Confessions of a Comic Book Guy is a weekly column by Steve Bennett of Super-Fly Comics and Games in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  This week Bennett looks at the impact of new hot things, and the return of Mystery Science Theater 3000.

I know in advance that it'll be bad for my brand* to confess this but, I'm not entirely the "keep moving forward" Comic Book Guy that I so often purport to be.  I tell myself that I don’t have to actually like the latest new hot thing, let alone approve of its existence, just so long as I know it's an actual "thing."  But every once in a while I'll encounter a newfangled notion that sounds so outre to me it registers like moon man talk.

Like, the 3D printer.  At first I just didn't buy it; not after getting badly burned in 1989 when a group of scientists announced they’d discovered cold fusion.  It taught me not to automatically accept things as fact just because I desperately wanted them to be true.  It didn't help that it seemed like a glorified version of that 70s Wham-O toy classic Magic Sand (squirt plastic goop out of a bottle drop by drop until it makes something, though admittedly you couldn't make prosthetic limbs or guns out of Magic Sand).  Though I've got to blame at least some of my incredulity on the absurdly unimaginative thing they decided to call a piece of world-changing, bleeding edge technology.

And crowdfunding was a simple enough concept to suss out; it's a form of investment capitalism where instead of a return you get prizes.  So, basically, it's a pledge drive, the kind of fundraiser we're familiar with from the quarterly campaigns from your local Public Radio and Television stations that we all dutifully ignore.  I'll admit that it sounded like a nice enough notion, but when I first heard about it my first thought was, "How the heck is that supposed to work in the real world?"

And while not all comic book Kickstarters are successful, crowdsourcing has proven to be a remarkably effective method of funding comics.  It's given us Rocket Girl, Steve Orlando's Virgil, Sons of the Devil, Carbon Grey, Cyberforce, Rob Liefeld's Brigade, Nexus, Lady Death, the list literally goes on and on.

Rachel Richey has used it to give us archival reprints of such Golden Age Canadian comics as Nelvana and Brok Windsor (with volumes of Johnny Canuck and Doc Stearne/Mr. Monster coming soon, though never soon enough for me).  Archie Comics was supposed to fund its "New Riverdale" comics that way, but industry reaction quickly put the kibosh on that.  And of course, it’s how I got one of my favorite comics in recent memory, Jamal Igle's Molly Danger.  There could only be one thing better; another Kickstarter launched this summer to bring us Molly Danger: The Series.

Kickstarter has also been good for cult TV shows, bringing back programs as varied as Veronica Mars and Reading Rainbow.  I know that I often write about "impossible" things that are happening these days with an alarming frequency, but last week something I never thought I'd live to see.  After languishing in limbo since its last episode aired in what used to be called the SciFi Channel in 1999.  Mystery Science Theater 3000's creator and original host Joel Hodgson announced a Kickstarter to bring back the legendary movie riffing venue.  In just six days, it made its minimal goal of $2 million, its ultimate one, $5.5 million.  The plan: to make an entire new season of MST3K, twelve whole new "experiments" (which is what we fans called the episodes).

As previously confessed, I'm a big fan (see "Confessions of a Comic Book Guy--Kids Today").  I attended both of the ConventioCon ExpoFest-A-Rama, the very first MST3K cons; for years it was my favorite TV show and in a lot of ways it still is.  I've seen all 197 experiments over and over and yet when I just need something on in the background television for company I'll turn to Pluto TV's streaming Mystery Science Theater 3000 channel and watch whichever one is on.

And things are likely to get even more interesting according to the piece appearing in Variety, "'Mystery Science Theater 3000' Acquired by Shout! Factory, Kickstarter Launched for New Season" by Elizabeth Wagmeister.  There are also plans for the MST3K brand, "including plans for new content development, digital media initiatives, live events, merchandise licensing programs and content syndication to international territories."  There's a part of me that really relishes the idea of them doing a Japanese version of the show.  And if we're very, very lucky, we might even get to see that long promised Mystery Science Theater 3000 comic book.

* Having watched at an early age the original version of The Prisoner when it ran as a summer replacement show for The Jackie Gleason Show (and had "I am not a number!  I am a free man!" constantly pounded into my head) I've resisted accepting the idea that in the future (meaning now) "everyone will have a brand."  I've finally gotten onboard having decided that my brand; is "slow burn sardonic, eclectic lowbrow aesthetic."

The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of