Valleycon 2019 Day 1

Welcome back, friends. As I type this, I am completely wiped out. I have been up since the early hours of this morning, Friday, October 18, 2019, getting ready for my first event since that last toy expo back in March.

Sunnyville and Dominic & Claire comics for sale at Valleycon

I had my usual Sunnyville comics plus copies of the Dominic & Claire Funnies. The Kickstarter funded Dominic & Claire Fun-Size has not yet gone to press so I was not able to sell it there.

Mystery Packets

Also for sale were “mystery packets”. These contain a number of comics such as Sunnyville, Dominic & Claire and some of my leftover stock.

Anyway, the convention got off to a brisk start. I had a few sales but I hope to move a lot of merchandise tomorrow on Saturday, the busiest day. I am also in contact with some sources about getting a banner for use at future conventions but that is a whole other discussion. There was a lot being sold in the dealer room.

Yes, there was a vendor nearby selling weapons.

There will be more photos and news tomorrow! Stay tuned.

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The Kickstarter for January 2020

As this blog post goes live, I am busy finishing Dominic & Claire Fun-Size. It is on track to be finished this weekend and to get sent to press next weekend around the time the Kickstarter funds clear.

Once this is finished, I have more priorities. One is to wrap up my webcomic Tiffany & Corey, ending on Friday, November 29, and then to move onto Poison Ivy Gulch, an Old West comic that will launch online starting Wednesday, January 8, 2020. But that’s not the focus of this post.

In late January 2020, I will be launching ANOTHER Kickstarter for funding more Dominic & Claire comics.

Dominic and Claire 2020 teaser

I have yet to decide on a title (at the time of this writing, it will either be “Dominic & Claire Parade” or “Dominic & Claire Circus”). But I have three specific goals in mind about this Kickstarter.

The first goal is to get a bigger print run this time. The original run of Dominic & Claire Fun-Size is about 500 copies. This next comic will be at least 1,000 copies (the size of the run for the Dominic & Claire Funnies)…but it may go as high as 2,000 or even 2,500!

The second goal is to garner a bigger sum of money this time. As the bigger print run will require more money than before, the money goal of this January 2020 Kickstarter may be at least double the Fun-Size Kickstarter.

The third goal is a bold one – I want to get Dominic & Claire comics into the direct market. Yes, that means getting into comic book shops. That is a bold one as it will require a lot more work than the crowdfunding effort itself. But a plan is being concocted.

I know. It’s a lot to swallow and it is not an easy task. But it is one I feel up to.

Watch here for more news. And don’t forget to subscribe to my email list!

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Dominic and Claire Kickstarter Ends; What Next?

It has ended. Last night, the Dominic & Claire Fun-Size Kickstarter came to an end.

We made our goal! Actually, we exceeded the goal – we made a final total of $854!

So what is going to happen next? Well, obviously, I will wait for the funds to clear, finish the comic, get it printed and mail out the rewards…but that is NOT what this blog post is about. It is about the future of me, my comics and the possibilities of Kickstarter.

I’ve since dubbed Dominic & Claire Fun-Size as “the little Kickstarter that could”. I had some internal doubts after launching and especially when I got stuck at a few points without getting pledges for awhile. The goal I set was $800; many consider that easy and even to be pennies compared to the thousands or tens of thousands others seek to raise. But I came through in the end.

Already for 2020, I am planning more Kickstarters; there will be two at least and possibly even three. They will be for Dominic & Claire along with the new webcomic I am planning in 2020, Poison Ivy Gulch.

I not only succeeded with this Kickstarter but I raised a bigger amount than before. This proves I have the potential to raise more funding on the Kickstarter platform; I can fund more comics and possibly other items like graphic novels, trade paperbacks and much more. I chose the $800 amount as it was a test; if I could meet or beat that threshold, then crowdfunding in the thousands could be done!

A mini-series of Dominic & Claire comics will be done in 2020; it will either be two issues or three issues long. I haven’t made decisions on that or even a final title. I will work that out later.

I am unsure about the future of Sunnyville Stories itself either as I am working to generate income through crowdfunding and selling comics. That will be addressed another day once I give that more thought.

Stay tuned and make sure you subscribe to my mailing list for more news. I have more in store for Rusty and Dominic!

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Dominic and Claire Fun-Size FUNDED

We have succeeded!

Earlier today, around noon time, we hit our goal!

This is amazing. This is more than I raised before and more backers than before!

Check out the latest Kickstarter update and make sure you pledge – many rewards are left!

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Dominic and Claire: 5 Days Left!

The clock continues to wind down on Dominic & Claire Fun-Size. We stand around 80% funding. That’s not bad but we still need to get to 100% funding!

As I announced in the most recent update, I have an incentive. The next 5 people who either back Dominic & Claire on Kickstarter OR increase their existing pledges will get an extra reward. I am working on a series of drawings in pencil & colored pencil with Dominic; I plan to put him in casual clothes, formal wear and some costumes.

That reward I mentioned? It will be a digital sketchbook filled with these drawings.

There is a sample drawing of what will be in the digital sketchbook; there’s Dominic dressed as Picpak.

The clock is running down but I am optimistic we can make the goal. Remember to back the Kickstarter today and that digital reward can be yours!

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Dominic and Claire: 6 Days Left!

Six days remain until the end of the Dominic & Claire Fun-Size Kickstarter!

As we still sit at 80% funding and close to success, I am going to be aggressively promoting this campaign non-stop to make sure it funds completely.

The first tool will be social media. I will be aggressively using Twitter and Facebook; also in my arsenal will be Tumbler, Instagram, DeviantArt and a few other sources.

The second tool will be my email list. Three more emails will go out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday of the coming week, the last week of the Kickstarter. I aim to remind my list about the Kickstarter, to pledge if they didn’t yet and to share it with others, especially funny comics fans.

Third will be advertising. A final round of Facebook ads will go out this week.

Fourth is a number of contacts that I’m reaching out to; I am reminding them that we are close to the goal and just need $161 to make it to $800, our final goal.

Speaking of my goal, there still remains a big tool that has not been fully realized – my highest level pledge.

Our $149 pledge!

The highest level pledge tier of $149 has not yet been claimed. As a reminder, you get a ton of goodies with that pledge tier. You get both Dominic & Claire comics (the Funnies AND Fun-Size), sketch cards of the characters and even more comics. With this pledge, you can get THREE TRADE PAPERBACKS of my work. That’s right – Sunnyville Stories Volume 1, 2 and 3 containing 11 whole comics stories can be yours. But there’s still another perk here…

To the two (and only two can choose this tier), I would draw you or your character in a cameo on the pages of Dominic & Claire Fun-Size. That’s right – you can appear in one of my comics!

In fact, if even one of the two slots for this reward were chosen, the $149 pledge would get us within a stone’s throw of our goal!

I encourage all of you out there to pledge to Dominic & Claire Fun-Size today; go for the $149 tier for that really awesome reward package!

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Dominic and Claire: 7 Days Left!

We are now in the home stretch of my Kickstarter for Dominic & Claire Fun-Size!

We hold around 80% funding and have one week to go. This is a very good position to be in at this stage; statistically speaking, it is very rare for a project reaching 80-90%+ funding to actually fail. The numbers are on my side.

Still, this is not the time for me to start slacking off.

I have a number of tactics to use over the next 7 days with the overall strategy of getting to or over 100% funding. This blog will get an update every day from now until the end of the campaign. The email list will be used aggressively as will Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

I will share more of my strategy over the weekend.

In the meantime, go pledge to Dominic & Claire Fun-Size!

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Dominic and Claire Three Quarters Funded

In case you have not been following my Twitter, the Sunnyville Facebook page or the Kickstarter page itself, I’ll say here what I just said in the most recent update.

Dominic & Claire Fun-Size has now reached 75% funding! That’s right – we are close to our goal now!

We are at $600 and have a clear shot at making the $800! We still have about 12 days left and I aim to make that goal.

Already, my mind is brewing with plans for the next Dominic & Claire comics for 2020.

Stay tuned for more news! And go back the Kickstarter now!

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Dominic and Claire Kickstarter Day 12

The Dominic & Claire Fun-Size Kickstarter is one-third of the way finished. At the time of this writing, we are around 46% funding and not far from being halfway funded. That is a strong position to be in at this point. Still though, we must get to 50% funding and beyond to have a chance at getting this spin-off comic completely funded.

As a reminder, we have some rewards that offer you a chance for original art.

The $49 pledge tier offers you a chance to own one of the four milestone bonus comics I am releasing during the campaign to BACKERS ONLY as an added extra for making certain funding milestones. Only 4 slots are available on that and two have been taken already. If you want both cool comics and original art, you’d better act now!

We also have a $149 pledge that is still available. This bundle gets you a ton of rewards. Anyone pledging this level will get a load of comics! In addition to both Dominic and Claire comics, you’ll also get all three volumes of Sunnyville Stories, containing the adventures of Dominic’s cousin Rusty! But I am also throwing in something extra.

Pledging at that level will get you a cameo inside the Dominic & Claire Fun-Size comic. That’s right! I will draw you or your character on the very pages of Dominic & Claire Fun-Size interacting with the main cast!

Just a reminder though – only TWO slots for this reward exist so you’d better act now!

Stay tuned for more updates, join my mailing list and please back Dominic & Claire Fun-Size today!

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Dominic and Claire Kickstarter Day 11

Whoa…these last few days have been a wild ride for both me as well as the Dominic & Claire Fun-Size Kickstarter. For three whole days, my Kickstarter was stuck at 35% funding.

I started having doubts in spite of a concrete strategy and investing in Kickstarter coaching. Already I could hear people out there reacting with “told you so” about failing. In spite of this, the drive to keep going overrode my fear.

I stuck with my plan of aggressively using social media and my email list (sign up if you didn’t do so yet). I also found myself needing to sweeten the deal. Besides outreach to a number of contacts, I added more rewards in the form of milestone bonuses; those are extra rewards for backers when we hit a certain milestone. In this case, I was offering extra comics to backers when we hit 25, 50, 75 and 100% funding. I have since added two more rewards – one at 40% funding and another at 90%.

Yesterday on Friday, September 13, we inched closer to the $300 mark. For nearly all of the day, we teetered just $2 away from the $300 mark. I emphasized the rewards and used my mailing list just as I had been trained to. That night, I started cooking dinner – a very tasty pot of chicken soup with matzo balls – and I checked my Kickstarter.

Yes, I got to 40% funding! I was elated! But it got better…

About five minutes after hitting that milestone, we hit 46% funding. Yes…as this blog post goes live, we are just TWENTY EIGHT DOLLARS AWAY FROM BEING 50% OR HALFWAY FUNDED!!

I do not plan to rest on my laurels. I know for a fact that once a Kickstarter hits 50% and gets into the 50-90% funded range, the chances of successful funding (100%+) go up dramatically. But that is NOT guaranteed. Yes, there are projects who got into the 90% funded range and ran out of time, not making their goal.

I do NOT aim to be one of those. From here on, the real challenge begins of getting to 50% and then fully funded. That is why I need your help.

Make sure you back Dominic & Claire Fun-Size on Kickstarter today. Tell others about it too. If you know of a blog, podcast or publication covering crowdfunding or independent comics, have them contact me at maxwestart(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thanks again for your time, everyone! Stay tuned for more updates and back my Kickstarter today!

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