Pronto Comics, the little comic book company that publishes, is taking itself to the next level. According to the company’s editor-in-chief, Dominic Sparano, the company’s motto is if one succeeds, we all succeed. “Imagine sitting at home in a room or basement, working, toiling. Pouring your heart and soul into a creative endeavor. Then you hear, ‘What are you doing?! Stop wasting your time and get a real job!!’ Imagine how discouraging that would be,” Sparano said to us. He went on to say that most beginners in this field are here for the love of the genre. “You just wish you were recognized. That there were people you could work with read your work or look at your art. Someone to give you positive encouragement and tell you your dreams can be real.”
Well, according to Sparano that’s who Pronto Comics is. He tells us (and well, anyone who will listen) that Pronto Comics truly believes that when one of its number succeeds, then everyone in the company succeeds. While everyone dreams of success, getting into the show (Marvel, DC, etc.) or having their comic become the next summer blockbuster film, the truth of the matter is that most of the people who are in the comic book industry are here because, to them, it’s a labor of love. Sparano states that the comics he and others produce test you, push your boundaries and always demand more from you. Fame and money only come to a few of those in the field, while most of those producing comics do so simply for the love of the craft.
Pronto’s IndieGogo Campaign is designed to assist those folk who love making comics. It is designed to fund Pronto for the remainder of 2014 and allow the company to connect with, educate and promote emerging creators. With every contribution the company receives the members feel that is an affirmation of Pronto Comics' mission and encouragement to their creators, contributors and members. “Your support is not only financial but moral as well. It tells those working at home at a computer screen or drafting board that their drive and determination are valid. It says that their creativity has merit and their dreams are justified.”
Sparano explained to us how the funds raised through the IndieGogo Campaign will be used. He stated that:
- Studio space for meetings is $100 — this will be used for networking and event meetings;
- Event space is $400 – room rental, food, drinks, prizes, raffle tickets, music;
- Comic conventions run $500 – these are fees to cover tables at various conventions in the Tri-State Area;
- Plastic shopping bags cost $500 – Logo bags for shoppers who buy their comics;
- Printing fees come to around $1,000 – This covers the cost of printing new comics (in the past five years Pronto has published over 40 comics);
- Miscellaneous hardware $200 – comic book racks, office supplies, ledgers, letterhead, microphones, sound systems, candy, balloons and helium, tablecloths, etc.;
- Promotional material $500 – business cards, postcards with QR codes, flyers, posters, stickers, magnets, buttons, and name tags, etc.;
- Computer/Online materials $300 – website updates and upkeep, domain name registration, online advertising, web design, video production; and finally:
- Distribution $1,000 – Print and online advertisements.
As can be expected, folks who help fund this outreach will receive a number of perks as rewards for helping underwrite the Pronto cause. These perks range from $5, which gets the contributor 5 digital copies of Pronto Comics, all the way up to $1,000, for which the company will produce a comic book about you, and of course everything in between. They have perks for readers, perks for art lovers, and perks for collectors. There are perks for social media aficionados and for those who want to expand their graphic novel collection. They also have perks at all levels of contribution that any comic book fan will love.
Needless to say, Sparano has established an order of priority for the contributions that they do receive. In the event that Pronto does not fully reach its goal, all of the funds that are raised will be used in the following priority:
- Books (always first and foremost);
- Studio space for meetings and events.
Assuming they reach over $1,500, the funds raised will be used in the following order of importance:
- Comic conventions;
- Plastic shopping bags;
- Promotional materials;
- Computer/online materials;
- Misc. hardware.
Pronto Comics has been a non-profit comic book company for over five years. They specialize in discovering, fostering and introducing comic book creators to the comic book community and the world at large. They’ve assisted many creators to get their footing in the comic book industry. People have actually begun their careers at Pronto and they have expanded their membership accordingly. However, since they don’t charge a membership fee, their funding has not grown as quickly as it needs to grow. In years past, they mounted a successful Kickstarter campaign, have produced a number of live art/writing events titled Phrases to Pages that are held twice a year, and sold out of its comics regularly at all the conventions they’ve attended. However, because of its aggressive expansion it still need more funding to take Pronto Comics to the next level.
Contributing to the Pronto Comics IndieGogo Campaign will allow them to continue to help subsidize creators’ dreams coming true. Everyone who comes to Pronto does so with the dream of being a comic book creator, whether it’s writing, drawing, coloring, inking, lettering, or editing. Pronto points people in the right direction and helps get them on the path of dream fulfillment. By helping Pronto, you will (quite literally) help hundreds of creators. The folks at Pronto realize that raising this kind of money won’t be easy. It is going to take hard work and a quite a bit of dedication on everyone’s part to keep asking and promoting it. However, they believe that they have the numbers to do just that. Their members will be reaching out and expand this message on their own individual networks and ask their friends to share it, and on and on.
“We have only a short time to raise it, but that will focus us further and make us eat, sleep, and breathe the expansion of our company” Sparano said. “So we are asking everyone who reads this message to tell one, tell all. Even if you can’t contribute $5, ‘cause we all know times aren’t easy, you can still help. Tell your friends, tell your family. Share it on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, even Pinterest! Sing it from the roof tops; send smoke signals and carrier pigeons. Help us spread the word, and thank you for your support.”
This campaign started on June 14, will close on August 4, 2014 and has a $4,500 goal.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing comic books for some 30 years. During that time, his reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular comic book articles and reviews.