Hi there. Can we talk for a second? Cool.
It’s funny. The sixth anniversary of the SuperFogeys flew by last month and I barely noticed it. I have so much fun working on the strip that I forget about stuff like that. Just creating the SuperFogeys is its own reward, one I’m only too happy to indulge in.
But it’s not really enough. I’m gonna do something weird here and give you guys a little transparency. I feel like this whole Kickstarter business is a real crossroads for SF, and it’s brought an issue forward that’s been bugging me for a while. I’ve staunchly avoided telling you about it because I always believed it would work itself out, but now I’m kind of thinking it’s not going to.
So, transparency. SuperFogeys generates about 800 unique hits on update days. That doesn’t put it in the upper echelons of webcomic popularity, but it’s not too shabby. On those same days I can usually count on about 2,000-2,500 overall hits. You guys archive dive A LOT. That’s so cool. The story was always designed for revisiting.
Here’s some more transparency for you: I’ve never made one dime off of SuperFogeys. In fact, a lot of money has been lost on SF. We’ve tried things–books, a graphic novel, t-shirts, posters, etc. Demand was never high enough on any of it. The most we’ve ever been able to do is cover costs, sometimes. You ever wonder why there hasn’t been any new SuperFogeys products for the past three years? That’s why. I can’t establish a demand for any of it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Neither Marc nor I expect to make our living this way. We do it for fun, with the hopes that we can cover the cost of production and maybe have a little extra to do things like go to Cons and take our wives out to eat once in a while. We do have a donation button for Marc, true. And to those of you who have donated, I thank you. I’m okay with making nothing off of SF so long as Marc is getting something for his troubles. Of course, an open-ended initiative like that is bound to die off. And so it has.
Which brings us to the current Kickstarter. It was Team Frog’s idea. They approached us with the idea for the game and they ran the numbers. If just a small percentage of SF readers–say, 10%–could pledge something to the campaign then it would be very successful indeed.
10% didn’t seem like a lot, but I wasn’t so sure. I still had a bunch of Volume Ones that had gone unsold and it had been years since I had asked for anything but donations. Maybe the time was right. Maybe, since there’s a real bang for your buck with something like a Kickstarter Project, the fans would come out. It seemed pretty reasonable.
As of this writing, the campaign has 41 backers for a total just shy of $2,000. Of those backers, the vast, vast majority of them are not coming over from superfogeys.com. That tells me that most of the backers are not necessarily fans of SuperFogeys. Or, at least they weren’t until now.
I love new fans, but where are you guys? We should have easily cleared our initial goal of $3,000 by now. That’s a pretty modest goal for a fanbase of this size. Instead, we’re getting primarily funded by fans of RPGs and the Kickstarter faithful. I’m appreciative, of course, but Team Frog is rightfully asking me why the SF fans aren’t representing.
This is probably a good time to say thank you to those of you who have backed the project already. You are known and I am grateful. Not coincidentally, you’re the same fans who have supported all of those failed products and have donated over the years. None of this applies to you. Thank you.
I know times are tough. They suck, really. People are out of work and jobs aren’t paying as much as they used to. I know it, I really do. Not asking for anyone to mortgage their house to pay for a game. But if you guys are reading SF then I assume you’re enjoying it and would like it to continue, right?
The SuperFogeys is a free read, but is it so unreasonable to expect a little support?
Th3rd World still believes in the strip. I still believe in it. Team Frog believes in it. But that belief isn’t just about believing in the characters and the story–it’s about believing in all of you. Believing that SF is good enough to engender the kind of loyalty that can support more than just a free, two-t0-three times weekly webcomic.
I’m not willing to accept that SuperFogeys is a fool’s errand. That people just don’t really care all that much. That’s what the numbers tell me, but I’m an idiot that way, I guess. I believe the potential of SF is more than the current numbers.
Wouldn’t you like to see this Sourcebook and Adventure Game made real? Wouldn’t you like a set of figures of all of your favorite characters? No? What about books collecting SuperFogeys into volumes? What about bookmarks or a Space Pig plushie or a Soviet Sam body pillow that just needs a hug?
Don’t want any of that? Okay. Well, what about just giving back ?
Maybe this sounds desperate. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course it does. If I’m desperate though, it’s not for myself. It’s for Marc who busts his butt every day of the week to turn out some of the very best webcomic art out there. It’s for Th3rd World who designed and hosts the site and is willing to do anything for SF. It’s for Team Frog Studios who is doing some amazing work on this book/game and who should see something from that. I don’t want anything until all those guys are taken care of. They deserve it.
So, why all this transparency? What am I asking for? I’m asking you–if you enjoy SuperFogeys–to support this Kickstarter.
This is it. This is the line in the sand. The pledges start as low as $1. For that, you get your name in the PDF version of the book. But if you’re willing to go up to $10, you can get both the Captain Spectacular and Dr. Rocket miniatures (and they are so freakin’ cool!). Those are just the basic pledge levels. There’s lots more you could get. Insane stuff. I’m not asking for donations here. I want to give you cool stuff. That’s a pretty sweet deal.
Let’s not do this again, okay? I’d like to see us all band together and send SF soaring to new heights off the back of this Kickstarter. Help me prove there’s a demand for SF and I can get so much more into your hot little hands.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for commenting. Thanks for being a fan. My interaction with you is my favorite part of all this.
Let’s keep it going, okay?