As a relatively recent but what I would still consider “longtime” fan of The Order of the Stick (four years, since a little after the 500th comic), I wish I had something new to say about the astonishing success of Rich’s Kickstarter effort to reprint his compilation and prequel books, which has, within two weeks (with another three still to go), cracked the top ten of all projects in Kickstarter history, and become, by Rich’s reckoning, the most-funded non-tech-gizmo in Kickstarter history, let alone the top-funded comic project (that record was smashed over a week ago), funding the reprinting of every single one of the books, even those that weren’t out of print. (I will say that, while Kickstarter has attracted the attention of the webcomic community in the past for its potential to fund various projects, this drive has really snapped my attention to its potential.)
More than that success (which I’m pretty much numb to at this point), I’m dumbfounded at the level of media attention the whole thing has gotten – catching the attention of freaking Boing Boing, for Pete’s sake! Of course, beyond the added fuel it’s presumably giving the drive itself, it has the added effect of introducing people to the fascinating world of The Order of the Stick; I hope Rich can reward them by producing material on par with that that attracted me to the comic, and the start of the Kickstarter does seem to have coincided with events picking up considerably.
There is one interesting side effect, however. Last year, Rich decided to release a book reprinting the material he created for Dragon magazine back in the day, plus a few bonus side-stories. He announced that it would be a limited print run and would only be available through his online store. Which made sense, since after all, a lot of his longer-standing fans had already read the Dragon strips when they originally came out, and it wasn’t like any of it was canon anyway. Fast forward to now: Some people are clamoring for Rich to commit to reprinting this special book as well, but Rich has shut the door on that, since he did say this was going to be a one-time limited-edition printing, and he’s not going to go back on that promise because of a site that’s all about promises (you don’t want your pledges to be going towards, say, goofing off and working on a blog while blowing off actual schoolwork).
Just one problem: Most of the people who pledge towards the drive will be receiving a follow-up story to one of the new stories in that special book. Along with about five other new stories that will be canon. So, if you’re interested in collecting all of the canonical material, you’re also going to get a story you’d probably like the original context for, which would require picking up this special book.
Not that it’s a big deal, since apparently Rich feels confident there are enough copies to survive this drive and for some time thereafter (which proves the original reasoning right up to this point, though the special book seems to have gotten the short end of the stick in terms of its availability with other books among the pledge rewards), but it’s certainly food for thought.