Wild Blue Yonder Archives | Robot 6 | The Comics Culture Blog

Cheat Sheet | From ‘Crater XV’ to ‘Saga’ to ‘Wild Blue Yonder’

june17-cater xv

Welcome to “Cheat Sheet,” ROBOT 6′s guide to the week ahead. Now that everyone is coming down from the high (or the low, depending upon your opinion) of Man of Steel‘s $125.1 million opening weekend, it’s time to settle back in for some actual comic books. And this week, there are plenty to recommend, from new-series debuts like Brother Lono and The X-Files Season 10 to original graphic novels like Paul Joins the Scouts and Primates.

But that’s not all, as this weekend also brings the fifth annual Kids Read Comics convention …

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‘Mad Max’ meets WW2-style dogfights in ‘Wild Blue Yonder’

Wild Blue Yonder Preview NWM_Page_01Last year an enterprising trio of comic creators had an idea for a comic series populated with sky pirates, dusty airships and floating cities. Sounds like a crazy idea, but they’re now going at full speed thanks to a little kickstart.

Coming this June from IDW Publishing, Wild Blue Yonder is created by the uber-talented artist Zach Howard and writers Mike Raicht and Austin Harrison. The story is best summed up by the press release: “When land and sea have become deadly and uninhabitable, the intrepid survivors of ecological disaster must take to the skies; to the Wild Blue Yonder.

In the comic, the fractured remnants of human civilization fight over the last vestiges of precious resources — both in food and shelter, but also in fuel to keep their vessels aloft and away from the spoiled ground below. The largest and most enviable on Earth is an airship called the Dawn that runs on a combination of solar, hydrogen and magnetic energy — making it untethered from the needs of fuel that other platforms need to say afloat. With that, the Dawn is a prized commodity, not just for its owners and inhabitants, but for any of the more scurrilous lot left living on this planet — namely, pirates. But the one thing standing between humanity’s best hope of survival and certain doom is a female pilot named Cola, and her dog Critter.

Announced last year at Comic-Con International, Wild Blue Yonder used Kickstarter to raise more than $16,000 for the creators to devote their time exclusively to finishing their project in a timely manner. Unlike most creator-owned work, where creators only see money months or sometimes years after the book is published, Wild Blue Yonder utilized Kickstarter to mitigate that financially precarious scenario and devote the much-needed time to finish the five issues in a relatively short time.

IDW has provided an extensive preview of the first issue, which arrives June 12. If you’re interested in more, CBR interviewed Raicht in November.

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Kickstart My Art | IDW Publishing’s Wild Blue Yonder

Fresh off its announcement at Comic-Con International, the creator-owned series Wild Blue Yonder scheduled to be released by IDW Publishing is looking for $12,000 to make that happen. Created by Zach Howard, Mike Raicht and Austin Harrison, the five-issue miniseries falls into the post-apocalyptic genre but is set in a new place — the skies.

In the fallout from pollution and radiation, the surviving members of humanity climb mountains to get away from danger and eventually find a precarious home in the sky with flying machines, airplanes and floating fortresses. The struggle becomes for the fuel needed to keep these machines aloft, with the upper class (literally, as in living above earth) fighting among themselves and the lower class left on the ground mining the precious resource.

“We’ve been striving to put Wild Blue Yonder together for a long time,” Raicht said in a press release. “It is so amazing that it is finally coming together. To be able to publish it at IDW, the same place that has produced some of my favorite creator owned properties, like 30 Days of Night, The Cape, and Locke and Key, is cooler than I can ever truly express.”

It might seem weird for comic creators to use Kickstarter when their project has already been picked up by a major publisher like IDW, but it’s not the first time. IDW is the home of the Womanthology, which was one of Kickstarter’s early successes, and Image has published several projects that got a majority of their funding through Kickstarter. In Wild Blue Yonder‘s case, the $12,000 they’re hoping to raise apparently is to provide the creators a living wage while creating the book, something that apparently their contract with IDW doesn’t provide. Not that that’s out of the ordinary — most all creator-owned contracts (with the exception of Vertigo and traditional book houses), provide little to no cash advances or page rates. Seeing an IDW book looking to Kickstarter is simply a reflection of the industry as it stands now.

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