Comic book publisher BOOM! Studios has done what a lot of publishers who don’t have Fox investment money do and launched a Kickstarter for a new comic. The campaign is for the comic BRZRKR which is co-written by Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt, drawn by Ron Garney, colored by Bill Crabtree, and lettered by Clem Robins.
BOOM! Studios CEO Ross Richie drafted a letter to retailers, presumably from the bow of his 75′ yacht, that the company doesn’t need to use Kickstarter to fund the series because they totally have the money. They just want to increase readership and tap into that sweet, sweet speculator and collector market, so when the series is adapted into a trilogy starring Keanu, it might be worth something.
Dear retail partners,
Store owners consistently ask me: “How do we get more people to read comic books?”
When Keanu Reeves approached me to publish BRZRKR, I recognized a once in a lifetime opportunity to reach people who had never read comic books.
Many Keanu Reeves fans don’t even know comic book stores exist.
How do we get to regular people curious about the medium of comics?
What we needed was a one-click platform on the internet so we could reach everyone, everywhere.
Once a fan decides they want to read their first comic book, it needs to be easy.
And it needs to be from an online platform that’s familiar. A risky new interface could be scary.
It should be a pre-order for the entire series of collections — volumes 1 to 3 — so someone excited about Keanu Reeves could get the whole story and not be confused by having to come back for volumes 2 or 3 later.
Each time you give a new fan an incomplete experience or ask them to come back later, you risk creating a negative first impression and losing them forever.
However we did this, we needed to make sure that comic shops got the product first.
So we created 4 release windows for BRZRKR:
1. Comic shops are first. Print copies of issues 1 to 12 of BRZRKR will be serialized in comic shops first and exclusively, just like every other BOOM! Studios series.
2. Once the issues are serialized, they will be collected into 3 softcover collections offered to comic shops, just like every other BOOM! Studios series.
3. That same collection will be offered to the book trade: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, independent bookstores, and libraries, just like every other BOOM! Studios series.
Which brought us to the 4th window: what online platform is known all over the world?
Who is set up for a one click buy for all three volumes to ship right to your door as they release — set and forget?
The answer was clear: KICKSTARTER.
We didn’t need Kickstarter to fund the series, that was already done.
We needed Kickstarter’s reach. Its distribution platform.
So we’re offering through Kickstarter a preorder: $50 for the 3 volumes of BRZRKR. There are other tiers, high end deluxe versions of the book for hardcore Keanu fans. These expensive low print run versions traditionally don’t sell well in comic shops. If you are interested in any of the versions offered through Kickstarter for your store, contact Retail Sales Coordinator Morgan Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
Now for the really exciting part!
Once the Kickstarter campaign runs its course we will have amassed a huge email list of Keanu Reeves fans who don’t (yet) read comics.
When the first issue comes out in shops, we will send them an email blast:
“Hey, you preordered the complete set of collections and we’re going to ship them to you when they’re published. But before then, the individual chapters of the story are coming out as single issue comic books at your local comic book store. If you’re interested and can’t wait to read the story, go check them out!”
We’re going to use the Kickstarter platform to drive new readers into comic shops.
We’ll be letting them know as each issue comes out they can buy them at their local comic shop.
And to make sure you can maximize your sales on the entire series, we’re making every single issue of BRZRKR and all 3 collections returnable through the BOOM! Guarantee program.
We want these fans to discover the joy of monthly comic book reading!
This was a chance to fulfill a longstanding request from comic shop retailers the world over.
We’re listening when you talk to us. You’re our partners. You’re the lifeblood of the business. Thank you for all the success and support you’ve shown us, especially in the past year and a
And together, there’s plenty more success to come! I guarantee it.
Best-Ross Richie, CEO and Founder, BOOM! Studios
So going off Richie’s logic of Kickstarter will bring more readers into the fold, we expect every comic they publish going forward to be on Kickstarter to maximize
shareholder value readership.
Richie says using the Kickstarter platform will drive new readers into shops by letting them know when new issues are released. So hopefully after customers drop $500 on a premium box set of three graphic novels in a “limited edition deluxe slipcased hardcover format along with a modern gunmetal box,” they’ll be so inclined to go to ComicShopLocator, find their nearest comic book store, drive there, and pay $5 for one-sixth of the story monthly over the course of six months, which they already bought.
So far the Kickstarter for the story about an immortal warrior who fights through time, who cares you’re just gonna see the movie anyway when it presumably comes to Netflix so why describe it more, has raised nearly $150,000 in just a few hours of going live.