“Blackwood” is the latest comic from indie publisher Bleeding Ink, about a war between heaven and hell going on that can only be observed by a select few. I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before, but you all it takes is a glance through the page at the concept art by illustrator Kavika to know at least this will look great. Looking through Bleeding Ink’s previews for other comics, though, it looks likely that writer Jesse Grillo will be able to take this core concept and turn it into something new. The previews Grillo has available may be a little rough around the edges, but show the promise of someone who could become a new hot name in the horror comics business. As amazing as Kavika’s art appears, though, it’s hard to judge this based on its content, as there are no full preview pages for “Blackwood” itself.
Let’s talk incentives instead.
With many Kickstarters, it takes a little bit before your rewards start balancing out with your donation. It makes sense — these creators need a bit of cash in order to make their comic an actual, physical product, so handing out things willy-nilly would pretty much be suicide. It is common to see a single issue that might otherwise cost three of four dollars as the reward for a five dollar donation (and even then, only the digital copy), and this is perfectly fair; you aren’t buying the product, you are making a voluntary donation and getting something nice for your minor donation.
Bleeding Ink, though, is breaking the rules.
Say being a patron of the arts isn’t your thing. I don’t mean this in a derogatory way — many comic fans have pressing financial concerns that supersede spending money on comics beyond… buying comics. If that’s the case for you, have no fear — it only takes a dollar to get the digital copy of “Blackwood,” and three dollars for all three. Those are twenty-two full-color pages, at a price point that is rarely seen on the most popular digital comics vendors (who really only give you the right to stream their comics, anyway). This also includes an 88 page digital comic called “Sensory Distortion,” over half of which is available as a preview. Once you get to the hard copy rewards, you’re talking six or five dollars per issue, depending on if you’re getting just one or all three, but that’s where the whole donation versus purchase matter comes into play. Even for digital copies, one dollar an issue is pretty much the equivalent of giving the comic away, and is perfect for those who just want some comics at a fair price — no fancy collection, no wrap-around cover, just the product.
Say you want a fancy collection and a wrap-around cover, though. No problem — a thirty dollar pledge gets you exactly that, and you get to help decide on what that wrap-around will be. Just add the three dollar donation for the .pdfs and you can enjoy your comic even before it is printed. Beyond that, there are so many different options that it is difficult to pick out “the best” — $120 gets you a sketch from Kavika of anything you want, $150 earns your likeness as one of the villains, and $200 dollars does the same but with a hero. Those who want to make an investment can donate $500 in order to become a Bleeding Ink Subscriber, gaining access to everything the have published and everything they ever will publish — no monthly fees or anything like that. This is a definite high risk for a high reward situation, but Bleeding Ink promises “We plan on being around for a very long time and create A LOT of comics,” so if you really dig the previews for “Blackwood” itself and “Sensory Deprivation,” this could very well be a great, if daring, value to aim for.
There are many unique options within the rewards, from original art to a novel, and the creators encourage combining rewards — just donate the total and they will send out an email upon the Kickstarter’s completion to confirm who is getting what. And if you donate before this Sunday, you get a copy of Bleeding Ink’s action comic “Warzone!” These guys are carefully trying to strike a delicate balance between offering rad incentives and flat-out giving things away, and we would be remiss to let this come back to bite them. All it takes is one dollar, and you get one hundred and thirty two pages of comics, all of which look great — and if the project passes $10,000, you’ll get yet another issue on top of all of that. I don’t see how anyone can say no to that, especially with how great Kavika’s art looks. If you want to donate any more, that’s great, but I’m sure every Multiversity reader can spare at least a dollar in exchange for that amount of comics.Continued below