Tuesday, 3 March 2020

ShortBox # 12: coming this April on Kickstarter

Good news: a new ShortBox will be available this April! As usual, the box will contain 5 new comic books, a limited edition fabric screen print by Jillian Tamaki, and some sweets! The one difference: it'll be available via Kickstarter. I wanted to write a little bit about this decision both to reassure readers and explain the thinking behind it.

The first thing to know: the box will be priced exactly the same. It's been £35 since we launched in 2016, and it remains that price. Shipping costs will also be the same. The main difference is, instead of placing an order via our Big Cartel webshop, orders will be placed through kickstarter. You do not need a kickstarter account in order to place an order, there is an option to do so as a guest, which means there isn't any additional signing up involved. 

So, why Kickstarter? As many of you may know, this is our 12th ShortBox. For the past 4 years, I've been making these boxes, and spreading the word about them with what limited resources I have available: largely social media, and with super-helpful word of mouth from our community of supporters. What makes Kickstarter an incredibly useful platform is its reach: lots of people visit Kickstarter specifically to check out comics and art projects. I know this is a bit of a gamble; I'm hoping people will follow us over to Kickstarter, but I also understand it may seem like an extra hassle compared to ordering the regular way.  I'm incredibly grateful to our loyal supporters without whom ShortBox wouldn't exist.  I also think this box thing we do is pretty unique and fantastic, and want more, more, more people to know about it! I work really, really hard on these books and boxes, as do all the artists involved. It's up to me to think about how best to get that hard work -and these excellent books- into as many people's hands as possible, which is why I want to test the box on this platform.

Another thing I've been wanting to do for a while is printed custom packaging: hire an artist to come up with some nifty ShortBox illustrations and designs that we can have printed on tape and on the boxes/packaging itself- this will be a stretch goal. At the moment, we still individually stamp each and every box with our logo before assembling the boxes! And those printed tapes everyone loves? They've been discontinued! Which has been an incentive to finally put this goal into gear.

The kickstarter will also have bonuses for all the box artists as a stretch goal.

I try my best to be as up front with our readers as possible, so I wanted to lay all this out in writing and let you know about the coming change and the reasons for it, instead of simply springing it upon you.

You can sign up to the ShortBox mailing list here, to be notified when the new box arrives.

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