Today’s Kickstarter Spotlight is on Bullets & Angels: Rosary, from Brian Byrd. His tagline on kickstarter says “occult drama focusing on the exploits of a pair of off-the-books exorcists”, but I am sure there is more to it that that, so let’s have Brian tell us in his own words.
Can you briefly tell us what Bullets & Angels: Rosary is all about?
Bullets & Angels is about a spiritual war going on all around us, that we can’t see or interact with. However, there are a chosen few who for one reason or another, have had bestowed upon them the gift of “sight,” which enables them to see angels and demons, and the constant struggle of Heaven and Hell on Earth. Our main character, James Hollister, is one of those individuals, and he uses his sight to take down demons that other, more traditional exorcists, have failed.
How long have you been working on it?
I have been working on Bullets & Angels for about six months. It has taken some time to get in the swing of things, since I’m new to the industry, but hopefully we’ll be able to put out an issue a month going forward.
What led you to bring Bullets & Angels: Rosary to Kickstarter?
I am a father of three amazing children. I don’t make a lot of money, but I wanted to show them that money should never stand in the way of your dreams. I paid for Issue #1 completely out of pocket, and am using the funds from the Kickstarter to print the first issue so I can pitch the comic to various indie publishers.
Is this your first time crowdfunding a comic book?
I have actually tried to crowd fund this project twice before, once on Indiegogo, where I met a good friend and contributor to the book, and another on Kickstarter, which only reached 28% funded in 30 days. We took both of those previous times and learned what to do for the third campaign.
How many of your previous backers from previous campaigns do you see returning?
After I posted the newest campaign, one of my backers from my first, failed Kickstarter backed the campaign right away. It was kind of amazing to see someone come back like that quickly. It gave me a lot of hope.
What role do you play in putting Bullets & Angels together?
I am the main writer of the series, as well as the project manager. I make sure that everyone is doing what I paid them to do, and to make sure every page looks the way it’s supposed to look. It’s time consuming, to say the least.
Can you tell us a little bit about the others involved in Bullets & Angels?
My artist, Saint Yak, is amazing. He’s from Russia, and he just recently had another book published for sale in the U.S.. Matt James is our colorist, and he is our letterer. They all do great work, but their work is amazing all together
Do you think Kickstarter is helping the independent creator, hurting them, or not doing anything at all?
I think it’s helped us get our name out there. I will probably be running more Kickstarters in the future for other projects, and possibly for future Bullets & Angels titles. I know some creators expect Kickstarter to pay the bills, and I think that’s the wrong way to look at it. Our Kickstarter will pay for half of Issue #2 as of right now, which is a huge blessing. I think it’s really all about how one uses the service about whether or not it helps. For example, I know some creators that use Kickstarter to sell their merchandise and books, and that’s awesome. They have no other avenue of selling their books, so their Kickstarters are always funded for 200 and 300%, because they have quality stuff. It’s great. But some creators don’t put any effort of their own into the book, and expect for strangers on the internet to do everything for them. That’s not how it works.
If you had a choice would you rather keep on using Kickstarter or would you rather be in Previews catalog?
I’d rather be in the Preview catalog. I really dislike being the salesperson for my own stuff. I would much rather be able to sit down and just talk with my fans rather than try to sell, sell, sell. But right now, I have the one avenue, and that’s what I’m doing.
Do you have plans to do another kickstarter for Bullets & Angels in the future, or is there another project in the works?
Well, Bullets & Angels will actually be a series of volumes that interconnect, so I consider each volume to be a “project” in its own light. I have another Bullets & Angels title in the works, and for my daughter’s eighth birthday, I have a surprise comic that will only be available on Kickstarter. As for B&A, I probably will end up doing more Kickstarters, with variant Kickstarter exclusive covers for people and fans to collect.
Of all the rewards you have up, which is your favorite?
My personal favorite is the T-shirt reward (because I am super excited for the t-shirts!) I also love the sketch cover reward, because I get to draw the backer on the cover of Issue #1, and I think that’s really exciting.
What have you done so far to make Bullets & Angels: Rosary stand out from other crowdfunding projects?
Instead of just posting rewards that I think people would like, I spent a bit of time networking with people to figure out what they would like to see as rewards. It’s opened up a lot of backers who may not have backed otherwise. To make the project more active, I am always taking suggestions for rewards. As long as it’s something that I can do relatively easily, I am more than happy to add rewards. I look into pretty much every suggestion that comes into my inbox.
Once the kickstarter is over, and you’ve shipped out all of your rewards, what is your next step? Do you wind down, work on something else, feel satisfied and leave comic books alone?
No way. This is only step one. This Kickstarter is only Issue #1 of a planned twelve issue volume, with at least five volumes in the story. I plan for at least sixty issues of Bullets & Angels to go on, and then I have other books I’m working on as well. This is not a one time affair. I plan on being a part of the indie scene for some time, and will not be going away any time soon.
Will you be hitting any conventions with the Bullets & Angels comic book?
Yes, I will. Once the comic is out, I plan on doing a tour. Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but I will have an official calendar posted in the next coming months. I will try to map out at least six months ahead. Unfortunately, with the comic’s release date, it wouldn’t be advantageous for me to make it out to San Diego Comic Con this year, but next year is a definite.
Before we go is there anything you’d like to add?
Yes. Bullets & Angels is not X meets Y. It’s something new that I believe a lot of fans are starting to pick up on. As of now we have 46 backers on the Kickstarter, and I think that shows how many people are anticipating this book. It’s exciting.
Also, if you want to reach me, you can add me on Facebook Bullets & Angels; or Twitter (@ComicsWriteMe). I enjoy talking with my fans and would love to hear some rewards that you would like to see!