Patreon is starting to become the destination for indie comic creators. The latest team to join the pledge based crowd funding platform are Mike Garley and Joshua Sherwell who are offering exclusive looks at new pages from The Kill Screen as well as spin offs, pin ups and even more unique content. We catch up with writer Mike Garley to find out what the perks are of Patreon.
You’ve just launched a new Patreon for The Kill Screen, with new pages going live every week. What’s made you choose to go down that avenue? And why Patreon rather than a webcomic?
MG: Patreon offers a great way for us to interact with our readers. We made the decision that we wanted to reach more people and the easiest way to do this was to make it free to read online. Patreon is a great platform for hosting content as well as having ‘pledges’ so that people can pay to have a physical copy delivered to them. The alternative was to use a webcomic site and Kickstarter in unison, but the problem with that is that it’s so disjointed, and we’d feel like we’re hassling people to read the comic, and then go and support the Kickstarter. This way they can read it for free and if they want to help support us and get any of the pledges on offer then they’re right there.
What can readers expect storyline wise in the new pages?
MG: The new format means that we can tell longer stories and really build to bigger and bolder moments. We’re really taking our time in developing the world and cast of The Kill Screen.
We’re really excited about our new format – we’re working to year long arcs so that when we do collect our comics into a physical format we can sell it at a cheaper price then we’d sell four individual issues for.
Are you offering perks other than exclusivity to your Patrons?
MG: There’s loads of what we think are great pledge levels, but what we’re really looking to do is to interact with our Patrons. We’re going to look into doing some meet ups and live events in the future, but for now we’re doing things like getting Patrons involved in naming characters and locations. We’re new to Patron so we’re hoping to grow into the format and be as responsive as we can.
Does this mean no more Kickstarters? Or individual issues? Or will you still collect together the various arcs for non Patreons?
MG: We still intend to have a con presence, but our issues will come out yearly now and with the new format everyone should get more bang for their buck, with room for more pin ups and guest artists too. We’re also hoping that due to the new publishing model that we’ll be stocked in more comic stores. We’re lucky that issues of The Kill Screen always sells really well, but there just isn’t the mark up on the issues for it to be cost effective.
Are there any particular challenges to working this way (i.e. Do you have to maintain a steady flow of pages vs making it all in one go?)
MG: It’s probably a bit too early to tell. So far so good.
You’ve used the stretch goals on your recent hardcover collection to expand the Kill Screen world and even introduce new artists, will you be using the Patreon in a similar way to help diversify your books? (And give Josh a break from doing so many pages!)
MG: We’re planning to include guest artist for pin ups and have one artist do a Nine-Lives the cat story in every issue too (we’ll show this off to our Patrons first).
We’d love to get to a stage when we could afford more creators to be involved. Making comics is already a really expensive process and throwing in additional page rates is something we’d love to do if our Patreon really takes off.
Have you got any plans to do something similar with your other book Samurai Slasher? And finally is there anything else we can look forward to from you in the coming months?
MG: Not at the moment. I do have big plans for the Samurai though…
I’m working on a new survive-your-own-adventure. It launches on Halloween as a one day Kickstarter! I’m super excited about it, but pretty nervous about the 24 hour Kickstarter.
You can become a patron of The Kill Screen via their Patreon page here and you can watch their Patreon video below…
Author: Alex Thomas
Alex Thomas is the Editor and founder of PIpedream Comics. He grew up reading comics in the 90s, so even though he loves all things indie and small press, he is easily distracted by a hologram cover.