Kickstarter isn’t just for brand-new media ventures. The Baffler, a magazine that made its debut in 1988, is back with a campaign on Kickstarter aimed at revival, asking people to “Help fund the journal that blunts the cutting edge.” “Most left-wing journals, then and now, offer wonkery, moralism, dialectical obfuscation, and other forms of boredom,” reads the pitch. “The Baffler offered comic juxtapositions that suggested criticism could be a literary art, and drew in readers who did not typically read cultural magazines.” Under new ownership, and a new publishing contract, donations to The Baffler will go to paying writers and artists who contribute; so far, it has raised over $2,000 of their $20,000 goal. The project’s description ends with this exchange about its fundraising efforts: “As someone scribbled on our Facebook page, “That’s awesome you can use communistic economic supports to prop up your capitalistically enviable periodical!” Yes, comrades, it certainly is.” (Deadline: May 11, 9:19am)
Bill Powell, the man behind Going South - Hiking the A.T. with a Brain Tumor, hasn’t let illness affect his sense of humor: “The doctor told me I would have 3 - 5 years of medicine controlled symptoms before things started to go south. So with that diagnosis I decided to ‘go south’ a little earlier.” He’s planning to hike the Appalachian Trail, keep a journal, and eventually publish a book about his travels. With ten days to go, the project has already raised over $9,000 after setting the goal at $6,000. (Deadline: Apr 16, 8:00am)
A photo book featuring “rollergirls”—a term for ladies who play roller derby—met its pledged goal of $1,600 in 24 hours; with 12 days to go, the project is well over $2,000. (Deadline: Apr 18, 12:06pm) Another photo book, This is Hardcore: Evolution Through Photo, documents six years of Philadelphia’s This is Hardcore festival. Its Kickstarter campaign ended yesterday with almost $19,000 after a pledged goal of $15,000. Check out their page for a video of “Joe Hardcore” explaining the project as heavy metal music plays in the background, all while holding an adorable puppy that appears to be wearing a hooded jacket. (Deadline: Apr 5, 10:45pm)
“They Call Me TeaBagger: The story of an actual Tea Partier,” is a project from Ed Shedlock, “a member of this leaderless party.” He’s asking for $5,000 to fund a book about this movement and to dispel generalizations: “To many people, the Tea Party is full of racists, homophobes, bigots, rednecks and militia members. Well, I happen to be none of those things and yet I still proudly call myself a Tea Partier.” With $36 towards the project’s $5,000 goal, I’m not very confident this project will make it. (Deadline: May 1, 5:00pm)
I’ve been watching the project NewsPrime for a few weeks now, and it hasn’t been able to pick up much momentum. The pitch says that “NewsPrime will provide a local newspaper or television client with ready to use news content written and edited by Emmy and Peabody award winning journalists,” which sounds reasonable enough, but funding has barely budged in weeks, and the project has only $915 of its $25,000 goal. (Deadline: Apr 23, 12:48am)
Out of time
Warm Dome is a Kickstarter project from Aaron Hawn, intended to fund his cross-country bike trip documenting “the landscapes and people” he’ll come across. But with only about $1,500 in donations and a pledged goal of $4,000, the project has some ground to make up before it runs out of time this Sunday evening.
From filmmaker Linda Goldstein Knowlton comes “Somewhere Between,” a Kickstarter raising money for a documentary that will look at the lives of four young girls adopted from China. It’s a personal story for Knowlton, who adopted her child from China, and the Kickstarter page has comments from both adoptive parents and adopted children who are very enthusiastic about this film. Last time I checked yesterday, the film had not made its $80,000 goal, but a $10,000 donor recently jumped on board, and now the film is $6,000 over its ambitious $80,000 goal, with four days still left to go.