A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to interview Andy Clift, writer and artist on The Adventures of Captain Cosmic. The Kickstarter for the project actually ended over a month ago, on April 8th, and only ran for two weeks. Originally seeking only £400 for the entire project, The Adventures of Captain Cosmic ended up receiving £3,444 in total with 247 people backing the project. So when I got the chance to talk to Andy, I couldn’t help but wonder what his plans were for that extra unexpected £3,000. What exactly do you do when a bunch of strangers on the internet send you more money than you were expecting?
DYECB: Hey Andy!
Andy: Hi Lewis!
DYECB: How you doing this afternoon Andy?
Andy: I’m good thanks, mate. Yourself?
DYECB: Not bad cheers! I gotta tell you, it’s a nice change of pace interviewing a fellow Brit. I’m used to doing these at 2 in the morning to accommodate our friends in the States.
Andy: I know what you mean. I’ve worked a fair amount of people from across the pond and the different time-zones can be fun.
DYECB: Tell me a little bit about that previous work. What were you up to before putting Captain Cosmic up on Kickstarter?
Andy: I did a lot of work with a good friend of mine, Mike Garley. I worked on all 3 of the Samurai Slasher books with him, as well as our own project Sgt. Steel: Allied Avenger. I also worked on the Pride with Joe Glass and did my own 4 issue mini series called Bertie Bear.
DYECB: Is Captain Cosmic the first project you’ve worked on entirely by yourself?
Andy: It is the first project where I did everything including lettering. I wrote and draw Bertie Bear. That was my first creator owned solo series. But I had friend, Jon Scrivens, on lettering duty for that.
DYECB: Were there any specific reasons you decided to work by yourself? Did you find there were any downsides to doing the entire project by yourself?
Andy: Originally, it was about cost. I knew that I was going to use Kickstarter, so the easiest way to keep the cost down was to do as much of it myself as I could, but then it became about actually being able to do it myself. I wanted to have those abilities in my work. The downside was having someone inexperienced, (myself) doing such an important job. Plus finding the time to do it all.
DYECB: Speaking of cost, you originally sought £400 for the project. How did you come to that figure?
Andy: I knew I was only going to be doing a small amount of comic cons this year, so there was no need to do a big print run. I settled on doing 200 copies and got a quote, which came out at around £400, so that’s what I decided to set the project goal for.
DYECB: Well as of the time of this interview, Captain Cosmic has currently received £3,444 in funding – over £3,000 your original target. What are your plans for that extra 3k?
Andy: I know, I’m completely bowled over by the response! I’m so incredibly grateful to everyone who supported the project. I instantly doubled the print run order for issue 1 and added a couple of stretch goals, which we hit. My main plan for the extra money is to fund my work for the foreseeable future. Future print issues, more merch etc.
DYECB: I read that you’re already planning to put issue #2 on Kickstarter. How many issues are your planning? Considering the incredible response to the project, do you think you’ll put them all on Kickstarter?
Andy: I’m considering putting issue 2 on Kickstarter, but I’m not 100% sure. The amazing response from the first campaign has given me a lot more options that I’d ever have considered. I’ll be taking it one issue at a time, that’s for sure.
DYECB: Do you think there are any drawbacks to using the service? Having 247 investors watching your every move must be slightly daunting.
Andy: I’m not sure that I’d say there are any drawbacks. I certainly got a lot more backers than I ever thought I would, which felt a little daunting at first, but I think as long as you post regular updates, even if they’re small, that’s cool. I’ve backed a lot of kickstarters and I know I feel happy being kept in the loop. All the backers that I’ve interacted with have been really awesome and supportive, which makes it all a lot easier. Plus my wife has been beyond incredible with helping me with admin and ordering etc.
DYECB: Funny you mention that, because I had a sneaky look at your Kickstarter profile, and I saw you’ve backed a total of 83 projects. Would you say they influenced your own Kickstarter in any way?
Andy: Absolutely! There are so many great projects out there. I’ve also been involved with other people’s kickstarters, with books that I’ve worked on. Which meant I have a fair few friends who’ve done campaigns in the past. I talked to a lot of them to get hints and pointers.
DYECB: Considering your experience, what advice would you offer anyone who’s thinking about Kickstarting their own project?
Andy: Talk to people who you know who’ve done them. The advice my friends gave me, was invaluable. Other than that, I guess, only ask for what you need for the goal, so know your numbers before hand. Simple straight forward pledges. Personally, I love a badge! A nice simple video, that details how you’d spend the money, is good too. And show your campaign to a few close friends before you launch it, so they can give you their opinion. Oh and postage, don’t forget to consider that when thinking about your goal amount.
DYECB: Well on that note, I think there’s only one thing left to ask. Where can we get our hands on a copy of Captain Cosmic #1?
Andy: You’ll be able to get it from my site: awclift.co.uk or on the big cartel which is frontiercomics.bigcartel.com. It’s currently available there digitally, but the print run goes on sale on May 26th. Which is when I’ll be at MCM Comic Con in London. You can already get it digitally at Comixology or on the awesome Comichaus app.
DYECB: Well I’ll definitely be popping into MCM to say hi. Andy. Thank you very much for letting us interview you! And good luck with issue #2!
Andy: Thank you very much, Lewis!