Although 2020 isn't over yet, Kickstarter (opens in new tab) is reporting the crowdfunded comics on their platform have already amassed $22 million in pledges. That is over 30% up from 2019's $16.9 million, with two months still to go in 2020.
This echoes a recent report that graphic novel sales are up 42% in the third quarter of 2020 in North America.
Kickstarter's new comics outreach lead Oriana Leckert adds that the 'comics' category of Kickstarter has one of the company's highest success rates.
"The category's success rate hit its all-time high of 74%, almost twice as high as the site average across all Kickstarter categories," Leckert adds.
There have been just over 1,300 comics projects on Kickstarter this year. The highest-grossing ones so far are:
- BRZRKR by Boom! Studios: $1,447,212
- Ava's Demon: Reborn by Michele Czajkowski: $530,310
- Cmon Comics Vol. 1 by Cmon: $501,632
- Girl Genius Vol. 12 by Studio Foglio: $389,079
- Lady Death: Treacherous Infamy #1 by Coffin Comics: $376,256
- Madi by Z2 Comics: $366,610
- Let's Play Volume 2 by Leeanne Krecic: $355,563
- Ava's Demon: Book Two by Michelle Czajkowski: $351,076
- Lady Death: Malevolent Decimation #1 by Coffin Comics: $347,045
- Lady Death: Blasphemy Anthem #1 by Coffin Comics: $323,866
Boom!'s BRZKR's $1.4 million total made it the most-funded comics project of all time on Kickstarter. On the day Boom!'s BRZKR campaign ended, the publisher pledged $100 to each of the live projects at the time on Kickstarter from first-time comic creators as a way to 'give back' to the community.
While established comic book publishers funding their projects through public crowdsourcing has its critics, longtime Kickstarter user Spike Trotman of Iron Circus told Newsarama recently that "a rising tide raises all ships."
"If famous people or huge companies want to use Kickstarter, that's not a problem to me; That's maybe 1000, or even 10,000, people who have never used Kickstarter before registering an account and investigating a site that's brand-new to them," Trotman says. "A lot of those people will stick around, and back more than one project. And it's Keanu Reeves, or Shenmue 3, or The Smithsonian, or whoever that brought them here in the first place."
"And actually, come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that the first time something like that happened, that a big-deal Hollywood type launched a project?" she continues. "Kickstarter actually compiled data about the backers, and proved, with hard numbers, that a lot of those people went on to back other projects."
To date, Kickstarter's 'comics' category has received over $127 million in pledges, with over 10,000 comic projects successfully funded.
Newsarama has looked into the growing number of traditional publishers expanding to use Kickstarter to market and sell comics.