HOLY BANANA PANTS, it’s finally here – The Legend of Jamie Roberts, Chapter 1 is now on KickStarter, looking for funding to get to print!
Patreon support has helped make the production of each individual page possible. But KickStarter will help cover the gap to get this first issue to print.
The book will include a never-before-published short comic about Captain O’Malley (just how DID she lose her arm?). Plus there will be behind-the-scenes sketches showing how pages for the comic are made.
Among the rewards available for backers, there’s commissions, WANTED poster-style mini-prints, and even a new 11 x 17 inch print!
So if you can back this KickStarter campaign, please do so BEFORE JUNE 20.
Broke? Share this campaign with your friends. Every share helps.
Want to back the campaign, but don’t see a reward you like? Hit me up via email at kelci(at)kelcidcrawford.com and I’ll work with you.
May and September are my busiest months of the year when it comes to conventions and shows.
So imagine my surprise when I discovered I have only one show in June, and one show in July.
If this were me of last year, I would be doing my best to get more conventions lined up. But this year, between working a side hustle at a local gas station, having freelance gigs, and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts, I’m actually not too keen on trying to book as many conventions as possible.
This year, I want to try to save my convention energy for September.
Of course, I have shows before and after September, but that month has my biggest show on my roster: Small Press Expo.
YES, I FINALLY got a table at SPX! It’s been a goal of mine to have a table there ever since I learned about it, and I can’t wait to go!
I’ve been warned by some fellow indie comics creators to bring as much stock as I can, because other vendors had sold out of books on their first day. To that end, I want to build up as much stock as I can in the lead up to the show.
Now, I won’t have a full table at SPX. So I won’t be bringing my usual six-foot or even eight-foot set-up. I’ll just be bringing my books, my zines, and one or two large prints. That’s it.
That said, I’ll be working on freelance gigs and making The Legend of Jamie Roberts in the time between shows. The funds raised through those endeavors will be saved back for SPX and its related costs.
So if you don’t see me online a whole lot, it’s because I’m working to get backlogs in all the right avenues in order to be prepared.
Before I go into complete work mode, though, there is ONE thing to do…
For the sake of full transparency, I want to keep y’all in the loop. Considering that I missed the update for The Legend of Jamie Roberts on April 17, you should know what’s going on.
Patrons on Patreon already know the gist, but I don’t think I went into detail about it. And I may have mentioned this a few times here on the site, but…
In short, I got a side hustle working at a gas station in my town.
Back in September of 2018, I left the comic shop I was working at, due to some drama I will NOT get into here. For the next two months after that, I kept to making Validation, doing Patreon work, selling at conventions, getting consignment earnings, and freelance gigs.
With those income streams, I was able to pay for rent, groceries, and everything else I needed to live. However, it was not paying off my student loans at the clip I wanted, and my savings goals were suffering.
So I bucked it up and applied for part-time work at the local gas station. They needed someone to come in from 2 pm to 10 pm, which works for me, since I do my best creative work in the mornings. It also paid $9.50 an hour for the first 6 months of the job, and it’s set to jump up to $10 an hour after that period. Plus I could earn quarterly bonuses if the store kept up the friendliness and cleanliness ratings. And after working there for one year, I could open a 401K and get stock in the company – even as a part-time worker. That’s, frankly, unheard of around these parts.
That said, comics are still my full-time endeavor. I’m sticking to the gas station as a part-time side hustle to pay off the student loans faster, and save back a little bit for my savings goals… including a new laptop and tablet set-up. My current laptop is close to 8 years old and Clip Studio Paint tends to crash at least once a week on this thing.
Now, I wanted to talk about this because in May, there’s plans to run a Patreon Pledge Drive.
“But wait,” you might be saying. “Why have a Patreon Pledge Drive when you can keep working at the gas station part-time and use that money for your stuff?”
The gas station gig is to pay off debt and save back for some savings goals. That’s it.
Patreon earnings right now cover groceries, my phone bill, and one or two business expenses. And everything else I need gets supplemented by freelance gigs.
And I’m sticking to comics as a full-time job because IT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO.
My goal is to increase Patreon from its current $215/month rate to $500/month.
By doing that, Patreon can cover the groceries and phone bill, yes. AND it would cover rent, gas to conventions, website hosting, domain registrations, and art supplies needed for making the comics actually happen. By doing that, I would be less reliant on freelance gigs.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve liked (most of) the clients I’ve worked with. But freelance earnings are REALLY inconsistent from month to month. If Patreon earnings can go up, I can curb the need to do freelance work to bridge the gaps.
Also, fewer freelance gigs means more consistent comic updates. Because that way, I’m not trying to split my attention and time between the gas station, Patreon, and however many clients I’m working with on freelance projects.
So be prepared for the Patreon Pledge Drive to happen throughout May. The Pledge Drive will include:
If you’re in the webcomic sphere of the internet, you know that Project Wonderful shut down back in August 2018.
Project Wonderful was a tool that let independent creators (especially webcomic makers) advertise their comics for literal pennies, while also having ad spots available on their own sites to get some ad revenue in.
However, because the internet is constantly changing and evolving, ad spots on websites aren’t really a positive anymore – they’re a nuisance. (Hey, I get it. I browse the interwebs as much as I post stuff on it.)
It’s also gotten to the point where ad blockers are getting really, REALLY good at their job. To the point where Project Wonderful wasn’t making as much revenue for creators as it did in the past.
Plus, well, Patreon is a thing. Patreon has made making any kind of creative content for a living much, MUCH easier than just copying and pasting ad spots.
So, Project Wonderful shut down.
I feel bad for the comics makers who depended a lot of their income on that project (I know one creator who spent an absurd amount of money on ad spots in that service).
That said, I’ve been looking for new ways to get some kind of passive income in – not to get rich, but enough to cover the cost of hosting all the sites I run. Because I have this site, Johnson & Sir, Charlie & Clow, and now The Legend of Jamie Roberts, plus some other projects in the works.
To that end, I looked into affiliate marketing, and I’m willing to give that a shot.
However! I have some ground rules of my own, and I hope you hold me to these when it comes to pursuing affiliate marketing:
I’ll only promote the products and services I have used that I can vouch for. E.g. I’m working with Blick art supplies because I’ve bought from them in online and in-store capacities. I like their selection and service.
If a blog post or site page has affiliate links, there will be a disclaimer at the top of the post.
Amazon affiliation will be kept to a minimum. I’d rather support other brands.
On top of affiliate marketing, the webcomic sites I run (as well as the secret projects that are still in the works) will have something that may be a throwback to Project Wonderful, but with my own twist…
The way it works is this: if you or a creator you know has a project you want to promote, send me a web-friendly image and a link to the thing, PayPal me, and your thing will be in the sponsor slot for a month. (More specific rules are listed here.)
I’m starting with The Legend of Jamie Roberts’ site to see how well it works. If it does well, I’ll expand it to the other webcomic sites I run. Sponsorship spots may not be a thing on this website, though, since this is a blog and portfolio site.
I wanted to let you know about these changes to be upfront and honest about it. Your support through Patreon, KickStarter, the online store(s), conventions, and even just interacting on social media and leaving comments is still HUGELY appreciated! Affiliate marketing is just a small avenue to pursue to help cover some basic costs, so I can keep bringing comics and other work to you.
That’s all for now. Thank you very much for reading, and for your understanding.