I don’t back that many projects on Kickstarter, but The Spider King is a great-looking book, so I’m seriously considering it. I can’t remember which artist acquaintance put me on to the Facebook page of Italian artist Simone D’Armini, but the guy has a very cool style, synthesizing the influence of all kinds of the right folks (I detect hints of Ben Caldwell, Andrew MacLean, WJC and Uli Oesterle; check out his DeviantArt page here). The Spider King is one of that old chestnut, Vikings versus aliens, written by Australian writer Josh Vann, which is why those prices on the Kickstarter page might seem a bit on the high side, as they’re in Australian dollars.
It’s hard to get an idea of a comic from just a few scattered panels on a Kickstarter campaign page, but Vann’s dialog seems as witty as D’Armini’s images are stylish. They’re about halfway there towards their target, with 16 days to go, so take a look and see if you agree that this project deserves to see the light of day.
A once-respected scientist became the laughing stock of the scientific community when he published a book claiming aliens are real. But as attested by the title of Scott Fogg and Marc Thomas‘ upcoming graphic novel Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone, he’s about to be proved right in a big way.
Fogg and Thomas — the artist and writer — have turned to Kickstarter to fund Reid’s story, which brings the scientist together with a reporter, her 10-year-old son and a 14-year-old alien to stop a war between Earth and Io. Joining Fogg and Thomas’ own team are Dean Trippe and Vito Delsante, who will respectively color and letter the project.
Currently they’ve made more than $6,600 of the $8,500 they’re looking for to create and publish the graphic novel, with just nine more days to go. I spoke with Fogg about the project, using Kickstarter and why his Super Bunny comic never made it past the first issue.
Periscope Studio, the Portland, Oregon, collective that’s home to more than 25 comics artists and writers, is looking to release a series of limited-edition art books, and it’s turning to Kickstarter to do it.
The $25,000 campaign, which launched Tuesday, is designed to fund the printing of 32-page, full-color books from each of six studio members: Ron Randall (Trekker), Paul Guinan (Boilerplate), David Hahn (Erfworld), Natalie Nourigat (Home Is Where the Internet Is), Erika Moen (Oh Joy, Sex Toy) and Benjamin Dewey (The Tragedy Series). There are also plans for a hardcover collecting all six books.
Pledge incentives include original art, signed and sketched-in books, art commissions. The campaign ends Dec. 19.
Although it took Aaron Alexovich a decade to create the material that will appear in the Serenity Rose: 10 Awkward Years compilation, it only took a few hours for the Kickstarter to sail past his initial goal. It kept right on sailing; at press time, the original $5,500 he was looking to raise is a mere pittance compared to the almost $40,000 the project has raised. And it still has two weeks to go.
I caught up with Aaron to discuss the success of the project and his plans for the future of the Serenity Rose world.
JK Parkin: First off, congratulations on reaching — and blowing away — your original goal. Now that you’re well over the amount you needed, what are your plans for the extra money?
Aaron Alexovich: Thank you! Blown away is right. I put up the Kickstarter around midnight on Halloween and went to bed just hoping not to be embarrassed by the whole thing. The next morning my wife, Ami, told me we were fully funded already and I almost cracked my skull open in the shower. Would’ve been hard to fulfill all those orders with half my brains dangling out.
Last year, Ryan Estrada came up with a cool idea: a pay-what-you-want Kickstarter. Anyone who pledged at least a dollar received the winter 2013 edition of The Whole Story, a bundle of four digital comics, each of which was a complete story. It went over pretty well, blasting right past its initial goal of $2,500 to a total of more than $40,000 — including 750 backers at that $1 or more level. (Estrada, being no fool, did add some enticements to pledge at higher levels.)
Now he’s back with another Kickstarter with an even cooler concept: Broken Telephone, a series of 18 independent yet interconnected comics. Here, let’s let Estrada explain:
It seems we hear a lot of horror stories about Kickstarter projects gone wrong, whether it’s because printing took longer than anticipated, postage rates shot up or the creators seemingly disappeared for long stretches of time with no updates.
On the other hand, there’s Rocket Girl.
Brandon Montclare and Amy Reeder had some advantages going into their second Kickstarter — it wasn’t their first rodeo, they were able to line up a publisher (Image Comics), and they both had industry experience. They aren’t the only Kickstarter project I’ve backed that has been able to hit its fulfillment date, but it’s happened infrequent enough that it seems worth noting. It also helps that the final project is very well done, showcasing an intriguing premise, a fun story and electric artwork, but that’s beside the point (unless the point is that you should buy this comic, which you should; the second issue comes out Wednesday).
Brandon and Amy recently sent out an update that detailed the process they went through fulfilling all the rewards they offered on Kickstarter. It was an interesting read, both from an “inside baseball” aspect and from a “this might help someone else looking to use Kickstarter” perspective, so I asked them if I could reprint it here. Brandon offered to expand it a little so it made more sense to non-backers who weren’t along for the six-month ride. I appreciate the time he took to do that, as well as the opportunity to share their story. So with that said, here are Amy and Brandon …
It’s been just five hours since the Kickstarter campaign launched for his 108-page graphic novel The Squidder, and already Ben Templesmith has pushed past his initial $18,000 goal. That may owe a little something to the squid ink.
You see, people who pledge $130 or more will receive a slipcased Kraken edition, with an original sketch done in squid ink; 21 people have already snatched those up.
The limited-run hardcover, written and illustrated by Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Fell, Welcome to Hoxford), is described as Mad Max meets Chthulhu, exploring “themes of a changing world, propaganda, and the nature of control via the main character. We’ll follow this journey of unfinished business through a world now alien and destroyed by a war which humanity lost generations ago against the almighty squid.”
Everyone who pledges money to The Squidder will have their name included in the book, and get a first look at a nine-page prelude. Beyond the Kraken edition with squid-ink sketches, incentives include a T-shirt, original art pages, and an appearance in the book.
What if an alien invasion was … but wasn’t? At its core, that’s the concept of the upcoming graphic novel Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone. Created by Scott Fogg and by Marc Thomas, the upcoming graphic novel follows scientist Phileas Reid as he looks to redeem himself after being pigeon-holed as a crazy person for speculating there are aliens. Reid finds his potential salvation when he meets an alien runaway from the the moons of Jupiter, but ends up in the middle of an interstellar face-off as the runaway’s people come looking for her and the Earth’s military thinks she’s the first soldier in an invasion.
“Phileas Reid Knows We’re Not Alone is an all-ages graphic novel with its sights set on action and adventure, but that doesn’t mean the book isn’t without a message: You are not alone,” Fogg wrote on the project’s Kickstarter page. ” Wherever you are, whoever you are, no matter what age you are, people have gone before you and people are with you now. Just because you feel alone, doesn’t mean you are. This knowledge is supposed to be comforting, but it’s also a challenge. You not being alone in the world also means your way of doing things and your way of thinking things isn’t the only way.”
Jamal Igle’s 2012 Kickstarter campaign for Molly Danger, “the story of the world’s most powerful girl,” was a crowd-funding success story, surpassing its $45,000 goal by a little more than $5,000. He learned a lot from the effort, and shared that knowledge with other creators. However, there was something the veteran artist didn’t count on: the drastic rise of the United States Postal Service’s international shipping rates.
“I didn’t see this coming, and it’s really perplexing me as to how to handle this,” Igle wrote in an email to his Kickstarter backers. “As some of you may be aware, postage rates for international shipping have doubled in the last year. When i launched the campaign for Molly Danger over a year ago, I calculated my costs based on the old rates. Now I find myself in a quandary on shipping to the United Kingdom and Australia being far more expensive. At the moment, since I would like to give you your books and other incentives as promised. One would slow the roll out of delivery, since i would be making up the difference out of pocket. The other is asking those backers to send additional funds, but I don’t want to have a Sullivan’s Sluggers situation where people think I’m pulling a bait and switch.”
Last year popular convention artist Grant Gould set out on his own to create a fantasy tabletop role-playing game called Blade Raiders, combining his love for tabletop gaming, comics art and new concepts. Raising more than $8,000 on Kickstarter, Gould made that dream a reality — and now he’s taking the next step and bringing the Blade Raiders stories to life as a graphic novel.
Launched earlier this month on Kickstarter, the Blade Raiders: Grimalkin campaign is a creator-owned graphic novel set in the world of his RPG that mixes swords, sorcery, high adventure, creatures and quests. Gould is known with his frequent convention appearances and for his work on an official Star Wars webcomic, but with Blade Raiders: Grimalkin the cartoonist is branching out on his own.
Sometimes, you just want to leave your work at work. But in an upcoming graphic novel, Army investigator Kate Bailey is dragged back into the line of duty when a dream about her own murder begins to come true. Mixing ghost stories and police procedurals, veteran writer Brian Augustyn and artist John Derrick West are looking to step out on their with a new self-published, creator-owned graphic novel Dead Ringer.
“Dead Ringer is a hard-boiled mystery/ghost story,” Augustyn writes on the Kickstarter page. “…. Kate Bailey [is an] an Army veteran and former JAG investigator, recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She comes home to Chicago, where she struggles to fit back into civilian society. Plagued by nightmares of her time in Afghanistan, Kate sleeps fitfully as a rule. She is completely blown out of her bed one night, however, by a terrifying dream—of her own brutal murder at the hands of a monstrous psychopath.”
In 1941, Welsh immigrant Adrian Dingle created one of the first superheroines and one of Canada’s shining lights: Nelvana of the Northern Lights. Debuting before Wonder Woman, Nelvana was the daughter of the mythical Koliak the Might, King of the Northern Lights, and a Inuit woman — and although banished by her father’s people, she fought on the mortal plane against Nazis, natural disasters and other threats. Nelvana of the Northern Lights ran as a series from 1941 to 1947, and then was cursed to the back-issue bins to never be seen again … until now.
Two Toronto-based comic fans have paired up to bring Nelvana of the the Northern Lights back to life, acquiring the rights to reprint the original 1940s stories of Canada’s first superheroine along with some pin-ups from modern comics all-stars such as Francis Manapul, Jeff Lemire, Ray Fawkes and Kalman Andrasofszky. This project is organized by Hope Nicholson, producer of the upcoming Canadian superhero documentary Lost Heroes, along with Rachel Richey, former archivist for Canada’s National Archive and current assistant manager for Toronto’s The Comic Book Lounge & Gallery.
Their goal is to create a 300-page softcover collection of Nelvana of the Northern Lights, to arrive in January. To help make this book a reality, they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $25,000 (Canadian) to cover production, printing and distribution.
In 2006, Earth scientists revoked Pluto’s status as a planet — it’s now a “dwarf planet,” neither a planet nor a satellite — and in the process sealed all of our fates.
In the upcoming graphic novel Forgotten Planet, the Plutonians are coming to Earth with payback on their mind, and the only one standing between us and them is a salty former mercenary named Cale Beckett who’s trying to live out his last days in the Tanzanian outback. But as the Plutonians arrive, he must re-live his secret past a hired law officer on Pluto in the 1970s. His comrades from those days are being killed one by one, and so Beckett must return to the place he hoped to forget.
Forgotten Planet comes to you from Eagle-nominated writer Peter Rogers and artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo (Jonah Hex, Iron Man). The duo is using Kickstarter to help make this graphic novel a reality, hoping to raise £11,500 (roughly $15,500 American dollars). If successful, a majority of the money would go to the artist as a page rate, while the rest would go toward the book’s production; the creators have partnered with the indie publisher Scar Comics for printing and distribution.
Here’s a look at thew two covers for the graphic novel, as well as a sample of the interior work:
Since Obama was first elected, it seems like the only thing the president has racked up more of than comic book appearances are conspiracy theories related to his life and beliefs — from the birther movement to that trip to Mars he took as a teenager. If you’re interested in either, or both, or just think Rick Geary is awesome (he is!), here’s the Kickstarter for you: Geary is putting together a 56-page hardcover collection of “far-fetched conspiracy theories that are floating around regarding President Barack Obama.”
Geary has a long list of credits over his 35-plus year career, with one of the many highlights being his Treasury of Murder series. In this book, he’ll be doing full-page illustrations of each conspiracy; for $25 you can get a copy of the book, while $300 gets you the original art from one of the pages. Check out a couple of them below.
Welcome to a new world in comics — the world of Cartozia. Created by a who’s who of indie cartoonists and up-and-comers, this world is being created, defined and explored in an epic 10-issue anthology series titled Cartozia Tales. Editor/cartoonist Isaac Cates has brought together an assortment of creators to act as the base of the series — among them, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Ming Doyle, Meredith Gran, James Kochalka, Dylan Horrocks, Jason Lutes, Maris Wicks, Kevin Cannon and Jon Lewis — to help map out this world in short comic stories. And now with the first issue available for order online, the Cartozia Tales crew is turning to Kickstarter to continue the journey.
“Cartozia Tales is created collaboratively by a group of indie cartoonists working together to discover and invent the world of Cartozia and its secrets,” Cates writes on the project’s Kickstarter page. “We share the creation of the world of Cartozia by a process of chance, setting our stories in different parts of the map randomly with each issue. As the months progress, we trade characters and locations, picking up and expanding the stories started by our fellow contributors.”