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Invest in PopCultivator Comics

Own Shares in a New Comic Book Studio and Everything We’re Developing

Highlights

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We've worked with over 100 properties including Dog Man, Ninja Turtles, South Park, Muppets 😎🤯
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Pioneering NFTs in ‘21 🚀 We've worked with Marvel, DC, Hasbro & more. 🦹🏼🛸🦸🏾
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We're a team of pop culture entrepreneurs from comics, toys, film, and collectibles 📚🎥🕹🤖
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Over 100 years of combined experience developing and publishing original properties.🤓👴🏻🤯
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Creating and backing properties you can own a piece of in this $8 billion space💰🦸🏿‍♂️🦸🏻‍♀️

Our Team

Chief Creative & Executive Officer
Blaylock helped start the '80s retro pop culture craze 20 years ago (w/apparel & G.I. Joe comics), and forever changed the field. $50 Million in comics sales later, he continues to create original properties from sci-fi and fantasy to satire.
We're a team of creators and company founders who have collectively sold over $150 Million in comic pop culture products. Creating and pop culture are our lives, and we've been fortunate enough to make it into our livelihoods as well. Now we want to include that in the crowdfunding model, bringing together others who share that same passion.
Chief Business Development Officer
Having produced over $100 Million worth of pop culture merchandise, Mike has successfully built and exited several companies in his 25+ year career. Licensed properties acquired include Dog Man, Borderlands 2, Muppets and South Park
Chief Operating Officer
A highly accomplished entrepreneur with over 20 years in consumer goods and professional services sectors. His areas of expertise include finance and operations, strategic planning and sales and marketing strategy.

We're the ultimate task force of pop culture pros: artists, writers, publishers, a toy company founder, and a former Marvel editor forming a brand new studio in this multi-billion dollar space

PopCultivator assembles professional comic book creatives, a corporate team, and a crowd of true comic fans to form a new kind of studio.

We're building our first wave of comics, ranging from kid-friendly to adult action, and are offering investors and fans an opportunity to be part of it.

PUBLISHERS OUR TEAM AND CREATORS HAVE WORKED WITH:

The industry is thriving despite the pandemic as consumer demand for content to pass the time continues to grow.

By investing, you will own a piece of every comic property and every license PopCultivator owns or controls, receive a percentage of net revenues generated by our content, and receive a number of perks in the process. That means a piece of the comic book publishing, a piece of the collectibles, and a piece of the film, TV and streaming revenue.

All characters and artwork ™ and © their respective owners.

Comic books aren't content simply existing on the printed page. From traditional print to film, TV, games and toys - comics find their way into other media. It has proven time and time again to be the most effective, cost friendly way to develop brand new worlds before mainstream public release.

THE PERFECT MEDIUM

Everyone knows how popular the DC and Marvel universe films are, from Aquaman and Wonder Woman to the Avengers, but many don't know several of these other successful series also came from comics:

We're building our library using THREE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES

1) In House Development and Work-for-Hire
We develop properties internally, hiring talent on a work-for-hire basis, retaining 100% ownership and control over the comics and development into licensing and other areas.

2) Acquisitions and Licenses
We identify and invest in un- and under-funded properties that are ripe for comic book adaptation. With the capital to invest and the talent to develop, we can pounce on these opportunities as they present themselves.

3) Co-Development and Funding of Creators
Thousands of independent newcomer and veteran creators are always striving in isolation or small teams to bring their comics to life. This is the most common way original comics are created, before approaching publishers. The division of focus between their day jobs and creative passion and the information asymmetry between artists and publishers has created a broken model. PopCultivator will streamline the launch process for artists by offering a helping hand in funding, management and negotiation of publishing deals for a share of ownership and control to develop spin-off merchandise, licenses, multimedia, etc.

Image from PopCult's "IllumiNERDi Loft Party" promo 2018

We are seeking a funding of $350,000 (with a crowdfunding cap of $750,000) in order to execute a slate of titles to meet our initial goals in the first year. Our Financial Projections are explained in further detail here.

As a shareholder in PopCultivator, you will own a piece of any rights that the company creates or acquires, and any net revenue generated from that property's licensed products.

We will typically begin each project in the comic book stage, where the stories are crafted and worlds are built. We first secure our publishing pipeline strategy, and build into other areas from there. This can include a mix of brand new content, as well as taking properties from pre-existing comics or other merchandise categories and bringing them into comics. Revenue pipelines include:

  • Print Publishing: Comics & Graphic Novels
  • Digital Comics: Kindle, comiXology, animated comics, custom apps
  • Film / TV / Animation - rights sales, producing, consulting, & creative
  • Toys, Statues and Collectibles
  • Games - Video games, tabletop and card games
  • Apparel - T-shirts, accessories, unique cosplay items
  • Special crowdfunding projects
  • Exploring freemium models: web comics & social media
  • Special Projects: Comic-con exclusives, events, corporate sponsorship and celebrity collaborations, Soundtracks
  • The complete sale of property rights to another entity for a cash payout

USE OF FUNDS

The amount of content we produce is directly correlated to how much we raise. An example of our forecast, seen here, shows how $350,000 enables us to produce a consistent flow of four books a month -- a mix of serialized periodicals and original graphic novels.

Upon $350,000 in funding, we estimate using up to $150,000 to “fast track” "phase one properties”, many of which are already poised for acquisition. The acquisition of print-ready content reduces the revenue latency by an order of magnitude by providing an immediate pipeline of perennial selling product. Buying them at pre-revenue also enables us to invest at lower cost.

Raising less than $350,000, but more than our minimum enables to run a similar plan, albeit more slowly--i.e., we have to lower our project count. While on paper this works the same, it will be more advantageous if we can spread our bets on multiple properties. Anything over $350,000, but under $750,000 will likely trigger a second raise in 2021, but we will wait for more data before making the determination on the precise timing.

Once comics are created, our publishing pipeline quickly begins to accrue a backlist of collected editions, and book store friendly formats that generate a growing amount of passive income. While building those assets, we also actively seek to license the characters and stories within them into high-end collectible merchandise, tabletop games, proof-of-concept pilot projects for animation and film, and more.

It's at this level that we ask investors to look at the capabilities of the team we've assembled, our amazing list of advisors and partners, and know that we will make smart calls in pursuing these opportunities.

PAYOUTS:

Each year, if the company is profitable, the board will make a determination if and how to allocate profits to cash reserves, investments in new projects or dividend payouts. After year two our goal is to be able to comfortably generate a 10% yield in dividends.

At times, rather than simply licensing the rights to a property, we may option to sell it outright, generating a higher return and opportunity for bonus payouts to our shareholders.

At a certain point, the potential to sell the company at large may become an option, likely to a larger entertainment conglomerate, which is something we are most certainly open to, but for the first year we are focused on generating a strong foundation for the business.

REPORTING:

As a general practice, we will provide financial updates twice a year, with an official annual report executed as legally required. Our GAAP accounting for launch has been certified by a third party firm.

The following is a collection of original "phase one" comic book properties affiliated with one or more of our team, and poised to quickly and easily become a part of the PopCultivator family. Specifics will be determined by exactly how much is raised - and explained below. 

All characters and artwork ™ and © Jose Garibaldi
All characters and artwork ™ and © Jose Garibaldi
Plume is ™ and © K Lynn Smith
Mongrel ™ and © Hoyt Silva and Trey Walker
All characters and artwork ™ and © Shawn Smith
The Penguin Bros. and Igloo Barbecue ™ and © Josh Blaylock
Yumiko: Curse of the Merch Girl ™ and © Murs 3:16 and Josh Blaylock
Little Girl ™ and © Pat Shand
Squarriors ™ and © Ashley M. Witter and Ash Maczko
Lord of Gore ™ and © DB Stanley and Daniel Leister

Our team brings over a century of comic industry experience and is known for shaking up the way things are done and igniting trends. We've ridden the highs, survived the lows, been there and done that and are at the top of our game. We know how to build success and better yet, how to keep it going.

All characters and artwork ™ and © their respective owners.


Josh Blaylock has been a pop culture influencer for over 20 years, and is the driving force behind Devil’s Due Comics. A creator himself, he has personally written or drawn nearly 100 published comic books that have sold millions of copies. With a creative experience unlike most publishing executives, Blaylock specializes in a comprehensive approach that blends traditional store distribution with modern crowd funding and digital platforms.

Among his many accolades are the creation of the supernatural cult favorite Mercy Sparx and bringing G.I. Joe back from the dead in 2001 with his writing and development of a new hit comic book series. He is also the author of the acclaimed How to Self-Publish Comics: Not Just Create Them, recently made required reading for comic art students at the Savannah College of Art and Design.

Licensing and production partners in Josh's portfolio have included Hasbro, 20th Century Fox, Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures, Lorenzo DiBonaventura, Michael DeLuca, Milo Ventimiglia, Murs, and more.

Mike Horn:
Mike is an entrepreneur and Executive with 25 years experience in product development, having produced in excess of $100M worth of licensed merchandise. He has established partnerships with NFL, Star Wars, Lucasfilm, ReedPop and many others, and has successfully grown and exited two companies. His expertise includes licensing partnerships, including international manufacturing for consumer products, ranging from electronics to pop culture collectibles to video games.

He was the founder of late 90's/early 2000's collectibles powerhouse Palisades Toys, which pioneered high end collectible action figures, statues, prop replicas, and other products for dozens of licensed properties. These ranged from Jim Henson’s Muppets to Alien and Predator to GI Joe and Transformers to South Park and Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and many, many more. In 25+ years in the business, he has shepherded hundreds of products and generated more than $100M worth of sales.

Horn was the first to produce and market comic-con event exclusive merchandise, through San Diego Comic-Con, a tactic that would quickly become standard industry practice, and is an inductee in the Pop Culture Hall of Fame.

All characters and artwork ™ and © their respective owners.

Kids and young adult comics now account for over 40% of all comic book sales, largely due to the influence of titles artist Jose Garibaldi is directly involved in. He is a veteran illustrator and designer, coloring Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants and Dogman (100 million copies sold) and currently working in animation on major network television series' and films.

He was a visual development artist on Netflix's Captain Underpants animated series, designed characters for Nickelodeon's (2012-2017) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's series TMNT (Casey Jones, Baxter Stockman, Ice Cream Kitty), and The Lego Movie 2 (Unikitty). In comics he has worked alongside the likes of artist and director Rob Schrab (SCUD, Community, The Mindy Project, Workaholics) and Paul Dini (Batman the Animated Series), and was a regular contributor to MAD Magazine.

Jose is now bringing his expertise to PopCultivator, along with a new kid-friendly comic book project - RUBY DIY - in 2021. He will serve as our lead curator for all-ages comics and comics-to-animation content.

All characters and artwork ™ and © their respective owners.


Shawn DePasquale Has several years of TV production experience working for Sony TV, WB TV, NBC, FX and more. He has worked as a story editor for NYT best-selling author Charles Soule for several years and is himself, an accomplished writer.

His comic book industry resume includes work for Devil’s Due Comics, Image Comics, Arcana Studios, Oni Press, and more. He was the Chief Creative Officer and EIC for Macaulay Culkin's BunnyEars.com where he drove 100k unique visitors a month. A writer of screenplays, he has written and sold several, including an untitled project for actor/producer Seth Green, as well as having the CGI kids film Pixies was directly adapted from his comic book script.

All characters and artwork ™ and © their respective owners.

Kit Caoagas is a veteran in comic book publishing, ranging from Assistant Publisher to crowdfunding management. She oversees daily publishing functions and admin for publishers including Devil's Due Comics, Ahoy! Comics, and 1First Comics Publishing.

Part of her expertise includes scheduling new titles and solicitation to distributor catalogs and digital retailers. She oversees comic convention appearances, crowdfunding campaigns, and shipping and receiving. She has also contributed on a creative level, illustrating comic book shorts, copywriting and providing graphic design for promotional campaigns and materials, most notably with Kickstarter.

After graduating from Columbia College in Chicago and cutting her teeth as an intern for Devil's Due Comics, Kit quickly established herself as a vital resource in operations. Now, eight years later, she is maintaining Pop Cultivator relationships with publishers and merchandising partners, and supporting PR and Marketing initiatives.

All characters and artwork ™ and © their respective owners.

Mark Powers began his comic book career at Marvel Comics, where throughout the 1990s, he served as a lead editor of the entire family of X-Men comics. He joined Devil's Due Comics as Senior Editor in the early '00s, overseeing several major licensed brands and driving in excess of $4 Million in annual comic book retail.

Powers evolved into a critically acclaimed writer, with credits including sci-fi drama Rest, in partnership with actor Milo Ventimiglia's (This is Us, Heroes) DiVide Pictures, several issues of G.I. Joe, and became novelist Jim Butcher's and Dynamite Entertainment's go-to comic book adapter for The Dresden Files. He created the cult hit alien invasion sci-fi title Drafted which is currently in development for film with Anonymous Content management.

Mark returns to an editorial and consulting role with PopCultivator, and is currently developing a new original sci-fi property with the team.

Alma Silva has an extensive background in event programming and operations, including a ten year history in the comic book industry. She brings her experience to PopCultivator to oversee engagement with our community of crowd-investors and to develop exciting experiential marketing opportunities in our pop culture sphere.

Highlights in the past include managing Devil's Due Comics' convention presence at events totaling over a quarter of a million attendees, including San Diego Comic-Con, Phoenix Fan Fest, and ReedPop's C2E2 in Chicago, among others.

With her Bachelor of Media Arts degree from Illinois Institute of Art, Silva entered the world of comic books as an intern, quickly moving up to an executive assitant. She had a brief transition to visual merchandising with Forever 21, testing customer flow in retail stores, before landing on events. Since then, she has been the Celebrity Guest Relations and Floor Manager for Fantasia-Con, Indio Ca. She ran Guest Relations and VIP event experience planning for Chicago-based international tech conference Voice of Blockchain, oversaw programming and logistics for the Andy Ruiz, JR Hometown VIP Party for the heavyweight boxing champion, for the Imperial Chamber of Commerce (California), and several fandom and live music performances.

Stuart Bernstein, is the latest addition the team. With over 20 years in commercial strategy, operations and finance, Stuart has joined us from solve for (x), llc where his consultancy advises startups on capital raises, scale and process improvement initiatives. Stuart will balance his lifetime ambition of being Batman with finance and operating strategy for the company, ensuring we build sustainable processes to maximize shareholder value.

Debbie Davis, our Senior Accountant and Controller, is an expert in finance in the world of comic book publishing and related pop culture businesses. She has overseen the finances of PopCultivator's family of affiliated companies for several years and is excited for our new endeavor.

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Our comic creative teams consists of other part-time, regular contractors, as well as a rotating cast of creative talent, which provide the content for our comic books. These writers, artists, colorists and letterers are a combination of work-for-hire contractors and special signed talent whose properties we license.


NOTEWORTHY STATS

  • Comic book films now account for over $3 Billion in annual box office sales, and hundreds of millions in television and streaming revenue.
  • Prior to Covid-19, over 100 pop culture festivals were hosted annually, the largest of which -- San Diego's Comic-Con boasts over 130,000 attendees and approximately $1.2 Billion in regional impact. Eventbrite says pop culture events generate $600 Million in ticket sales (right behind music).
  • In 2019, comic and graphic novel publishing surpassed $1.2 Billion.
  • These numbers exclude related collectible merchandise, statues, toys, apparel, etc. for which we estimate a few hundred million more in revenue.

Audiences now demand more variety in content, and diversity in characters than ever before. Women are buying comics in record numbers. Youth and teen comics readership is rising in double digits each year. Adults have elevated graphic novels to equal the status of novels and film. And this might come as a shock, but traditional superhero titles now account for less than half of comics sold! Only 10% in traditional book stores.

CHAMPIONING DIVERSITY, AS PART OF OUR DNA AND FORMULA FOR SUCCESS

The entertainment industry has propagated a myth that minority characters don't resonate with wider audiences. We know this to be patently false and embarrassingly outdated. Notwithstanding the box office success of Black Panther, Spider-Man:  Into the Spiderverse and Crazy Rich Asians, Hollywood still needs a massive wake up call. While we don't have specific data on diversity in comic booksVariety recently reported that Hispanic audiences, for example, accounts for 23% of movie ticket sales, yet only 6% of the film roles

23% of the ticket sales among only 18% of the population is BUYING POWER, yet still they are materially underrepresented. This is how disconnected Hollywood is...and comic books have not been much better. So we're going to change that. 

Our focus will be on reflecting real communities in our comic-book settings, albeit with a splash of sci-fi, fantasy or horror here and a sprinkle of superhero and cyber-punk there.

We're not here to judge or change the past, but we can move in a positive direction and in a natural way by building a library of diverse characters from the ground up.

Promotional appearances and interview segments - 2019 - NBC, Yahoo! Finance & The Hill

WHY NOW? WHY WEFUNDER?

For years comic book publishers and creators alike have called upon angel investors to back new ideas and fund their projects, usually giving up a huge share of control in the process (and often to partners who do not have any direct passion for the business).

Meanwhile fans of comics have been supporting their favorite creators’ projects on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, awaiting each new volume of exclusive comic swag. 

So doesn’t is make sense that the next logical evolution of this trend is for those crowdfunding supporters to actually score a piece of those characters for themselves?

EVALUATING RISKS - NOT EVERY PRODUCT WILL BE A HIT


Not everything is a hit upon its initial debut, if ever.  Breaking Bad didn't take off until Season three and went on to be the one of the most famous series of all time. We will set clear goals of how long to carry each new series forward, and when to review them for renewal or cancellation, based on a series of factors: sales, licensing interest, press coverage, fan engagement, and shareholder votes.

When something is selling just below breakeven, but fans are appearing in cosplay versions of your characters, movie producers are calling, and foreign licensing companies are awaiting more content to offer deals for translation, it's something you want to be able to carry forward. And even when shutting a title down, you want to walk away with a nice collected edition to add to your backlist sales for years to come. As trends and fads change, sometimes books may have been released too ahead of their time.

WE'RE STILL PILOTING THE SHIP

We do want to clarify that this does not mean the fans and investors will be creating the comic books. They will be funding our ability to bring the best talent to the table, and to properly compensate the creators we’re already working with on projects in mid-stage development.

If we may, for a moment, ask you to dream with us. You're an investor and through your connects, you now own a piece of the Ninja Turtles, Hellboy, and The Walking Dead or (insert dream comic here). You say to yourself, "Ha, I remember before they were this global phenom. I invested when they first debuted on the stands and have been part of the ride ever since." You now attend the biggest comic-cons in the country, while your friends struggled to gain access (they should have invested like you to get special access).

You preview the latest comics before they hit stands, and always have a sneak peek at new concepts that may be the next big thing. When the latest film comes to town, your peers are surprised to learn you have special access to the premiere, because you actually own a piece of the company that started it all. Like some behind-the-scenes, shadowy Illuminati figure, you have your hands in every corner of comic pop culture. You are... THE ILLUMINERDI.

As time goes on and our community grows, we’ll be able to focus group new ideas with the crowd and include them in the behind-the-scenes process. If we gather a body of hundreds of comic-reading investors, why not harvest that body of knowledge for everyone’s mutual benefit? It’s truly exciting to think of the way a company like this can operate.

This built-in fanbase of investors and supporters doesn’t just help the success of the publishing, but the entire development process into other media! Studio execs and producers always want to know what the following behind a concept is before they pull the trigger. Sometimes they bank on the concept itself, but having that support of a wide community can make or break a deal. 

So please, join our crew of investors now, and get in on the ground floor of something we hope to build into a life long, rewarding operation.  


    

Overview