Tag Archives: Ambrosia

I tried to math…


click above to view the gallery

Ambrosia #1 is almost ready for a crowdfunding campaign, being a month or two away from wrapping up its last bit of production. My next move is to figure out the various reward tiers available to backers.

Thus far the Kickstarter research I’ve done has been chronicled in my Kickstarter Strobe Light series over on Black Ship Books. Between August and October of last year, I followed 20 campaigns as they went through their crowdfunding ordeal.

This weekend I looked at 10 of them that mirrored my ambitions for Ambrosia‘s campaign. In addition to these completed projects, I added 3 more that are currently wrapping up their effort having already exceeded their goal. The results are embedded below, and available via Google sheets as well.

After loosely categorizing the rewards each comic book offered, I consolidated the list of 50 items to determine both frequency (# of pledges received) and average price (cost of donation). I now intend to use these two factors as a guide for the choices I offer in my own campaign.

Conclusions generated from the data are certainly subjective — cross referencing the two variables requires subjective, qualitative analysis on top of these quantitative figures, not to mention only certain rewards were relevant to Ambrosia.

These results aren’t very surprising: Prints (usually 11×17) and variant covers seem to be the best one-two punch, followed by shirts, posters (larger than 11×17), bookmarks, and digital bonus content (concept art, scripts, WIP images, etc.).

It also suggests that the $1 “Thank you” might not be worth including, though I’m curious as to how often backers start at a dollar and then upgrade their donation amount after receiving campaign updates. (So the potential “opportunity value” ascribed to getting somebody on your Kickstarter mailing list.)

One last thing I found interesting is that it does seem worthwhile to cast backers as extras, assuming your artist is into the idea. For that type of reward I delineated between a background/ “cameo” role, having a “featured role” (a speaking line), and then a “major role” (influencing a scene).

My analysis isn’t going to reveal the best options for all projects, rather it is intended to provide an indicator for what reward gets the most pledges and how much each tends to cost. Although the average price does offer a ballpark estimate of what you can get away with “charging,” its ultimate contribution toward the success of a campaign is entirely circumstantial.

In other words, I only took one semester of statistics at university.

pledges chart

This first graph is rather straightforward, simply showing the frequency of occurrences for each reward. I was most surprised by the number of people who went after a shirt.

pledges versus price

This next visualization requires some subjective reasoning to determine how it might influence what tiers a campaign should feature. Ultimately there needs to be a balance between the actual cost of producing a reward and the perceived value it has to potential backers.

(Note: I only accounted for rewards with an average value under $200 — most tiers higher than that are rather self-explanatory.)

Using those two variables, production cost and perceived value, an ideal price tier for each reward can be approximated. Consider the inclusion of pledge frequency to be a indicator of interest, while the average price simply establishes a reference.


Post-Turkey Roundup

Whew. Almost didn’t contribute to the Goodness of Words this month. I blame, well, myself. But that’s a good thing! It should confirm your sneaking suspicion that I’ve been toiling away, processing words in the pursuit of storytelling.

Most keystrokes as of late have been dedicated to the Millarworld Annual Competition. My entry was a short story set in the Starlight universe, featuring Duke McQueen — a character designed to explore the nuances of classic science fiction. We shall see how I fare; winners’ll supposedly be announced by the end of December, so I will be sure to post my submission soon after that.

Rotating off of the back burner is a new scripting method for disunity #3. Ron and I are going to try a Marvel-style format as we move forward. (The good ol’Stan-Lee method!) It should speed up our process a bit. My first pass should be done come this weekend, though my playthrough of StarCraft 2 might dictate otherwise.

Since this has turned into a to-do list of sorts, I might as well add lettering the inked pages for Dismal Signals to the pile. In the spirit of suspense, I’ll keep the black-and-white art to myself until I’ve thrown words on’em. The big question is whether or not I should seek out a colorist.

While I’ve been wording it up, Fahriza has been killing it on the coloring front. I’ll let his latest page speak for itself, a WIP treatment for one of Ambrosia #1’s two-pagers:


It’s crazy how much Noah’s art pops after seeing it fully rendered. I am very much looking forward to sharing more of this project as February approaches.

Luckily I’ve got plenty of room to test my mettle in the meantime. The second issue of disunity was published via comiXology Submit last week. So far reviews have been relatively positive, and hopefully I’ll have plenty to share come next month. Just as I start to think I’m getting this writing thing figured out, I realize I am flying blind when it comes to the art of (shameless) self-promotion.

Words are Good is an extension of said initiative, to an extent, but I’ve been thinking about ways to expand my use of WordPress — if for no other reason than to keep the fingers moving. My goal for 2015 was to write more, and I have written. Next year I think the plan’ll be to maintain my level of productivity while adding a lot more reading and reflection into the mix. Words are good, after all.

With one hour to spare, I bid November adieu. My parting gift is a brief preview of disunity #2. Enjoy!



Recent studies have shown that I am only able to update this here blog of mine once per month. Today I’m here to confirm this evidence. And here is the news:

The search for Ambrosia‘s colorist has concluded! After receiving samples from a handful of very talented candidates, Noah and I decided to move forward with Fahriza Kamaputra. It is great to see the last piece of our creative team fall into place!

First glimpse of Ambrosia with colors

First glimpses of Ambrosia with colors

We intend to have enough pages ready by February to take the project to Kickstarter. Check out our introduction to Ambrosia as well as the first of many Ambrosia updates to get a taste for what’s to come.

My focus for the next week or two will be a submission for the Millarworld Annual. Most of the time I am rather standoffish about entering contests of this sort, but the chance to write my take on Duke McQueen is too tempting to shy away from.

Dismal Signals is moving along nicely as well. Finished inks are due any day now from Mr. Roque — I am eager to start throwing words on them pages! Not sure where this story’s headed yet. It may be the first short I shop around for publication consideration in anthologies and whatnot.


Dismal Signals, page 1, inks WIP

I completed the lettering for disunity #2 last weekend, which means it is a final edit away from being sent to ComiXology Submit. It can be a while before the issue is actually published, so check back here for an official announcement (and extended preview). The first issue is still available for free, via this link, and embedded below.





Juggling is Fun

For anybody wondering where the words went, my flash fiction efforts have been placed on hold for the last few weeks. Do expect some prose to pick up again come September.

In the meantime I am proud to announce that Ambrosia, a passion project cooked up by myself and a life-long friend, Noah Graham, is headed to Kickstarter come February 2016.

We’ve created POV Comics to serve as the imprint for what will be the first of many collaborations. Our social media accounts soft-launched last week in anticipation of next year’s crowdfunding campaign. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest on Ambrosia and POV!

Yet juggling one ball isn’t very fun. Productivity is best served with a side of bedlam, at least in my kitchen. To raise the stakes I’ve taken on two side projects as well: Firstly I was hired as the editor for Tesla Stormborn, a graphic novel inspired by the autobiography of Nikola Tesla. The second endeavor is a collaboration with Blotch Comics as co-writer for their flagship title, Disunity.

Expect more on that latter book later this coming week. Issue one is just about wrapped up and I should have the content for number two finalized this evening.

Since this update has turned into a bit of a humble brag, I might as well end it on an even braggier note. Back in May I entered a “Blind Date” competition on reddit, where users registered as either an artist or a writer. Teams were randomly paired together and tasked with creating a 5-to-8-page comic in two months.

I don’t think I’ve seen sixty days fly by so fast. We ended up with our backs against the wall come the deadline, electing to try me out as a letterer (for my first time ever) and sacrifice the color we originally envisioned for the pages. In the end, of the 40 teams to register, only 11 finished. My script, Dismal Signals, won Best Story/ Writing.

Expect this blog to converge more with my other creative efforts moving forward. Between here, POV Comics, and BlackShipBooks.com (a pop-culture site I write for and help manage), there are enough plates spinning to work up a sweat. Now let’s see if I can’t keep’em rotating fast enough to say balanced.

Worst-case scenario I crash and burn. Catastrophe is entertaining too, eh?