Having been involved with two separate crowdfunding campaigns, I know all too well how difficult it can be to not only run the campaigns themselves, but to keep yourself motivated during them. There are incalculable numbers of great comic book ideas that hatch up every day that go live on either Kickstarter or Indiegogo (or any number of other platforms) and fade away just as quickly among the mass of new ideas. Starting with this edition of the column and every Monday going forward, I’m going to be featuring a new crowdfunding campaign that catches my eye and that I hope to contribute to if possible. My hope is that by sharing and/or contributing to a campaign, that you too will share a campaign and perhaps contribute to it. This week’s feature is a great example, and serves as a great introduction to what’s cooking here in Canada.
Rushing from the success of their first season, which the Heroes of the North team says has been viewed over two million times across various online video platforms, the crew behind the series has returned for a second go-around with their Canadian-based superhero universe. The first season of the series was 20, 22-minute episodes long which ultimately won two “Indie Intertube Awards” in 2010 for Best Costumes and Best Opening Sequence. In addition to their web series, they have also published a number of accompanying comics, including 15 season one tie-in issues, three omnibuses, the Legacies TPB and October Dawn, the very first Heroes of the North novel.
On the first season of Heroes of the North, the production crew spent over $100,000 to make this award-winning, transmedia series about Canadian superheroes. With their sophomore season, the creators behind Heroes of the North hope to raise another $100,000 to produce their second season, but they don’t simply want to rest on the success of their first series. Rather, they want to make the second series “bigger and better” in every way they can; more heroes, more villains, more action, more special effects. They hope to produce a second season that is as close to TV standards as they can create, not to mention lengthening the episodes while also hoping to eventually introduce at least one superhero per Canadian province and territory.
While they have set a goal for themselves of $100,000, the Heroes of the North team has also compiled an interesting list of stretch goals. In addition to upping the production value of their web series and comics, as their campaign surpasses $150,000 and $200,000 benchmarks the team will shoot five additional episodes per stretch goal which will focus on some of the newly introduced characters to the series. This would bring the total episode count up to 20 episodes. If the team reaches $500,000, they plan to publish a series of self-contained one-shot comic books focusing on each character introduced in their universe. Demonstrating how far they’re willing to push Heroes of the North, if they reach $750,000 they will create a video game featuring the Canadian superheroes and their arch nemeses. Finally, if they surpass $1,000,000 they will stage a number of theatrical screenings for the series across Canada.
When it comes to campaign perks, the Heroes of the North team is offering a lengthy list of great bonuses for contributing to their effort, but there’s no harm in chipping in only $1 or $5 for a digital comic that bridges the first and second seasons. Where the campaign perks really hit their stride in terms of value is at the $15 level where you can get 15 PDF comics tying into the first season of the web series. They’ve also made available two separate versions of the first season in DVD format (standard edition and a two-disc special edition) for $20 and $35 respectively. I feel the best value comes in the form of the Omnibus trilogy perk for $35 which nets you all three Heroes of the North omnibuses complete with autographs from the series’ creators. Additional books are available at the $35 and $50 levels, however another great opportunity to snag yourself some great Canadian comic book/literary content is the “Bookworm Combo” which gets you the series’ Legacies, October Dawn and Omnibus Trilogy books for $120.
Why Should You Support Them?
Where Canadian superhero comics are concerned, it’s only now between the success of this series, the recent True Patriot comic anthology, the resurgence of Captain Canuck or independent series such as Legion Unleashed that original Canadian superheroes are getting their due. In supporting this series you’re helping to keep the momentum going for Canadian independent creators who have already demonstrated a tremendous capability within their craft and a commitment to providing the highest quality work possible. With their campaign perks already produced, printed, published and ready to ship, you’re getting bang for your buck no matter what you choose as you’re buying great products from them to help them produce the next phase of their series. There’s no risk in supporting them as you’ll get what you pay for, and ultimately get to enjoy a second season of the series as a bonus. Above all, this is a purely Canadian project made by Canadians and it’s simply worth it to help in the creation and promotion of Canadian heroes and comics.