It was a very controversial week for Archie Comics as the company launched a Kickstarter campaign for new comics. A short while ago, the company cancelled the campaign and sent a letter to its supporters.
In a Kickstarter update email, the company stated
We launched the “New Riverdale” Kickstarter as a unique and innovative way to celebrate the company’s upcoming 75th anniversary and to bring attention to some new titles that we are extremely excited about—JUGHEAD by Chip Zdarsky, BETTY AND VERONICA by Adam Hughes and LIFE WITH KEVIN by Dan Parent and J. Bone. We decided to dive into crowdfunding as an energetic, interactive and different method to raise money to help expedite the launch of these titles. The chance to engage with you, our fans, directly was really appealing to us, and we’re extremely grateful and honored by the support and pledges we’ve received.
While the response to these new titles has been amazing, the reaction to an established brand like Archie crowdfunding has not been. Though we saw this as an innovative, progressive and “outside-the-box” way to fund the accelerated schedule we wanted to produce these books, it became another conversation, leading us further away from the purpose of this whole campaign: to get these amazing books in the hands of fans faster than we could on our own. While we fully expected our goal to be funded, it was no longer about the books and how amazing they will be. We don’t want that. This is why we’re shutting this Kickstarter down today.
We don’t regret trying something new. It’s what Archie’s been about for the last six years. We will continue to be a fearless, risk-taking and vibrant brand that will do its best to embrace new platforms, technology and ways to interact with you, the fans. As a company, we have always prided ourselves on pushing boundaries and challenging expectations and perceptions.
The wonderful New Riverdale titles we wanted to launch will still come out—albeit not as quickly as we would have hoped had we attained the funding via Kickstarter. We believe in these books and know they’ll find an audience in comic shops, fueled by great stories and amazing creators.
We’d like to thank the great team at Kickstarter for their guidance and feedback and the entire staff at Archie Comics for their endless hours of hard work and dedication to this very special initiative.
And, most importantly, to you, our fans that pledged money to this Kickstarter—we thank you. Not only do we thank you, but we still want to interact directly with you. Your dedication, love of Archie and his friends and endless positivity are examples to all.
It honestly too bad Internet flack caused the company to shut down the campaign. They stood against a million mothers when Kevin Keller was introduced, and made it through a huge reorganization. Though the campaign may have been shut down, I hope this doesn’t discourage other companies from moving to this model in the future.