The time is almost here again where I have to cringe, bite my bullet, and start thinking about the financial part of this equation. Last year’s Kickstarter was a revelation, an affirmation of the fact that people will support this comic. They gave with kindness, and with heart, and for it the comic is in a much better place, and I am not in huge credit debt for it.

That’s RAD.

I’m trying to figure out a way to make it sustainable without always having to have my hand out, and that’s difficult. Comics cost money. And when they’re not costing money, they cost time, which is also money. That’s not to say I don’t love every minute of it, because I do, and that’s not to say I am not well aware that many people would kill for such a burden, so do not think I make those statements lightly. Nonetheless, if I would like it to continue, I have to make sure I stay out of credit debt.

To that end, I’ve got two main ideas at this point, and I wanted to run them up the flagpole for you guys and ask for comments.

First, there’s the Kickstarter. That was successful last year for all involved, and honestly, it’s what I’m most inclined to do again in April or May or when we’re ready to do so with files. The one thing I’ll change this time is that everything will be print ready and submitted before I even start the process. Pros: It’s Kickstarter, so it has a lot of eyes on it, and last year’s success may propel us to another. Cons: Few.

Second, there’s something new I’ve discovered, called Patreon. If you go here, you can examine a Patreon drive for Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, a comic I’ve found and greatly enjoyed for the last few years. The basic principle is quite novel. You give X amount per month so long as Zach keeps making his comic, and after you contribute a certain amount, you get perks.

We needed 5,000 last year to get our print run with Kickstarter. Divide that by twelve months, you get 416.67 a month. If I could reach that amount in pledges per month, we could do trades for everyone who contributes $2.50 or more a month once we hit that 466 ($2.50 X 12 is $30 for the trade). That doesn’t offset the cost of art or give Dex a raise (which I desperately want to), but it’s a place to start. Pro: Were we to do that, and find success, we could stop doing Kickstarters every year. Cons: Many. People can withdraw their pledges at will, and everyone’s finances go up and down month to month and year to year, so that 416 could become 375, and I’d have to foot the credit debt for the books (assuming it doesn’t hit, I don’t know, 600 a month, in which case we’d have money to put aside for coloring or a raise for Dex, etc).

There’s also the HUGE con in that we can’t print books until I have the cash to do so, so it would take a year at 416 for Year Three, which disqualifies Patreon almost immediately. I’m putting this out here because you people are smart, and often have ideas I don’t, so maybe you have your own ideas. Another potential is that we could do a Kickstarter, and then after the Kickstarter is over, start a Patreon with the hopes of funding next year’s book (Year Four), but I don’t like that, because it feels like double dipping when I’m not fond of single dipping in the first place, and counting chickens before they hatch.

What do you think? I trust you all to be honest about this, and smarter than me.