Womanthology Sets the Record Straight On Where Its Funds Are Going

Not all that glitters is gold
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There’s been some Tumblr and Twitter scuffles today about exactly what Womanthology, the Kickstarter project that unexpectedly raised over $100k for a book to promote the work of women in the comics industry, was going to be doing with all that extra money (about $75k extra) since they are also planning on charging for the books that will be produced with that money. Kickstarter in and of itself can be a little confusing sometimes, riding several lines between charity, freemium, direct funding, and the common retail transaction, depending on the way that each individual project sets up its donation incentives.

Specifically, many people were concerned that now that the anthology was definitely going to turn a profit, that the women whose work was featured in it would not be getting paid. At it’s core, the answer to this is that all the artists involved in the project understood that Womanthology was a charity project first and foremost, and understood that they were making art for charity, not “exposure,” and that all proceeds would be donated no matter how much start-up money the project made. However, in answering questions from concerned Twitterers, organizer Renae Deliz and artist Dani Jones told everybody exactly where the money is going, and it’s going some pretty exciting places.

Deliz stressed that no one is making a cent off of Womanthology, not the artists, the organizers, or IDW. Oh, you didn’t know IDW was involved? Well, it turns out that the unexpected cashflow generated on Kickstarter was used to attract IDW, America’s fifth largest comics publisher, to the project. IDW’s connections will get Heroic, the first volume of Womanthology, in many exciting places like libraries, schools, mainstream bookstores and (more) comic shops.

But enough about the eventual profits on the book (which are going to GlobalGiving). Deliz also laid out exactly where that $100k was going, destination by destination, from Bleeding Cool.

  • $6,000 Kickstarter “errors” such as bad card numbers, faulty pledges
  • $9,000 Fees (Kickstarter is %5, Amazon takes another %3 – %5)
  • $40,000 Printing for around 5,5000 Womanthology books (may change)
  • $20,000 Postage for 2,000 books (overest. of labor, postage is at least $5 a book/ may change)
  • $3,000 Printing/postage of 1000 Sketchbooks
  • $2,000 Postage of other rewards
  • $20,000 Taxes, for me, a self employed person, overestimate, may change

She concludes “That alone is around $100,000 of the $109,000. But because of overestimating, I am guessing there may be $20,000 left over, if there are no refunds, or extra fees.”

That $20,000? According to Dani Jones, an artist involved with Womanthology, it’s going to be used to directly produce new comics projects by women:

The Womanthology creators want to use the excess money to create an imprint to help women creators and publish their books. Some artists are skeptical about this because these books are not specifically the Womanthology book that the backers paid for and may be for profit…

[But] I love the fact that Womanthology has raised so much that they can even consider starting these extra projects and get some books published. I love that they are moving beyond awareness and are trying to get women paid and published. So even though this imprint falls outside of the initial book plans, all the art, time, and money that was given is going to exactly what was outlined from the start – to support women comic creators. And from what I understand, all profits from those books will go towards making even more. I don’t think the artists or backers have anything to worry about or have any reason to feel cheated, IMO.

Those are my thoughts anyway. Artists, by all means be cautious and defensive about making work for free, but also recognize when free work can do good.

(via Bleeding Cool.)

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Susana Polo
Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.