Welcome back to another Kickstarter Conversation! Today I’m joined by the creative force behind Breathe Again Magazine, Terrell Culbert. Thank you for joining us today Terrell!
Creative force! Well thats sounds pretty darn awesome, and no prob! Thanks for the cool intro. (Laughs)
So what is Breathe Again Magazine?
To be quite honest, BAM is a fanboys brain just "exploding"! I have been a geek my entire life and there has never been a moment when I was not thinking about comics, toys, cartoons and girls! Not necessarily in that order…at least I don't think so. Anyway this magazine is all those things I just mentioned because "hell", thats pretty much all I still think about! Except the girls part, my wife don't play. No really, I want people to see the cosplayers, artwork and the other cool stuff that might get missed at conventions. So in a way I suppose I want to contain some of that excitement stylize it and put it into my magazine.
If you already have four issues published, why bring your project to Kickstarter? Couldn’t you just keep doing what you did with the previous four issues?
I wish. I kind of learned the hard way that publishing can become rather expensive. Especially when your budget is nearly non-existent. That's why in mid August of 2012 I put everything pretty much on hold until I was able to come up with a better plan. I'm working on a different way of distribution, however I wanted to do a really big 52 page magazine for next years shows before I did that. Which brings me here in hopes that the fans of this amazing culture will rally behind the idea that BAM represents.
Why do a physical book in this day and age? Wouldn’t an eBook or PDF be cheaper and easier? Why not just turn it into a website?
HA! That's actually part of the new plan. I just happen to be an old school kind of comic book geek. Which means I'd never buy my books on pdf! I just love having the physical copy in my hand. Unfortunately I had to come to the realization kids are different now and it's a new day and age. Still, I'm like Will Smith from I-robot. Screw technology! Sike! I love my mac! (Laughs)
So under your “Risks and Challenges” section you state that “Once we have the funds I can get the ball rolling on some major costly areas of this project. “ What are some of those major costly areas?
Printing and Artist Commissions! Musicians and comic book artist have to eat too! Trust me I've done enough free stuff to know when you ask a talented dude to help, no matter how cool they are they can't eat with thanks. Still the biggest wall to climb is dishing out the cash to pay for the book copies.
So your Kickstarer is already off to a good start by having a lot of great images and a pretty high energy video. Was that all your idea/design? How did you get I Love Lightning Bugs on board?
The Idea is mine, but there was obviously a collaboration with some of the various artwork and photos. I was able to secure permission from a bunch of great talents and use their images for my Kickstarter page /book that’s in progress as we we speak. I met Band member Rob Shelby at the Motor City Comic Convention last May, he and I became friends immediately! We were just two Geeks talking about comics and we hit it off, I actually featured his band’s comic book in issue #4 of my magazine. After that I told him about what I had planned for issue 5 and he was like, “I'm in.”
What started BAM in the first place? What’s kept you going all these years?
What started BAM? Well here's the thing, I was an asthmatic child, and while most struggle to forget their childhood nicknames I embraced mine. -Breathe Again-(Laughs) What kept me going is this, "I never stop believing in heroes". Comics were my escape from bullies, problems at home, heck the world itself and in many ways they still are. I love being apart of that world where anything is possible! So the need to create a world like that for others possessed me and never subsided.
Your “Women of Cosplay” section obviously catches the eye and is a very effective bit of marketing. How much of the 52 pages do you think will be photo layouts and interviews with these ladies?
There will be 20 pages dedicated to these beautiful young women. Those pages will feature pin-up's assorted photos and interviews. I take care in setting up this section of the book. Mostly because guys are true fan’s of these women who tour the shows dressed as their favorite heroine or vixen and simply want to know more about their convention celebrities. Girls too for that matter! Some ladies are just curious about cosplay make-up and costume tip’s.
Do you focus mostly on interviews and photo galleries or do you have “how-to’s” or other article types in your magazine?
I don’t really follow up on the how to’s of cosplay. However my spokesmodels and I were actually debating on having a couple brief how to tip's for this magazine. Only because we'll have the extra pages. We do however plan to have some tip's and examples on The Women of BAM DVD featured in our rewards section.
Are you taking submissions for this issue or is it already pretty much laid out?
I am taking submissions for original fan art, there are some sections set aside for cool stuff like that. However, the book is pretty much laid out and thumb nailed. I've tried to cover all my bases for possible cancellations. All the images you have seen already are from people whose interviews, photos or art are mostly done and the pages are beginning to take shape.
You list two different delivery date estimates one for the digital only pledge levels and one for the print levels. Does that mean if I pledged at the “Pow Stage” level I’d have a PDF of the magazine about 2 months before I’d have a physical book?
Yes, and I hope that those who pledge the higher levels can bare with me. The fact is the book will be done sooner then it will return from the printer of course. So those who pledge the higher levels will receive two deliveries basically. Delivery one by email and delivery two by mail on the specified dates.
One of the keys of a successful Kickstarter project is backer participation. How are you engaging your backers? What kinds of things do you have planned for updates? Interviews? Videos? Stories from the project?
I plan to do an onslaught of video blogs! I want backers to know what’s going on and I'd love for them to be able to see me interact with some of the cosplayers during photo shoots. As well as check out some of the interviews. There will also be more promotional material of the featured guest in a few weeks. Plus added incentives when we reach milestone amounts.
What kind of media attention have you received with your project? How are you spreading the word? Facebook? Twitter? Google+? Youtube? Advertising? Are you using Kicktraq to help things along?
I just launched my Kickstarter so I haven't received much media attention. I’d like to think I’m big news, but a last tis not yet true. I have been spreading the word via youtube and Facebook for now. The cosplay models that I've been working with have a large fan base. So we have been attempting to spread the word as much as possible online. There are also some comic book forums that I post in as well like CBM "Comic Book Movie.com" and Fanboy theatre. As for “Kicktraq”, I am not exactly clear on what that is.
Do you have any tips/advice would you give to anyone looking to start a Kickstarter?
Take your time! Kickstarter is a great tool but you have to be prepared. Read every small detail and helpful tip on how to launch a successful kickstarter. Even the small things matter when you are trying convince someone to invest in your project. If you are just starting a kickstarter don't become discouraged if you miss the first punch, stay in there and keep swinging. Make sure you are doing as much leg work as possible to get the word out about your project.
Thank you for spending your time with us! Do you have any final thoughts for our readers?
No problem it was my pleasure! Hey guys if you are a comic book creator, fan of just a fan of pop culture, give me a shout out at bamimagery.com or find Breathe Again Magazine on Facebook! We would love to hear from you!
Thanks again and I hope to hear good things from your Kickstarter!
Me too friend! God bless!