Patreon Club: Help Fund Comics by Rachel Deering

Features! Features are rolling out onto The Spire like a steamroller, which is to say slowly. This new one, The Patreon Club, will offer a weekly look at various comic creators and projects who have taken to Patreon, a crowdfunding service. Patreon allows fans to directly fund people they like and admire on a weekly/monthly/per project basis, allowing the creatives more time to work on their comics and less time worrying about bills.

It’s slowly turning into one of the biggest gamechangers for comics production, as all sorts of different people have signed up to the service over the last few months. Over time, it feels as though this may be one of the dominant ways for small-press and webcomic creators – in particular – to make a living making comics. That’s still being worked towards, though, and maybe every piece of press helps right now. And hey! I can offer a little press. So let’s spend out Sundays focusing on Patreon People.

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Rachel Deering is a writer, editor, letterer – and I think she does some work as an artist, too? But she’s absolutely certainly all three of the former, anyway. She’s the writer of the self-published horror series Anathema, and letterer for comics like ‘Shadowman’ (over at Valiant), ‘Amelia Cole’ and ‘Relic’ (over at Monkeybrain) and many others.

And she has a Patreon.

Her most well-known project is likely ‘In The Dark’, an anthology of horror stories which she put together and funded on Kickstarter last year. The book, which comes in a huge hardcover form published by IDW, has stories from all sorts of people. Scott Snyder, Tradd Moore, Marguerite Bennett, Marc Laming, Cullen Bunn, and Alison Sampson. It was a successful campaign, and the completed book has seen some tremendous critical acclaim.

Although the project hit the goal and then some, the increased success of the book actually caused a few problems, in that the costs of international shipping suddenly went up by a huge, somewhat ridiculous amount. On Twitter, Deering estimates that distributing the comic has put her around $11000 in debt – certainly not a great position to be in just because you wanted to make comics for people. So she’s headed to Patreon to ask for help offsetting those bills a little.

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This isn’t simply asking for a handout, however – she has plenty to offer in return. There are three specialised ‘tiers’ of donation you can pledge, and the $5 and $20 a month tiers offer some intriguing benefits for pledgers. The $5 level is perhaps the key one. It allows you access to her behind-the-scenes work. She’s moved from self-publishing to working for companies like Vertigo and the aforementioned Valiant, and has made a real name for herself. How’s she managed to do that? She’ll be sharing her advice with anybody donating at this level:

I will give you behind the scenes access to whatever projects I happen to be working on at the moment. You will see scripts, art, lettering, design, and everything comic-related. This will also include commentary and protips and super secret tricks on how to make comics the Rachel Deering way.

Which has recently meant some artwork by artist Matteo Scalera from a Vertigo project the pair worked on together, for example. This is likely to be the most sought-after tier, as it offers a whole heap of content. The two people who see the most from a comic before it’s released are the editor and the letterer – and Deering happens to be both of them for many of her projects. There’ll be a lot of insider-y stuff here, if you decide to pledge.

At the $20 level, she’ll also create some personalised stuff for you – art and poems – on what I believe will be a weekly basis. There also remains the $1 level, where you won’t receive the above rewards – just a thanks for helping out.

This would be a good time to put in your own pledge to Deering, as she’s just announced a sequel to In The Dark, but won’t be able to take it to publication until 2016 as things stand. So, if you are interested by all I’ve said above, you can click though this link here to head to her Patreon!

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