I can't believe we reached 500 patrons i'm just… AAAH!!! AAAAH!!! AAAAH YOU GUYSSSS!!!!
— Cheshire Isa (@Secondlina) April 26, 2017
The milestone comes after a lot of hard work. Isabella Melançon and Megan Lavey-Heaton (Isa and Meg, by their proper names), have been working on the comic since 2010, and launched their Patreon in 2014. Patreons, especially launched by independents, are notoriously slow to get started. This makes 500 patrons a wonderful milestone to hit, especially after three years – it’ll only speed up from here.
What does that mean in numbers? Every patron on the site – designed around subscribing to different tiers of somebody’s work – pays a different amount. The Namesake comic Patreon offers three subscription tiers; $1, $5 and $10, and pulls in $1,600 dollars a month.
The fantastic part is that most of the donations are through one and five dollar subscriptions, underlining the essential premise of Patreon, Kickstarter, and other crowdfunding sites. If everybody throws in a few bucks, the results add up to something amazing.
IN GOOD COMPANY
In fact, webcomics are responsible for a large part of the “micropatronage boom”. David Malki, a Topatoco staff member and creator of Wondermark, claims that the Internet plays a huge role in this.
““I think you probably are seeing as a general trend of people doing more varied things. Part of that is the Internet and part is them just them getting better at their craft and getting more opportunities.” –David Malki, the Observer, 2015
Still, only a few artists breach the 500 patron mark, or the thousand-dollar goal that the Namesake comic Patreon has long surpassed. Isa and Meg’s accomplishment makes even more clear what was already established; Namesake is here to stay.