BareBones Ent sat down with the creator of comic book, White Ash, Charlie Stickney to discuss his current kickstarter! They passed their goal in merely days of launching, and have consistently been receiving pledges. Take a look below and see what all Charlie had to say about the book, kickstarter, and more. Then go back his book over at Kickstarter!
BS: How did you come up with White Ash?
CS: This is a little difficult to answer without giving away some major spoilers in the first two issues. What I will say is that a few years ago I was watching a film that introduced a subplot to expand the audience’s emotional investment in the fate of a couple of secondary characters. I was struck by the thought that the themes of that specific subplot were worthy of further exploration. That initial spark set me down a path that eventually led to me creating White Ash. Probably not the most helpful answer, but once you read the first two issues, it’ll make more sense.
BS: What does this story mean to you?
CS: The story at its core is about the quest to forge one’s identity and how our family histories influence that journey. In the case of Aleck, the main character, his father has kept something crucial from him about who he really is. And though his intention was to protect Aleck, what father’s really done is left him feeling incomplete and searching. White Ash is about Aleck learning where he came from and how that knowledge going forward will shape his future. Aleck now has a choice about which legacy he’ll chose to embrace. And for me, seeing that play out is fascinating.
BS: Why do you feel that people should check it out?
CS: Let’s start with the art. It’s incredible. Conor Hughes is a star in the making. His posing and storytelling is so crisp and clean, you feel like you’re watching a movie come to life. Combine that with Fin Cramb’s color pallet, hues perfectly chosen to light and add emotional depth to the scenes, you have a team unlike anything you’ve seen in comics.
Obviously I’m biased, but I think the writing is pretty good too. If you like grounded fantasy with accents of horror, a little romance and a couple of jaw-dropping plot twists, you’ll probably like the book. We’ve also gotten some pretty amazing reviews. But if you’d like to sample it and make your own decision you can download an ashcan of Chapter One here!
BS: How has the Kickstarter been going for you?
CS: It’s been pretty great. We funded in less than three days and have broken two stretch goals with over half our campaign still to go. What’s been particularly validating is how many of our backers from our first Kickstarter for Chapter One returned. To us it says people like what we’re making and that means everything.
BS: What reward tier has surprised you with the amount of backers?
CS: I don’t know if the amount of backers for any tier surprised us as the split between the rewards has been pretty even. I was however surprised at how quickly our promo print run sold out. That was one of our most expensive tiers and it was gone in two days. To me that speaks to people both believing in the story and the future collectibility of the book. Which means they see the series as we do, something that’s just beginning rather than a flash in the Kickstarter pan.
BS: If you could do anything differently prior to your launch. What would it be and why?
CS: Been able to get our books out for Chapter One a bit earlier. Our shipment of comics had been delayed. As such, we only started shipping out our rewards for Chapter One two weeks before the Kickstarter for Chapter Two launched. That was insane. So rather than spending the last week promoting, I was basically living at the postoffice, trying to ship out over 250 packages.
BS: What advice do you have for people looking to launch a Kickstarter of your own?
CS: Don’t rush into it. Take some time and research how to do it. This isn’t something you throw together at the last minute… at least not if you want it to work. Look at other successful comic Kickstarters and study what they do. I recommend spending some time listening to the amazing comixlaunch podcast. There’s also an incredibly informative book written by Madeleine Holly-Rosing that will talk you through the process.
BS: What are you goals with the comic?
CS: We’d like it to become a self-sustainable, ongoing series. For now that probably means another kickstarter or two, but down the line we may eventually partner up with a publisher. As my primary background is in film and animation, bringing White Ash to other formats is certainly something I’d consider. But creating the comic with Conor and Fin is something I’m enjoying more than anything else I’ve done in years. So right now I’m really just enjoying the ride.
BS: What’s next for you?
CS: White Ash is going to have a table at San Diego Comic Con this summer. It’ll be our first convention experience. Which is probably an insane way to start. But we’re thrilled to bring the book to people outside the Kickstarterverse.
BS: Will the comic still be available for purchase elsewhere after the campaign ends?
CS: For a couple of months at least you’ll be able to order/preorder copies. The link to our store will be on our website whiteashcomic.com and on our Kickstarter page.
BS: Anything else you would like to add?
CS: Thank you so much for taking the time to do this. I don’t think readers realize how hard and expensive it is to publish independent comics. Sites like yours, who are willing to devote space to non-mainstream titles, are a godsend. I also encourage you readers to not only check out our book, but other independent comics on Kickstarter. There’s some amazing work being done by some fabulous people there. Every little bit helps.