Cannon Busters is thriving while 2014 Kickstarter backers have yet to receive their tier rewards or any updates
There was a lot of talk about a Black-made anime in August. Based off LeSean Thomas’ 2004 fantasy comic book series, the Cannon Busters Netflix original was received with much love and anticipation.
But the 2014 Kickstarter that helped get it there has gone dark.
You know what I’m about to get into: tier rewards. There are numerous backers who haven’t gotten their deliverables and were ultimately left in the dark about what to expect. People had been left hanging for about two years, until June 7th, 2018—and since then, they’ve received more of nothing. This isn’t that uncommon of an occurrence when it comes to crowdfunding. But what makes this worse? LeSean Thomas’ socials have also suggested that he’s gone into hiding as his Instagram has been put on private, Twitter account apparently suspended, and my sources say he hasn’t mentioned a word of making good on sending people their DVDs, art books, or anything else.
After talking to my sources, I’ve maneuvered myself around the “Backer’s Only” tape to see what the last update covers:
“Staying silent until we had
proper info to report unfortunately was the best method for us. It wasn’t a
method that we felt would make many happy, understandably, but it’s a
method that was the best course of action needed nonetheless,
concerns and potential disappointments notwithstanding.”
“We will be updating more frequently each month, releasing digital backer
reward tiers as we prep for delivery of hard copy goods such as Art
books, Konte books, art-prints, t-shirts, and other materials (Digital
download links, the LeSean Thomas Making-Of Cannon Busters mini-
feature, Bessie Sculpts) and trickle them out for specific backers and
their respective reward tiers…”
Along with this, the reasons given in the last formal update were essentially chalked up to a couple of things. Manga Entertainment UK has partnered with Thomas’ Makestuff, LLC team and is in charge of handling the production of the animation’s DVDs and Blu-Rays. There was also a mention of NDAs being a wrench in the fulfillment process. From this, I speculate that Makestuff, LLC’s partners Satelight and Yumeta Company also have a similar share of work when it comes to the art books. The “Making of Cannon Busters” DVD could also be a matter of issues, what with having to gather footage of each site. All in all, regardless of these reasons and theories, the Kickstarter updates have been dry even after stating they’d shell out monthly updates.
Were any of the rewards honored? Sure. The viewing of the pilot episode had been delivered, per last year’s update. Emails verifying Backer address were sent out about a month ago, too. But, as far as I can see, that’s it.
It’s with my hopes that eveyone who believed in LeSean Thomas, Makestuff, LLC, and believed in Cannon Busters since 2014 will get what they paid for. This situation isn’t without some happy fans, but I’d imagine it’s rough having to see all the news buzzing around this show, the official Cannon Busters Twitter active, but no word to all the backers who essentially made it possible to get to Netflix. Hell, even Kickstarter has acknowledged the project and has ignored tweets about lack of fulfillment.
Will the Cannon Busters backers ever see their rewards? I’d say tune in next time, but these are real life people who are out their real life dollars.