The Bear Hunters (Welcome)

Welcome everyone.  As of this writing, we haven’t yet opened the gates of this endeavor to the public, but we’re only a few short days away.

To find out everything you need to know about KILLING THE GRIZZLY, read this.

Got all that?  Great, so let’s talk a little bit about huntin’ them big ol’ Grizzly Bears.

From around 2000 to around the end of 2008, the way to trounce grizzlies was webcomics.  Post daily strips, never falter, hit Cons, sell merch, cultivate 1000 True Fans and a larger (but less potent) community, and make a living doing what you love.  Maybe sell out, maybe not.

Unfortunately, the era of staring a webcomic and getting noticed while collecting a true-blue following is largely past.  Or at least, the “webcomic” as we knew of it.  Daily serializations simply aren’t engaging enough for a modern audience.  Today, we’re weaned on iPhones, Androids, Flash and Air apps, over three dozen major social networking sites, video and chat, forums, Skype, and MMORPGs.  As a final blow, as the mainstream Top Two comic companies finally move onto the digital stage, there is once again little room for unknown independents.  But this simply means that everything is moving on, progressing to the next level.

iTunes comics were the hullabaloo of 2009, and “official” desktop and tablet viewers are following suit in 2010 with Longbox, Graphic.ly, and ComiXology.  But while these distributors are offering new venues for release, there is still precious little for promotion.

And that’s where new strategies for killing grizzlies comes into play: some of the major branches are “Transmedia” and intertextuality, “interactive marketing“, and “community engagement“.  What it all means is engaging potential audiences on a much deeper level, bringing them on board as part of the process of creating, producing, and promoting new creative works.

What we’ve done here at KtG is bring together a number of relatively unknown, independent works with the intent of engaging the audience of the future, to allow more than just access to the work, but to further this and cultivate a real community whose input, interaction with us, demands and donations will create the very future for these comics.

In regards to our relationship with our community (that’s you), our mission is to:

  1. Lead the way, but not manage. Communities are organic, and must have the freedom to grow, evolve, and adapt as they see fit.  Have an idea?  Want us to pursue something we’re not?  Want us to stop something we’re doing?  Tell us. What to lead some part of this yourself?  Sure, just ask. Want to create any sort of side project based on our works?  You bet. We can probably supply you with what you need to make it happen.
  2. Never remain stagnant. We will not be the same company year in and year out.  Our strategies and offerings will constantly change, dependent on the opportunities and technologies available.  In case you’ve been hiding under a rock the past year, that means LOTS of change, and constantly.
  3. Treat you like a peer. You are part of KILLING THE GRIZZLY.  You work with us.  We are not your boss, though we may have access to more than you regarding what we instigate, and you are not ours, though we may require your approval and support in everything we dream up.  We are one and the same.  The “industry” is us.

These tenants won’t be in place 100% as we begin.  We’ll be starting slow – we’ll be starting, in fact, with some KICKSTARTER campaigns.  Kickstarter requires that we cultivate a very close relationship with our community in a relatively short period of time, but the actual interactive and engaging elements of KS are limited.  However, it’s a great way to break the ice, pass out some wonderful new comics to you, begin conversations on them, have you, our community, take an active part in our first endeavor.

Be on the lookout for us to ask you what incentives you want to see, what kind of GN’s you’d rather receive – Hardback?  Paperback?  Glossy cover?  Matte smooth non-gloss cover?  Vellum paper?  White paper?  Is 300 pages with 20 pages of extras enough?  Should there be more?  What kind of extras do you find worthwhile?  YOU will be on our board and help us make final business decisions.  That’s not a mind-blowing level of engagement, but it’s a start.

If you’d like to be a part, subscribe to our blog here to get all the updates as they hit.  In the near future, look for a major announcement regarding the ability to promote, fund, and find publishers and producers for your own projects.

Now let’s go get those first bricks laid.  We’ve got a community to build.

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