Many moons ago, the first year or two I was drawing this comic strip, I used to accept donations. In return, I would send donators an extra wallpaper or comic each month. Additional content for people that wanted to support the comic in a more direct manner.
I tried this again some years later with "CAD Premium", a service that was wrapped up in the Animated Series we made. That went alright, but again, it was attached at the hip to the animated series. So when we discontinued that, the rest went away too.
People seemed to like the idea of supporting the comic directly, and getting extra content in return. I know I certainly did. However, by and large, there was no simple way to manage that sort of arrangement. In the early days I distinctly remember having to collect hundreds of addresses into a single email in order to send out rewards, for instance. A pain in the butt.
Fortunately, we've come a long way since then, and crafty folks have come up with tools for content creators like me to streamline the whole thing. Enter Patreon.
Patreon is a service by which you can say "Hey man, I dig your stuff. Lemme give you some money." and I can say "Wow, thanks! Here's some extra stuff!" And it's all sort of automated. The system is in place. It's like Kickstarter, but instead of one large pledge for one big item, it's a smaller recurring pledge for ongoing benefits/content. Some people have emailed me about in the past... it looked neat, so I had bookmarked it but sort of forgot about it.
Now that I've hired a colorist to work with me on a project, I've begun to see how much that sort of assistance can help me produce more content. How it might be able to help me get certain projects, such as the pending Ethan and Lucas reboot, off the backburner and into action by freeing up some of my time elsewhere.
Of course, that assistance isn't free, it's an additional cost to me. And now that I have a little mouth to feed, I'm ever more conscious of how I'm covering the costs of operating this website. So with that, I've decided to give Patreon a try, and see how it works out. See if there are people out there that like what I do enough to help me continue to do it.
I do want to be clear that I am not changing or charging for the content on this website. Nobody should feel any pressure to become a patron for fear of losing the content they already get. This is all about voluntary support for the website, in return for additional content/benefits.
I've come up with a variety of rewards off the top of my head, both on the individual and overall campaign level. I'd certainly love to hear your suggestions though, things that you might like to see added as rewards and options.