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Stuff Said 020: Steve Buccellato



  • Weasel Guy was with Steve as a Marvel Intern and when he started as John Romita’s assistant working with Romita’s Raiders. Here’s a drawing of Weasel Guy by then-Raiders, Tom Morgan and Jose Marzan, Jr.:
  • Here’s the note I got from Archie Goodwin after I sent out a set of comic page art samples:
  • “(theme for) Stuff Said” by Craig Chin (also on Soundcloud)
  • Additional Music: “She is Staggering” by Polaris, “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, “Pop Goes the Weasel” by 3rd Bass


  1. Steve Buccellato

    Gregg! This was fun, and I hope your listeners find this conversation at least SOMEWHAT interesting! 😉

    One thing I wanted to comment on: in our discussion about comics creators using KICKSTARTER to fund their projects, I wasn’t really sure of what to make of it, and flippantly referred to it as “digital begging.”

    Well, in the six weeks or so since we recorded this conversation, I have been thinking about the subject quite a bit. Especially after my brother’s successful funding of his Foster Anthology. I also discussed it with several other comics pros during Comic-Con, and I’ve developed different feelings about it.

    I still think crowd sourcing is kinda strange, and not always appropriate, but because of the way the comics Direct Market works, I think a Kickstarter campaign actually works well as an effective pre-order system, for indie comics in particular (if the rewards include a copy of the book). It’s a way for small press or self-publishers to pre-build an audience, and even some buzz. Also, if the other rewards are interesting and creative, it isn’t even begging… For example, my brother offered a reward where he’d color 8 pages of the contributor’s own comic. For a struggling newcomer, that is a GREAT trade.

    I guess my initial “gut” reaction is suspicion. Just this week, Marc Silvestri finished a Kickstarter Campaign for Top Cow to relaunch his Cyberforce comic. My first thought was, “why does Marc need us to pay for his publishing? Whats wrong with spending his own money?” But then I read the ‘fine print’ and learned of their experiment to offer the book for FREE. It’s an interesting idea. Not sure how that will work, but I guess my point is that it IS exciting that Kickstarter is allowing creative people many alternative options to the nigh-impossible to penetrate Direct Market, controlled by e big publishers.

    I’d be curious to discuss this, or anything elsewhere talked about, here in these comments, or on my own blog. Thanks!

    • Gregg

      Hey Steve,

      Kickstarter and Crowd Sourcing is absolutely an area ripe for discussion. I know it comes up regularly in conversations I have and these days it’s almost impossible to avoid someone promoting their kickstarter campaign or one of someone they’re helping support/promote.

      From the folks I’ve spoken to about it, successful or not, what seems very clear is running one of those campaigns is WORK, and a lot of it. Constant pinging of folks, reminders, promotion, etc, etc…and that’s just to raise the awareness to raise the funds (presuming you’re not a name creator or entity), for however long the campaign period runs. Beyond that there’s the prep (I imagine developing budgets, incentives and rewards, creating videos or promotional materials, sending out press releases, etc) and the fulfillment (shipping books, honoring rewards (so Brian, for example, will now need to color pages for those who contributed at that level), etc). ALL of that, now, is in ADDITION to actually completing the project that was ostensibly the reason for the crowd sourcing to begin with.

      And all of that to, from what I can tell, find an audience…a thing that I think at this point is further and further evidence of the failures of the direct market system. Not that there’s an immediately better system out there…like I said on the podcast, eventually, be it in the Diamond Previews catalog, the bookshelves at a bookstore, digital comic apps, or social media, it becomes about breaking through the noise.

      And that brings up a whole different can of worms where it becomes about self-promotion, personal branding, creating a “cause” perhaps over “content”…all of which are, well, just weird to me.

      Similar to your phrasing “digital begging”, for better or worse, I used the phrase “digital busking” in a similar conversation, which might be closer to what’s happening. There’s definitely a “please give me money”, but it’s in exchange for some display of the “talent” from the person asking.

      • Steve B

        “Busking” is a better term, Gregg. Having watched my brother go through his Kickstarter campaign, I can see that it’s definitely a lot of work to manage before funding, as well as later when it comes time to make good on all the rewards.

        I think one way to he heard though the “noise” you talk about is to DELAY going the Kickstarter route until you have already made some inroads toward finding your audience. The most successful campaigns seem to be by creators who are either ALREADY established in the field, or those who have built up a following by giving away their work for free with a webcomic.

        Those latter cases really interest me, because logic might tell you that if you give away the story for free, why would anyone choose to pay for the same content later? But the reality seems to be that readers appreciate the “good will”put forth by creators who go out on a limb and present their work for free. Especially if the creators actively interact with readers online, and are good about producing work in a timely schedule. This forms a valuable kind of relationship and trust… and those same readers seem happy to repay that trust by supporting these endeavors.

        Another reason for optimism in an era where creators are very worried about piracy and their intellectual properties.

        BTW… Thanks for updating the “Bonus Features!” I hope your audience enjoys them… I enjoyed digging up all that old work!

        BTW2: A CORRECTION! In our conversation, I couldn’t remember who wrote that first POWER PACK story that I penciled, and now we see that it was the late, great DWAYNE McDUFFY. But I also misremembered the inker! I said STAN DRAKE, but it was actually the awesome DAN SPIEGEL (see art above). Drake actually inked a HELLRAISER story that I penciled.

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