The Penny Arcade Strip Search contestants are making their voices heard on crowdfunding sites. So far, Lexxy Douglas, Abby Howard, Monica Ray, and Maki Naro have run successful Kickstarter or IndieGoGo projects to expand their comic or launch a new series. Now it's your chance to back Sketchy Details' favorite Amy T. Falcone's new webcomic Clique Refresh.
Falcone's new webcomic is about the friends you make online. The pitch puts it in the same category as The Guild without directly stepping on that show's concept. Amy is focusing on the strength of relationships built without any real world contact. It's the good friends you made on a message board or the guild-mates you started chatting with outside of gameplay.
As someone who has a lot of online friends and grew up around the same technological shift as Falcone, Clique Refresh hits me just right. I met some of my closest friends online. The Internet became a safe place to create distance from the real world and vent. It's where I could share my writing with who I wanted to read it (did you really think Sketchy Details was everything I wrote?) and get honest feedback or were I could plan huge projects with people without any of my real world family or friends knowing.
The Internet can easily be used to forge real, meaningful relationships even if you never meet face to face. That's what Amy T. Falcone is dealing with in Clique Refresh. You have the reality of your life and then you have your online persona. No matter how honest you are, you're going to be viewed in the context of a username and an avatar.
Falcone addresses this with the split between the computer and the in-game world. It's a clever and honest way of dealing with online relationships. I know people who I befriended long before I saw a real photo of them who still, in my mind, look like a 100x100 dancing avatar of a random reality TV participant. And there are people who just assume I look like Impossibear or a random dancing classroom dissection dummy from online interactions. Yet, we're still able to form strong friendships online.
Like Abby Howard's The Last Halloween Kickstarter, Amy T. Falcone has already exceeded her funding goal for Clique Refresh early in her campaign. It's still a project worth supporting. Falcone has a strong voice as a comic creator and her pitch for the first volume/year of this new webcomic, really an online graphic novel, is strong.
Contributing more to a Kickstarter like this enables the artist to pay themselves a fair wage for providing you with entertainment, producing a better product in the long run. They can afford better equipment to work with, bring in talented collaborators to polish their websites and work, and can focus more on the project that grabbed your interest. It's a win/win situation for everyone. You help the artist create the work you want to see anyway, and the artist gets to create the project you want with a lot less stress. That's why you still consider donating to an already funded Kickstarter for an art-based project.
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