TL;DR: The Starcaster Chronicles is now on Patreon. The first two pages of Issue #7 are immediately available, including the first vote of the issue!
I’ve been struggling for a long while with how to continue with the future of The Starcaster Chronicles. I outlined some of the issues in my vlog post last year, but basically it came down with trying to reconcile my desire to produce more (or at least more regularly) pages of Starcaster with the only way for me to achieve that (bringing on help).
For a while I toyed with the idea of handing things over to another artist, and simply acting as writer for the series, but even that proved incredibly difficult for me; I really enjoy The Starcaster Chronicles and I like having a hand in creating that world. Plus, I (and others voiced a similar opinion) liked the idea of having a continuity of art from issue to issue, and that’s not something I can guarantee with an outside artist that might not stick around.
There’s also the matter of cost; hiring help obviously costs money. I hired a colorist on the first five issues of Starcaster, and that helped, but I also paid that out of pocket. I’ve eaten that cost until I can (hopefully) recoup it when I put out the first Starcaster book. But since I’ve obviously yet to put out that book (working on it, I promise), I’m still in the red on Starcaster. So the idea of hiring help has to go hand in hand with finding a way to break even. That’s all I’m really concerned with. I’ll put the time and effort in to write and draw the series with no promise of compensation, I just don’t want to going into the negative to do so. There has to be some method of breaking even for me.
Which leads me to my next problem; The Starcaster Chronicles started free to read, and I want people that started reading it to be able to continue reading it, even if they can’t support it. I don’t want to rip it away six issues in and say “now that I have your interest, pay up!” That feels skeevy. So I need the support from people, but I don’t want to hold the pages hostage. What other leverage do I have?
Well, after much back and forth deliberation (for the better part of a year, actually), I think I’ve settled on something that I can be happy with. Patreon has been really good for Ctrl+Alt+Del so far, our primary Patreon Campaign is what keeps this site going, and what allows me to put out the volume of work that I already do. And they’ve added a lot of great tools for publishers as well, so I think it can be good for The Starcaster Chronicles too.
I have now launched The Starcaster Chronicles Patreon.
The campaign is simple, there’s only one pledge level. For $2 a month, you will get a minimum of two pages of The Starcaster Chronicles.
I will continue to function as the writer of The Starcaster Chronicles, and I will continue to pencil the pages. The lineart is mine, which ensures a continuity of vision on the page. However I have now also hired an Inker and a Colorist to work with me on the series. Bringing in an inker and a colorist frees me up to focus more on the lineart itself and draw more pages.
I will produce 2 pages per month, regardless of how much support this Patreon gets. Hopefully, we can hit a break-even point on those two pages. If we get more support than that, our goals are set up so that every time we pass a threshold where I can pay the inker and colorist for an additional page, then another page will get added to everyone’s monthly pledge. The more people we have supporting us, the more pages you’ll get each month for the same pledge amount.
All of the proceeds from this Patreon are going towards inking and coloring fees; I am not taking any compensation for myself. My goal is to get as much Starcaster created as possible and as regularly as possible. That’s not to say that I don’t hope to make some money from my work, but I’m content to wait and see if I can do that on the back end (either from books sales down the line, or maybe some advertising income when I put completed issues on the website).
As a Patron, you will be the first to receive new pages of The Starcaster Chronicles, at a minimum of two per month, and have exclusive access to cast your vote for any and all choices to decide the outcome of our story!
The completed issues will still be posted to Ctrl+Alt+Del sometime after they are complete. However only Patrons will have the power to vote in realtime to influence how the story proceeds.
Patrons will also have access to any concept art or behind-the-scenes material, as well as a Patron-only Starcaster Chronicles Discord channel to chat with me and other Patrons about the story.
If you enjoy Cort and Speck’s adventures in The Starcaster Chronicles, and you would like to see more of it, your support on this Patreon campaign would be very much appreciated.