How A Failed Kickstarter Led to A Successful Kickstarter

This entry is a personal one, but it makes me realize how far I’ve come.

The Jan. 2017 Kickstarter to fund the Sunnyville Super Special #1 was a success.  Even I’m amazed at how it performed.  I’m already planning a second Kickstarter to be announced this weekend.

As some of you may know, my very first Kickstarter back in early 2014 failed completely.  It brought my crowdfunding efforts of a screeching halt and made me look away from crowdfunding for awhile.  (It also gave strength to my detractors and served as confirmation bias that Sunnyville was lousy – it’s not.)  But some good came out of that failure.

It forced me to slam on the brakes and bring things to a stop.  The whole failed Kickstarter served as a wake-up call.  Yes, I was on the right track but I was trying to do too much too fast.

That’s why I spent time building more fans and working to promote the Sunnyville property.  I had to go back over the mistakes I made with that first Kickstarter.  I had to study crowdfunding more, review others that had succeeded and learn everything I could about the Kickstarter platform.

This Kickstarter succeeded and it was because I learned from a failure.

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Sunnyville Stories #14, Pages 23-24

Picking up where we left off from last time, a sick Rusty has entered the world of dreams.  He has just met two special guest stars, Cerebus the Aardvark and Nemo of Little Nemo in Slumberland!

Sunnyville Stories #14, Page 23

A lot of these pages that follow were based on original Little Nemo Sunday comics pages; these were NOT easy to replicate as they required every ounce of skill I had.  This page above was based on the Little Nemo page from December 9, 1906.  Those dots were done with a Pilot V-Razor Point and a Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph 1.00mm pen.   Continue reading

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What the Kickstarter Means for Sunnyville

As we all know, the Kickstarter to fund the Sunnyville Stories Super Special was a success.  It met and exceeded the funding goal.  So what does this mean for the future of Sunnyville and for myself? It means a few things.

  1. This successful Kickstarter is firm proof that I have both the intelligence and the capacity to run and fully fund a Kickstarter.  This makes crowdfunding a viable option for printing more comics.
  2. This Kickstarter proves I do have fans who will support crowdfunding drives and allies who are more than willing to spread the word.
  3. This Kickstarter success is like winning the Battle of Yavin or winning the Minor Circuit in Punch-Out; this victory will make others out there sit up and take notice of Sunnyville Stories.  This will get their attention as well as get them asking about who brought this creation to life.
  4. This fully funded Kickstarter is a boost of my credibility.  It shows that I have a quality product (Sunnyville Stories) and proves that it is a marketable idea.

However, I can’t rest on my laurels.  There still remains the challenge of delivering on my Kickstarter rewards.  I’ll be updating the Kickstarter itself soon regarding the rewards and the funds clearing.

Just because I succeeded with this Kickstarter doesn’t necessarily guarantee I will have the same victories in the future.  It’s important to learn from this Kickstarter and how I can do better next time.  While I did hit my goal early on, there wasn’t much incentive to pledge afterwards in spite of rewards being left and a few new rewards being added.  Also, this Kickstarter had a good ground game, but I wasn’t able to go viral and there was only a little coverage of it – we made one blog and one podcast.

In the next Kickstarter I plan for this spring (announcements will be made this weekend), there’ll be an aim to get more coverage and there will be stretch goals too.  Stay tuned for more news on this Kickstarter and my next one.


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The Kickstarter Ends Fully Funded

The Kickstarter to fund the Sunnyville Stories Super Special #1 ended about half an hour ago at 8:20 AM Central Time.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Kickstarter was fully funded!  It not only met its goal of US$350 – it ended up exceeding the goal and the final tally of money pledged is US$425.

This is so amazing.  My first Kickstarter completely failed; in spite of planning and preparation, I had no idea what to expect with this one.  But it succeeded.

It’s important that I take a few moments to thank all the people out there who made this possible.

I’d like to thank Jerry Whitworth, Nerdfect Strangers, Chris Gobbett & the entire Root Beer Party, A.P. Fuchs, each backer on Kickstarter and each one out there who helped spread the word about the Sunnyville Kickstarter online, through social media & by word of mouth.

Thank you all for helping me make this Kickstarter a reality.

Seriously, this Kickstarter went beyond what I thought possible.

Sunnyville Stories 2017 Kickstarter Goal Reached

In just ten days, the Kickstarter was fully funded!  But wait – there’s more.

Sunnyville Kickstarter on Kicktraq 02052017

Sunnyville Kickstarter on Kicktraq Hot List 2/5/2017

Do you see this screenshot? This was taken on Kicktraq in the evening of Feb. 5, 2017 in the last days of the Kickstarter.  The Sunnyville Stories Super Special #1 Kickstarter made #4 in the Kicktraq hot list projects under “comic books”.  That’s quite an achievement.

It’s not over yet though.  Once the funds clear processing and Kickstarter takes its cut, I need to follow through.  The Kickstarter rewards must be sent out and the super special will need to be printed.  I’ll have updates here on the blog and on Kickstarter regarding those.  There’ll be another post later today about what this Kickstarter means for myself and for Sunnyville.  So stay tuned, fans!

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Sunnyville Stories #14, Pages 21-22

Just a little over sixty hours remain until the Sunnyville Stories 2017 Kickstarter ends so be sure to pledge today.  Anyway let’s get on with the story.

Rusty has gone to sleep as his body fights off the chicken pox sickness.  As he goes to sleep, he starts to dream…

Sunnyville Stories #14, Page 21

Ladies and gentlemen, here are our special guest stars – Cerebus the Aardvark and Little Nemo.  If this were a sitcom, there would be a round of applause, howls and cheers.   Continue reading

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Last week of Kickstarter and NEW rewards!

The Sunnyville Stories Kickstarter has entered its final week.  A new update has been made so be sure to check it out.

You can have a chance to own some original Sunnyville Stories artwork!  You’d better act while you can – this Kickstarter ends on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 8:20 AM Central Time!

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Introducing Green Max and Hilda & Richie

Ladies and gentlemen, I have some new characters I’m introducing today.  These characters will exist in their own works but do exist in the Sunnyville Stories universe as well, leaving the possibility of guest appearances and crossovers open.  Now let’s get started.

Green Max color study

The Green Max is an ace pilot anthropomorphic fox who lives in the town of New Gestad.  He’s known for flying various World War I-era aircraft like monoplanes and biplanes; he’s also an inventor who will build gyro-copters and strange aircraft.   Continue reading

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Reynard City Kickstarter

Tonight, I’m here to make the case for all of you Sunnyville fans and comics fans to lend your support to another Kickstarter – this one isn’t mine though.

This Kickstarter is to sponsor the reboot of Reynard City, an online comic that is the brainchild of Rob Turner and a host of other talented people.

The goal of this Kickstarter is to raise 6,000 British pounds to fund the reboot.  This sum will cover printing costs, promotion and other aspects which are covered in more detail in the link below.

They have only 60 days to do this so make sure you give your support and spread the word.

Pledge to the Reynard City Kickstarter today!

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Sunnyville Stories #14, Pages 19-20

Don’t forget that the Kickstarter is still going so be sure to make a pledge today!

Anyway, on with the story…Rusty and Jason are quite sick.  Samantha Macgregor has stayed on in the town hospital to take care of them both.

Sunnyville Stories #14, Page 19

Continue reading

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Notes for Jan. 22, 2017

I have some announcements today.  The first one is obviously about the Kickstarter.  We are halfway through and we still have rewards left to be sure to make your pledge today!

Second, I am already plotting out a second Kickstarter for sometime in the mid-to-late spring.  It will be Sunnyville related so stay tuned for more news as it develops.

Third, there’s going to be some delays on the start of Sunnyville #15.  Besides my present Kickstarter, from here through February, I’m going to be busy with some other things.  I need to take care of the business end of things, namely taxes.  That will limit the time I spend on drawing and writing more stories.

Another point of why I will be delaying Sunnyville #15 – on Feb. 25 & 26, I’ll be at Fargo Moorhead Comicon where I’ll be selling more Sunnyville books.  I’ll have more news on that too as the day approaches.

Join us for more next time.  Sign up for the Sunnyville Stories mailing list if you haven’t yet.  Stop over to DriveThru Comics for digital copies of Sunnyville Stories.  Copies of Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 are still for sale on Amazon, both in print and Kindle formats!  While you’re there, be sure to pick up Sunnyville Stories Volume 2 and (if you love Gothic horror)Von Herling, Vampire Hunter!  And now available is the latest installment of the saga, Sunnyville Stories Volume 3.  Get them today!

Copies of all the above titles are available to the library trade via Brodart Company and to retailers from Ingram and Baker & Taylor (via BCH Distribution).  Copies are also available direct from the publisher.  For ordering information, contact maxwestart(at)gmail(dot)com or write to:

Different Mousetrap Press LLC, 1100 19th Avenue N, #108, Unit J, Fargo ND 58102-2269 USA 

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