When I give to a Kickstarter campaign, I tend to give cheaply; I fork over my 20 bucks, get my book or t-shirt and I call it a day. But a friend of mine recently told me that it was the upper level rewards that really made her campaign a success. You have to tap into those superfans who are willing to part with a big chunk of dough in exchange for a limited edition hardcover or appearing as a character in their favorite comic. Or, you could go the route Diesel Sweeties
creator Rich Stevens has chosen for his latest Kickstarter campaign
: performing stunts in exchange for the big money pledges. Now Kickstarter backers can pay
(and have paid) for Stevens to break his vegetarian streak with a pound of bacon, give up coffee and personally prevent the 2012 apocalypse.
Stevens current Kickstarter project (which is about to close), is to fund the creation of a Diesel Sweeties
ebook omnibus, collecting all 3,000 strips as a DRM-free ebook in both iBooks and PDF format. Once he blew past his original $3,000 goal, he added remastered storylines, the ability to read the book by theme and character, commentary and character pixel charts.
Now that the campaign is topping out at more than $50,000, the book will also be available on flash drive in the shape of Diesel Sweeties
' homicidal Red Robot, and Stevens will be producing a minicomic featuring original art by Questionable Content
's Jeph Jacques, explodingdog
's Sam Brown, DAR!
's Erika Moen, Nedroid
's Anthony Clark and Gunshow
's KC Green, as well as speculations on robot sex from futurist Jamais Cascio
One of the reasons the campaign has been so successful is the oddball rewards Stevens has been offering. In addition to the usual thumb drives full of ebooks and signed prints, Stevens has developed some more innovative options. Many backers have already claimed Stevens' Lego sculptures (in fact, he had to do extra runs of Metal Steve's pixel skull in Lego), as well as a few stranger stunts:
The Baco-Vegetarian: You get the full signed thumb drive package, plus I'll give up my almost unbroken 2-year stretch of vegetarianism to cook and EAT A POUND OF BACON. I will also make a video, cursing you for how sick this will make me. Bonus: I will hate myself. Double bonus: My ghost will haunt you.
That one set someone back $666. I wonder if Stevens will also send him or her a photo of the resulting vomit.
The Holodeck Romance: You get the full signed thumb drive package, plus I'll draw the cast of your favorite Star Trek crew and send you a signed print. This Star Trek crew will be declared The Best and anyone who disagrees with you will hereby be Wrong. (I cannot draw the 2009 movie actors for moral reasons.)
This for the bargain price of $1,701 (of course). I just hope whoever bought it realizes that Deep Space Nine
is unequivocally the best Trek, and no number of endorsements from Stevens can change that. EVER.
Stevens still has a few stunts still on the market, including the promise that he, Rich Stevens, will personally ensure that the world will not end in 2012 -- as long as someone pledges $2,012. Good luck getting your money back if that Mayan calendar thing pans out. He'll also make his comic on a Windows computer for a month for $9,999, and give up coffee and energy drinks for $10,000.
I especially enjoy that, while Stevens wants $10,000 to give up caffeine for a month, he only wanted $666 to eat a pound of bacon. Evidently, he's less committed to his vegetarianism than his caffeine habit.