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Starting today, UK underground comics publisher Knockabout Comics and digital-comics publisher Sequential are teaming up to publish Neil Gaiman’s Lost Tales, a collection of Gaiman’s comic strips from the 1980s, for free—and they will donate 50 cents to charity for every download.
The 100-page collection, which is available only via the Sequential iPad app, includes stories from Outrageous Tales from the Old Testament and Seven Deadly Sins, as well as a science fiction story from 2000AD and other material. Some of the comics are collaborations with other creators, including Bryan Talbot and Dave McKean, and many are long out of print. Also included is a 1988 interview with Gaiman.
Sequential is a digital-comics app for the iPad that focuses on indy and underground comics; the company behind it, Panel Nine, has also done collections of the work of Eddie Campbell, Hunt Emerson, and others, and they publish the free iPad magazine Infinity.
Sequential and Knockabout will donate 50 cents to the charity Malaria No More UK for every copy that is downloaded before December 31, 2013. I asked Sequential’s Russell Willis why they were doing this, and he said, “We want to publicise the great stuff on Sequential and have people download Sequential and enjoy the Neil Gaiman stories for free, and feel that this is great way to do that, and do something for the fight against malaria at the same time. It’s a win-win-win.” So it’s sort of a publicity stunt, but for a good cause, both for readers and the charity involved.