Music, Comics and the SLG Kickstarter
You may or may not know that SLG started a Kickstarter campaign to raise some funds to help improve our building to make it more of a venue for art shows and live music. The longtime SLG fan might be wondering why they should support this since, on the surface, it does not have anything to do with comics.
I think it is no secret that the economy has taken a real swan dive in the last few years. The thing we did here that we sort of made our name on, publishing new creators and introducing them to the comic book marketplace, was never easy and now feels almost impossible. The sour economy and the rapid disappearance of places where we sell our books (including the Hot Topic chain of stored dropping comics as a category in their stores) took more than a toll un us. New releases which once sold a few thousand copies now only sell a few hundred copies. we have cut our line back pretty dramatically and where we once published 2-3 titles a month will now only be publishing a handful of titles this year.
So we have for the last few months been looking for ways to generate more non-publishing revenue because, to be honest, I can no longer make a living publishing comics. Since I do not want to STOP publishing comics, I have to make a living doing something else and my preference would be to have that living be something that I can easily work around my life as a comics publisher. Thus, the music venue and art gallery business.
We have done a few shows here and there in our space over the last couple of years and, much to our surprise our place (which we call The Art Boutiki) has turned into not only a desirable place as an all-ages music venue, but to some bands we have become perhaps one of the best small music venues in the Silicon Valley. In addition to music we have been running monthly art shows, a series of pop-culture swap meets, a convention called The San Jose Comics Festival and a comics artists-in-residence series called The Creator's Studio.
In trying to build upon this success we have come across a few improvements that our space needs in order for us to try and make a full-time go of it, hence the Kickstarter, details of which you can read at the campaign page.