Funding Goals!

The Backstory of Nicki and Ricky, Part 2

Hi again, everyone!

This was in my fortune cookie:

FortuneThink it might be referring to our Crowdfundr campaign? LOL! 😊

Maybe, because thanks to you we moved closer to unlocking our Hardcover Goal this week. Now, we’re less than $200 away from being able to upgrade from paperback-only to a hardcover option so our Nicki and Ricky stories can get into libraries! 😊 Our campaign only has about 10 days to go, so please be sure to help us unlock our Hardcover Goal. It’s the only way to find out what bonusey goodies might be included inside!

Speaking of goodies: check out my newest handcrafted crochet creation, designed and made by me:

It’s one of my all-time favorite literary characters: Aziraphale, the angel from Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman’s classic collaboration: Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch.

WHICH leads me to another totally smooth and natural segue – Zero to Crowdfunded: The Backstory of Nicki and Ricky, PART 2, all about our collaboration! How do Sarah and I work together to create and crowdfund our comics despite living a continent apart?

Last time, in PART 1 of this special ‘behind the scenes’ expose, I flashed back a billion years to reveal the earliest origins of Nicki and Ricky. Turns out, I didn’t have to flash back nearly that far. So, for PART 2, let’s peek into the past of this present year.

2023: Sarah and I had one story finished (The Mystery of the Shell Tree), one story drafted (The Hummingbird Conundrum) and a third story bobbing around in a liminal space two doors down from the Cheshire Cat. We could see its outline, but it wasn’t fully there. Beyond that stretched a misty notion that, at some point, we might create a total of nine Nicki and Ricky nature comics. Three groups of three, each with its own theme: Baffling Birds! Mysterious Monsters! Living Fossils!

We’d also had one of our short collaborations accepted for publication in an anthology: Comics from the Kitchen! That was big. It meant our experiments, our practice stories, were no longer just between us. They were becoming something else, something real. Something we wanted to share.

Enter the Crowdfunding Crucible! A six-week Kids Comics Unite Workshop led by my friend Patrick Lugo. A workshop that seemed to ask:  Do you have the confidence and charisma to attract a crowd willing to fund the kids comics project of your dreams?

Heck no! came my brain’s immediate response. Crowdfunding!? Yikes! Surely such an activity involved alarming words like ‘outreach’ and ‘self-marketing’ and *horrors* ‘social media’!

To say I have a social media presence – even a ‘social’ presence – would be to stretch the word ‘presence’ until it inverts into its opposite to prevent itself from tearing. I’m an autistic introvert. I’ve always found it easier, and a lot quicker, to write a novel than an e-mail, let alone a text!

But this year, that week – that day… Something felt different. Sarah and I had already been collaborating and experimenting for months. We’d had one of our comics accepted for publication.

Why not take our experiment to the next level? Submit our stories, our creations, our wishful goals directly to potential readers and ask…

What do you think? Would you buy our books?

Sarah said, “Let’s go for it.”

I said, “OK.”

Thus, together, we stepped off Anxiety Cliff and began our Crowdfunding journey. I signed up for the Crucible, hoping it would serve as a glider or, at least, a cushioning parachute as we passed through clouds of amorphous uncertainty. In that hazy, free-falling place, where sure footing was surely a myth, we identified our first quixotic quest: to attract subscribers to our cause!

And also, to identify our cause!

As we brainstormed our approach through Zoom meetings and e-mails, we gradually came to realize this new experiment offered us something we hadn’t expected. A freedom to present our comics, our characters, in a way that celebrated the parts of our project that were most important to us.

With this in mind, we worked out a plan. A Newsletter that would grow to become Nicki and Ricky’s Summer Science Investigators’ Society!

And if you want to know more, you’ll have to tune in next week for PART 3. Thanks so much for reading!

Before you go…

We’ve only about 10 days left, and three stretch goals to unlock!

A. The Baffling Birds Trilogy HARDCOVER Edition

UNLOCKED if you help us stretch to $1,750!

B. Our HOLIDAY GOAL! All our physical books ready to ship in time for the holidays!

UNLOCKED if you help us stretch to $2,500!

C. Our Own Display Table at San Diego Comic Con, Summer 2024

UNLOCKED if you help us stretch all the way to $3,500!

Admittedly, that last one’s a pie-in-the-sky wish. But working together to reach our most aspirational goals is what this campaign’s been all about! So, let’s keep moving forward and see how far we get! Thanks so much, everyone! 😊

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