Crowdfunding Review: “Maverix: Decimation” (NTM Comics)
I am making my debut venture into comic book reviews with Maverix: Decimation. I am new to crowdfunding comics and comics in general, but have enthusiastically jumped in and backed 30 campaigns to date. Maverix: Decimation is the first comic book that I have received from any of the campaigns that I have backed in the last 6 months.
Coincidentally, this happens to be Noah Mactutus’ first foray into crowdfunding. I also want to note that Mactutus launched this campaign when he was 15 years old. When it closed, he was 16, had 60 backers, and raised just over $2000 in funding on Indiegogo.
The plan is to keep with the same review format of those that have reviewed before me. Since it seems to work, and may be published in stone somewhere, I am also going to grade with four distinct categories:
- Book Content and Quality
- Communication and Fulfillment
- Packaging and Shipping
- Stretch Goals and Bonuses
To start, I backed the ‘Decimation Main Cover’ tier which only provided a single graphic novel. There were variant covers, but those only varied by color; the same art but a grey, red, or blue base color. There were stretch goals for various trading cards which were unlocked when certain levels of funding were reached.
How did #JustAKid do with his debut campaign? Read on to find out and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Book Quality and Content
Noah Mactutus did the writing, art and lettering for the 80-page stand-alone story that is perfect bound. Editorial credit is given to Thomas M. Mactutus (Noah’s dad) and creative assistant nods to William and Thomas Zec. According to the campaign, it promised to be full of action, drama, mystery and just plain fun. We follow the hero, Maverix, as he fights many foes in his quest to solve crime in his city. The art and color of the book was decent, overall, but as you may guess with Mactutus’ age, there are aspects where he will improve with practice and experience. The page layouts were varied and he made decent use of the margins. The art was not always constrained to the individual panels, and the page margins/backgrounds varied in color and complemented the scenes on the page.
This is definitely a story that you can see being created from the mind of a 15-year-old. There are many action scenes, monsters, blood and violence. So much so, that it seems to jump from one action scene to another. While I found this part enjoyable (no multipage coffee shop talk), it also leads to my major complaint of the book. Character development was rough. I had a hard time following who was who. There were characters that were mentioned by first name once and then mentioned later by last name. There were people getting their head blown off, but I wasn’t sure who they were or whether they were important. Several of the violent scenes were super close and I couldn’t easily see any discernible features of which character it may be. I often found myself flipping back and forth trying to follow who the character might be and where else I might have seen them in the book. Unfortunately, this brought me out of the flow of the book quite often. This is not the first book that Mactutus has done with the hero Maverix, so this could account for some of the foundations that I feel are missing.
The dialogue of the characters flowed well and was believable. There were a couple spots that I am pretty sure were supposed to be a joke, but I did not understand the references and therefore seemed more out of place. The lettering worked. All aspects of the font, dialogue, bold words, sound effects and narration added to the story and did not detract from it for me. There is an editor credited on this book, and to their benefit, there were no glaring issues that I saw. That’s not to say there weren’t some, but I didn’t see any that would cause me to scour further.
The quality of the book is good. I have no complaints about the cover, pages or binding. I only noticed one minor print issue where a word balloon was in the margin and part of the letters were cut off. Thankfully, it wasn’t to the point where I couldn’t read it.
Communication and Fulfillment
The communication during the campaign was good. There were updates to Indiegogo once a month to every couple of weeks, depending on what was going on. Mactutus gave updates on progress and when goals were reached. I found the information, length and timing to be just right. The only suggestion to make it better would be art updates with examples (who doesn’t like to see new art?).
The campaign closed on January 28th of this year, with an expected ship date of March 2021. According to the Indiegogo updates, the books were printed April 9th, they were shipped April 19th and I received my book April 24th. Making it a turnaround time of 3 months.
Packaging and Shipping
For the campaign, Mactutus decided to go through the digital printing company, Ka-Blam. Once he updated that the books were shipping, it only took me 5 days to receive the book. I did not receive a tracking number, but the book was mailed in a gemini mailer and arrived safe and sound. Inside, the book was bagged, not boarded, and taped to the box. I’m not sure if the issue lies with the tape or a low thickness of the bag, but as I tried to remove the book from the box, the tape caused the bag to stretch and tear. Thankfully, it did not damage the book.
The extras of the campaign were loosely placed in the bag behind the book, lying flat, and those arrived undamaged as well.
Stretch Goals and Bonuses
I received two extra items as part of my book pledge:
- A trading card featuring a mutant enemy soldier, that was added thanks to reaching an $800 stretch goal.
- A trading card featuring the anti-heroes, Galabonni and Joey, that was added thanks to reaching a $2,000 stretch goal.
The cards themselves featured artwork by Mactutus on the front with character facts and origins on the back. The cards were a dual finish where the face of the card had a matte finish and the back of the card was just printed card stock.
For a while, I wasn’t a fan of the cover art for Maverix: Decimation. Based on that alone, I would not have backed. What sold me on the book was getting to see Mactutus on a YouTube stream where I saw additional interior art on Bristol board. I saw promise and talent that I wanted to invest in. I wanted to get in on the ground floor for what could be a very fruitful future if he maintains his drive.
With issues like needing to work a bit more on character development, there is definitely room for growth with future books and campaigns. It was good that Mactutus kept this campaign simple and didn’t get crazy with add-ons and stretch goals. He showed that he was a kid that could handle a business that most adults have struggled with in the past. Overall, Maverix: Decimation was entertaining enough that I would consider backing his next campaign.
OVERALL GRADE: C+
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