IMAGE EXPO: New Projects Revealed From Rucka, Simone, Aaron and More
In an effort to explain the United Nations’ sustainable development goals — a “to-do list” for addressing global problems ranging from hunger to inequality — in a way that can be understood anywhere in the world, Reading With Pictures is working with the U.N. Office of Partnerships to produce a series of comics.
Called Comics Uniting Nations, the initiative aims to produce 17 short comics (one for each of the U.N. initiatives) by such creators as Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey, Dan Mishkin, Tintin Pantoja, and Ben McCool that will be translated into multiple languages and be distributed internationally, both in print and digitally. The goal is to reach more than 100 million people.
Humankind was born looking up at the stars, but what if its last hope is deep in the ocean?
That’s the conceit of Rim City, written by Alessandro Apreda and illustrated by Daniel Orlandini, the inaugural title from anew Italian comics company Atomico. Melding seemingly the inspiration of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Halo with undersea sci-fi like The Abyss. Rim City hits a familiar tone, albeit in some unfamiliar surroundings — and with top-notch artwork that would make any publisher jealous.
The Cartoonists Rights Network International has set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise $40,000 to extend its efforts, which include advocating for freedom of speech, getting the word out when a cartoonist is in peril, and working behind the scenes to aid cartoonists in trouble.
The organization offers a downloadable manual for cartoonists, and also presents the Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award each year to “a cartoonist who is in great danger or has demonstrated exceptional courage in the exercise of free speech rights, or both.”
Cartoonist Jose Garcia has been hard at work on a 120-page wordless graphic novel that explores four romance stories set in the four seasons. He’s looking to self-publish the book, fittingly titled Seasons, next year.
“Each one has its own mood and peace,” Garcia writes on the project’s Indiegogo page. “[Seasons is] based solely on feelings so I intend that each reader interpretation depends on his or her mood, and that by reading it in different occasions, the story’s meaning change!”
SLG Publishing has been a major part of the American comics industry, helping to usher in notable creators like Charles Soule, Jhonen Vasquez and Jim Rugg. But for the past few years the publisher has been struggling.
Founder Dan Vado has been public about the company’s financial status, turning to crowdfunding platforms for help in keeping the business afloat — but with little success. He organized two unsuccessful Kickstarter campaigns in 2012, and returned this year, first with a GoFundMe effort and now with Patreon.
While none of the campaigns have reached the stated goal, Vado remains hopeful. The comics industry has witnessed numerous successful crowdfunding campaigns (even on a publisher level, such as with Fantagraphics), but SLG’s plight underscores that, unfortunately, they don’t all work out that way. But what’s so different about SLG’s situation?
Have you ever had something you wanted to do all your life but never have been able to do it? You know, dreams? Montreal artist Salgood Sam has had something gnawing at him for his entire adult life, and something that’s been on his drawing board for the past eight years: Dream Life.
It’s a webcomic/graphic novel the artist has been working on him for nearly a decade, serializing it online as his work schedule permits. And now, the comic is complete, but one step away from its final goal of a print edition. As a longtime self-publisher, Salgood Sam is reaching out for help.
Steve Ditko and longtime editor and collaborator Robin Snyder are celebrating 26 years of publishing with the planned release of #9 Teen, a new comic from the legendary creator. They just need a little more help on Kickstarter.
While details about the 32-page comic are sparse, Snyder reveals it includes another installment of Ditko’s Madman serial, “plus a unique variety of some of the most original characters in the comics and more.” This marks the duo’s third Kickstarter project, but the first to feature new material.
How do trolls find true love? How do you a draw a sexy female dwarf with a beard? Those are the kinds of questions artist and long-time fantasy fan Milos Slavkovic has found himself wondering over the past few months. Those idle thoughts have turned into plans for a full-blown graphic novel, and he’s reaching out from his Serbian home for help making it true.
Slavkovic has turned to Kickstarter to raise $10,000 to fund the publication of Enchanted Explorer, a graphic novel taking a sexy look at dating in a fantasy world. The cartoonist says Enchanted Explorer is “by no means an adult comic book,” but rather a satire of the fantasy genre and dating in general.
Kickstarter announced this morning it has surpassed $1 billion in pledges, with half that figure contributed in the past year alone, giving an indication of the crowdfunding website’s growth.
Comics, the 10th-largest category, account for $25.47 million of that; games leads the pack with $215.93 million.
That $1 billion came from about 5.7 million donors in 224 countries and territories on all seven continents. However, the United States is responsible for the majority of pledges, $663 million, followed by the United Kingdom with $54.5 million.
Kickstarter also singled out a handful of donors, beginning with Neil Gaiman, which it labels as the “most influential.”
Other interesting statistics: The day Kickstarter launched, April 28, 2009, 40 people pledged $1,084 to seven projects; Wednesday is the most popular day of the week for pledging; and the biggest single day for pledges was March 13, 2013, when 54,187 backers pledged $4,029,585.45 to 1,985 projects.
The Fist of Justice is returning to defend Charm City once again in a trade paperback being funded on Kickstarter by Digital Webbing Press.
Created by Mike Imboden and Ed Dukeshire, the Fist of Justice was introduced in the anthology Digital Webbing Presents #24 (November 2004) as a 1970s superhero who made a fatal mistake that ended his career as the city’s defender. But decades later, he reemerges in the present day to face new threats (full disclosure: I worked with Digital Webbing Press).
After chronicling the story of Kill Shakespeare in comics, IDW Publishing wants to let you tell your own with friends in an innovative board game — but the company is looking for some help.
IDW announced this morning that it’s using Kickstarter to fund the Kill Shakespeare board game, the flagship title of its new IDW Games division, in an effort to publish the project as intended. According to IDW, the $25,000 goal will go toward improving “the quality and content” of the game with a series of add-on components and expansions.
In a relatively brief amount of time, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have changed the way comics are published. From providing start-up funds for projects that wouldn’t otherwise exist to creating an influx of cash to prop up a publisher that’s hit a rough patch, it allows creators to go directly to potential readers for support. Services like Kickstarter have proved popular, but they’re not the only way it can be done. Enter Patreon.
Launched last year, Patreon doesn’t focus on funding a specific project, but instead allows fans to become patrons of their favorite creators by contributing money on a regular basis. Creators can choose to ask for money to be given on a monthly or, say, per-comic basis.