So yesterday the guys at Penny Arcade made a bold proclamation that I think is kind of interesting…

Essentially, they’re experimenting with the idea of replacing the advertising segment of their business with a crowd-sourced segment, ironic because that’s actually how the comic got one of its first big breaks early on – the guys were ready to quit because they were broke, decided to put up a donation box as a last-ditch attempt, and ended up raising $10,000 overnight from their fans! So it’s interesting to see here a decade or whatever later them drifting back to give that model another shot, granted now a considerably bigger entity than they were before.

Their goal is to raise enough money to remove advertising from for 2013 – an ambitious goal which they’ve priced out at a cool $1,000,000. Of course, this isn’t their entire budget, as they still make money from PAX, merchandise, sales of their video game, and so forth … a million dollars sounds like a lot of money until you start shilling it out for office space and salaries and health insurance for a dozen employees. And true to Internet form, they’ve already got their share of haters, citing that they’re already successful enough and that somehow this new business idea is a slap in the face of their fans who … blah blah blah – the arguments are pretty stupid and ring of bitter folks who either don’t even read the strip or don’t care enough if the business is around tomorrow anyways, so whatever…

I think it’s an interesting proposal because oddly enough, PA is one of the few sites that I actually don’t mind the advertising on because they’ve always done a really good job of only accepting ads from games and companies that they can legitimately get behind, and they also adamantly refuse obnoxious ads that want to talk back to you and auto-play video and all of that. Still, I also get their point that to some extent these advertisers still control the site and end up taking up parts of their time that they could be devoting to other free projects, so the idea of cutting traditional advertising completely out of the loop to give them an even more unfiltered approach to their fans is kinda cool. I mean, I’ve absolutely loved a lot of the PA Presents projects over the years, but who’s to say what else they could come up with if advertising isn’t as much of a priority.

Overall I think it should be interesting to see how it all works out. On one hand, there are already a lot of questions because the “rewards” are somewhat more symbolic than the loads of swag that people are used to getting and the goals are pretty subjective, and yet still at the time of writing this they’ve already managed to raise $100,000 in the first day it was online! I haven’t really decided if I want to contribute or not – I’m fine with the site continuing on as it is, but perhaps in the upcoming weeks when we start to get a little more info about some of the alternative projects that they’re entertaining…

As for now, at least you can’t say that the promo video isn’t hilarious!  :mrgreen:

Order of the $1.25 MILLION Stick

February 21, 2012 6:40pm
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I could go on, but you’re smart people so I think you probably get the point. The huge Order of the Stick Reprint Drive ended earlier today and it looks like Rich Burlew should have no problems whatsoever getting every last one of his out of print books back on shelves again, not to mention all sorts of other goodies that clearly he was just pulling out of his ass every time he heard that everyone had blown yet another one of his goals justly out of the water!

$1,254,120 from a total of 14,952 backers in 30 days.

An average of about $84/backer, $1,742/hour.

To have that kind of a dedicated readership would be, well, see previously mentioned words above. It was almost amusement in itself to watch the “community discussions” that took place in the comments sections on Kickstarter because these weren’t just people offering up a singular donation for a set prize. There was bartering for reward levels and one-upping each other and bets on how long it would take to crack $X, almost like an RPG being played out by the masses to collectively score Rich as many points as possible! At every turn when I would check, my internal dialogue would be, “Well, they’ll get to $X, but it’ll probably taper off soon and $Y is just way too much money…” and then the next day, $Y was in the rear view mirror and they were bearing down on $Z off on the horizon…

Good god, that’s A LOT of money!

Of course, as Dave Kellett pointed out interestingly enough on Twitter, we mustn’t forget that the entire $1.25 million is all taxable income, so Rich can probably plan on giving a healthy $400,000 at least back to the government in taxes. But still, talk about a problem to have! Hopefully he thought about that long before he started the actual drive, though, and took his full shipping and taxes and etc… into account to ensure that he can still make a profit. I’m sure that he would’ve had to, to be honest with you – how else could anyone even realistically do business without knowing what their true profit margins at the end of the day actually look like?

More so, though, I sincerely hope that he has a good handle on exactly how he’s going to fulfill almost 15,000 rewards because I can speak from experience that the quickest way to sour someone’s opinion is to take their money and then subsequently take forever to actually give you the thing that they promised you for your donation. I had it happen to me with another webcomic artist on Kickstarter a year or two ago – I helped to pre-pay his next book printing and then the guy took an entire year to actually ship my copy out, all the while he was selling other copies in his store and heavily promoting them on Facebook. It rubbed me the wrong way so bad that when it finally came I didn’t even care to look in it and I almost never read the strip online anymore because my mind goes back to how I wanted to help support the guy and he took advantage.

But hopefully that won’t happen with this one, though!

I have done other Kickstarter drives since and all of the rest have been exactly as promised, so I can wish Rich nothing but the best as he now attempts to tackle the undoubtedly overwhelming task of actually living up to being able to raise over a million dollars for his creative works! At a glance, the guy’s got something like 25,000 books to ship out, 9 new stories to write including 3 custom ones based on reader requests, just scads of other swag to send out as well, not to mention having grabbed the title of most successful creative Kickstarter of all-time, I’m sure a few people will want to interview him, too!

Again, though, what an awesome problem to have…  :mrgreen:

I’ve been meaning to write this post since I saw Dave Kellett’s tweet last night, and each time I go to start typing their take keeps getting bigger and bigger! It wouldn’t surprise me at all if I have to go back and update the title from $317k to $320k by the time I’m actually ready to push the Publish button…

What’s interesting about this is that I’ve technically heard of Order of the Stick before and I’m sure I’ve read random strips when my D&D buddies pass links around, but I guess I just never knew it was that big of a strip until I saw this Kickstarter campaign raising funds to do reprints of some of his older books.

It’s kinda sad that it took just a shockingly impressive fundraiser like that to prove to me that I should give it a look, but after perusing through his catalog of print compilations, I really think I want to pick up a couple of them once they’re available again because they really look like a lot of time went into them. Sure, some are a little pricey at $30 a piece, but then again, those ones are also full color and almost 300 pages long!

As a brief aside, I can’t tell you how inspiring to me it is as a fellow independent creator to randomly come across stories like this of new people who I’ve never even heard of being wildly successful at creating their art for a living…

“I’d pay for it NOT to happen!”

December 6, 2011 10:43pm
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This is brilliant…

(from Dork Tower, via Boing Boing)

good for Kurtz

November 29, 2006 12:08am
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I’ve spent a good portion of tonight, between other things, reading all of the posts on Scott Kurtz’s board regarding the new animations that he’s trying to put out. It’s kind of sad to see just how many people are causing such a stink about paying the twenty bucks for a year’s worth of episodes (12 total – 1 / month) of production-quality animated content from a strip that they claim to love. I’ve got a feeling that ultimately he’ll be ok, and I hope to be able to subscribe myself when the launch date gets closer, but it’s just rough to see such mixed support from your community like that when it comes down to the almighty dollar…

Granted, he’s on a much higher scale, but I know the line between liking something you read online and helping to fund something you read online, primarily because I’ve still got a stack of Ink, Paint & Tears… 2006 Wall Calendars here that went unsold and even those we did were in the 2-digits … LOW 2-digits, at that. I wish I knew where I’d found it, but I remember reading somewhere that if an online artist gets feedback from their readers to the tune of 1% – be it financial or verbal – then they’re doing better than most, basically showing that only a remote few will ever support you or even just tell you how you’re doing. Now Kurtz has a sizable army – arguably one of the biggest in his field – and so far they’ve got a 26+ page debate going on in the forums whether people are willing to support him on this latest venture of his. The post that threw me was one calling Kurtz a jerk (paraphrasing) because he frankly said, “Wow. How can some of you guys afford the internet. If 20 bucks makes the difference between your children being fed and going hungry this week…maybe you guys should switch to dial-up or net zero or something. I’m sorry you can’t…pay for things?”

I probably don’t do it as much as I should, but I have supported various efforts on the Internet over the years, whether it be by purchasing a book or a sketch or just making a small donation – every little bit helps and most people take forgranted the idea that when people create something, they’re usually doing it in their free time at their own cost. The next step up – doing what you enjoy doing for a living – requires MONEY and that has to come from somewhere. Advertising only cuts it for very specific scenarios anymore these days and the rest are left doing it as a hobby, which is fine as long as they’re willing to do it. I don’t know – maybe it’s just hard for me to read that kind of stuff because the bulk of the Internet community has always seemed so “cheap” to me, for lack of a better reason. College students and younger adults, all who want their entertainment for free and yet don’t mind dropping similar cash on booze or DVDs later on that weekend. Sometimes I wish everything just went by a tip jar solution, and that would be enough. I enjoyed Penny Aracde today, so I kick them a buck or two. PVP sucked this time, so I’ll find somebody else that makes me laugh that time – no biggie.

Good luck to Mr. Kurtz on his new venture. If anything, it’s something that’s only been done once before, so hopefully he does better than his predecessor and shows us just exactly what the next step is like! I’m jealous – I’d love to see our characters animated.

Then again, there’s still plenty of time…

(Get drawing, Lori!)

If you’re not reading Pet Professional right now, you should be…

Man, I wish I could draw!

It Came from Linksville! (part 37)

March 20, 2005 10:42pm
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I’ve been holding back on these for a few weeks now – enjoy!

[Web Comics]
Pet Professional

Your local Department of Animal Control may be sufficient for the average dog or cat incident, but for those “special” situations it may very well be necessary to call in a professional.

PC Weenies

An oldie, but a goodie – I just really like the artwork with this one.

[Flash Animation]
Space Tree the Space Tree

Weird doesn’t quite describe it…but I still watched every single episode…

[Misc. Funny]
Doctor Metropolis – Superhero Coach & Crimefighting Consultant

Everything you need to know…well, sort of…

Also, we’ve finally got NBC HD coming in crystal clear! I don’t know exactly what the problem was – something about bandwidth regulations with our local affiliate, WFLA – but now I can finally watch The Tonight Show in high-def (coincidentally one of the first programs to start broadcasting back in the late ’90s). Woo hoo!!!

Tycho and Gabe make a funny…

June 30, 2003 4:46pm
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One of the funniest Penny Arcade strips I’ve read in a long time:

June 12, 2003 5:28am
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Am I the only person in the world who thinks that Homestar Runner is retarded?

Congratulations are certainly in order, as I received the word earlier today that Barry over at took Best Gaming Comic this year with Angst Technology in the 2002 Cartoonist’s Choice Awards! There were quite a few good comics nominated this year, but if anybody deserves it, it’d definitely be Barry…

Nice job to all of the other winners as well! I know that now I won’t have to look far the next time I’m looking for some new comics to kill the time with! 😛

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