The following is the conclusion to a series of exchanges I have had this week with author Theodore Beale, aka Vox Day, and his publisher, Castalia House, on Beale’s website. These exchanges (which I authored under the name Vox Diabolus) were all in regards to his ongoing crowddfunding campaign for a “comic book” project titled Alt-Hero (I will not link directly to the campaign, as it is supported by a network of white supremacists). You can read Beale’s own impressions of our exchange here.
Markku, Vox darling—
My mission is accomplished and I shan’t trouble you any longer. I have posted this open letter on your website, and despite the fact that your site’s comments section is now littered with your responses to comments of mine that you have since ghosted, I still hope you will leave my letter up just a little while. What’s the harm? Haven’t you already proven that which I have never disputed, that you are raking in the green with your pledge drive?
(And anyway, the joke was always on me. The work on my own comic project has been greatly delayed by this week’s distractions, and as it is bound to have far fewer anonymous sugar daddies to support it, my labors are now increased.)
Let the record show that while I am suspicious of the overall quality of the final product that will be Alt-Hero, I have at no time suggested that Vox is duping anyone. And besides, a well-cultivated fandom willing to empty their wallets into one’s bank account at the tinkling of a small bell is the legitimate goal of all creators. The donors will learn for themselves whether or not they are the proverbial fools.
One thing that I have proven is that if you ask a question often enough, you can force an answer from Vox (though apparently you cannot get him to put it in a FAQ). And so we now know that yes, the written novel unlocked at the 70K stretch-goal level will be extended gratis to his six wealthiest donors.
This seems odd to me. I have never seen a crowdfunding drive where all or nearly all donors were not fed the fruits of the stretch goals they made possible. But if you consent to kneel before a “dread lord”, your expectations of generosity are probably a bit malformed.
I suppose I can recognize that using this devious crowdfunding platform of Freestartr was a smart move. At first I was surprised that Vox chose to lose an additional five percent of his funds (over Kickstarter) to a service with few if any tools to assist the donors. (According to one donor, you can’t even enter overseas shipping data… will that be the first of many hiccups related to shipping, I wonder?) However, since Vox chose to spread the Confederate flag all over his campaign, I guess he’s been proven shrewd after all. And the world itself benefits! Keep the campaign, like the comic book, inside the alt-right ecosystem. Never let it out.
But drip-by-drip, the donors to this campaign have revealed that they are yet under some illusions about what the final payoff of Alt-Hero will be, and I still insist that Vox owes these dedicated fans some clear answers. Several donors have now commented that they are trying to whet the appetite of their local comic shop owners for Alt-Hero’s eventual premier, as though it might actually wind up in their pull pile beneath the latest issue of the Walking Dead. Come clean with them, Vox. A FAQ from Day keeps the REEEEEEs at bay!