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It’s shaping up to be a red-letter day for fans of free quality comics: As if that digital edition of Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s Trees #1 weren’t proof enough, this morning also saw the debut of Moose Kid Comics, an impressive children’s anthology featuring the work of more than 40 creators.
Created and edited by Jamie Smart, the 36-page digital comic boasts such talents as Roger Langridge, Tom Plant, Neill Cameron and Abby Ryder, Mark Stafford, Aaron Alexovich, Sarah McIntyre, James Downing, and Samantha Davies. And did we mention the “Young Tank Girl” strip by Alan Martin and Warwick Johnson-Cadwell?
“Here in the U.K, mainstream children’s comics have been dying out, especially ones featuring original content,” reads the comic’s mission statement. “The Phoenix and The Beano are the only commercially available weekly titles still producing entirely original characters, but they are competing against big-name licensed titles based on TV shows or merchandising. We want to help change things. We want to be creating the next generation of loveable characters for the world to embrace, all created by artists who retain their copyrights and put all their heart into their creations. We want to remind both children and adults alike how fantastical and imaginative comics can be, and to help bring children’s comics back into the public consciousness.”
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.
Back in April of 2010, writer Aaron Alexovich and artist Drew Rausch’s Eldritch! battled nine other webcomics to win the monthly competition held by DC Comics’ Zuda imprint. It was a hard-fought battle, and Eldritch! would ultimately earn the distinction of becoming the last Zuda winner, as DC shut down the competitions and ultimately the entire imprint soon after.
Eldritch! never had the opportunity to begin its run on the Zuda site, but that didn’t stop Rausch and Alexovich from pushing forward. A little more than a year after their victory, their comic is finally being released by the duo in various digital formats, including through Graphicly, comiXology and via the comic’s website.
The duo was kind enough to answer a few questions about and share some artwork from the new book. You can see even a longer preview on their site.
JK: Let’s start with a question about how this project initially came together. What made you guys decide to enter the monthly Zuda contest? And how did you guys know each other before all of this?
Drew: I was aware of Aaron’s existence from reading Serenity Rose way back when it was in single issues. I remember thinking “Man, this guy can write!” Seriously, each issue was a sequential novel. And I liked that. It had substance, wit and charm what with the “spooky” cute art. Eventually, I ended up asking Aaron to do a pin up for the second volume of my creator book Sullengrey. He and I just started chatting after that and found we both had a lot of similar tastes.
Welcome to What Are You Reading?, our weekly look at the comics and other stuff we’ve been enjoying lately. Our special guests this week are Aaron Alexovich (Invader Zim, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Serenity Rose, Fables) and Drew Rausch (Sullengrey, The Dark Goodbye, Cthulhu Tales), the creative team behind the horror/comedy comic Eldritch!
To see what Aaron, Drew and the Robot 6 crew are reading, click below …
Last year Drew Rausch and Aaron Alexovich’s Eldritch! was the winner of the final Zuda webcomics competition, but before the strip could begin its run, DC Comics shut down the site and imprint.
That might have slowed Rausch and Alexovich down, but it certainly didn’t stop them, as they plan to release Eldritch! “to every digital device known to God, Man, and Shoggoth alike, including your desktop, iPad/iPod/iPhone, Android, Nook, Kindle, and eNecronomicon (pending).” That includes Graphicly and comiXology, as well as directly from their website as a PDF.
The comic will debut on June 15 for 99 cents, and the first nine pages are available to preview now ontheir website.
You can find the press release, which is kind of a fun one as far as press releases go, after the jump.