Kickstarter My Heart – My First Time - Dadstractions

Kickstarter My Heart – My First Time

By Leonard F. Chikarason

So Kickstarter, the crowd funding online hub that has gotten some buzz of late due to huge projects from Zach Braff and the makers of Veronica Mars. I’ll be using this article to talk about my trials and tribulations in supporting a variety of projects as well as pointing you in the direction of projects that catch my eye and I think would interest the readership.

The very first project I backed was for a web comic, which I will not name here as the experience I had was not favorable and I try and remain positive. There will be enough information provided that if you REALLY want to know, the pieces are all there.

Thanks to my day job, which involves super-secret science, gives me a lot of time to listen to podcasts. I listen to a TON of them. That could be its own separate article. One of my favorites is War Rocket Ajax by Chris Sims and Matt D Wilson, both of whom review comics and are published authors in their own right. An artist who provided posters to go along with their weekly episodes suffered the loss of his lap top. And in May 2010, he started a Kickstarter to replace this lap top, what he used to create his web comic.

His target goal was $1000, so he wasn’t asking for the world, or even a Cray and ended up at over $400 above his goal. He achieved this goal with pledge limits ranging from $1 (thanks!) to $50 (a signed, custom three panel color cartoon). I felt the $5 I pledged for a signed custom sketch was low risk enough that I could support part of a podcast I was such a huge fan of and joined the 101 other people who also pledged support.

Part of the Kickstarter experience is once you pledge, you are now part of process. You get to see where your money goes, see the project build and come to fruition.

After the goal was reached, I received the survey very quickly, two days after the project ended, asking where to send my sketch and what I would like. I asked for Barbara Gordon Batgirl decorating a fancy cake for my wife. Most custom things I get like this are for my wife and now my son.

The creator sent out an update a month later saying he was hard at work on the first batch of sketches & would be sending them out real soon.

And then, nothing.

The next update did not come until March 2011, SEVEN months later. The project creator stated he could no longer send physical copies of the sketches but everything would come as high-res digital versions. He also stated he underestimated the size of the project and would be sending out sketches every day.

Wanna guess what happened next?

The next update was in November 2011, another EIGHT months later, after I directly contacted the project creator. He apologized again, citing underestimating the size of the project and was working diligently on completing the project rewards.

Another FIVE months passed before I finally gave up. Nearly TWO YEARS from the time the project began and I had nothing to show for it. As I stated, the $5 didn’t mean a TON to me, but it was the principal of the matter. I did finally receive my sketch before June 2012.

So in recap, I pledged $5.00 in May 2010, got the run around, lots of excuses, no responses and then finally over two years later, I got this sketch:

Yet somehow, I still contribute to Kickstarter projects, I’m just a bit more discerning.

My crowd funding pick for this week is through Indie Go Go for DC Entertainment’s We Can Be Heroes initiative. This is DC’s charity assisting many groups (Save The Children, International Rescue Committee and Mercy Corps) who are helping people in Africa. The big money pledge, $150,000 for a private screening of Man of Steel is gone, but there are plenty more, tax-deductible, pledges available until May 10th, including subscriptions to print and digital books, exclusive shirts, prints and more!

Leonard F Chikarason is a professional podcaster, pro-wrestling commentator, avid comic book reader, happily married father of an 18-month old who just won’t stop aging and nearly life-long friend of Brian, who runs this very blog! You can find everything LFC is up to (Twitter, podcasts, personal appearances) at http://lfchikarason.com