I have seen a fair number of Kickstarter burnouts and explosions, but I have never seen one like this.
A few years ago, there was a truly great and hilarious webcomic called Sad Pictures for Children. I always thought – despite reading it during almost all of its run – that it was called Pictures for Sad Children, and I still think that’s a better title, but that’s not important right now.
It gained a following, and, as such things do, eventually wrapped up and the writer/artist launched a Kickstarter project to fund a collected book edition. It kept ramping up, and went way, and I do mean way, over the creator’s head – particularly as stretch goals started piling up, and super-arty features got added, like … okay, the last comic in the book included a joke about a dead wasp. Of course, it was only a drawing…
As it snowballed, and costs exploded, and we find out that really, the creator didn’t include any budget for his time and labour in the project, things started to get goofier and goofier.
Yep. That’s a video of him burning a bunch of his own books. And, posted along with the video, you’ll find many pages of anti-materialist philosophy and anger, interspersed with bold text inserts like this:
I called this post “never ever do this,” but not because of the business aspect of this implosion, and not even because of the spectacle of the whole thing. All that’s obvious. I could talk about successful Kickstarters I’ve run, and why things like this shouldn’t put you off the ones I’ve been promoting this week.
I call it that because…
This shit ain’t healthy. I mean, seriously, not. And that’s obvious, isn’t it? But it’s like the (apocryphal) boiling frog, I think.
There’s an old Dilbert cartoon from the 90s, called “When is it time to quit your job?” and, of course, you get a whole series of panels that end up with Wally or Dilbert or one of them hanging themselves and thinking, “Yep… this is better than work,” and everybody laughs.
This artist didn’t get to the last panel, but… yeah.
So. Don’t let anything get there. Don’t let anything here, for that matter. It’s not worth it for anybody. Including you.
ps: I got my book, 18 months or so ago. Just had it down last night. It’s genius.