May 19, 2015
Archie Comics cancels Kickstarter campaign
by Nick Davies
Last week, Archie Comics launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowd-source funding for three new series featuring familiar characters. Within less than a week, though, the comics publisher has pulled the plug on the campaign.
In an exclusive interview with Archie Comics publisher and CEO Jon Goldwater, the website Comic Book Resources reveals that the crowd-funding project has been canceled, although the books will eventually be published. The three rebooted series in question are Jughead, Betty and Veronica, and Life with Kevin, which will star Kevin Keller, a character who made headlines as the teen series’s first openly gay character.
As CBR reports, Archie quickly found itself under fire from critics, and “the main criticism involved Archie’s status as a major, long-running publisher looking to fund upcoming releases via crowd-funding rather than more traditional means, though there was also scrutiny of the campaign’s goal and backer rewards. plus questions of creator participation in the funding.”
Goldwater tells CBR that the decision to pull the plug resulted largely from the fact that there was so much focus on the funding campaign rather than the books themselves. “While we don’t mind putting ourselves under the microscope or answering questions,” he says, “the creators involved didn’t deserve that level of negative attention. Though we fully expected to get funded, we felt it was time to step back.”
He elaborates on the plans to go ahead with the three series, saying, “Very broadly, Jughead will come first, sooner than you’d think. Probably October. Then we’ll take a pause, figure out the rollout of the other two and how to best position them in the market. It’s going to take longer than we’d hoped, obviously, but these titles are top priority for us, and we want to make sure our fans get the best books possible.”
At the time when Archie had taken the Kickstarter offline, it had raised about 10% of its target. Anybody who’s already donated money to the campaign will still get a thank you gift.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.