An Independent Artist Just Kicked the Mainstream Comics Industry’s Ass

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(c) Ngozi Ukazu, who can be found on tumblr.

Big-name comic book publishers Marvel & DC have been visibly struggling to pull in and retain new readers. That’s why webcomic creator Ngozi Ukazu’s killer success with her kickstarter campaign is such a big deal.

Ngozi set a goal of just over $30k to put her webcomic, “Check, Please!” into print. In about a week, she’s broken $250k. 

That is an incredible feat for a number of reasons:

  1. $220k above your goal is huge enough already, but on top of that, she still has over 20 days left in the campaign. Her funds are rising steadily.
  2. The entire comic is available to read online for free. Everyone who contributed is donating money to a story that they already have full access to.
  3. “Check, Please!” is not a comic with mass market appeal. It’s very niche — a sports story with m/m romance as the main plotline.
  4. Ngozi didn’t have to pour financial or marketing resources into this comic to make it a hit. It gained its huge fan following almost entirely by word of mouth.

It’s downright inspiring to see a solo artist achieve this kind of success. It proves you don’t need a big corporation or publisher backing you, and that consumers really will pay money for media they care about.

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“Stranger Things” – On Slender Man and Storytelling

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“Science is neat,” says a kind teacher to his rapt students, “but I’m afraid it’s not very forgiving.

This is the premise that drives the 2016 Netflix original series, “Stranger Things.” It’s about taking everyday chills and urban legends, exploring all the possibilities associated with them, and following those possibilities to the bitter end.

What gives a niche series like this one, a 1980s sci-fi/horror with child protagonists, such mainstream appeal? What makes it perfect for binge-watching? Why are so many people, from news outlets like the New York Times to big-name social media personalities, talking about it?

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