The Kickstarter Union Situation

I never missed a meal as a child. Never went into baseball season without a glove (even if it was an older hand-me-down). I grew up in homes my parents could afford to own, not rent (there were years in a trailer, but I was in diapers so who cares about that?).

We were not rich. And I would dare say there were times we were a paycheck or two away from danger. But we never got there because my Father was a Union Electrician.

When he was laid off there was a check. When he worked overtime, there was extra compensation. It kept a family that would have been dirt-poor happily (lower) middle-class.

I probably would not have been able to attend college if it was not for the fact that my father opened his own Union Electrical Company when I was about 10.

Once the company got going we were no longer paycheck to paycheck and the baseball gloves got newer and nicer. I had a definite upper middle class life from high school on.

Unions made my life livable as a child, and nice as a teen and adult.
So I am strongly Pro-Union.

Now to comics. Before Ludo and I decided to try to Kickstart a proper printing of Tart Vol 1, we had been working on Tart for about three years. We had a web comic site that a few dozen people had visited. We’d sold about 80 to 100 copies of a Trade Paperback version of Tart Vol 1 that wasn’t nearly as nice. We were not financially viable in any way imaginable.

I haven’t run the numbers, but if I had to guess, Kickstarter Campaigns have accounted for over 80% of the money coming in to our project (I wouldn’t be shocked if it was actually 90% to 95% range).

The money we’ve raised has allowed us to continue creating, to print large runs so we always had extras, to advertise, and to travel to expensive shows.

So you can also guess I’m pretty strongly Pro-Kickstarter.

This is why the news that Kickstarter Management and some employees looking to Unionize are at odds has been agonizing.

I do not want to support a company that is illegally, or unethically (if still legally) clamping down on organization. Obviously, the PR from Kickstarter says they are not.

At this point, I’ve decided that since Kickstarter United (The Pro-Union employees group) isn’t asking for a boycott, I will continue to use Kickstarter’s service. And since we’re ready to launch in the next few weeks, I will follow inertia and run a campaign to completion even if this fact changes.

Future campaigns will be contingent on whether employees are still requesting creators not boycott the platform. If that happens I will abstain from further campaigns. Indie Go Go, whether they mean to or not, have aligned themselves with ComicsGate and therefore I can not in good conscience bring money to them even if that means losing crowdfunding as a business venture for the time being.

I hope you still want to support us through the next Kickstarter campaign. But if you choose not to support this campaign because of the situation, I will respect that decision. I’m trying to continue to pursue my dream in the most humanitarian and ethical way possible. At this time, I feel that is the status quo.

In the meantime, I’ll hope the situation is resolved to everyone’s satisfaction, and that you understand where I’m coming from in my decision making.


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