Crowdfunding Review: “Unfrogettable Tales” #1 & 2
I premiered my first “crowdfunding” review a few weeks back (Terralympus). Up next is Unfrogettable Tales #1 & 2 by veteran comic book creator Ethan Van Sciver. For those of you not familiar with this review format, I grade a crowdfunding campaign on four distinct categories:
- Book Content and Quality
- Communication and Fulfillment
- Packaging and Shipping
- Stretch Goals and Bonuses
With Unforgettable Tales #1 & 2 I backed the tier that included both issues #1 & 2 only, no ashcan, no signatures. This campaign was exclusive to Indiegogo. The following is based on my experiences alone, and others may have had different experiences with this campaign.
Book Content and Quality
The comics were credited with story and artwork by Ethan Van Sciver, coloring by Kyle Ritter, and lettering by Eric Weathers. The quality of these books was superb. They had a weight and feel of true significance. The covers were “foil embossed”, which I knew about from the campaign. I was not aware of the extreme quality of the interior pages however. I must say I’ve never seen a comic book like this in my life. In terms of paper quality alone, these books have no equal.
These books were reprints from the early 1990s, and therefore the original work was done by a very young Van Sciver. The art was exceptional, and it was very clear this creator had a great career ahead of him. The story was rather simplistic and dated, and there were a few pop-culture references that I am not sure some younger readers would recognize. Still, there was a nostalgic appeal to the story, which evoked an era of comics long gone. The coloring was absolutely stunning and brought new life to these pages in a way that has never been seen. Also, there were puzzle pages at the back of each book which I found quite charming. Overall, it was definitely an interesting read.
Communication and Fulfillment
I pledged to this campaign in March, 2020 and it was delivered in August 2020. A five month turn-around time is slightly above average in normal circumstances. I’ve seen some come as quick as two months and others take years. Factoring in the campaign took place during a pandemic, with printers getting shut down, this turnaround time was very impressive.
Van Sciver posted numerous updates on his campaign page and did answer questions in the comments section. He also offered the Ask a question option through the campaign to send him a direct message. I was quite pleased with the communication and fulfillment in this campaign.
Packaging and Shipping
Although only my second review for the Splintering, I’m going to say this with absolute certainty: unless someone hand-delivers their crowdfunding campaigns someday, the packaging and shipping in this particular campaign will never be topped.
First, I received an email notification with a tracking number for my package. I cannot stress to everyone how highly I think of this feature. Not only do I know my item was shipped, but I know when it arrives.
Second, the campaign used Gemini mailers for packaging, which truly are the Cadillacs of comic book mailing. Not only that, but there was custom shipping tape used promoting the campaign’s publisher, All Caps Comics.
Third, each individual comic book was bagged and boarded separately, as were the stretch goals. I mean it! The stretch goals were in their own bag and board.
Finally – and this is what blows me away – the items were shipped with Priority Mail shipping. I have no idea how this was afforded based on what I paid for shipping. Typically, when I receive a crowdfunding campaign within the US, the items are shipped USPS Media Mail, and it takes weeks for the items to arrive. USPS Priority Mail is usually received within days and the packages seem to be handled with a bit more care. I am completely blown away with the packaging and shipping quality on this campaign.
Grade: A+ (only because there’s nothing I can give higher than A+)
Stretch Goals and Bonuses
As I stated in my previous review, if any stretch goals ever unlock added pages or upgrades to the actual book, I’ll grade that in the “Book Content and Quality” category. This is strictly for any extras that are sent with the book.
I received two trading cards, one sticker which was roughly the size of a bookmark, and two paper dolls. The sticker was very nice quality, and the trading cards were standard fare, but appreciated. I do enjoy collecting trading cards. The paper dolls were more of a throw-away gimmick. I have no idea what to do with them. I put them on the opposite side of my backing board and stored them with my comic. The paper dolls were probably the only thing I didn’t really like about this campaign. Overall, I’d much rather have had an extra card, or bookmark, or something similar. Still, the cards and sticker were fun!
Overall, this was a quality campaign. I backed it initially because I remember this series when it was originally released, but I don’t remember these particular issues. My first encounter with Cyberfrog was when it was at Harris Comics, and getting these original issues from the Hall of Heroes days, especially with previously unpublished pages, was a fun way of peaking behind the curtain of the Cyberfrog character.
Overall Grade: B+