Top Cow Taps Kickstarter to Launch Cyber Force for Free

With over 100 million comics sold in 21 languages and 55 countries around the world, Cyber Force is Top Cow‘s best-selling comics property and has spawned numerous characters, single issues, and collections, along with toys, statues, posters, lithographs, trading cards, and other merchandise. It’s appropriate Top Cow has chosen that comic book property for an ambitious (re)launch using Kickstarter.

Those in tech often use the mantra that information wants to be free, so it’s appropriate this “tech” team would have their comic book dispersed for free using the latest fundraising and distribution technology.

That’s right, in October, if this is successful, all five issues of the series will be free. Comics legend and Top Cow founder Marc Silvestri returns to the property that helped launch his company and Image Comics as co-writer, art director, and cover artist, spearheading his unique vision for the new series. Matt Hawkins will also write the series.

Top Cow is embarking on a new path, using 21st century social media to make the first five issues (to be published monthly) available for free, both digitally and in print. The Kickstarter campaign launched on July 17, taking advantage of the year-long build-up of excitement for Image and Top Cow’s 20th anniversary.

Rewards for backers of the Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $75,000, include exclusive variant covers, a signed print, a hardcover edition of the collected first five issues, a smartphone case, original art, and one-on-one sessions with Matt Hawkins and Marc Silvestri. There are also several special rewards for comic book retailers who pledge — including exclusive signings by Marc Silvestri. The funding will not only go toward paying the art team but also toward offsetting print costs, thus ensuring the first five issues are available for free.

Silvestri had this to say about the launch:

My obsession growing up was sci-fi and fantasy and the concept of Cyber Force has always been ripe for mining those genres. The best sci-fi has its soul anchored in social commentary and the human condition and then goes nuts with the concepts. Comic books are unique in that they can add to that the thrill of wish fulfillment. Mash those ideas together add a healthy dose of 21st century paranoia, and voila! You’ve got Cyber Force.

Silvestri describes Cyber Force as an exploration of the consequences when technology — the product of humanity’s own intelligence — has interfered with the order of natural development. So it’s appropriate this property with interfere with the “natural order” of the comic book market.

Joining Silvestri on the new series is interior artist Khoi Pham. Hot off of top-selling Marvel Comics titles including Avengers, Daredevil, The Mighty Thor, and X-Men.

The best giving amount (I think) is $50, which is what I pledged. That’s also just above the average giving amount for successfully funded comic book projects.

If funded, retailers will be able to purchase copies for $0.25 and the comic will be seeded digitally by Top Cow for people to download. Each issue will be handled the same way. The hopes is to get people so excited, they’ll comic back for a regular series.

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