As I'm sure many of you are already aware, Vox launched his Alt*Hero project yesterday. Within four hours, it had met its 25k(US) goal. It is currently past the first stretch goal of 40k, and well, if it manages to get all the way to 70k, there will be a second omnibus.
I'm still a bit on the cautious side with my optimism for this project. Not for the funding side, it's already doing really well there, to the point where there's less than I believe 50 similar projects over the years that have done better on Kickstartr, a much larger platform. In fact, I(in addition to many) appear to have underestimated the demand for this type of project. Given that only 11 people are backing just to trigger the SJWs(no comics rewards), people that have been pretty quiet are using their money instead of their mouths.
Why have I been a bit cautious? Vox has admitted it's not his format. This is a bit of a concern if he doesn't understand the conventions of the media. Also, I was not impressed with the art early on. As I see more, it's growing on me, and the world is definitely becoming more immersive. The character designs look pretty good so far.
If the writing and art continue to improve(I mean for the medium, Vox's prose is excellent), this bodes very well for Castalia House Comics. I'm guessing that Vox is turning in prose, rather than scripts, to his artists, as he's commented that he gave them what he thought was two pages of material, and it came out to three or four. This indicates not thinking in terms of the medium, and might actually be undermining the art. How? Because if Vox learns the trick he can pull if he starts thinking in panels and nonstandard layouts, he can write as though he's directing a movie, detailing each shot. Right now, the panel layout is pretty standard, and looks very much tied to comic strips(modern newspaper) or webcomic ideas.
Vox only recently found out that most work at the Big 2 is done for hire. Now, that's not the way with a lot of other places, because the do a lot more creator owned work. But, Vox finding this revelation might make it easier for him to deal with comics creators down the line, as he mentioned he will pay royalties, in addition to some flat fees. I don't have a clue how the fees will compare, but this will help draw guys like Chuck Dixon in when the time is right.
Given growth similar to what Castalia has had in print, I have no doubt that they'll become a real presence in comics within a couple of years. And I anticipate other players coming into being as well, both on the production and distribution side.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.