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    • CommentTimeJul 7th 2010
    Killing the Grizzly Banner

    KILLING THE GRIZZLY has launched!

    KTG is a brand new kind of agency and production house for graphic works, focusing on interactive marketing, community enagement, and transmedia to bring new and forgotten comic works back into the eye of publishers, producers, and readers.

    * As agents, we combine traditional print practices with new-fangled digital opportunities to raise media, reader, and publisher awareness of any creative work before formally shopping it around to potentially interested parties.
    * As producers, we're in the process of establishing inclusive opportunities for independent creators to fund, produce, promote, and access exhaustive distribution for thier works.

    To kick things off, we've brought together a number of relatively unknown, independent works with the intent of engaging the audience of the future, to allow more than just access to the work, but to further this and cultivate a real community whose input, interaction with us, demands and donations will create the very future for these comics.

    PLUS: An Alternative to ZUDA!!!!

    We've got an incredible new alternative to the now quashed ZUDA for indie creators, and it won’t be a competition structure, but something far more organic, open, and fair and it will go far beyond what ZUDA ever did. We're in talks to have this ready within the matter of a few weeks. So stay tuned!!!

    Read our whole first PR here for full details:

    And hit us up on Twitter or Facebook or subscribe to the bloggie

    We'll post all updates here as we go. If you have questions that can't wait to be answered, please ask. I'm a talkative fella, when pressed.
  1.  (8528.2)
    I am going to be watching this very carefully.

    Any true alternative to Zuda would be paying participants. Are you doing that?
  2.  (8528.3)

    He mentioned this in the End of Zuda thread as well, but in that post he says they will "fully fund" a graphic work. No details thus far but I'll be interested to see how things turn out.
    • CommentTimeJul 7th 2010
    @warrenellis and @tcantsninfan - Here's details: yes, creators are not doing this for free whatsoever, though our payment is not as freelance-style direct as ZUDA did in all cases (but very much as directly in some cases) as we won't be interested in securing the same level of rights to all works submitted.

    However, all participants who are selected due to the quality of their work will be given one of three possibilities (this is simplifying things tremendously, mind, and the details are subject to change before the actual announcement, but it's a nice primer):

    1) If we think your work is promising (but not astounding), we point you in the right direction and offer support to secure funding through either crowdsource fundraising or individual producers or both. All work sinks or swims on its own merits - we gather together the people who can make it happen and showcase your work to them from all angles, but it's entirely up to the crowd and/or producers if they like what they see and want to put money down. For this "tier", we take a very small slice of the pie for our services, kind of like an agent would. Your "budget" is entirely as your discretion depending on what you want to do - which venues? Which digital and/or physical outlets? In what way? What marketing will you pursue? We'll show you the options and the costs involved and help you get the money together if at all possible. We will then manage the distribution and provide marketing services and ongoing maintenance of the distribution. For this we keep 15% of sales receipts.

    2) We very much like what we see, and will match a certain amount of money up front for whatever your budget will be. For instance, if your work requires $10,000 to see the light of day, we put forward $5,000 and then help you just as in "Tier 1" to raise the other $5,000. In more specific, we'll put up distribution and marketing costs but you'll still be raising the funds through our platform for production costs. For this, we share sales profits 50/50 with the creator.

    3) We think it rocks and want to help you get it to the biggest audience possible. In this case, you bypass crowdfunding completely, we send it "upstairs", and we finance the full production & distribution. There are no fees for the Creator to cover through fundraising. You get full distribution in all venues your work is accepted within (we obviously don't control the venues with an iron fist, but we will have relations with them all). For this level of support, we take 50% of licensing & sales. So if your comic is a break out success and makes a cool $20mil in licensing and sales, you walk away with $10M.

    Hope that helps paint a clearer picture. Everything isn't 100% in place yet, but doors should be opening within 3-4 weeks if all goes smoothly, which of course it likely won't, but SOMEwhere near enough that timeline it should happen :)
    • CommentTimeJul 7th 2010
    The percentages you take seem shockingly large to me.

    I don't know what Zuda's structure was like, but I find it hard to believe anyone whose work was good enough for you to want to
    fully fund would be at all well served in signing over 50% of licensing and merchandising.

    That strikes me as an absurdly bad idea.
      CommentAuthorCameron C.
    • CommentTimeJul 7th 2010
    but 50% of 20 million dollars is 10 million dollars. That is a whole lot of dollars.

  3.  (8528.7)
    I had all this shit typed out and my web browser crashed, so I'll retype most of it but will be terse.

    These are the things I find very suspicious about your company/website/whatever:

    ***You call traditional marketing "manipulation" but half the text on your website sounds like it was taken from some self-proclaimed SEO guru's website. Here's a quote:

    Our strategies constantly change with the market and audience. The internet is fundamentally about change and springing surprises. You simply don’t know what someone will put online next, what opportunities will be offered, what venues will automatically open up, or even what popular models will overnight prove obsolete. Our approach to branding, marketing, and promotion reflects this. We act to promote our client’s works, expand their popularity, and increase public and professional awareness BY ANY MEANS AVAILABLE (but also palatable).

    You say a lot without actually saying anything. You mention a lot of vague abstractions that can't be qualified, like the War on Terror or something.

    Today, we’re weaned on iPhones, Androids, Flash and Air apps, over three dozen major social networking sites, video and chat, forums, Skype, and MMORPGs.

    Another quote from your website. What in the world does this even mean? Are you trying to prove that people have shorter attention spans now? Yes, we probably do. But how does that help to prove that daily, serialized webcomics aren't engaging enough for modern audiences, which is what that paragraph was about? BTW, saying "Androids" like that makes you sound like my grandmother, who thinks Skype is a kind of fish.

    ***The current projects on your website all mention that they're Kickstarter projects but aren't listed on and there aren't any dates on your site of when they'll be listed. Besides that, though, why wouldn't the creators just list their comics on Kickstarter directly rather than going through you?

    ***I can't find any information on your website about the distribution/story rights of the comics that come through your agency. I can assure you, people will want to know more about this.

    ***Your first press release talks about how this will "go far beyond what ZUDA ever did". First, this is another vague statement; just how exactly will it go far and beyond? The statement is not qualified in the least.

    Secondly and more importantly, however, you take the opportunity to bash a fairly prestigious and well-known organization in your inaugural press release. This would be like me starting an electronics company and talking shit about Sony the first time I met with a reporter. It does absolutely zero harm to ZUDA's reputation and makes you sound like a pompous dick.

    ***Your website doesn't have a forum, which is very odd considering how much of your company is supposed to be focused on creating demand/developing communities/increasing public exposure.

    ***Your official twitter account was started yesterday. Your domain was registered on May 29th of this year. There's currently a total of 2 blog posts on your website. I don't see any dates of cons that you'll be attending in order to promote the company. I googled your name and there's only one comic news website that mentions anything about you. I understand you're just starting up and all, but starting a thread on Whitechapel this early seems very odd.
  4.  (8528.8)
    Aw, c'mon you guys! He seems so happy with his newfangled company!
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2010
    @tcatsninfan - Proof will be in the pudding, as they say.

    And yes, we are very brand spanking new. Our ideas are not new (though they will be to some), nor are the people involved, nor are our efforts, but we're moving fast now that we can.

    As for going "far beyond ZUDA", that is qualified to an extent with my last posting. ZUDA was an IP and talent farm and an awesome one at that, especially considering nothing else existed to offer talent an equivalent or better or even alternative deal on the same level. But they guaranteed nothing beyond 52 pages serialized online in a specific non-standard format with no guarantee of reversion of rights. Saying we'll go further than another company does not unquestionably say "better than". But we will be offering more choices, avenues, flexibility, and services.

    As for everything else, I refer back to "proof is in the pudding". At which point everyone can judge the thing itself rather than the PR, or judge it next to the PR, which will also happen.

    @Art - I am. So true! :)
  5.  (8528.10)
    Today, we’re weaned on iPhones, Androids, Flash and Air apps, over three dozen major social networking sites, video and chat, forums, Skype, and MMORPGs.

    -I think Tcatsninfan is right on this one. It's an awkward sentence and I don't think weaned is the right word for what you mean. To wean would assume that smartphones are being used as a bridge to some other technology, starting at a young age-- which....they aren't really. While they might be a bridge between old school phones and computers, that's not really accurate either. It also has a somewhat nursery connotation; the people using these devices are mostly adults. Insinuating that people are suckling-pups with their technology is a bit crass.

    Enthusiasm for a new project is one thing, but it shouldn't come at the expense of quality. Vague, hyperbolic statements are fun and dandy, but sometimes some good old-fashioned clarity does better. Say what you mean, mean what you say. Skittering around a topic isn't the same as answering it.

    I'm also curious as to your agency credentials, and what forms of marketing you plan on using for your company. What's your track record with previous agency-type work and getting results? Have you done things like this before, if so, again- how'd it go? You say you aren't a marketing agency but in the end it really does sound like that; though your focus seems to be more on social marketing & internet than physical advertising in magazines, papers, etc. Would you plan on using traditional media in addition to web-based media to get stuff 'out there'?
    • CommentTimeJul 8th 2010 edited
    I understand you're just starting up and all, but starting a thread on Whitechapel this early seems very odd.

    Why? I'm only considering moving some creative material from a blog to an actual web comic, so I asked about it here and got some very good advice. Announcing a new endeavor on Whitechapel seems like a good as way to start as any. I'm sure the comments so far have given davebaxter quite a bit to think about.

    EDIT: Actually, that's not true. I was asking about how to monetise a webcomic and a couple of nice folks pointed out that it'd probably be a good idea for me to put the horse in front of the cart.
  6.  (8528.12)
    So, when you say "we'll put up distribution and marketing costs" are we talking cash investment or in-kind contribution based on your estimate of the value of your contribution?

    There seems to be some potential for Hollywood Studio accounting here.

    I should point out I think this idea has enormous potential but I think its useful to explore these sorts of issues up front.
  7.  (8528.13)
    I should point out I think this idea has enormous potential but I think its useful to explore these sorts of issues up front.

    Yeah, I think the internet entitlement is getting a little out of hand now.