Online crowdfunding site Kickstarter has announced this week that 2018 was the biggest year to date for its comic book project category, in regards to both the amount of funding raised and number of projects funded through the website.
The category saw $16 million pledged for comic book projects over the course of last year, a 26% increase from 2017. Similarly, a total of 1,457 comic book projects were funded in 2018, a 14% increase from 2017, which had previously been the biggest year for the category and nearly tripled the amount of funded comics projects in 2012. For the independent crowdfunding site, the increase in funded projects from creators of diverse backgrounds was hailed as a strong achievement.
"Mainstream publishers and media tend to treat diversity like a trend. But at Kickstarter, we know it's not a buzzword; it’s a set of actions," Kickstarter Comics Outreach Lead Camilla Zhang said in a written statement. "To break the cycle of oppression and inequity, marginalized creators must reap the rewards, both financially and creatively."
With nearly 70% of comic books projects on Kickstarter reaching their funding goals last year, the crowdfunding site allowed creators to share work major publishers may not normally have distributed.
"What’s amazing about these projects is that they don’t need mass appeal to be successful or make an impact in the creator’s community," Zhang added. "With comic projects like (Be)Loved and Burn Man, independent creators can make something unconventional and niche with 100 backers or less. That kind of intimate and direct connection between creator and backer is way more meaningful than followers or likes.”