capital after the KS showed they were legit, and did indeed deliver the developer models funded by the campaign. Since then they have been working on further revisions and continuing to impress with their long-tail vision and groundbreaking tech. Then, out of nowhere, Facebook bought them for $2b and the internet EXPLODED. The dirty little truth about how people think of Kickstarter as an investment really came to a head in the knee-jerk reactions. Notable among commenters was Notch, the Minecraft guy, saying "And I did not chip in ten grand to seed a first investment round to build value for a Facebook acquisition." Yes, he did, him and everyone else. The deal made a lot of sense was Facebook got past the knee-jerk reactions and explained their reasoning, but the damage is done in the internet's mind. Giant Bomb posted a pretty good article about the firestorm as well that's worth a read:

[www.giantbomb.com]

What do you guys think? I'm indifferent on the FB/Oculus thing because I understand why they got bought, but will wait to see if FB's position was just lip-service. I'm much more disgusted by the action figure guys trying to double-dip and offload any semblance of business risk any way they can.

Introducing Prometheus Rising Studio.
[prometheusrising.net]
I make 3D printed mecha action figures.
Sanjeev (Admin)
What a fucking joke.

Well, I don't know much about this Oculus Rift thing, but fact that there is absolutely ZERO accountability for what happens with KS funds once they're awarded is total bullshit. These guys can post preorders on all the major retailers' sites, get enough commitment to meet their MOQs, and STILL launch a KS to entice venture capitalists (not to mention line their own fucking pockets)...it's crazy.

I really wonder how long it'll take for the internets to wake the fuck up.
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