Transreality: New Worlds Kickstarter Post Mortem

First of all, I want to thank you. You guys are amazing and the support you showed has been tremendous. Thank you so much. You rock.

I’m writing this to share my thoughts with you as I try and figure out what to do next. As you all know, the Transreality: New Worlds Kickstarter Project failed. But what does that mean exactly? Should I give up on the idea of a Transreality: New Worlds graphic novel? Maybe I should do it, but only digitally? Perhaps I should find a new artist?

I don’t know.

So now, I must figure out my next step. And to do that, I have to try and understand what went wrong. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure. So I’m just going to bullet point a few possibilities.

  1. Project Merit: This is a hard one for me to swallow, but it may be the case. When I did the first Transreality book, I got a lot of praise. Great reviews and encouragement from friends and folks I met at comic conventions or at book signings. It seemed that people thought it was really good. But was it? Perhaps I was just hearing from the folks who liked it and the people that didn’t just kept it to themselves. And of course they would. People are generally nice and non-confrontational. ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.’ So perhaps my idea for a second Transreality book just wasn’t strong enough to survive on its own.
  2. Timing: I just came off a Kickstarter to fund two live shows for the H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast, which was very successful. Perhaps running another Kickstarter project so soon after that one was folly. Folks had been generous and I was asking too much. I also launched the project in August, which seems to be a bad month for Kickstarter projects as folks are typically out on holidays and vacations and not sitting by their computers looking to spend money.
  3. Money: This is the most money I’ve asked for in a Kickstarter. £13,000 sounded like an awful lot, but after doing the first book I knew how much it took to actually create and self-publish a book. It’s a lot. The money I allocated to myself to actually do the work was the bare minimum, but with the printing and shipping costs (crazy shipping costs) it wouldn’t have been possible on any less. Perhaps the price total was just impossibly high to achieve.

I’m not sure if one or all of these things were the cause of the failure of the project. Perhaps a bit of all three. Who can say? But moving forward I have to address all of these things. I have to look at each issue and do my best to figure out how much I can change things and make something I can be proud of, which has the best shot of being successful.

Perhaps a sequel to Transreality is not the best idea. Though I feel I have more story to tell in that world, maybe that’s not what folks want. This the comic book business and it is just that. A business. And I have to figure out what I can give the market which it actually want to buy. Maybe there is a bigger audience out there for Transreality: New Worlds, I just didn’t find enough of you. Or maybe I need to look at another book project, perhaps something Lovecraftian. Or move from comics into prose. Or go back to filmmaking and animation.

I don’t have the answer yet. I need to think hard, talk to people and make plans and eventually it will become clear.

One thing I feel I’m taking away from this is that failure isn’t all bad. There are lots of great quotes about failure, but I like C.S. Lewis on this one:

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.”

I’ll keep you all in the loop about my future plans and if I can find another way to make Transreality: New Worlds successful, I will. No doubt something awesome is around the corner either way.

Again, thank you all for your support. You guys are the best.

Yours truly,

Chris Lackey

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2 Responses to Transreality: New Worlds Kickstarter Post Mortem

  1. Hi Chris, I really enjoyed transreality, the story is really good. There are other options than kickstarter (as you might know) like; even if you don’t make all the money you can still keep all the cash you made to go towards the project. Maybe you could make it as a zine and go to all the festivals like comica in London. That’s what I’ve done with me and my dads’ comics. What software did you use for the art?
    Yours sincearly, Orson Coupland.
    P.S: are you going to the lakes international comics festival in Kendal? Me and my dad are going next Friday.

    • Thanks for the suggestions! As for going with another crowdfunding model, the partial cash ones don’t really work. I set the goal as the minimum it would take for me to create, print and ship the book. Less money would me not doing one of those three things and most folks want them all!

      I used Manga Studios to do the inking and Photoshop to colour.

      And I’m not going to the Kendal Comic festival as I’ve got other obligations, but I would LOVE to go!

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