And Now For Something Not So Different


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We all remember the sense of awe and wonder we felt as kids when we encountered something new, imaginative and cool. That passionate feeling is like nothing else we can experience in this life. Comic books can ignite that passion in kids both young and old, if given half a chance…

I had lunch with my really good friend and awesome comic artist Rob "1000 Steps To World Domination" Osborne last week. For those who don't have the pleasure of knowing Rob, he's a very intelligent, witty, creative guy who really has a gift for making me genuinely laugh.

While we were eating lunch, the topic of Kickstarter came up and we both shared how many Kickstarter requests we each get every week. I won't speak for Rob, but I told him about my policy on it: I simply can't afford to support all my friends who do Kickstarter stuff, so by default, I simply don't support any of them. It really sucks, as there are a ton of great things on there looking for an audience, but my resources are already spread so thin and I don't want to have one person offended because they're the one I didn't support.

So, in standard comedic fashion, Rob and I decided we were going to start a Kickstarter Campaign of our own. But this campaign was to provide funding for us to be able to fund others on Kickstarter. For incentives, we thought we'd start at the low end by offering an email reply thanking the participant for helping us fund a friend's Kickstarter program. The middle tier would give the participant a chance to also fund the project we were going to fund with their contribution by providing them a link to the other Kickstarter campaign and the top tier would allow the participant to select which of our chosen Kickstarter projects we'd use their money to fund.

While it was pretty funny in the moment, odds are Kickstarter wouldn't allow us to do such a thing, and even if we did, we doubted anyone would actually play along.

But, it got me thinking about how we might launch a Kickstarter campaign that really did help everyone. A sort of "rising tide raises all boats" sort of promotion. Then I started connecting the dots between that and All-Ages comics, as well as all the attention DC has been getting with The New 52 line. (What if DC put that much effort into launching a new All-Ages line with their characters? How awesome would that be?)

So, what I'd like to propose, and please let me know your thoughts on this, is that we fire-up a Kickstarter campaign aimed at supporting All-Ages comics. We ask people to pledge money towards the purchase of All-Ages comics and in return, people get those comics. Those who pledge big, get even more comics. And, best of all, you won't need to go through Kickstarter, you can simply take that money to your local comic retailer and slap it on the counter in order to walk out with your favorite comics.

Now, while that makes perfect sense, it really doesn't bring with it the kind of attention a campaign like this needs. So, maybe we add in a component to it, where we ask several publishers to get involved. People can pledge X-amount of dollars towards the publication of new, All-Ages comics and in return the publishers will hear our cries and know they have an audience craving these comics. Those who pledge small amounts can get special comics. Mid-tier amounts can get subscriptions, signed comics and sketches from the artists. Those who pledge big can win things like getting drawn into their favorite All-Ages adventure, or having lunch with an All-Ages creator at a comic convention.

While it's obvious I've not fully thought this through, two things that are rock solid in this idea are a) there's a hunger out there for All-Ages comics and b) that hunger needs to be brought to the attention of those who decide what gets published and what doesn't in such a way they can't help but take notice.

Kickstarter has allowed many awesome projects to go in motion, but now it's time to not only get moving, but start a movement.

Who's with me?

All-Ages Pick of the Week:

In the everything old is new again" category, this week's recommendation is the upcoming Marvel Firsts 1960s trade paperback. It's $29.99, which is a bit much for one purchase, but the bang-for-the-buck factor is off the charts when you realize what that $29.99 gets you.

From Diamond's solicits:

With the debut of 1961's FANTASTIC FOUR #1, Marvel Comics reinvented the super-hero genre - and the hits just kept on coming! Compiled in one titanic tome: the famous first issues of dozens of your favorite super heroes and super-hero teams - including the Hulk, Dr. Strange, Nick Fury, Iron Man, Thor, Spider-Man, Daredevil, the X-Men, the Avengers and the Defenders! And witness the unlikely solo breakouts of the Human Torch, Red Wolf, Dr. Doom, the Silver Surfer, the Black Widow and more! Collecting RAWHIDE KID (1955) #17; material from AMAZING ADVENTURES (1961) #1; FANTASTIC FOUR (1961) #1; material from TALES TO ASTONISH (1959) #27, #51 and #70; INCREDIBLE HULK (1962) #1; material from AMAZING FANTASY #15; material from JOURNEY INTO MYSTERY #83; material from STRANGE TALES (1951) #101, #110 and #135; TWO-GUN KID #60; material from TALES OF SUSPENSE (1959) #39, #49 and #59; SGT. FURY AND HIS HOWLING COMMANDOS #1; AVENGERS (1963) #1; X-MEN (1963) #1; DAREDEVIL (1964) #1; GHOST RIDER (1967) #1; MARVEL SUPER-HEROES (1967) #12 and #19-20, CAPTAIN SAVAGE #1; and material from SILVER SURFER (1968) #1.

With the box office success of Iron Man, Spider-man, Thor and Captain America, coupled with the impeding hit The Avengers, it's a great time to grab this trade and see how it all began. 


Mike Bullock is an international award winning all-ages comic creator and author. His all-ages work includes LIONS, TIGERS AND BEARS, TIMOTHY AND THE TRANSGALACTIC TOWEL, SECRETS OF THE SEASONS and several others. Bullock is also the most prolific PHANTOM writer in American comic book history.

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  • Bart Croonenborghs

    Bart Croonenborghs Oct 28, 2011 at 5:13am

    Crazy idea but it. does. make. sense. Definitely something for the activists though, can't imagine the general comics reading populace to be interested in this. Nice idea experiment though, enjoyed reading this.

  • Mike Bullock

    Mike Bullock Oct 31, 2011 at 12:59pm

    Thanks, Bart. Glad you enjoyed it. I'm not sure it would work either, but it could certainly make a nice dent in things if done right.

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