Barebones Ent sat down with Sneaky Goblins at College creator, Rene Pfitzner, to discuss his comic book. Sneaky Goblins at College is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter to help with the publishing of the comic. This isn’t Rene’s first time using Kickstarter so he has been able to bring all of that knowledge back to help him with this campaign. He was happy to discuss some of this with us and the creation of the Sneaky Goblins series. Join Barebones Ent and Rene as we chat about all this and more.
BS: What is Sneaky Goblins?
RP: The main character is Dank. He stands in for me in this story. He only wants to get by, but he quickly gets caught up in an adventure that’s much bigger than himself. Dank was the only goblin to get kicked out of assassin school. Soon after, the local mob syndicate forces him into an impossible quest: to steal a sacred elf relic.
BS: When did you come up with this idea?
RP: The idea sprung from some story idea notes I made in my sketchbook. The idea was about having a small goblin trick a large, hulking orc to help him out in a tricky situation: namely, fighting humans. Bog the orc became Dank’s first main ally on his journey.
BS: What type of readers do you think would like the book?
RP: Anyone who loves cartoony fantasy would like this comic: Adventure time, Warcraft, Amulet or Hilda. Growing up I was a big fan of the Asterix comics and Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes. They’ve also been big influences. My books are for all-ages, because I wanted to make something that I would enjoy reading, and my kids could enjoy, too. My boys are 8 and 11 years, so it was really satisfying to give them a printed copy! The people who read my comics like things to be light and fun, but they don’t just want to read a book full of jokes. They want to be caught up on an adventure that reaches a satisfying conclusion.
BS: What made you choose Kickstarter?
RP: I had seen friends put work on other crowd funding platforms, but Kickstarter seemed to have the best track record. I figured that if I could get a good boost of day one support, then it would be more visible in the Kickstarter discover comics section.
BS: How did your first Kickstarter go?
RP: It worked! I was picked for a ‘Project we Love’ and I was funded in the first week. Ultimately the campaign ended with over 250 backers, which totally blew me away.
BS: What do you think was your most valuable lesson you learned from the previous kickstarter?
RP: It’s critical to have that burst of early backers. Some people just put up a project on Kickstarter and people aren’t ready for it yet. I sent emails to my family and friends telling them what was coming, why I was doing it and how they could help. If no-one is ready to back you on day one, you need some more time to prepare.
BS: Where does Sneaky Goblins at College pick up? What is the story about?
RP: Sneaky Goblins at College is 3 short stories that intersect with the original story: “Goblins at College” and “Bog the Orc” are origin stories, and “Stop the Dragon” is set in the middle of Dank’s quest.
BS: Do you need to read book 1 to read this one?
RP: You don’t need to have read the graphic novel, each of these short stories is self-contained. At any rate, every pledge over AU$15 gets a digital copy of the original 160-page book, so newbies can catch up on the whole story.
BS: How has it been doing?
RP: Pretty well! As I write this, the campaign is nearly 70% funded after 5 days. I’ve had a lot of people giving me a boost on the socials, which really warms my heart.
BS: What is next for you after the kickstarter?
RP: I’m launching my next webcomic: Mythic Creature Trainer. It’s set in the same world as Sneaky Goblins, so we’ll still have elves, goblins, and magical creatures, but now there’s trouble stirring between humans and orcs. This story will be around 120 pages long, so I want to crowdfund that as a graphic novel when it’s finished. I’ll be updating www.mythiccreaturetrainer.com from July 2019.
BS: Anything else you would like to add?
RP: Yes. If you go and back my campaign, you not only get a bright, fun fantasy-adventure story, you will have my undying affection and gratitude. If you pledge from here, I’ll know Barebones sent ya: Kickstarter. But seriously, I love writing and drawing comics, but I also love seeing them go out into the world where people can read and enjoy them.