Kickin’ it with Evan Young and Lou Iovino – The Last West Vol. 2
4cr: Hi! Thank you both for being here for today’s Kickin it with. Could you each please introduce yourselves to our audience?
EVAN: My name’s Evan Young, I’m co-author of The Last West. And if anyone cares, I’ve written a couple of other graphic novels as well: The Forgotten, and The Carrier.
LOU: And, I am Lou Iovino, the other half of The Last West.
4cr: Right now you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for The Last West: Volume Two, a graphic novel that will include what seems to be the last story arc in the series. What can you tell us about The Last West?
EVAN: Well first, I can tell you the basic premise: that all technological and cultural advancement has halted, and even though it’s present day, the world is still stuck in the surroundings of 1945. World War II has been going on for 70 years, the cars are the same, the ideas the same as 1945. Only one man thinks he knows why this has happened, and has set out to try to “un-stick” the world.
LOU: It’s a good blend of alternate history and good old fashioned noir mystery. It’s often compared to Lost in its structure and story telling arcs.
4cr: Since this isn’t your first time at the Kickstarter rodeo, can you share with us what you’ve learned about crowdsourced funding? What went right and what went wrong with your previous Kickstarter?
EVAN: A whole lot went right about our first Kickstarter. We far exceeded our goal, which was amazing. And we’ve connected to SO many of our fans now, people who seem to truly enjoy the story we’ve written. But sure, we made some mistakes. Mostly to do with how we tiered our rewards and when they were delivered. It’s tough to plan out an entire Kickstarter the right way having never done it before, and in retrospect, we may have changed up some of our rewards by a couple of dollars and given ourselves another month here and there to get things finished. But it all worked out in the end.
LOU: We also learned that you can’t go to Kickstarter expecting to find the crowd. You really need to bring the crowd with you. So being very active in the comic community certainly helped.
4cr: Is that why you launched the Kickstarter campaign for Volume 2 after having completed 5 of the 10 issues that will be included in the graphic novel?
EVAN: In a way, yes. For us, we needed to prove that this story would have an audience. And that was indeed proven, through the amazing support that we’ve gotten so far for Volume 1. So we wanted to keep on rolling and try to gain even more support for the second half — the conclusion — of the story.
LOU: I’d also say that we wanted the kickstarter for volume 2 to coincide with the global release of volume 1. That way people can find us in a few different ways and discover our story through multiple avenues.
4cr: Since the campaign has already reached its main goal, are you considering any stretch goals that can provide backers with some extra free items for their pledge?
EVAN: Sure! We actually have a bunch of stretch goals listed on the campaign right now. We’re hoping to be able to include another deleted scene in Volume 2, since we really liked be able to tack one onto the end of Volume 1. It sort of let our readers peek behind the curtain, and we think people have enjoyed it. We’re also hoping to be able to include a print and some baseball-type “character cards.” It’s all there on the page, so everyone should have a look!
LOU: And, hey, if we hit all of those, don’t worry! We have lots of ideas for more fun stuff for backers.
4cr: Thanks once again for doing this interview. Would either of you like to say anything else?
EVAN: Thanks so much for being interested and letting us do this interview! One thing that’s important for us to get out there to folks is to not think of supporting comic creators like us on Kickstarter as purely donation, or as purely preordering, either. It’s a bit of both. It’s only with the support of the world at large out there that a lot of comics these days are finding the funding they need, but sometimes that means contributing a few more dollars to a campaign for, say, a trade paperback than you’d be able to get that TPB for once it comes out on Amazon. But it’s that couple of extra dollars that is bringing comics to life! Just something for everyone to keep in mind. The support just means so much to us and we couldn’t do these comics without it.