Zoop Is Upping The Indie Comics Crowdfunding Game

Tech Features Crowdfunding
Zoop Is Upping The Indie Comics Crowdfunding Game

With comic writers and artists moving back and forth between high-profile gigs for the likes of Marvel and DC to smaller indie books, crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter have played a major role in the rapidly growing comic book market. 

As Co-Founder and CEO of the comic book-focused crowdfunding site Zoop, Jordan Plosky has been working to shine a light on new indie titles, graphic novels and art collections featuring the likes of Alex Ross, John Paul Leon, Bill Seinkeiwicz, Art Adams, Walt Simonson and Jack Kirby for more than two years. Now, Plosky and his partner Eric Moss, Zoop Co-Founder and COO, are offering comic book fans a stake in the future of the company. 

Using the equity crowdfunding platform Republic, Zoop launched a campaign to boost its platform, hire new employees and give comic book fans a chance to own stock in Zoop on March 15. With a minimum of $150, anyone can own futures in Zoop. To date, the company has raised a little over $93,000 towards a max goal of $1.2M, with a campaign end date of June 13. 

Currently, Zoop has more than 20,000 registered users who have backed almost 90% of the more than 130 campaigns Zoop has run, including high-profile projects like Conan, The Barbarian and The Rocketeer

Plosky said the biggest difference between sites like Kickstarter or Indie Go Go is that Zoop offers creators a full range of services including campaign management, marketing, printing and fulfillment, making the crowdfunding experience easier for its clients. 

“We actively promote all our projects, and have a streamlined, easy to navigate user interface,” he told Paste. Since Zoop launched in 2022, the company has successfully launched titles like Ax Wielder Jon, Comics For Ukraine and The Wintermen Artist Edition by John Paul Leon.

Comic books, in general, have never been bigger pop-culture wise. Despite news of “superhero fatigue,” major studios like Netflix and Amazon are still investing heavily in new comic book adaptations, especially from indie studios like IDW, Oni Press, Image Comics and Boom. 

Anecdotally, Plosky said, he’s seen smaller publishers like Mad Cave thriving, also evidenced by Dynamite’s recent hit with the relaunch of Thundercats.  

“You see crowdfunding successes for companies like Boom, Coffin Comics, Top Cow, and many others, which makes you realize that the comics industry is healthy,” he said. “With crowdfunding, e-commerce, and other new channels, it just might be changing where money gets spent.”

Even though they launched Zoop in 2021, Plosky and Moss bonded years prior over their love of comic books. In 2018, Moss was handling business development for IDW and met Plosky through his previous startup, ComicBlitz. 

While locked down during the pandemic, Plosky said, the pair came up with the idea for Zoop. Soon after, their idea was validated when a campaign Moss was working on blew up the indie comic world. 

Launched on Kickstarter, BRZRKR (co-written by Keanu Reeves) quickly became the most successful comic book crowdfunding project in the site’s history. BRZRKR #1, which was published by Boom! Studios in 2021, sold over 615,000 copies making it the top-selling single issue since Marvel published Star Wars #1 in 2015. Since then, the IP has spawned animation and TV adaptations which are set to release this year. 

To date, Zoop has run more than 100 campaigns for artists and creators like Dan Panosian and Howard Chaykin. Earlier this year, The Jack Kirby Museum tapped Zoop to publish and launch the late legend’s comic strip from the 1950’s, Sky Masters of the Space Force. Launched in January, the book has smashed its modest goal of $10,000 with more than $60,000 pledged to date. 

Zoop has several other projects in the works, Plosky said, including offerings like Many Worlds from Christian Ward and Sanford Greene’s 1,000

“I thought, why continue using someone else’s platform when we could pool our resources and build one of our own that’s a lot more streamlined and intuitive,” Moss told Paste. “With the shake ups that were going on during and after Covid lockdown, a lot of creators and publishers needed help in getting their projects off the ground, and with our experience we felt we were uniquely situated to be their solution.”

 

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