Posted March 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Instead of doing the whole Paypal thing this go-round, everyone else I knew in webcomics were extolling the many virtues of using Kickstarter to raise funds.  These virtues sounded even better once it was realized that Paypal can throw an enterprise-ending conniption fit if you raise too much money too fast.  Let's, uh, avoid that, shall we?

Kickstarter does work a bit differently.  You pledge money instead of giving it outright, and these pledges are only acted on if the required amount of money is pledged.  If I don't reach the $8000 I need to make everything, nobody gets charged nuffin'.  If I make more, that's gravy!  To facilitate pledging, Kickstarter loooooves tiered rewards.  For example, putting in enough money to cover the cost of a book and shipping is fine and good, but there's also things you can get if you put in less than that or more.  If you only put in $5, you don't get a book, but you still get to help make it happen and you get your name printed inside the book along with the rest of everyone who helped out.  And if you pledge more, depending on how much more, you can get a pile of original Shortpacked! lineart and/or a cameo in the strip itself.  Sounds fun?  New and different?

Also new and different is that I'm making the book thicker this go-round.  The previous books were 136 pages, and this new one's gonna be 200.  Full disclosure, the cost of printing's going up, and apparently I've been undercharging all this time anyway.  Joel Watson laughs at me every time he sells his books for $20 and I sell my comparably-sized book for $15.  (That bastard.)  But I didn't just want to raise prices, I wanted to give something back for that extra $5.  So books are thicker now.  You get 60 more pages of content.  Good deal?

Another thing I need to address.  Last year, I tried to raise funds for a Book 1 reprint.  This preorder was not popular.  And I still have a lot of your money for it, and it's still not printed, what with the lack of preorders and such.  I've been waffling on and off for the longest time, and I was just about to just give up and move on, but, again, webcomics folks extoll the virtues of Kickstarter to me.  So here's what we're gonna do.  After Book 4 is dealt with, let's try the preorder-book-1-reprint process again, but with Kickstarter.  If that doesn't work, I will give up forever.  If you don't want to wait that long and you've had enough, let me know.  Send me an email (wiigii at gmail).  I will make it up to you.

Here's the text I wrote up for Kickstarter's site, if you want some flavor:

Of all the book collections of webcomics about folks who work in a toy store and tell jokes about Batman, this will be the greatest.

Sure, there were some pretty great book collections about folks who work in a toy store and tell jokes about Batman before, but this will far surpass them all.  It's not that the previous collections weren't great.  They are.  They remain great!  I mean, there was the strip-by-strip commentary and the additional content and the smattering of Toy News International strips and whatnot, but there was one tragic flaw.

They were only 136 pages long.

Well, screw that!  Let's crank this up to 11.  And by "11," I mean 200 pages.  More comics!  More commentary!  And for the first time ever, excerpts from both the Tome of the Ages and the Gospel of Faz.

Within these 200 pages, you'll read some of the best stories from Shortpacked!'s six-year run.  There's Conquest's hiring and her various ill-fated sex-backed sales attempts.  There's Robin's plot to seduce Ethan via "found" videos of her and Conquest making out in the back room.  There's the first real appearances of Leslie, the love of Robin's life.  There's Galasso's unveiling of the Tome of the Ages, Ethan's subsequent firing and rehiring, and Amber's faith-fueled battle with Ninja Rick.  Plus, a talking car arrives, mayhaps?

Oh, right.  And "Funky CancerCancer."  It's in here.

So what is this Kickstarter thing trying to do?  Well, obviously, printing books costs money, and I don't have enough sitting around to fund an entire book run.  So I'm trying to raise the amount I need to print the books, plus hopefully enough left over to actually ship these things to those who paid in enough to earn their own copy.

You'll notice some tiered rewards on the right.  Read them carefully!

Let's do this thing.