Luke Stone: Iron Age Marketing Podcast Episode 020
In today’s episode of Iron Age Marketing, I talk to Luke Stone, creator of the comic Hybrids and founder of fundmycomic.com.
Let’s Meet Iron Age Creator Luke Stone
Luke Stone is a husband, father, and Pastor who loves art and comics. He is the creator of Hybrids: The Sons of Gods as well as several other titles. He has worked in comics at many different levels and is involved in advocacy for new creators. Currently Luke is working to produce a number of IPs to be published with Arrow Comics and launching new tools for creators such as fundmycomic.com.
Waking From A Coma & Starting An Online Comic Shop
I asked Luke Stone how he got into the Iron Age space. Luke tells us about the years leading up to the founding of Fund My Comic. Put into a coma during the pandemic, Luke says he woke up in what felt like a bizarro world. It wasn’t long before he realized that being canceled was inevitable for someone with his principles.
On top of the creation of FMC, Luke is also the creator of Hybrids, a comic series about superheroes based on classical Greek myths and tales of the Nephilim. After noting a particular campaign, in which Indiegogo withheld a creator’s funding for “trust and safety’ violations; Luke threw himself into seeking a platform to make himself cancel proof as a comic book creator.
Eventually, the pieces came together and FundMyComic.com was launched in 2022 with an eye to marketing “anything you can find at a comic book shop.” It hosts Luke’s own comic creation, Hybrids as well as those of other creators.
Where Ancient Religions Meet Corporate Greed
Getting deeper into the specifics of the plot of Hybrids, Luke’s superhero comic, he explains the origins of its creation. Based on the idea of the Nephilim, Luke weaves a tale of part-divine part-human creatures, inspired by the demi-gods of Greek myths being kidnapped by a nefarious corporation to harvest their unique adrenochrome to create a dangerous street drug.
More than a comic, however, the world of Hybrids includes a tabletop roll playing game using a new mechanic system called Base+2 created by Luke’s partner Nick Tockert. The game originated from trading cards of the characters Luke had created. Nick easily turned these into a game utilizing a mechanic he pulled straight from the cards.
A Neutral Ecosystem And Freedom For Everyone
Moving along Luke and I finally begin our discussion on marketing. To Luke, as well as myself, marketing begins well before you have a finished product. A product’s success depends on connecting with your fans and this means connecting with them immediately after its creation. This became harder as platforms like Kickstarter And Indiegogo started to put up walls around certain creators. Fundmycomic.com was Luke’s way around this, as he tries to create an ecosystem like Tim Pools or Ethan Van Skivers.
For Luke freedom isn’t freedom unless it’s for everyone. Though politics and the culture war are always part of the conversation, we don’t have to fight to the death by silencing others’ voices. Luke is hoping to keep the focus in his platform on the art. Good comics for and by anyone who wants them.
Credibility The Corporations Can’t Have
Luke Stone and I dive into the big media of the world we live in. We’ve witnessed corporations buying their media coverage and telling directing reviewers on how to review their products. Because independent creators can’t buy reviews they can have the credibility that corporations never will but this puts the marketing into their hands. If they don’t feel capable more and more people like myself are here to help them get their product out to people.
It was this DIY mentality and pushing cultural ownership on the early adopters that helped fundmycomic.com take off so quickly, surprising even Luke himself. If creating a space that caters specifically to the niche wasn’t enough, the platform has also managed to undercut its competitors on price as well. For me, the growth of the platform seems like a no-brainer to me.
“On A Mission” or A Missionary
Luke Stone wasn’t looking to be just a competitor to the mainstream funding sites. During this part of the conversation, he lays out his two missions. Mission one was to create a place specifically for geek culture; from comics to miniatures to RPGs, segments that usually make up 5% of a site’s traffic.
Luke’s longer-term mission is to utilize the site to take care of his family’s base needs freeing him up to handle the spiritual needs of the people within nerd culture. His near-death experience and continuing health issues have made him mindful of his purpose on earth and pushed him to try and connect geek culture to something greater than fandom. Luke describes spending time at conventions giving “pastoral care” to other attendees; helping them to feel “seen.”
Hopefully, today’s episode with Tiara J Brown serves as both inspiration and education in your own journey to bring your creation to the world.
Luke Stone Resources & Extra Media