We got a chance to speak to Rivenis whose comic book Diskordia , a surreal fantasy comic that explores themes such as the nature of reality, consciousness and self-determination is exploding on kickstarter..
Can you briefly tell us what Diskordia is about?
Diskordia is a sprawling epic fantasy saga. It’s mainly about events and the people whose lives are touched by the seething darkness lying just below the surface of what appears to be a normal world. The first volume entitled ‘Feels like Falling’ follows the young man Jackal Black as he first encounters this bizarre side of life. A reviewer once summed up the tone of the story perfectly by describing it as H.P Lovecraft meets Alice In Wonderland.
How long have you been working on Diskordia ?
Conceptually I had started planning it out in late 2008 with production starting in 2010 just after I quit my last job
What led you to bring Diskordia to kickstarter?
Kickstarter and crowdfunding in general is an amazing way to allow small time creators to bring their work directly to the public. It allows for merit to shine despite lack of capital and name recognition. It was a no-brainer for me to attempt crowdfunding as I quickly realised that going the traditional publisher route would not work for me. The reasons being that my comic is very off beat and uncompromising and definitely more suited towards a niche crowd. Also I have come to realise that I enjoy full autonomy over my own works and working with a powerful publisher would likely conflict with that mindset.
Is this your first time crowdfunding a comicbook?
No. I attempted a similar campaign in 2014 on the Indiegogo platform but was not successful due mostly to my inexperience and small network. It was still a great experience however because alot of fans discovered me through it due to the level of extra exposure inherent in running a campaign.
How many of the backers from previous campaigns do you see returning?
Pretty much all of my old backers have returned. I made sure to make a mailing list to keep in touch with them as well as to update them on the progress of the comic.
What Role do you play in putting Diskordia together, can you tell us about anyone else involved?
I do everything. No one else is involved unless you count the voices in my head haha.
Do you think Kickstarter is helping the independent creator, hurting them, or not doing anything at all?
There are downsides to any system but I think its pretty clear that crowdfunding offers a viable alternative route for creators who are committed and can take on the stresses of being their own publisher.
If you had a choice would you rather keep on using Kickstarter or would you rather be in Previews catalog?
I’d like to have as many avenues as possible. However if I had to make a choice for now it seems that Kickstarter is the best way to get preorders. It appears to me that kickstarter reaches a larger demographic. For instance the webcomic market does its shopping online. That said I’m not very knowledgeable on the intricacies of the preview catalog and Diamond distribution so I don’t feel confident discussing it.
Do you have plans to do another kickstarter for your Diskordia in the future, or is there another project in the works?
Yes. As of now there are 14 issues of the series published over two arcs. That means that I have 3 books worth of material ready to go. I am also working on it steadily as it is a long-form series so there will be more books in the future. I also have a couple ideas for other series in mind but they are on the backburner for now as I work on Diskordia.
Of all the rewards you have up, which is your favorite?
I really like them all. I made sure to come up with rewards that are an extremely good value for the price and I’ve received alot of positive feedback on it. My favorite would probably be the $1500 tier. The main reward is that I will incorporate the pledger’s likeness and personality into the comic as a recurring character. I like it because it will be an exciting challenge to naturally fit the character into the story while preserving their characteristics. It will likely be beneficial because it will allow me to possibly create a very unique story point.
What have you done so far to make Diskordia stand out from other crowdfunding projects?
I think the comic is fundamentally unique, from it’s story and characters to the art style. This has proven to be very resonant among people looking for something fresh and new. I repeatedly get fans commenting that there is almost nothing else out there quite like Diskordia. I think that lies in the tone and focus of the story. It’s playful, whimsical, terrifying, introspective and philosophical in balanced but equal portions.
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?
An indie comic publisher’s work is never done. I’ll still be working on the series as usual releasing 3-4 issues every year and marketing to spread the word. I’ll also have to plan the next campaign.
Before we go, will you be hitting any conventions with the comic book.
That’s the plan. Outside of the Animekon Expo which is a local (Barbados) convention I haven’t been able to attend any. I’ve let the fact that I live in Barbados hold me back too long though. I want to start attending conventions in the US regularly with my books starting from this year. I have my sights set on NYCC to start.