My name is Ben Millan, I'm a writer and artist, and I'm working on a comic book series called Another Witchhunt.
Currently I have three issues completed. They're full color, 35 to 45 pages each, with no ads.
I've been working on this series as well as getting my publishing company up and running since about 2017. I spent about one year of this time homeless, and between job hunting and looking for a place, I would take every bit of free time and energy I could muster drawing with a lap desk in my car, or at a local library. I now have a small inventory of issues 1 and 2, and am working to save the money to print a small run of issue 3.
The reason for this campaign is, I've just found a distributor, but in order to get my comics on to store shelves, I have to be able to absorb a 50% loss. Right now I can buy them in small runs for about $4.00 to $5.00 a piece. I need to be able to cough up enough money all at once to buy them for about $3.00 to $3.50 a piece or less, without outsourcing the printing to another country. Depending on who I use, this will cost me about $2,200.00 per issue.
Here's where it gets complicated for me.
I have never been comfortable asking for charity, especially not when I have a skill set that can make money. I DO work, and am actively looking for an online job or contract work that will pay me more, but I'm also helping to take care of a loved one who is on Hospice care. This is a full-time job in itself, and I have to be around the house 90% of the time in case of falls or other medical emergencies, so I'm only able to work a couple days a week at my day job. This makes it impossible to save money, or even pay my bills on time.
I do use whatever charity I can find to help out my family. I go to a local food bank, and have applied for everything we can through Hospice care and the state, but I don't want to live off of charity and welfare. Getting my comics into stores will help me get the ball rolling on making all of my income from home. I want to pay my own way and take care of my loved ones without depending on others. But I can't do that without the initial investment.
About $8,000.00 will cover the printing costs of the first three issues of my comic, as well as shipping them to the distributor, and leave me a little bit of padding for incidentals and advertising. I am grateful for every single cent, and will pay it forward as soon as I can climb out of this hole.
Thank you for reading.
I am very grateful for the support I've received so far. Thank you. After some careful thought, I've decided to alter course a little bit.
During my time making comics, I also picked up the skills to work in a print shop. While it has been a life long dream of mine to have my work on store shelves, It occurred to me that with far less money I can open a small home print shop and make money on the side while working to finish more issues of my comics.
I already own a Canon Pixma Pro-200 printer. It's a professional grade, large format printer which can print posters.
$2,000.00 would allow me to buy a small inventory of issues 1, 2, and 3, but also a saddle stitch stapler for magazine and booklet binding, extra ink cartridges and UV ink so that I can print blacklight posters, a paper folding machine for brochures and pamphlets, as well as leave some padding for incidentals. I will still be able to move forward with distributing my comics making less per sale, but will be able to offer print services from home to supplement my income.
With this equipment I will be able to print posters, pamphlets, brochures, magazines, catalogues, booklets, comic books, and flyers.
This is a rough breakdown of costs. The prices fluctuate depending on where I buy them and if I can even find them. The equipment is relatively easy to find but the paper and ink are kind of hit and miss. What I have listed here is the absolute minimum I'll need to set up shop and start looking for customers.
Issues 1 to 3 $300
Saddle Stitch Stapler $250
Extra ink $110
UV Ink $50
Spare cartridges $75
Manual paper folder $110
Paper for posters $110
I want to reiterate that I'm grateful for every cent. Even if I don't reach the entire goal, I'll still be a little bit closer.
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