I just got paid to draw bad tatoo ideas for a film being shot here in Pittsburgh. If anone else needs this sevice please call.
Remember these charts? Because of how and how much you all have donated the numbers here aren’t accurate anymore. This Kickstarter is doing EVEN BETTER than it looks. By my current estimates, if we raise another thousand dollars, ending around 8,800, the all of my dental bills should be covered by the income from this Kickstarter.
So that’s it. That’s my final stretch goal, with 59 hours to go.
If we reach that goal together, everyone who donated at the $15 reward level or higher will receive not 1 but 2 of these awesome postcard/stickers to stick or mail to a friend.
Thank you all so much.
This is a long post, so scroll down if you want to skip ahead in the story to any of these sections: Start (about starting this comic) Momentum (about planning for this kickstarter) The Wreck (about my bike crash) Peddle to the Metal (rushing to put the kickstater up) Party (you’re invited to a party!)
When I first put brush to paper on this comic it was to relax. I had just finished the comic pages for my first big work in two consecutive 24 hour drawing binges, and I was tired. This was back when a bunch of us Pittsburgh comic kids would sit around and draw every Sunday at Andy Scott’s house. I thought I would experiment with brushes and make a story with a simple Greek-style hero arc that I could put down and pick up whenever I was between things. Nate McDonough suggested the name Top of the Line and for a while I’d print pages here and there in the Andromeda comic anthology whenever I had a few ready.
The more I worked on the story the more I liked it and at some point I hit a tipping point. I suddenly got really excited about this comic and started itching to get it all out at once.
Last summer I outlined the narrative arc into an 8 issue series and started time tracking to see how long it takes me to make each issue, start to finish. In the fall I had the budget and timeline for this Kickstarter planned out. I knew how far ahead I needed to work in order to have a safe cushion for serialization, and I knew I had a few big projects to clear up before I sat down to promote the this including jobs I had lined up for July, August, and September.
I decided I’d wait until November to launch the comic so that I’d have a little time when I got back from my annual poster sales job and so people could buy subscriptions as Christmas gifts. When I returned from poster selling I had some cash in the bank and was feeling optimistic. Nate McDonough and I started crushing out pages for Bears in Space issue 2 and I was working on Top of the Line issue 5 on my own. The next two alerts on my Google calender were “Get Heat” and “Start Kickstarter.”
I was drawing with Nils Balls, and getting price quotes from heating and cooling people right before I wrecked.
I said, “bye” to Nils, packed up my drawing stuff, and hopped on my bike. I was heading to a pizza place, riding on a River ave, when a passing car’s lights made it impossible to see the monster pothole I was doomed to hit until the last moment. I tried to hop over it but ultimately failed and did a flying sailor’s dive into the pavement.
They cut my clothes off, checked me up and down, took x-rays; the whole nine yards. It took three hours for them to stitch my face together, but they did a good job. In the hospital I did my best to breath and not panic about how I would pay for everything until the exact numbers were in. After all I was alive and my drawing arm was fine—what was there to complain about?
Peddle to the Metal
In retrospect I had two options when I got back from the hospital. I only saw one. I had to speed up to make up for lost time. I was supposed to launch my Kickstarter NOW, and I had a lot of work to do. I stopped taking the prescribed pain killers after day 2 because I couldn’t think when I was on them. Two weeks after the accident I recorded the Kickstarter video. Numbers kept jumping around I wouldn’t have to pay the 22 grand bill from the trauma room but would have to pay for dental, and how much would that be. For a brief moment I thought I’d have to sell my house and end the Cyberpunk Apocalypse project, but in another two weeks the numbers looked doable. I changed numbers in my budget, lowered my goal, and launched the fundraiser.
Now it’s the last week. I still don’t have heat, but I have all the parts I need to install it. I haven’t launched the comic but I’m closer than I ‘ve ever been. There’s 7 days to go and a lot in the air. I feel like I’m on the edge of the possible, surprised at where I am and unsure of how it’ll all shake out.
And that’s the story so far. The only thing left is the conclusion—the climax, which I hope will result in every one of you getting this great comic.
You’ve all helped me so much and I’m asking you to stick with me for another week. I’m asking you to keep telling your friends and family about the project, and I’m also asking you to come to a party.
At 11:59 the jig is up and this kickstarter will either be funded or I’ll be back at square one in my attempts to launch Top of the Line and get new teeth. No matter how it goes I’ll need a drink, so Cyberpunk Apocalypse and BUNKERprojects are coming together with help from Mellinger’s beer distributor to set up a drawing party. Have a drink with me during this trying to time. We’ll celebrate or mourn as the need be, but either way we’ll definitely draw.
Bring your sketchbooks, pens, and friends for a mini drawathon because there’s always more work to be done.
There will extra paper and drawing utensils for the unprepared, and beverages available for anyone who helped fund the kickstarter.
Thanks for all of your support.