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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Crowdfunding, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 156
1. Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location

2016 Flame Con will be held for TWO days this time. And that's not all: they're moving to a bigger location too

1 Comments on Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location, last added: 8/26/2015
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2. How To Make Crowdfunding Sustainable For Comics

A little while back, Brian Hibbs wrote a piece involving the place of Kickstarters in the comics world that still seems to be making the rounds online.  It comes at it from the retailer angle, and as somebody who’s run a few Kickstarters, I have a few different thoughts about how crowdfunding fits into the […]

5 Comments on How To Make Crowdfunding Sustainable For Comics, last added: 8/19/2015
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3. Kickstarter Spotlight: Supreme Team Takes on the Rise of Hip-Hop and Drug-Culture

Comics Beat contributor Seth Ferranti has had a long and storied past.  A writer well and truly familiar with life on the streets, Ferranti began picking up the craft of writing while serving a 25 year sentence in the Federal Bureau of Prisons for acting as the kingpin of an LSD empire. Ferranti released his first […]

0 Comments on Kickstarter Spotlight: Supreme Team Takes on the Rise of Hip-Hop and Drug-Culture as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
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4. MATT CHATS: Thomas Boatwright on Puppets, Patreon and a Transition from Comics

Rarely do I get to learn the story of people who have moved away from the comics industry. Artist and creator Thomas Boatwright is an interesting example of someone who did the comics thing for awhile but eventually, initially not entirely by choice, moved on to other ventures. As a fan of his comics I’ve been […]

0 Comments on MATT CHATS: Thomas Boatwright on Puppets, Patreon and a Transition from Comics as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
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5. Comics & Libraries: San Diego State University Crowdfunds to Catalog 20,000 Comics!

San Diego State University has over 20,000 comics and related items to process! (Here’s a basic list of comics waiting to be cataloged!) Like most libraries, they don’t have the funding to process the donations, and to make them accessible to patrons. Thus, San Diego State University has set up their own crowdfunding portal, called […]

0 Comments on Comics & Libraries: San Diego State University Crowdfunds to Catalog 20,000 Comics! as of 1/1/1900
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6. Washington court orders payment and fines in Kickstarter fraud case

201508181258.jpg As crowdsourcing has become a normal part of financing creative projects, a few bad apples have soured the barrel with non delivery. A few months ago, the FTC announced it would start looking in to Kickstarters that don't deliver and now a Seattle court has ordered the creators of the Asylum Playing Cards Kickstarter—Altius Management and Edward J. Polchlopek—to pay over $54,000 in fines and settlement.

1 Comments on Washington court orders payment and fines in Kickstarter fraud case, last added: 8/19/2015
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7. MATT CHATS: Tyler James on the ComixTribal Magic

Independent publisher ComixTribe has been steadily growing their presence in the direct market, on Kickstarter and especially on the web. ComixTribe.com is a site that’s used not just to promote their products but also to give advice to inspiring and up-and-coming creators. I spoke to Tyler James, the publisher of ComixTribe, about building a reputation in the industry, getting sales and the publisher’s latest Kickstarter campaign for graphic novel The Standard.

How’s the experience been so far Kickstarting The Standard?

The Standard Ultimate Collection Kickstarter is going great!

It’s a tremendous feeling to launch a Kickstarter, send an email, and then 36 hours later, get the printing for an expensive hardcover fully funded… and to do so without any major media coverage or heavy advertising.


Art by Jonathan Rector

That’s a testament to what ComixTribe has been building over the past four years and where we’re headed. And it’s validation for the extraordinary work of writer John Lees, artist Jonathan Rector, and the rest of THE STANDARD team.

This is not my first Kickstarter rodeo, rather it’s the sixth Kickstarter campaign I’ve actively managed. While the platform continues to change and evolve and add new features and wrinkles, the core of what works and what doesn’t hasn’t changed since our first successful campaign in 2012.

I hear a lot of creators talk about how stressful and nerve-wracking Kickstarters are… and they certainly can be. But I prefer to look at them like a month-long online comic book convention and an opportunity to build a deeper relationships with new and long-time fans. When you frame it like that, the stress melts away and you can have fun with it.

The Standard bears, at least on a surface level, a lot of resemblance to Mark Waid’s Thrillbent comic Insufferable. Was that a concern as you plunged into this Kickstarter campaign?

No disrespect to Mr. Waid, who is one of my favorite writers in all of comics, but when John and Jon first started working on THE STANDARD, he still had his comic book collection! So, any resemblance to Insufferable can be chalked up to coincidence and pulling from the same ideaspace that lifelong superhero fans such as Mark and John will draw on.

The fact that his has been a project long in the making is one of the things that’s so rewarding about this process.  While some people (Lees included) were shocked at how fast we were able to get THE STANDARD funded, that 36 hours was really six long years in the making.

Marvel and DC, with their double shipping and weekly series, and the direct market in general, which is built on a monthly release schedule, shape the expectations of readers to think that comics take only a few weeks to make.

And while that may be true for well-compensated professionals working for fully-staffed companies that have been around for seventy years, it’s just not feasible in the indie world.

THE STANDARD was John Lees’ very first comic book… he was literally learning how to write comics as he wrote the series.

As John says in his Kickstarter video, when he first got started on this project, he wasn’t thinking about whether he had a marketable high concept, or whether it was going to sell, or whether there were other books out there like it. At that time, he didn’t know enough about the industry to even think if he should be thinking about that stuff!

Rather, John was thinking that this might very well be the only comic he’d ever make… so why not tell the one story he wanted to tell more than anything else in the world? And why not fill it up with everything he loves about comics – heroism, horror, mystery, romance, heartbreak, innocence lost, and yes, just the right amount of superhero cheese.

Josh Fialkov (The Bunker, Echoes) was gracious enough to write the foreword for AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE, John’s break out horror series from last year. In it, he talked (lovingly) about picking up EMILY #1 and “wanting to punch John in the face” for seemingly coming out of nowhere being so damn good.

What’s great about John’s work and THE STANDARD in particular is that it’s really not trading on a super original, ironic, hip high-concept. There have been plenty of meta superhero deconstruction tales before THE STANDARD and there will be many more to come. You mentioned Insufferable, but I’d actually point to Waid’s Kingdom Come as being a little closer thematically to THE STANDARD.

But it’s not about theme or high-concept. To paraphrase True Detective, “It’s all one story, man. Light and Dark.” What’s brilliant about THE STANDARD is its execution. There’s craft and love for the medium of comics gushing out of every page.

John is going to need a bodyguard when Fialkov realizes this was the first comic John ever wrote!

So, no, to your question. We had a few concerns about launching the Kickstarter, but none of them were about the content itself. This series is rock solid.

My main concern was juggling both the Kickstarter and also at the same time promoting the direct market launch of OXYMORON: The Loveliest Nightmare, our next series launching in August.

I don’t want to ask too many questions about crowdfunding, because you cover the subject so well on ComixTribe.com, but I have to ask a couple. One is: what’s a Kickstarter that impressed you recently, and how did it impress you?

That’s a great question, and I’m always trying to study successful campaigns so I can later model things they do well on the ones I run.

Last month’s Archie Kickstarter campaign was a big story, and many people looked at that campaign scoffing at the lofty sum of $350,000 they were trying to raise for new projects as way too much money and a ridiculous, some might say “greedy”, goal.

Meanwhile, at the same time on Kickstarter,  Tim Buckley “quietly” blew past the $350K mark for a reprint of his webcomic CTRL+ALT+DEL in just a few days, later going on to raise more than $665K.

So what continues to impress me about Kickstarter is that, of all platforms available to creators – the direct market, Comixology, Amazon, conventions — Kickstarter is easily the most level playing field.

Individual creators can be more successful than 70 year old publishers on Kickstarter.

While the big numbers of some of these crazy campaigns do catch my eye, the thing I love most about the platform and what impresses me most are the guys and girls going out there and launching their first campaign and succeeding.

Guys like Bill Walko who now gets to make a quality trade collection of his great webcomic Hero Business, or Kristi McDowell whose very first comic Gamer Girl & Vixen got funded.

The numbers don’t matter. I guarantee you, Tim Buckley was no more excited (and perhaps less so) by his $666K than Kristi was about her $7K.

So, yeah, I’m impressed by people who do their homework, run great campaigns, and then fulfill them.

As a side note, the most impressive Kickstarter I’ve ever backed was John August’s Writer Emergency Pack Kickstarter… because of its massive success and because he had his act together, John was able to get rewards out to backers a few weeks after the campaign ended, months earlier than promised.  THAT was impressive, and one of the biggest tips I have for creators going to Kickstarter is under promise and over deliver.

What kinds of new lessons are you still learning with each crowdfunding campaign?

So much! The platform is ever evolving. Back in 2012, not only did you have to sell your product, but you had to sell the concept of the platform of Kickstarter itself, and educate potential backers on how it all works.  It’s nice not to have to do so much of that anymore, as Kickstarter has slipped more into the mainstream consciousness.

But there are still things I’m learning and working on.  “Cracking the code” of the “Kickstarter Deadzone”… that period in the middle of a campaign where pledges and momentum stalls after a big open and before a huge close… that’s something I’m still working on.

Another thing I’m excited about is a new podcast I’ll be debuting next month called ComixLaunch: Crowdfunding Your Comics and Graphic Novels on Kickstarter…and Beyond! I get asked about Kickstarter more than just about anything else, and the articles on Kickstarter are the most read things on ComixTribe.com.  So, I’m hoping to dive deeper with a weekly podcast laser focused on this stuff, and hopefully provide a lot of value.

Right now, more than half of all comic book Kickstarter projects fail. I know how much ink, sweat, and tears goes into creating comics and then running a campaign, so those stats are gutting to me.

But I’m very optimistic that ComixLaunch can help improve those numbers. I’ve had dozens of creators personally thank me for the Kickstarter resources I’ve posted on ComixTribe.com, and I’ll be able to go even more in-depth on the pod. Also worth noting, backers of THE STANDARD Kickstarter will be treated to an advanced listen of the first episode of the podcast.

On a practical level, is the purpose of the ComixTribe website, which features as much new content as most comics news websites, primarily to drive sales of your comics?

One of my favorite quotes is by Zig Zigler, who famously said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” Success in business (and life) is directly correlated to the amount of value you bring to the world. So I get up every day trying to think about how I can best serve the comics community. The natural by-product of that is growth for ComixTribe. It is the epitome of a win win.

Now, when Steve Forbes (affable curmudgeon and ComixTribe Editor-In-Chief) and I first started ComixTribe on 1-1-2011, we didn’t have any comics to sell! We were both writing content for other people’s sites and decided to join forces and launch our own. We both have the heart (and in my case, the background and expensive degrees) of a teacher, and really do love helping other creators make better comics.

In fact, THE STANDARD is a true ComixTribe success story, as it was Steven Forbes who helped John Lees shape his rough concept into the polished gem it is today.  Let that be a lesson to all you new writers out there… if you want to increase the odds that your first comic book project is publishable, HIRE AN EDITOR!

After you figure out the basics of this comics game, every creator and every small publisher should devote considerable effort into picking their edges. By that I mean figuring out what makes them unique? Why should anyone give a damn?  What do they want to be known for?

Opening the ComixTribe kimono, so to speak, and being transparent about our successes, lessons learned, struggles and triumphs in the form of articles on ComixTribe.com has definitely helped distinguish us from other small comics publishers out there.

At the same time, as we’ve grown, and really expanded our titles, it’s been tough to balance serving both creators who are interested in our advice and readers who love our books.  While there is certainly some overlap between the two audiences, and our peers are also some of our biggest supporters, it is a challenge to be viewed as both an imprint and a web resource.

But my purpose in life is to educate and to entertain, so I’ll likely always have a toe in both pools.

Have you considered adding revenue streams like advertising or sponsorships?

Adding revenue streams has been a core focus of ComixTribe over the past few years, and is certainly one of my primary focuses this year.

Here’s a little infographic showing where the ComixTribe revenue comes from, and when we’ve added those streams to our business, and relatively how important those streams are to our business right now.

ComixTribe Revenue Streams 2015(1)

If we had to rely on any one of those streams, we’d be dead in the water.  The magic is in diversification.

Over the past couple months, I’ve been making a concerted effort to look for new partnerships, whether that be advertising, sponsorships, or affiliates that can bring value to our readers.

I spend at least ten minutes every day thinking of at least ten new ideas… ideas on everything from ways to sell more comics, to creators I want to work with, to things I love about my wife, to ideas for new lists of ideas… the list itself isn’t so important. The important thing is exorcising that idea muscle.

That practice is training me to see connections and solve problems more instinctively than before… granted most of the ideas I come up with are ridiculous and wrong for me. But it only takes a couple gems to make a significant difference in life and business.

So, yes, we’re adding new revenue streams and always looking for new potential partners, and you’ll see some of those come to life in the near future.

What are your other priorities?

Right now, ComixTribe’s top focus is readership growth.

That means increasing our direct connection with readers and the best way to do that is to get our books into readers’ hands.


Free Comic Book Day 2015 was a huge win for us.  We increased our reader email subscribers by about 50% thanks to the 50,000 copies of AND THEN EMILY WAS GONE #0 that were given out.

And everyone who subscribes to our list gets hooked up with the first issue of our five top titles, so that’s really our single best play to turn strangers into raving fans.

But readers aren’t enough… increasing the number of retailers carrying our books is also one of my top priorities.


Art by Alex Cormack

I’ve set a goal to double our direct market sales for our next series OXYMORON: The Loveliest Nightmare from our previous best seller.  And I’ve already committed to a print run that’s double what we printed for EMILY #1, even prior to getting our Diamond orders… so the boats have been burned, there’s no turning back, now!

Most of the comics put out by ComixTribe are about superheroes. Do you think that will change given that And Then Emily Was Gone, arguably Comixtribe’s biggest success, wasn’t?

It’s true that the first four titles we introduced to the market were all superhero books, or at least twists on the superhero genre. Joe Mulvey’s SCAM for example, is a capes books where the capes were replaced with conman capers.

But I think it’s important not to confuse where ComixTribe chose to start, with where we’re going.  Let’s remember that Image Comics, widely regarded as one of the most diverse and respected publishers today, started exclusively with superhero books.

And there’s a reason for that, right? Most creators were initially drawn to the medium by superheroes. Tracing cool panels featuring Spider-man at eight years old was my gateway into drawing my own comics.

When I first approached artist Cesar Feliciano about collaborating, I pitched him five different concepts… but he was most interested in doing THE RED TEN, a team superhero book, something he’d always dreamed of doing. (And that was the one I was hoping he’d dig as well.)

One of the great things about ComixTribe is that all the books we publish are, first and foremost, books we ourselves want to read.

And  at 36 years old, I’m still not ashamed to say I love a good superhero yarn.

That said, I haven’t greenlit a new superhero project under the ComixTribe banner in a couple years now, and would have to have my socks blown off by a pitch to do so.

The new OXYMORON series actually takes the character who debuted in THE RED TEN, and strips away any and all superhero trappings.  The high concept for the series that’s been generating a lot of buzz is asking readers to “Imagine The Joker came to a Gotham WITHOUT Batman.”  So, this series is more police procedural and cerebral horror thriller than anything else.


Art by Alex Cormack

Likewise, we’ve got EXIT GENERATION from Sam Read and Caio Oliveira, a previously self-published gem from the UK, which is an all-ages sci-fi book with a punk rock ethos coming out later this fall.


Art by Caio Oliveira

Joe Mulvey’s next series, CounterTERROR, which we are soft-launching at the 2015 Boston Comic Con, is a political thriller mashed up with a paranormal action popcorn flick.  Think “What if Jack Bauer was a Ghostbuster?” 


Art by Joe Mulvey

And I fully expect Ryan K Lindsay (Negative Space, Headspace) and Sami Kivelä’s unannounced new surf noir book to raise the bar for ComixTribe again in 2016.

We also have a couple new anthology projects I’m very excited about coming up that take us into new exciting new genres.

In short, we unabashedly love superhero comics at ComixTribe, but we’re about a lot more than spandex.  

Do you have aspirations to work with publishers other than ComixTribe?

I think most people who make comics would be lying if they told you they didn’t want the opportunity to work on the icons and make a contribution to the great comic book universes that they grew up loving.

Every creator has a Spidey story, or a Batman story, or I don’t know, a Howard the Duck tale, they’d love the opportunity to tell.

For me, it was Image Comics that really ignited my passion for creating comics, so having a book with an Image “i” on the cover has long been a goal for me. (You can listen to me fanboy gush over Erik Larsen when he was a guest on the Final Issue Podcast.)

So, sure, if given the right opportunity, I’d jump at the chance to work with legendary publishers.

But that’s not the endgame for me.

It’s an interesting time in comics.  Marvel and DC, they have great talent working for them, sure. But the absolute best talent in comics are no longer found there… or at least no longer found EXCLUSIVELY there. Millar, BKV, Staples, Kirkman, Adlard, Ottley, Brubaker, Phillips… the cream of the crop all realized that the ceiling at the Big Two was far too low for their talents.

And that’s a great thing, I think, for the industry, and for comics in general.

How do you plan on continuing to grow ComixTribe?

One reader, shop, and creator at a time.

I sold my first comic at age 14 out of my backpack in school. (9 copies sold at a $1 a piece!)

Since then, ComixTribe has managed to get more than 200,000 copies of books printed and out there into the world. (Sorry, trees!) And as crazy as that number is to me, it still means we’re just a guppy in the comics industry ocean.

Still, ComixTribe has doubled its revenue every year for the past four years.

We are poised to double again this year, as long as we continue to execute.

It’s been a long, hard road to get here… a barely profitable, low six-figure business, that reinvests 100% of profits back into itself.

But it’s still early days for us.  We’re maybe on mile two of our comics marathon.

And I see the roadmap…

I know exactly what we need to do to take ComixTribe to a somewhat profitable seven-figure business, and beyond.

(This is the part where I knock on wood… and remind myself of the danger of “best laid plans” and that I could be hit by a bus or a falling anvil at any moment.)

But it’s not rocket science. And it’s not all that complicated…

The closest thing I have to a success formula goes something like this: P + A + I + N + T = S

Passion + Action + Integrity + a Network + Talent = Success.

I firmly believe that if you have all of those ingredients, the only variable in your success is TIME.

Because the truth is, those ingredients, even when found in copious amounts, do take a while to cook.

And if you’re not currently as successful as you want to be… you may be lacking one or more of those elements, and that is where you should be putting your focus.

We need a new name for it because “The Golden Age” is taken… but these are the halcyon days for being a comic book creator.   

Over the next few years, we’re going to get a million ComixTribe comics into readers’ hands.

We’re going to continue to add tremendous value to the comic creator community, through continuing the awesome free content on ComixTribe.com, and through podcasts and other educational products and ventures.

And we’re going to work directly with at least one hundred creators, and help a bunch of them break into the direct market for the first time.

How is ComixTribe going to do all this?

Well, I’ve got a plan, but I’m nimble, and will be figuring it out as I go along.

And you can be sure I’ll be doing it transparently and in plain sight, as I’ve done from ComixTribe’s inception…

So, just watch.

MATT CHATS is a weekly interview series with a person of prominence and/or value in the comic book industry. Find its author, Matt O’Keefe, on Twitter and Tumblr. Email him with questions, comments, complaints and/or suggestions praise at matt@mattwritesstuff.com.

0 Comments on MATT CHATS: Tyler James on the ComixTribal Magic as of 6/23/2015 6:24:00 PM
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8. Crowdwatch: some deserving Kickstarters from Pak/Miyazawa, Dwyer and also Frogman

Normally I don’t do Kickstarter columns but so many of them are coming and so many of them are cool, I’m BREAKING WITH TRADITION.

§ Kieron Dwyer and Todd Rinker are trying to get funding for WEST PORTAL, a new creator owned series about…


West Portal is the story of Dexter Allen, a struggling artist with a failed marriage and a young daughter.

After he’s diagnosed with a strange brain anomaly, Dex finds himself transported into bizarre worlds from popular fantasy and fiction.
One minute, Dex is reading a comic strip featuring Glint Granger, a space-faring sci-fi hero in the mold of Flash Gordon…


…and suddenly, Dex is Glint Granger, trapped on some far flung planet, fighting for his life against evil alien Space Squids!

Catchy concept and the creators are seasoned pros so maybe give this a spin?

§ Greg Pak is a crowdfunding master, and now he’s teaming with artist Takeshi Miyazawa, colorist Jessica Kholinne and letterer Simon Bowland for  ABC Disgusting, a children’s alphabet book about disgusting things. I don’t think you need to know too much more than that. They’ve already raised more than $8000 of the $24,000 they’re asking and when you see the art you’ll give the rest:

ABC Disgusting tells the story of a boy trying to shock his older sister with an alphabetical series of disgusting things. But in the end, she hits him with what might be the biggest gross-out of all. 


“This is a book for anyone who’s ever laughed at a fart,” says Pak. “I’m also hoping it might be particularly great for reluctant readers, kids who might need a little more incentive to pick up and read a book.”

“I’ve been having such a fun time drawing it, I can’t wait for everyone to see it! It makes me proud to be able to reach new readers and, just maybe, inspire them to read more or even draw something silly,” says Miyazawa.






§ Finally the third volume of Matt Fitch’s Frogman 3: The Death of Frogman is up. The artist is Gibson Quarter, and if this isn’t supposed to be a pastiche on 80s independent comics, I don’t know what is. They’re also about a third of the way so go for it.

1 Comments on Crowdwatch: some deserving Kickstarters from Pak/Miyazawa, Dwyer and also Frogman, last added: 6/30/2015
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9. SDCC ’15 – Comic Book People at Comic-Con

FullSizeRenderWant to know what comic-cons are really about? Get these books.

In my previous post I talked about the importance of community — it is central to proper understanding of ethics, and as such it is essential to a fan life well-lived. As an influx of new people explore the comics universe, the risk of losing sight of what connects us beyond passive viewing increases and the importance of learning from our history only grows.

That’s why Jackie Estrada’s Comic Book People is so vital – and if you’re at San Diego Comic-Con, you can get the hot-off-the-Kickstarter second volume at the Exhibit A Press booth, #1909 (aisle 1900, near the Lobby B2 entrance).

If you’re new to comic-cons there might be a temptation to think that books filled with photos of people from the ’70s and ’80s (vol. 1) and ’90s (vol. 2) are just for people who went to conventions back then, but as Don Draper would say, this isn’t nostalgia; it’s a time machine. The genius of these books is that you are in many ways their target audience — in addition to names and photos, Comic Book People explains who these people are and why they are important. Not only will this help you discover stories you might have otherwise missed, but they show you a world-shaping network as it grows. These folks built a global pop-culture empire that made billions and changed lives, inspiring an intensity of personal connection that rivals if not transcends that found in other art. Know them and you’ll understand the world you’ve just entered; follow their example and you’ll create a world that today exists only in dreams.

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10. MATT CHATS: Dan Berry on Podcasts, Patreon and Handmade Art

I first learned about Dan Berry due to my insatiable hunger for comics podcasts. Make It Then Tell Everybody consists of intelligent and insightful conversations with comic creators you may or may not be familiar with, each a great lesson in art, storytelling and the process of making sequential art. From Make It Then Tell Everybody, I branched out to Berry’s comics. I was impressed by the stories that felt iconic and the watercolors that showed the benefits of creating art by hand in the digital age.

Read my conversation with Dan Berry about the man’s art, podcast, Patreon and much more.


What prompted Make It Then Tell Everybody?

In 2012 a British artist asked me to host some panel discussions at a festival. I said yes and we did two panels discussions and they went really well. Someone said, “Oh, you should podcast these!” I took his advice and in the weeks following decided to carry on.

Has it had a noticeable effect on your career?

Oh, yeah. Way more people know who I am [laughs].

What do you think of the Patreon model. Do you find it viable?

Yeah, absolutely. It’s been essential to what I’m doing. I talked about doing a Kickstarter on the podcast, which I guess is a really good model for a book, but for these enduring projects I need that slightly slower burning funding model.

I love the way you have different tiers offering the same thing. I found that really clever.

[Laughs] Well I’m basically giving it away for free. No one really gets anything. It’s really about this idea of altruism. It’s people’s own good will that I’m spending here.

2015-07-01 01.06.11

What are your general thoughts on digital art, both in terms of your own work and the work of others?

What do you mean by digital art?

Anything done on a computer. Something done on a Cintiq, for example.

Oh, I find it great. It’s absolutely great. I don’t have any problems with digital art. My background is nearly entirely digital I only came to working with ink on paper much later on. I like working traditionally because I feel I can do it faster.

I think this is a psychological thing for me rather than anything to do with the technology but I find when I’m working digitally and have the infinite safety net of the undo button I’m going to keep using it over and over again. I think my style has developed not from avoiding my mistakes but embracing them and making them part of the style. I have a very loose what I hope is a spontaneous and expressive style and I can’t get that same level of spontaneity [digitally] because I know there’s a safety net there. Whereas with traditional media forces you but also embrace them.

I don’t think there’s any artist I can think of who would lose more from working digitally than you. Your work is so natural. Do you think you could achieve anywhere near the same effect on a computer? Especially the watercolors?

Oh not the watercolors. I’ve tried a bunch of different watercolor brushes for Photoshop and it’s not the same. At all. I haven’t found anything that vaguely approximates what you do with watercolor. There’s an element of chaos that you can’t really control and I really like that. You don’t get that chaos from a computer.


You don’t sell your comics digitally, do you?

I do a couple of PDF downloads and I think there’s stuff on ComiXology.

Oh, you do. I didn’t see any when I looked.

It was with a British publisher named Great Beast. My book Carry Me was with them and they had it on ComiXology and they recently folded shop so I think it might have gone down now.

Are you planning on putting it back up?

Yeah. I’m trying to figure out what to do with that at the moment because it’s reaching the end of its print run. It sold really well and the digital stuff seemed to pick up pretty well. I had a lot of excellent response from the ComiXology stuff. I might reissue it under my own name I might collect a bunch of things as an anthology I haven’t really decided yet.

How long is it?

24 pages, I think?

You said you’re going to work on a longer project in the near future?

Yes, I am.

2015-07-01 01.06.54

Is that an adjustment, after working on so many shorter ones?

Not really. It all feels pretty much the same at this point. My schedule doesn’t change depending on how long the project is because I don’t really take breaks between projects. So I’m just basically always working so I don’t see any difference.

You don’t get impatient?

No. I used to. I used to want it to be finished and it to be done but I think as I get older patience is one of the things I’ve managed to develop. I think patience and being able to sit down for 4 hours at a time and do one thing.

I have one final question, the one everybody hates to be asked on Make it Then Tell Everybody: where do you get your ideas from?

All over the place [laughs]. Basically I like to fill my head up with as much stuff as possible. I like to listen to nonfiction and fiction books, audiobooks in the car, I’ll read articles, I’ll talk to people I’ll try to experience as much stuff in my head because I know that the more stuff I have in my head the more ideas I’m likely to have and once I’ve had an idea I have to capture it. If I don’t capture it dribbles out my nose while I sleep and its gone forever. So it’s not so much having ideas or where they come from I think it’s taking the beginning of an idea and turning it into something that’s the difficult part. Having ideas is relatively straightforward relatively easy I don’t have any problems with that it’s finding the time to do something with it or actually doing something with it.

2015-07-01 01.06.43

Follow Dan on Twitter and Tumblr and read his comics, listen to his podcast and consume anything else he puts up for consumption.

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11. Cartoonist leaves paying gig, starts Kickstarter for The Nib

eat-more-comics-photo-original 2.jpg

A couple of years ago we were crowing with joy when Pulitzer Prize finalist cartoonist Matt Bors was hired to run Medium’s comics section, The Nib, and the results were glorious, with two years of daily content that was smart funny, trenchant, moving, eye opening and everything else we love about comics.

Well, as with most start-ups all good things must come to an end. Medium has restructured, laid off people and rethought its “content is king” strategy, wondered where the money went, as Fortune put it in the lugubriously headlined Looks like Medium isn’t going to save the media industry after all, and that’s okay. In recent months there’s been a big change at Medium and The Nib, changes which Bors did his best to explain, but during SDCC the other shoe dropped and Bors announced he was leaving Medium. A silent tear was wept for that paying job.

But, as a thoroughly modern cartoonist, Bors bounced back in mere days with….a Kickstarter! East More Comics! will be a massive 300 page compendium of the best of The Nib, with work by

Gemma Correll · Rich Stevens · Zach Weinersmith · Jon Rosenberg · Emily Flake · KC Green, Tom Tomorrow · Matt Bors · Jen Sorensen · Matt Lubchansky · Ann Telnaes · Brian McFadden · Liza Donnelly· Ruben Bolling · Ted Rall · Keith Knight, Andy Warner · Josh Neufeld · Susie Cagle · Emi Gennis · Ryan Alexander-Tanner · Eleri Harris · Erik Thurman · Jess Ruliffson · Sophie Yanow · Roxanne Palmer, Ron Wimberly · Erika Moen · Sarah Glidden · Wendy Macnaughton · Mike Dawson · Lucy Bellwood · Whit Taylor · Lisa Eisenberg · Eroyn Franklin · JJ McCullough, Kate Leth · James Sturm · Shannon Wheeler · Scott Bateman · Eleanor Davis · Maki Naro · John Leavitt · Kendra Wells

WHOA, maybe THIS is the new Kramers Ergot?

In his farewell on Medium, Bors announced that The Nib was coming with him and he hopes to announce a new plan with a publisher soon. So far from being the end of something cool, it’s just the beginning. The campaign is about half funded a week in but if they get to $60k, all the cartoonists get paid more. Make it so, people.


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12. Tom Spurgeon launches a Patreon campaign and a digital magazine


After making some noises about it for a while, Tom Spurgeon has joined the crowdfunding world for his award-winning Comics Reporter site with a Patreon that is up to over $500 in less than 24 hours. I think I might have been in the first 10 supporters, and I urge all Beat readers to go over and pledge their support. Spurgeon, who also runs the CXC show in Columbus in his spare time, explains his reasons in a post that it was time for a new way of covering comics. but future goals include a return to long form reporting and on general doing it better. But your $2 doesn’t just support Comics Reporter, it gets you whole new thing: a PDF magazine:

I’m going to try and do a monthly publication — The Comics Report — that reflects my best ability to put together a PDF-style magazine. I plan on keeping The Comics Reporter much the same as it always has been. I think I can make site and magazine independent reading experiences with very different purposes, experiences that key on what each form has to offer. I think this will lead to better coverage, and I hope it may serve a growing need for a way into comics that doesn’t count on your full immersion every second of every day. I hope it becomes destination coverage.

Everyone that signs up for the Patreon at $2 or over will get the next month’s issue: starting on September 1 with #1 (there will be a scattered “bonus issue” #0 on the first of August; it will be cool). You can also just send me the cash direct via pay pal for a sub as long as you want one. (send me an extra dollar, too: so $25 for a yearly; $13 for six months, etc.).

A couple of notes on this: I noticed a small spike in my own Patreon, with at least one contributor explaining that he wanted to be even steven—a guess a few people felt guilty for now supporting one site and not the other? Anyway thanks to whoever thought this was fair.

The other thing I that I noted was that Spurgeon had not contributed to any other Patreons, which I thought was interesting given that participating in crowdfunding is thought to be the best groundwork for running one. He told me that would soon be changing though.

You can also just paypal Tom (at comicsreporter@gmail.com) if you want to support him without Patreon taking its cut. I support about 9 other patreons and it’s a not insignificant cut of my monthly takings, and some of the people I support also support me, so we’re literally fassing the same $5 back and forth, diminishing with each transcation as micropayments extracted.

Does that make any sense? I think it does for several reasons. I feel Patreon and Kickstarter and the other crowdfunding platforms are valuable institutions and giving them a cut of that single $5 that circulates endlessly to support the comics industry seems beneficial to me.

Also, less altruistically, there’s a certain aspect of the crowdfunding world that’s built on getting in on hot stuff, so the more money that’s spent, the more people think it’s worth spending money on. So the $5 buys some prestige as well.

Anyway, my campaign in about a year old so I’m going to look at it in another post, what worked, what didn’t, what I’m doing next.

Also, please support Tom and Zainab when you have a moment and a dollar.

0 Comments on Tom Spurgeon launches a Patreon campaign and a digital magazine as of 7/22/2015 6:06:00 PM
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13. Indiegogo Campaign Launched For Rainbow Boxes

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14. Crowdwatch: Steve Hamaker’s PLOX Volume One

  Well, since it’s Friday let’s go all out with the Kickstarter newsw. Her’s a newsish one from Steve Hamaker, a collection of his graphic novel PLOX Volume One which he’s been serializing online. The story follows three online gamers and their experiences: Kim; the guild leader at the end of her rope, Chad; the […]

0 Comments on Crowdwatch: Steve Hamaker’s PLOX Volume One as of 7/31/2015 10:17:00 AM
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15. Interview: Fresh Romance’s Janelle Asselin on running a successful Kickstarter


The Fresh Romance Kickstarter campaign is in its final hours but it’s already made nows. Not only is it well over 150% funded, but editor/publisher Janelle Asselin’s plan to bring back romance comics in a contemporary guise with Rosy Books has definitely struck a nerve.

As the last few hours count down, we caught up with Asselin for a quick check in on how the campaign got going and how she prepared for such a time consuming but ultimately successful task. And as a bonus, here’s a look at the story from Sarah Vaughn (ALEX + ADA) and Sarah Winifred Searle (SMUT PEDDLER) about a couple headed to the altar for all the wrong reasons.

You can still support the Fresh Romance digital anthology in the link above and The Beat endorses this action!


THE BEAT: Obviously this has been a very successful Kickstarter. But they are known for being a lot of work. How did you prepare for crowdfunding?

ASSELIN: I’ve backed quite a few Kickstarters over the years, so I’d already spent some time noting what worked and what didn’t work. I knew what I liked as a backer and a lot of that went into the decisions I made for my own Kickstarter campaign. The biggest thing, though, was that I spent a lot of time before we launched setting up the actual business and getting people not just on board as creators but actually working on their comics. I didn’t want to leave backers waiting around for months after we ended, wondering if they’d ever see their rewards. I did a lot of calculations to figure out the bare minimum I needed to get started, and went over not just the goal number but all the pricing numbers over and over again.

THE BEAT: Did you seek the advice or support of any Kickstarter veteran?

ASSELIN: I did email a bit with Erika Moen and Matthew Nolan of Oh Joy Sex Toy about their campaign. They had that great post they did about the numbers behind their Kickstarter that was really helpful and my lawyer put me in touch with them to talk a little more about specifics. I’d also done some interviews over the years with folks like Spike Trotman and Kel McDonald about their crowdfunding stuff, before I was even really sure I wanted to do it myself! Some of the KS campaigns I’ve backed over the years have been run by friends, like Jeremy Haun, so I’d heard some of the behind-the-scenes commentary on that. And also, a bunch of the creators I have on board have been a part of other KS campaigns, as has my publicist.

THE BEAT: Is there anything you would have done differently?

ASSELIN: I definitely would’ve given myself more lead-in time. I also probably would’ve hired some pros to do my video, because the stress of trying to do it myself was not worth it in the long run. I eventually got help from a friend who is a video pro but the whole process was pretty unnecessarily stressful. And I would’ve offered individual international shipping costs for some countries, like Canada. I’ve had some complaints about my international shipping costs, but as I’ve said honestly to folks, if they can find me cheaper options, I’d love to see them, but most of the international shipping I looked at ran at least as much as I’m charging, if not more. I know a lot of campaigns get into trouble where the shipping costs have to come out of pocket or end up being so astronomical they can’t afford them, and I did NOT want to be in that place. Still, I would adjust some of the individual country pricing so that it wasn’t just one flat international rate.

THE BEAT: The success of the campaign has allowed you to increase payments to creators and put out even more stories. How far do you have Rosy Press planned?

ASSELIN: I have pitches that could take us well beyond the first year – and we’ll open up to submissions soon, so I anticipate planning even further into the future. As I’ve tried to reinforce throughout the campaign, our initial funding goal was just the start – I never intended to just put out three issues and then call it a day. This is an ongoing monthly and as long as it is financially feasible, I’ll keep putting it out.

THE BEAT: And of course the inevitable question: now that you’ve done a Kickstarter for one title, would you consider doing this again?

ASSELIN: Possibly? It’s really stressful and it’s a ton of work, but it is also super exciting and validating. It’s a great way to test the waters on a project because you can get preorders and also gauge interest, and there’s a lot of value in that. I’m not sure how many people would’ve believed that a magazine like Fresh Romance with a Regency romance, a queer high school romance, and a paranormal romance would’ve gotten as much support as it has, but it’s been amazing. If there’s another project that I feel needs that extra push, it would likely be worth it.


1 Comments on Interview: Fresh Romance’s Janelle Asselin on running a successful Kickstarter, last added: 4/22/2015
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16. Alan Moore Interview Part III – Jack the Ripper, Joyce Brabner, and a Swan-Shaped Pedalo

Previous parts of this interview: Part I – Steve Moore, River of Ghosts, The Show, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and Part II – Punk Rock, Crossed, and Providence. Now read on…

From HellPÓM: A few other things… Yes, now. Have you been following any of the latest revelations on Jack the Ripper? Do you keep an eye on that?

AM: [Laughs] No, because it’s all going to be bollocks.

PÓM: Oh yeah.

AM: Alright, I stand to be corrected, but what are the latest revelations on Jack the Ripper?

PÓM: Somebody claimed to have bought a scarf, a very expensive scarf…1

AM: Oh yeah, I read about that. And obviously at the time, that’s bollocks…

PÓM: Oh yes, absolutely and complete bollocks!

AM: And they’ve since proved that it’s bollocks – I think that they’ve just said that, no, there’s no connection at all between Catherine Eddowes and the stain on this scarf.

PÓM: I do remember thinking that they seemed to be in possession of an awful lot of information about DNA and all of that that seemed… unlikely.

AM: Unlikely at the time, yes. No no, that – these are always going to be non-starters. Alright, unless there is some brilliant piece of evidence waiting to be discovered that – how likely is that?

PÓM: I know. I just wondered if – ‘cause you did From Hell, I presume you still have some interest in the subject.

Koch SnowflakeAM: Well, with From Hell, at the end of it, in The Dance of the Gull Catchers, there is that statement about – Look, how long can this go on? About Koch’s Snowflake2, about the increasing trivia applied around the crinkly edges of this case, but the area of the case cannot exceed the original events and consequently, new books about Jack the Ripper, they’re less about Jack the Ripper than they are about keeping the Jack the Ripper industry going, because it’s been quite lucrative for a few years, you know? And I honestly think that that is the truth.

So, no, I tend to be dismissive of – every four or five years there will be ‘At last, the final truth!’ And it never is. And it’s very often preposterous, or a deliberate hoax. Or you’ll get, say, Patricia Cornwell, with her vandalisation of a Walter Sickert painting in the ridiculous hope that she could match the DNA to that on the letters received the police, which were not from the killer anyway.3

PÓM: I remember when the documentary was on the telly, I saw it was coming up…

AM: Yeah, I saw that, and I saw at the end of it, all she’d got was some footage of Walter Sickert being led out, probably in his eighties, to be filmed in a garden somewhere, and she said, ‘Yes, look at those eyes – pure evil.’ Ignorant woman.

PÓM: I remember she said something like ‘I knew as soon as I looked into his eyes that it had to be him.’4 And this is a woman who…

AM: That was all the evidence that she’d got, and – the thing is, that Patricia Cornwell is apparently supposed to be an actual real-life pathologist…5

PÓM: Yeah!

AM: …apparently cases in the American legal system have presumably depended upon her evidence – I hope she was doing a little bit more than looking in people’s eyes.

PÓM: I know! I have never been so disappointed with something on the television – in my life! Because I expected – because of who she was, and what she was, I expected this was going to be really incisive and good and interesting.

AM: I had read some of her books, so perhaps I wasn’t expecting quite as much as you were.

PÓM: [Laughs] Fair enough!

AM: I read a few of her books with the beautiful woman pathologist…6

PÓM: Oh, I know who you mean…

AM: …who somehow always ends up at the centre of every case. She’s always the one that the serial killer gets an obsession with, even though there’s no way in the real world that he would ever know who she was. She’s always smarter than the police. And then when I found out that Patricia Cornwell was herself a pathologist at some point I thought, ‘Yes, I think I can see where this is going.

PÓM: Yes. It did seem as well the whole Jack the Ripper thing was kind of because her father had left home when she was five, and there were some elements of that in there, which is where it started getting strange.

AM: Yeah, well a lot of these people who get obsessed with true crimes, they’re – sometimes, they can be working out something in their own psychology, rather than anything to actually do with the crime that they are officially dealing with. I haven’t really taken a great deal of interest in Jack the Ripper since finishing From Hell – probably more in Psychogeography and London.

richard_coles_dogPÓM: I must say, we’ve been spending a fair bit of time in London, Deirdre and myself. We were over there last week. We went to see – do you know the Reverend Richard Coles?7

AM: Oh yes, I met him once. I met him with Robin Ince.8

PÓM: Yeah. He was doing a thing in the British Library, he was doing – because he’s got a first volume of his autobiography out – another good Northampton lad!

AM: Is he? Yeah, he’s from out in the outskirts, I think he’s from one of the villages.

PÓM: That’s where he’s being a Rev these days. A thoroughly lovely man.

AM: He seemed really nice when I met him, and of course he was great in The Communards.

PÓM: Well, he was. He was. Not a great dancer, but a charming human being. But, yeah, I’ve recently joined the British Library, which is completely fantastic.9 I’m doing research into Flann O’Brien, and The Cardinal and the Corpse, all of that.

gorse 3[There’s actually a part of the interview missing here, because I felt it was so far removed from having even the slightest relevance to this particular site that it was best elsewhere. It concerns English writer Iain Sinclair‘s 1992 documentary film The Cardinal and the Corpse, which almost no-one has seen besides Alan and myself. It also peripherally concerns Irish writer Flann O’Brien, about whom I have been spending quite a lot of time reading and researching of late. The interview is here, on the gorse website. By absolutely no coincidence whatsoever I have an essay on Flann O’Brien in gorse #3, entitled The Cardinal & the Corpse, A Flanntasy in Several Parts, which I commend to you all. End of outrageous and gratuitious self-promotion.]

PÓM: Are you doing some series of things with Joyce Brabner?10

AM: There is a work that I’m – I’m doing a work with Joyce, but I’m starting that at the moment. I can’t tell you much about that, because it will be sometime this year – I’m more or less starting work on it now, over the next – probably over the weekend, and it’s likely to be something to do with identity, but I really can’t tell you much more than that – I’ve got my ideas, but they’re not really well formed enough yet, but later in the year I’ll be able to fill you in more with that.

A 4-seater swan pedalo

A 4-seater swan pedalo

PÓM: Ok, cool. Sure, we’ll talk again, undoubtedly. And I think I’m going to wrap it up – I must say, when you’re talking about doing Swandown, and things like that – that’s the thing with the pedalo, isn’t it? With the swan-shaped pedalo?11

AM: That is one of the sweetest films I’ve ever seen, and not just because I’m in it. In fact, I think that my contribution is one of the more negligible aspects of it. It’s English poetry. It shows you that there is no landscape that cannot be made poetic with the addition of a big plastic swan. And in fact, since then I also earlier this year – no, last year, last year. Spring or Summer, I went and filmed a bit with Andrew and Iain for their next project, which is called By Our Selves, and it’s all about John Clare12, and it’s got Andrew mucking about dressed as a straw bear, and recreating John Clare’s limping walk from Epping Forest and Matthew Arnold’s mental asylum back to Helpston in Northampton. Eighty miles or something, where he was eating grass and hallucinating. Yeah, so Andrew and Iain came up to Northampton, I spent a lovely afternoon sitting pretending to be a version of John Clare. They’ve got Toby Jones

13 doing all the heavy lifting in terms of being John Clare, so that should be – ‘cause he’s an incredible actor…

Alan Moore and a Straw Bear, borrowed from here

Alan Moore and a Straw Bear, borrowed from here

PÓM: What I was going to say about that is, you do really seem to be having far too much fun, still – you’re doing everything you want to.

AM: That stuff is the best. Things like that that just come out of the blue. I still enjoy me comics work, I still enjoy the ordinary writing that I do, but – the little surprising things like that, that I’ve not done before, that are a great afternoon out, seeing lovely people, and knowing that it’s going to end up as a really poetic cinematic document, yeah, I am having a lot of fun with that, when it happens. It’s irregular, but charming when it does.

PÓM: Well, good. And I think that’s it. Is there anything that you’re doing that I should know about that I don’t know about?

AM: Yeah, probably. Whether I actually consciously know about it, is the big question. There must be some – did you hear about The Dying Fire?

PÓM: Nooooo…

AM: This was a book that I’ve just brought out from Mad Love Publishing, it’s the collected poetry of Dominic Allard14

PÓM: Yes, I did, because I have a copy inside. Yes, of course.

Dying FireAM: Ah right. With the big introduction. That seems to be going quite well, and Dominic seems a bit stupefied by the sudden exposure – mind you, Dominic seems a bit stupefied by most things, it has to be said. But, no, that was really good, taking the books down to him, and giving him a load of copies, so there’s that. What else have I been doing? I’ve been reading through Steve Moore’s journals, which I collected from his house, and that’s bittersweet. There’s some incredible information in there, things that I’d forgotten about. Just day-by-day stuff in Steve’s life, but he was meticulous about listing it all.

PÓM: Do you do that? Do you keep a journal, or anything like that?

AM: No I don’t. And Steve’s journals are part of the reason why I don’t.

PÓM: Oh yes, one other thing I did want to ask you. Do you remember our last interview? That was the written interview.15

AM: Yes…?

PÓM: Did you ever get any feedback on that, or did you hear – there was a certain amount of…

AM: I don’t know if I did or not, Pádraig. Where would I have got it from?

AM: Well, indeed. There was huge amounts of hoopla on the internet about it, which – it was interesting. It was…

AM: Oh, that was the stuff about the Golliwogg?

PÓM: Yes, the Golliwogg, and…

AM: Yes, that was when I wrote my – Yes, I remember – that was when I spent the Christmas writing the rejoinder?

PÓM: Yes, yes!

AM: Yeah, I didn’t hear much about it, to tell the truth, once I’d got it out of me system, and I thought that the issues had been addressed, I just kind of let it go. Why, did – you say that there was a lot of furore?

PÓM: Oh, I had – when I put it up on my blog, and it just spread out everywhere, and I was getting hundreds of comments and replies. It was all quite fascinating – it genuinely didn’t bother me in any way, shape, or form. The people who said rude things, I just deleted them, because people have strange notions about what the right to free speech actually means. And it was just – it was interesting – it was great. It was a fantastic piece of, em…

AM: Invective?

PÓM: I was going to say a fantastic piece of writing, of a thing to put out there, and I was delighted to be in that way involved with it but, yes, a fine piece of invective, and all the better for it.

AM: I was talking with somebody who read it, and he was saying ‘I think you might have revived a kind of literary form, that has not been really practiced since the eighteenth century,’ the really crushing, bitter, stinging satire, if you will. Yeah, I was quite pleased with it. After doing it, I tended to put it out of me mind.

PÓM: No harm in that. I must say…

AM: Was any of the response positive?

PÓM: Oh yeah! Oh Christ, yes! Plenty of it. There was lots of people who are just happy to do down anything that turns up, but there was a lot of people that thought you gave someone a kickin’ that deserved a kickin’.

LocusAM: Well, that’s good. I had a very nice comment from Ramsey Campbell16. He said, pretty much, ‘Right on, Alan,’ so that was nice. I did see, in the Michael Moorcock issue of Locus that came out recently that Mike, he was talking a little bit about Grant Morrison as well, just because he was asked some question about why he doesn’t encourage other people to do Jerry Cornelius stories these days, which apparently does rather connect up with some of Morrison’s work. Ah, I thought it needed saying, and it was better out than in.

PÓM: Well, indeed. Sure, it’s all part of life’s rich pageant.

AM: Absolutely.

MelindaPÓM: How’s Melinda?17

AM: Mel’s fine – oh, yes, that’s something that I should probably tell you about. Mel is preparing for her first spectacular exhibition. This will be at the Horse Hospital in Bloomsbury.

PÓM: Oh, I love Bloomsbury, I have to say. I could live in Bloomsbury.18

AM: Have you been to the Horse Hospital?

PÓM: I don’t think we have, no.

AM: Well, I did a gig there with the lovely Kirsten Norrie19 – which also, she appears with me in that, By Our Selves, the John Clare film. But I did a gig where Kirstin was singing, and I was reading a part of Jerusalem, so I went to the Horse Hospital, and in there, I knew that our gig was underground, in the basement, and I thought, ‘Oh, this is a bit weird, there’s no stairs, there’s just these ramps.’ And then I thought ‘Horse Hospital!

But it’s a lovely little space, and I believe that Mel will be doing her exhibition there on April the 10th, and there’s tons and tons of drawings, there’s seven or eight of her paintings, and I believe that there might be some bronze busts that she’s done of the three main characters from Lost Girls. So, if anyone reading this happens to be in the Bloomsbury area around April 10th this year, they could do worse than to drop in.

PÓM: I shall be sure to tell people.

AM: OK, you take care, like I say, Pádraig, and love to Deirdre – and that’s what Mel’s doing, she’s preparing that.



1On the 6th of September 2014 the Daily Mail carried a story that DNA evidence had been found on a scarf – allegedly once the property of Catherine Eddowes, the fourth of the five ‘canonical’ victims of the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper, whose exploits set Victorian London into a frenzy of speculation which has still not died away – which proved that the killer was actually Polish immigrant Aaron Kosminski. The story is here, although you really also need to read the refutation, here, as well.

2I refer you to the Koch’s Snowflake page on Wikipedia, because they explain it better than I ever will.

Chasing the Ripper3Crime writer Patricia Cornwell wrote a book called Portrait of a Killer — Jack the Ripper: Case Closed, published in 2002, where she claimed that British painter Walter Sickert was the Whitechapel murderer, and went to extraordinary – and, frankly, borderline insane – lengths to prove it, including supposedly cutting up one of his paintings in an effort to find clues of some kind. There’s an excellent piece about it on the Casebook: Jack the Ripper website, here. In the meantime, Cornell has written more on the subject, a Kindle Single called Chasing the Ripper, published in 2014, and available here, if you’re feeling brave.

4 Yes, she really says something almost exactly like that. Here‘s the relevant bit from the documentary, courtesy of those nice people over at YouTube.

5Patricia Cornwell isn’t actually a ‘real-life pathologist,’ although she did work in the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia for six years, first as a technical writer and then as a computer analyst, so had at least some input into their findings, one imagines.

6Dr Kay Scarpetta, the protagonist of twenty-two Cornwell novels thus far.

Fathomless Riches7The Reverend Richard Coles is a Church of England priest, currently working as the parish priest of St Mary the Virgin, Finedon, Northampton, in the Diocese of Peterborough. He was previously in The Communards with Jimmy Somerville, formerly of The Bronsky Beat, with whom Coles had also occasionally played. He is openly gay and lives with his civil partner in a celibate relationship, although they have four dachshunds, and he remains the only vicar in Britain to have had a Number 1 hit single. Above and beyond all that, he does regular appearances on the television and radio in Britain, and is a thoroughly lovely human being. He did an appearance in the British Library on Friday the 20th of February 2015 to publicise his autobiography, Fathomless Riches, which I attended with my wife Deirdre.

8Robin Ince is an English Science-Comedian and renowned Atheist. He is involved with the occasionally annual Christmastime event Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, as well as the radio programme The Infinite Monkey Cage, both of which have included Alan Moore on occasion.

9If you think I’m being overly mean in describing the Rev. Coles as a bad dancer, I suggest you go look at this video of The Communards performing Never Can Say Goodbye

, and make up your own mind. The British Library, by the way, is one of my favourite places in the whole wide world. If Heaven is not very like it, I shall be very disappointed.

secondavecover110Joyce Brabner is an American comics writer, and the widow of the late Harvey Pekar. She has collaborated with Moore before, on Brought to Light, and on Real War Comics. Most recently she has written the non-fiction graphic novel Second Avenue Caper: When Goodfellas, Divas, and Dealers Plotted Against the Plague, about the real-life efforts of people caught up in the AIDS epidemic in New York in the early 1980s. It’s good stuff, and you all need to go read it.

Swandown11Swandown is a 2012 film in which Andrew Kötting and Iain Sinclair pedaled a swan pedalo down the Thames from the Hastings, on the sea, to Hackney, in London, occasionally joined by people like Alan Moore and comedian Stewart Lee. Look, I promise I’m not making this stuff up, and there’s a photograph to prove it. From left to right we have Lee, Moore, Kötting, and Sinclair.

12John Clare, known as The Northamptonshire Peasant Poet, was the writer of collections like Poems Descriptive of Rural Life and Scenery and Village Minstrel and other Poems. The film By Our Selves is in part based on Iain Sinclair’s book The Edge of the Orison: In the Traces of John Clare’s ‘Journey Out of Essex’. More information can be found on the By Our Selves Kickstarter page. It was successfully funded, and the project is ongoing.

Toby Jones13Toby Jones is an excellent English actor. Amongst other things, he has done the voice of Dobby the House Elf in the Harry Potter films, appeared in an episode of Doctor Who, and had parts in films like Captain America: The First Avenger, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The Hunger Games, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and many many more.

14Mad Love Publishing is a publishing company Moore set up in the late 1980s with others, originally to publish AARGH (Artists Against Rampant Government Homophobia), and subsequently the first two issues of Big Numbers. The company had a long hiatus, but has reappeared recently as the publisher of Dodgem Logic, and most recently of The Dying Fire, a poetry collection by Moore’s old school friend Dominic Allard. The Northants Herald & Post reported on the story here.

15The interview referred to hear, which Alan doesn’t at first realise I’m referring to, is the infamous Last Alan Moore Interview?, which some of you may have already read, or at least read about. It has, to date, a bit over 100,000 views, and 350 replies, which is not too bad for the first post on a new blog!

doll216Ramsey Campbell is an English horror writer who has written numerous novels, including The Doll Who Ate His Mother, The Face That Must Die, and The House on Nazareth Hill, as well as numerous collections of short stories. He has a list of awards for his work as long as your arm, including the British Fantasy Award, the World Fantasy Award, the International Horror Guild Award, and the Bram Stoker Award.

17Melinda Gebbie is an American comics creator, now settled with her husband, Alan Moore, in the heart of England. They’ve worked together on various things, including Lost Girls.

18Bloomsbury is the bit of London that contains the British Museum, occasional headquarters of the Victorian version of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and the British Library. It’s full of culturally wonderfully stuff, parks with friendly squirrels in, and lots of Blue Plaques to all sorts of writers and the like. I recommend you go visit, at least once in your life. The exhibition in the Horse Hospital runs until the 9th of May, so there’s time to see it yet.

19Kirsten Norrie is a Scottish artist and musician, and a member of Wolf in the Winter, an international performance collective.

3 Comments on Alan Moore Interview Part III – Jack the Ripper, Joyce Brabner, and a Swan-Shaped Pedalo, last added: 4/27/2015
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17. Greg Weisman’s Rain of the Ghosts Kickstarter has a stretch goal: a comic book


Neither audio plays nor YA projects have a great track record on Kickstarter, so the success of RAIN OF THE GHOSTS is a real outlier. But when you look under the hood, you can see why it succeeded: it’s an audio play adapting the YA novel by Greg Weisman, creator of Disney’s Gargoyles, one of the main writers for Star Wars Rebels and Young Justice, and currently the writer on Star Wars Kanan: The Last Padawan for Marvel. Weisman brought along some of his pals for the audio, including Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner, among many other voice acting heavy hitters. You can see the whole list below.

Weisman chats about the project with our own Alex Jones here.

While the project has been funded—is now the all-time most funded Young Adult project in Kickstarter’s Publishing division—they’re a few thousand $$$ short of the first stretch goal: a 20 page comic adapting the the book, with art by Christopher Jones. So get those funding bucks ready.

The story of the novel, first in a proposed series, involves a young girl coming to terms with her supernatural heritage.

Here’s the cast list:

• Thom Adcox (Gargoyles, Young Justice, Felix the Cat);
• Edward Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Gargoyles, Up);
• Jeff Bennett (Gargoyles, Young Justice, Batman: The Brave and the Bold);
• Steve Blum (The Spectacular Spider-Man, Star Wars Rebels);
• Daniella Bobadilla (Anger Management, Smallville);
• Jim Cummings (Gargoyles, Darkwing Duck, Winnie the Pooh);
• Elisa Gabrielli (Gargoyles, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Madagascar);
• Bryton James (Young Justice, The Young and the Restless);
• Josh Keaton (The Spectacular Spider-Man, Green Lantern: The Animated Series);
• Eric Lopez (The Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice);
• Vanessa Marshall (Young Justice, Star Wars Rebels, Guardians of the Galaxy);
• Jacqueline Obradors (NYPD Blue, Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Young Justice);
• Gregg Rainwater (Gargoyles, Young Justice, The Young Riders);
• Marina Sirtis (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gargoyles, Young Justice);
• Brent Spiner (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gargoyles, Star Wars Rebels);
• Deborah Strang (The Spectacular Spider-Man);
• Joel Swetow (Charmed, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine);
• Jacob Vargas (Sons of Anarchy, Max Steel);
• Greg Weisman (The Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice).

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18. MATT CHATS: Brian Buccelleto on Transmedia Project “Sons of the Devil” Coming Soon from Image Comics!

Welcome to MATT CHATS, where I (Matt) talk to a person of interest in the comic book industry every Tuesday at 4:30 PM Eastern. Today I am speaking with an industry veteran but relative necomer to the Image renaissance. When Brian Buccelleto offered the first two issues of his upcoming Image series Sons of the Devil (also a short film) to reviewers on a recent episode of the Word Balloon podcast, I jumped at the chance to read them and talk to him. As a fan of his collaborations with Francis Manapul on The Flash and Detective Comics, I was not disappointed, more than happy to discuss with Brian the differences between something on the screen and on the page, the effect crowdfunding has on financials and other aspects of the creative process.


Did you talk with Kyle Higgins about the process of bringing something from the screen to the comic book page?

He’s a really close friend of mine and so we talk about everything – including the process of filmmaking and comic books. That said, he helped me out a lot on the film. Shout out to Kyle!

How are your philosophies similar?

We love film and comics and want to do both. So I think everything we create is done with the hope of being able to tell the stories in both mediums.


What do you think are the pros and cons of doing a film simultaneously with a comic, as opposed to adapting a film years later like Higgins did?

I think the biggest pro for doing it simultaneously is that you can actually SEE the story come to life on screen, which informs what you do in the comic AS you are doing it. Having actors take your material, interpret it, and make it their own helps you see the characters in new and interesting ways. Also, in the case of Sons of the Devil, we were able to secure interesting locations and have visual reference that I then gave Toni in the script. I think there was a certain level of synergy with doing both comic and film together. For Kyle and C.O.W.L./The League, I think adapting it later allowed him distance to cherry pick the best elements of his short. Honestly, I don’t know if there is a downside to either. Making comics and films are each awesome experiences… getting to do BOTH is off the charts awesome.

What are some storytelling benefits of telling a story both on the comic page and on the screen?

I think the two mediums are similar but have their own inherent advantages in how the story is told. Film is a forward-moving visual medium where you experience the story with sight and sound. There is a momentum to films that you want to sustain because you HOPEFULLY have the viewer’s undivided attention and you want to keep it. It’s more of a sensory experience for the viewer. Comics are also visual, but are experienced at a pace dictated by the reader. There is no captive audience. In some ways that’s a disadvantage… but the benefit of a comic is that a reader can spend as much time on a single page as he/she wants. And the reader can go back and re-read and really digest the material without it hurting the experience.


What kind of audience did the Kickstarter attract? Was it more composed of fans of films or comics?

It was mostly comprised of fans of my work, who were intrigued by my transmedia concept.

Does the fact that the comic was funded through a Kickstarter campaign change the financials of the series at all? Because of the Kickstarter, for example, is the sales threshold lower?

II I don’t think being a Kickstarter project has any bearing on sales thresholds. In the case of SOTD, almost all of the funds we got went into the budget of the short film – which ended up costing more than what we got from Kickstarter. So financially speaking, the Kickstarter didn’t pay for the ongoing series. I had to get financial support from other means. But Kickstarter allowed me to start the comic book and get far enough down the road to pitch it to Image. This allowed me to take the concept from its initial plan as a one-shot to becoming an ongoing series.


Kickstarter is as much about marketing tool nowadays as it is a way to amass funds. How big of an impact do you think the campaign has had on the visibility of the work?

Honestly, I don’t know how directly Kickstarter will factor into the marketing of the book. I had approximately 250 backers, so I don’t think that number will significantly impact the sales number for issue 1.

For any artists looking to be discovered, can you describe how you searched for an artist for Sons of the Devil?

I feel VERY lucky. I was searching an international portfolio website called Behance when I came across Toni Infante’s work. I also tried DeviantArt and inquired using social media.

What were some of the challenges of working with a less experienced artist?

Honestly, I don’t look at his art or our lack of American comic credits and think “less experienced.” He is a professional artist with an amazing skillset, and I haven’t had any challenges that you might associate with a new artist.

Were there any benefits?

Only that I get the honor of working with him.


Was it hard letting go of the coloring duties for Sons of the Devil?

Not really. I’ve been coloring for 20 years and have had my fill. Of course, him showing me great coloring samples helped to make the decision easy.

You’re perhaps best known in the comics scene for your collaborations with Francis Manapul. Has it been difficult in any ways to be seen as a writer in your own right?

Not really. I made the decision to do my own solo stuff very early on, so that I could carve out my own identity as a writer. I self-published a book called Foster early on in our Flash run and did a 12-issue Black Bat story for Dynamite. I think it took a little more time for me to build trust within DC editorial so that they saw me as an individual in collaboration with Francis and not just the guy that he brought in to help. But to their credit, they have been very supportive of me and have allowed me amazing opportunities to shine on my own with Rogues Rebellion, Injustice and a few solo arcs on Flash. Oddly enough, I think Francis has had a tougher time being seen as a writer because he is such an amazing artist that it overshadowed his own writing chops. But he IS a writer/storyteller and has future plans to do his own solo stuff.

What are your hopes for Sons of the Devil professionally, creatively and personally?

Personally and creatively, I am always trying to grow as a writer and tell personal stories that resonate. So my hope is that each project I do is better than the last. Professionally, I would love for SOTD to be an ongoing series AND a television series.


Do you think the amount of great output from Image Comics good for business, or does it make it harder for your book to stand out?

I think there is always room for good books from every corner of publishing. The Image brand is obviously something any creator would want to be associated with. The amount of quality content that Image puts out means that retailers and fans will be more likely to try the book because Image’s track record is a promise of quality. As far as standing out among the other great books, I think that’s a challenge no matter how many books Image is publishing. There are 400 books that come out in a given month… so standing out is bound to be a challenge,

What’s the most exciting part of taking the plunge with a creator-owned series from Image?

Being able to tell the stories I want to tell EXACTLY how I want to tell them. Unfiltered.

You can find Brian on Twitter and his name on issues and trades in comic shops across the world.

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19. ComiqueCon Celebrates Women in Comics in November

by Zachary Clemente






ComiqueCon, a one-day festival celebrating women in comics, announced plans to bring its inaugural event to the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Mich. on Nov. 7. The festival will bring together female artists, illustrators, publishers and fans for a day of fun and discussion on the growing impact of women readers of comics and graphic novels.

“We’re thrilled to bring today’s most talented ladies making comics together for this one-of-a-kind event. Women don’t just read comics – they make excellent comics, too!” said ComiqueCon founder Chelsea Liddy.

This year’s festival, which is co-sponsored by Green Brain Comics, has already announced several main stage presenters including: Leila Abdelrazaq, graphic artist and author of Baddawi; Nancy Collins, author of Vampirella; Marguerite Dabaie, author of The Hookah Girl; Alex de Campi, author of Smoke/Ashes, Archie vs. Predator, Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman and No Mercy; Nicole Georges, author of Calling Dr. Laura; Mikki Kendall, co-author of Swords of Sorrow; and Mairghread Scott, author of Transformers, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and Bravest Warriors. Other planned events include a costume contest, artist VIP reception, discussion panels and a screening of the documentary “She Makes Comics.”

“It’s 2015 and it’s time to put the spotlight on some of the talented female creators working in the comics industry,” said Katie Merritt, co-owner of Green Brain Comics. “We at Green Brain Comics have always worked hard to highlight the diversity in the comics industry, both in the creators and the material they produce. Supporting ComiqueCon is a great way for us to continue that work.”


Cover by Dave Acosta

In an effort to help with the festival’s initial startup costs, ComiqueCon recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Tilt.com. The campaign will run through June 6 and includes numerous sponsorship levels. Sponsors who donate at the $25 level are eligible to receive a limited edition variant of Swords of Sorrow No. 1 with cover art by artist Dave Acosta, scheduled to publish on May 6. Other incentives include admission to ComiqueCon 2015, limited edition ComiqueCon 2015 buttons, and admission to a private meet and greet VIP reception on Nov. 6 with ComiqueCon artists and writers. To participate in the crowdfunding campaign, visit http://comiquecon.com.

I don’t know about you, but this is the exact kind of event that I’m excited to see happen and I hope it goes very well for them. Originally from the Detroit area, this very well may be the event to pull me back after more than 10 years.

For more information on ComiqueCon, or for sponsorship opportunities, contact Chelsea Liddy at comiquecon@gmail.com.


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20. UPDATED: Archie Comics is Kickstarting a $350,000 relaunch with Zdarsky, Hughes and more

archie 1

UPDATE: Archie president Jon Goldwater has released a statement on the Kickstarter. See below.

Well, here is one company you didn’t expect to be crowd funding things: Archie Comics has launched a Kickstarter for $350,000 to continue their updated, realistic version of the Riverdale Universe. For this amount, they will follow up the Mark Waid/Fiona Staples Archie book (due later this year) with a Jughead series by Chip Zdarsky and a Betty and Veronica Title by Adam Hughes, as well as Life with Kevin featuring Kevin Keller by regular writer Dan Parent and inked by J. Bone.

The Kickstarter has already garnered about $8000 and some social media scrutiny to say the least. Archie is certainly the oldest comics company to turn to crowdfunding, and some may be surprised that they need to raise capital to refurbish their line. While the Waid/Staples take on Archie was seen as the latest move in the line’s general freshening, it was also abandoning a formula that has worked for 75 years. Just the other day I spoke with Bart Beaty about his new book Twelve Cent Archie, and the incredible timeless durability of these stories. Launching a new, more contemporary, less iconic look is part of the general update that Archie has been busy with for the last five years or so.

Also, Adam Hughes on Betty and Veronica seems like a “male gaze” take on the characters that s bit out of step with the current popularity of girl-centric comics. But it does speak to a wealthy, older niche audience that might be into supporting this effort.


Archie Comics, the acclaimed and bestselling comic book publisher that is home to some of the best-known pop culture creations in the world, including Archie, Jughead, Betty & Veronica, Josie & The Pussycats, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the hit AFTERLIFE WITH ARCHIE series, announced today that it would launch a historic crowdfunding campaign via the popular Kickstarter platform.

The Kickstarter campaign’s call to action is a simple one: Help Archie Comics build a New Riverdale. Specifically, the Kickstarter will ask fans to help fund a slate of titles that build off the surefire success of ARCHIE #1 ­­­­­— the debut issue of a new, ongoing ARCHIE series from writer Mark Waid (Daredevil, Kingdom Come) and artist Fiona Staples (Saga). The series will be crafted by some of the biggest names in the comic book industry and feature the most beloved characters in comic book history.

The three new titles, launching over the next 18 months, include:


JUGHEAD — Featuring the adventures of Archie’s hamburger-loving best friend, from acclaimed writer Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals, Howard the Duck) and an artist TBA. An off-the-wall series full of laughs, unexpected twists and a modern sense of humor.


BETTY AND VERONICA — Girl-next-door Betty Cooper and wealthy socialite Veronica Lodge are best friends and fiercely competitive. While they both have a history with that guy Archie, the series puts the focus squarely on them — their friendship, their high school lives and adventures beyond Riverdale. Written and drawn by comic book legend Adam Hughes (Wonder Woman, Before Watchmen: Doctor Manhattan).


LIFE WITH KEVIN — Kevin Keller, the hugely-popular and historic character that broke new ground in Riverdale by being the first gay character in the company’s publishing history returns in a new ongoing series. Writer/artist Dan Parent (Kevin Keller) and inker J. Bone (The Spirit) tell a tale of an older, more experienced Kevin as he navigates a new city, new romance and leaving home.

“Our fans are part of our family — they’re an integral part of everything we do,” said Archie Comics Publisher/Co-CEO Jon Goldwater. “We’re not flush with corporate cash like Marvel or DC. But we’re also not afraid to take calculated risks. With this Kickstarter, fans have the chance to get in on the ground floor of an exciting and forward-thinking initiative. Fans can help build a New Riverdale, brick-by-brick. We’ve put together a stellar lineup of titles — featuring the best and the brightest creators working on our top characters. With your help, we can make this New Riverdale a reality. The best part? This is only the beginning.”

The crowdfunding initiative marks the latest part of the company’s 75th anniversary celebration — while also marking the beginning of a new era for the long-running publisher. With the launch of ARCHIE #1 on July 8, the company will be poised to reimagine its core characters while retaining the humorous and edgy elements that made them instant sensations when they first appeared.

“When I first stepped into the Archie offices, the brand was frozen in time. The stories felt stiff and dated. That’s no longer the case,” Goldwater said. “This is a new Archie. A new Jughead. A new Betty and Veronica and a new Kevin. We’re holding onto the things that made them great — the humor, the love triangle, the friendship and youthful exuberance — but presenting them in a way that can appeal to everyone, from classic comic fans to new readers who might not know every nook and cranny of our history. Each part of this is a brick that will help build a New Riverdale. But we can only do it with your help.”


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We live in a time of unheralded growth and awareness for comics. The Avengers are in theaters. The Flash is running around on TV and, defying odds; comic book print sales are staying strong while digital continues to grow. If comics didn’t already have an era dubbed the Golden Age, we could make a strong argument that this is it.

By now, you’ve probably heard the news: Archie Comics has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to help launch three new titles. These books will expand on the foundation being created in the pages of July’s ARCHIE #1 by the hugely talented team of writer Mark Waid and artist Fiona Staples. These books cannot exist without the support of our fans, the most important people in the world to us. The people that have supported Archie since day one, 75 years ago.

It’s also a good opportunity to talk a bit about story. About quality. About the relationships between the producers of comics – the publishers – and you, the fans.

I’m sure the first question you have about this is “Well, why does Archie need our money?” That’s a good and fair question. We understand and value every purchase our fans make. We’ve chosen to be fully transparent when launching this Kickstarter, as we have been in the past with all our initiatives. Let’s face it: we are not Marvel or DC Comics. We don’t have their bottomless bank accounts. We don’t have their corporate infrastructure.

We can’t launch 20 titles a month. We can’t flood the market with double-shipped books.

We are a privately owned company that has built a track record for being innovative, forward thinking, progressive, relevant and agile. Over the last six years, while I’ve overseen Archie Comics, we’ve acted more like a new publisher than one that’s been around for decades. We are the oldest start-up in history.

So, let me take it a step further. Not only are we not Marvel or DC – we don’t want to be.

We don’t want to tell convoluted stories that require fans to buy a dozen comics to understand one. We don’t want to reboot our titles every six months. We don’t want to alter characters to make headlines and then move on as if nothing happened.

We are not cloaked in secrecy. We’re here – we’re connected and we’re available. Our fans are as much a part of the company as our employees. We are all in this together.

What matters most to Archie Comics? For us, for me – it’s all about the story and art. It’s about making sure the level of quality is beyond sky-high. It’s about the characters. It’s about doing the best job we can to create the best comics possible with the best talent available. That’s why you have names like Waid, Staples, Zdarsky, Hughes, Parent, Aguirre-Sacasa, Francavilla, Hack, Swierczynski, Gaydos and more on our titles. The best and brightest doing career-defining work on characters recognized around the world. And this is only the beginning.

As we enter our 75th year, its obvious Archie is here to stay. This isn’t a plea to keep us in business. This is a call to action. We want to partner with our fans to build on something we already know is going to be a huge success – ARCHIE #1. But not through gimmicks, hype or smoke and mirrors. But through the thing that has gotten us to this point: great storytelling. Help us build a New Riverdale and vote with the one ballot that will get the attention of the Marvels and DCs of the world: your dollar.

Be a part of something new and vibrant. Support the little guy fighting to make some noise and show the slow-moving goliaths of the comic book industry how it’s done: through hard work, great storytelling and tactical and calculated risk-taking.

Help us build a New Riverdale for everyone.

– Jon Goldwater

15 Comments on UPDATED: Archie Comics is Kickstarting a $350,000 relaunch with Zdarsky, Hughes and more, last added: 5/12/2015
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21. Crowd Watch: Comics Uniting Nations Kickstarter is saving the world with van Lente, Dunlavey, Woo, Brrémaud, Bertolucci 


One of the more ambitious and important comics Kickstarter efforts now running is the Comics Uniting Nations effort. Spearheaded by Josh Elder, who already got the Reading With Pictures literacy effort off the ground, this is an equally important project that will communicate the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals via the medium of comics. This is a great mix since comics have been proven to cross cultural lines, and communicating the important goals of the SDGs worldwide.

The campaign has been moving along but should get a boost from the first announced creative teams — including Action Philosophers van Lente and Dunlavey and (most excitingly to me anyway) Frédéric Brrémaud  and Federico Bertolucci the team behind the exquisite wordless Love series. Anyway, here’s the line-up thus far:


Writer: Yen Yen Woo (Dim Sum Warriors)
Artist: Lars Jakobsen (Ganske Vist)


Writer/Artist: Graphic India (Ramayan 3392A.D., Grant Morrison’s 18 Days)


Writer: Fred Van Lente (Amazing Spider-Man, Archer & Armstrong, Action Philosophers)
Artist: Ryan Dunlavey (Action Philosophers, M.O.D.O.K: Reign Delay)


Writer: Frédéric Brrémaud (Love: The Tiger, Daffodil) 
Artist: Federico Bertolucci (Love: The Tiger, Richard Coeur de Lion)

And some background:

“I was a United Nations employee for years before becoming a comics pro, and I am thrilled at this opportunity to be contributing again to their global mission,” says Fred Van Lente, the New York Times bestselling author tackling Goal 6: FRESH WATER AND SANITATION.  “I’ve been doing comics for non-fiction and non-profits long enough to know comics aren’t just a great way to convey complex issues to a wide audience, they are the best way. With the great literacy advocacy group Reading with Pictures at the helm, this is a terrific chance to tell great comics and save lives in the process.”

“Comics change lives,” explains Josh Elder, Founder of Reading With Pictures. “Every comic fan already knows this because comics changed our lives. Now we have the chance to do the same for millions of disadvantaged men, women and children all over the world.”

“Publishing the LOVE series by Frederic Brremaud and Federico Bertolucci has been a thrill for us at Magnetic Press, not just because they are beautiful books, but because they speak about a topic near to our hearts: wildlife conservation and the world of nature that surrounds us, too often ignored in today’s society,” offers Mike Kennedy, Publisher/President of Magnetic Press, whose creators Brremaud and Bertolucci are working on Goal 15: ENVIRONMENT ABOVE WATER.  “We hope that these books — and our participation in the Comics Uniting Nations project — can help open eyes around the world to these plights and interest people to at the very least become aware of the issues, if not actively participate in any way towards improving these conditions.”

Comics Uniting Nations is a partnership between Reading With Pictures, PCI Media Impact and the PVBLIC Foundation.  The Comics Uniting Nations team is working in coordination with the United Nations Post-2015 Development Planning Team to create a series of seventeen comics addressing the world’s most serious challenges, such as climate change and sustainable energy, extreme poverty, health, education, gender equality, drinkable water and economic growth. 

Comics UNiting NAtions has teamed with Abrams ComicArts, Action Labs, Andrews McMeel Universal, Archie Comics, Boom Studios, comiXology, Dark Horse, Dynamite, Humble Bundle, IDW, Madefire, Magnetic Press, NBM Publishing, Oni, Papercutz, Peanuts Inc., Teshkeel, TOKYOPOP, UDON and Valiant to run this Kickstarter with rewards and talent.

It’s not very often you get to support educating people around the world about the most important survival issues our planet faces AND create from kick-ass comics, so get behind this KS pronto!


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22. Archie Comics Kickstarter cancelled in the face of criticism


I’d been hearing word on the street that the controversial Archie Kickstarter campaign would be cancelled, and now about $30 K in andCBR has the official word. The planned titles—Jughead by Chip Zdarsky, Betty & Veronica by Adam Hughes and Kevin Keller by Dan Parent—will be published, as promised, but the rollout will be slower with Jughead launching in the fall.

According to Archie publisher Jon Goldwater, the negative attention was detracting too much from the actual projects:

“Very broadly, Jughead will come first, sooner than you’d think,” Archie Comics Publisher and CEO Jon Goldwater told CBR News. “Probably October. Then we’ll take a pause, figure out the rollout of the other two and how to best position them in the market. It’s going to take longer than we’d hoped, obviously, but these titles are top priority for us, and we want to make sure our fans get the best books possible.”

The decision to pull the Kickstarter, Goldwater said, came after the conversation no longer became about the books themselves — “Jughead,” to be written by Chip Zdarsky and illustrated by an artist to be named; “Betty and Veronica,” written and drawn by Adam Hughes; and “Life with Kevin,” written and penciled by Kevin Keller creator and Archie veteran Dan Parent and inked by J. Bone — but about the Kickstarter itself.

The Beat’s retail columnist Brandon Schatz had a detailed post on what he saw as the problems with the crowd funding effort last night.

The big problem Archie Comics is running into involves warring ideas. As a self-sufficient publishing company, they have certain contracts and financial details that they need to keep confidential. However, they are taking a step out of the “self-sufficient” bounds by asking for money – which demands that the math be shown. It might be a popsicle stick solution to a unique problem, but they are doing a poor job in convincing me that it can support the weight.

Don’t get me wrong: Archie as a company isn’t saying anything wrong. They are building a compelling narrative around this Kickstarter that I can get behind. They aren’t Marvel and DC. They don’t have parent companies, and so while they might be big, they’re still relatively small. This affords them the opportunity to move and change with greater ease, but such freedom also comes with a lack of safety net, so to speak. Opportunities arose, and tied up some funds. It happens. What’s losing me are the actions that have surrounded this launch, as well as the product currently being offered with the Kickstarter.

Other publisher Kickstarters—from Fantagraphics and Last Gasp—have been successful, but the grassroots effort seemed more appropriately placed than this one. Although the projects being funded—contrary to what everyone seems to think—were NOT going to be sold in Wal-Mart and Target, just putting the names of those chains in the same paragraph as “crowdfunding” raised an incongruous picture. Although this was a bump in the road for Archie they’ve definitely done the right thing by pulling the plug.

Archie released a statement to CBR on the effort:

We will be ending the Archie Kickstarter today.

We launched the “New Riverdale” Kickstarter as a unique and innovative way to celebrate the company’s upcoming 75th anniversary and to bring attention to some new titles that we are extremely excited about — “Jughead” by Chip Zdarsky, “Betty and Veronica” by Adam Hughes and “Life with Kevin” by Dan Parent and J. Bone. We decided to dive into crowdfunding as an energetic, interactive and different method to raise money to help expedite the launch of these titles. The chance to engage with our fans directly was really appealing to us, and we’re extremely grateful and honored by the support and pledges we’ve received.

While the response to these new titles has been amazing, the reaction to an established brand like Archie crowdfunding has not been. Though we saw this as an innovative, progressive and “outside-the-box” way to fund the accelerated schedule we wanted to produce these books, it became another conversation, leading us further away from the purpose of this whole campaign: to get these amazing books in the hands of fans faster than we could on our own. While we fully expected our goal to be funded, it was no longer about the books and how amazing they will be. We don’t want that. This is why we’re shutting the Kickstarter down today.

We don’t regret trying something new. It’s what Archie’s been about for the last six years. We will continue to be a fearless, risk-taking and vibrant brand that will do its best to embrace new platforms, technology and ways to interact with fans. As a company, we have always prided ourselves on pushing boundaries and challenging expectations and perceptions.

The wonderful New Riverdale titles we wanted to launch will still come out — albeit not as quickly as we would have hoped had we attained the funding via Kickstarter. We believe in these books and know they’ll find an audience in comic shops, fueled by great stories and amazing creators.

We’d like to thank the great team at Kickstarter for their guidance and feedback and the entire staff at Archie Comics for their endless hours of hard work and dedication to this very special initiative.

And, most importantly, to our fans that pledged money to this Kickstarter — we thank you. Your dedication, love of Archie and his friends and endless positivity are examples to all. We will be in contact shortly via Kickstarter to get a special thank-you gift in your hands as soon as possible. Your support means the world to us.


3 Comments on Archie Comics Kickstarter cancelled in the face of criticism, last added: 5/18/2015
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23. Interview: Joey Stern, co-founder of Geeks OUT talks Flame Con – NYC’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention


Back in November, queer nerd organization Geeks OUT launched a kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a convention by queer nerds, for queer nerds. A month later they’d far exceeded their $15k goal, raising nearly $20,000 to make their con a reality. I spoke with Joey Stern about what led him start Geeks OUT, how that led to Flame Con, and what queer geeks and their allied communities can expect from New York City’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention on June 13.

Edie Nugent: Tell me a little about your role at Geeks OUT and how you got involved with the organization.

Joey Stern: We founded Geeks OUT in 2010 after New York Comic Con.  There was only queer panel that year and it was so packed that you had to stand in the back just to be there.

We wanted to make an organization that connected these fans, and gave them a more than once a year event to gather and see each other. We also wanted to make NYCC a gayer place, so we held events and parties as we fund raised to get enough money for a table.

It was really intense, but a year later, we debuted at NYCC with monthly queer comic/geek events and a table where people could come and find a group for themselves.

Nugent: So how did you decide to make the leap from that to putting on an entire convention?

Stern: We and the board of Geeks OUT felt like it was a natural progression and an opportunity to introduce an existing queer audience to amazing queer and ally artists and creators.

There’s so much out there now, it’s really hard to find a lot of the stuff that’s made for you, and Flame Con offers a connection for people and creators to meet and find new passions.

It also creates connections and empowers queer fandom, which is an important part of what we do.

Nugent: Why do you think comic book fandom appeals to the queer experience?

Stern: There really is no art like Comic Books. It’s not only informative, but it offers a lot more context for the writers’ words than traditional books do (or paintings offer on their own). They also have an indie experience, and like queer culture, were for a long time considered the realm of weirdos and freaks.

Comics in general are often about exploring new worlds and future tomorrows. And I think that idea is really appealing to anyone who has experiences of being on the outer edge of polite society.

For me, the X-men’s construct of creating new family, and finding friendship with people like you was really informative.

Nugent: You really leveraged queer fandom to launch Flame Con, raising almost $20k for the event. Were you surprised by how much support you received?

Stern: Yeah! Oh man, it was terrifying, we were worried the whole thing was going to fail, but people really came out to support us and this effort. It just shows how vibrant and important this community is.

Nugent: Do you think recent media attention on sexual harassment at cons, especially of cosplayers, helped identify a real need for a more progressive type of con experience?

Stern: Sure! But I think a lot of that work has been done by cosplayers coming to the media. It’s been really amazing to see people having that conversation and pushing for safer spaces (and to see cons, like NYCC respond positively to those changes).

Nugent: What are some programming highlights from Flame Con that you’re excited about?

Stern: We’re excited to be putting on all sorts of programming – hopefully something for everyone! A panel about writing for LGBT teens hosted by award-winning author David Levithan, a Q&A with Steve Orlando, writer of DC’s upcoming Midnighter series (DC’s first ongoing title to feature a gay man as a lead character,) a great panel on queer horror with Mark Patton, star of the infamously queer Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge and Cecil Baldwin, voice of the hit podcast Welcome to Night Vale, a panel about looking at Sherlock Holmes from a queer perspective, a discussion with some up-and-coming industry pros about costume design, and lots more. We’re really packing something interesting into every minute of this con! There’s also a performance from Sarah Donner!

Nugent: What makes Flame Con different from other cons that aren’t queer-centric?

Stern: It’s tailored to its audience. All Gender bathrooms, queer artists and creators taking center stage, and panels that are not Gay 101, but a bit more focused.

Nugent: How so? 

Stern: Bigger cons have panels focused on Gay Artists, we have panels focused on writing Gay Sherlock Fan Fiction.

Flame Con is a one-day event on June 13 in Brooklyn. Here’s a complete list of guests appearing at the con. For more information check out their website and their Facebook page.

0 Comments on Interview: Joey Stern, co-founder of Geeks OUT talks Flame Con – NYC’s first ever LGBTQ comic convention as of 5/26/2015 3:35:00 PM
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24. Kickstarter Fail – A Federal Offense?

The Doom That Came to Atlantic City - and KickstarterThe Federal Trade Commission has just sent a press release touting its first successful action against a failed Kickstarter campaign.

The FTC’s mission is to protect consumers from false or misleading advertising, and as part of its new FinTech program the agency is developing new strategies for curbing deceptive practices online. Target #1: The Doom That Came to Atlantic City, a crowdfunded vaporware boardgame that netted more than $122,000 for its would-be creator.

Anyone planning to start a Kickstarter campaign might want to consider what the FTC found wrong with this failed campaign and the penalties imposed in the resulting settlement. And if you’re wondering what this case could mean for the future, the FTC is hosting a Twitter chat with its attorneys today (Thursday, June 11) from 2-3pm.

Here’s the scoop from the FTC’s press release:

In its first case involving crowdfunding, the Federal Trade Commission has taken legal action against the deceptive tactics of a project creator who raised money from consumers to produce a board game through a Kickstarter campaign, but instead used most of the funds on himself. The defendant has agreed to a settlement that prohibits him from deceptive representations related to any crowdfunding campaigns in the future and requires him to honor any stated refund policy….

According to the FTC’s complaint, Chevalier represented in his Doom campaign on Kickstarter.com that if he raised $35,000, backers would get certain rewards, such as a copy of the game or specially designed pewter game figurines. He raised more than $122,000 from 1,246 backers, most of whom pledged $75 or more in the hopes of getting the highly prized figurines. He represented in a number of updates that he was making progress on the game. But after 14 months, Chevalier announced that he was canceling the project and refunding his backers’ money.

Despite Chevalier’s promises he did not provide the rewards, nor did he provide refunds to his backers. In fact, according to the FTC’s complaint, Chevalier spent most of the money on unrelated personal expenses such as rent, moving himself to Oregon, personal equipment, and licenses for a different project.

Under the settlement order, Chevalier is prohibited from making misrepresentations about any crowdfunding campaign and from failing to honor stated refund policies. He is also barred from disclosing or otherwise benefiting from customers’ personal information, and failing to dispose of such information properly. The order imposes a $111,793.71 judgment that will be suspended due to Chevalier’s inability to pay. The full amount will become due immediately if he is found to have misrepresented his financial condition.

This case is part of the FTC’s ongoing work to protect consumers taking advantage of new and emerging financial technology, also known as FinTech. As technological advances expand the ways consumers can store, share, and spend money, the FTC is working to keep consumers protected while encouraging innovation for consumers’ benefit.

4 Comments on Kickstarter Fail – A Federal Offense?, last added: 6/14/2015
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25. Kickstart First Law of Mad Science to Stave Off a Deadly Future

In 2008, Oliver Mertz and Mike Isenberg came up with the idea for First Law of Mad Science, an affecting and strangely portentous story about a man whose innovative retinal implants a la Google Glass end up having major ramifications on the future of the world and the safety of his family.  Seven years later, the co-writers, along with artist Daniel Lapham, have launched a kickstarter to fund the release of the series’ first collected trade.


A summary from their kickstarter:

Super-scientist George Baker’s newest invention, electronic retinal implants known as “Cyber-Eyes,” are nothing short of amazing.  So amazing, in fact, and so cheap and easy to get, that some 40% of the population has gotten them within their first year on the market. But they aren’t perfect. Far from it. When things start going inexplicably and bizarrely wrong with the original test subjects, George and his family will have to find out why, before the problem spreads and causes worldwide panic. Along the way, they’ll uncover ancient civilizations, corporate conspiracies, sinister cults, other-dimensional creatures, awesome robots, subterranean cities, and Things Man Was Not Meant To Know.


In addition to several interesting backer rewards (including a bombastic night out at the karaoke bars with Isenberg), the Mad Science team has put together a special anthology featuring stories set in the FLOMS universe by industry veterans including Frank Barbiere and Amy Chu:

Science Club Mixtape is an anthology issue set in the cyberpunk meets Lovecraftian horror universe of First Law of Mad Science. Each stand-alone story will build upon that universe and shine a light into some pretty dark corners.

The anthology features stories written and/or illustrated by Shawn Aldridge (GoGetters, Vic Boone), Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts, Avengers World), Michael S. Bracco (Novo, the Creators), Jason Copland (Pop, Daredevil), Stan Chou (FUBAR, Oxymoron II Anthology), Amy Chu (Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Vertigo Quarterly), Anthony Del Col (Kill Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini)Savanna Ganucheau (Toe Tag Riot), Leland Goodman (Basement Dwellers), Mike Isenberg (First Law of Mad Science, FUBAR), Daniel Lapham (Warhammer 40K, First Law of Mad Science),Conor McCreery (Kill Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini), Jeff McComsey(FUBAR, Flutter), Oliver Mertz (First Law of Mad Science, FUBAR), Jamie Noguchi (Yellow Peril, The 47 Bronin), Pete Toms (POP, Sacrifice), and Sean Von Gorman (Toe Tag Riot, Pawn Shop). 


The team is seeking $15,000 to fund the project, with the vast amount going towards printing costs.  The dedication they’ve shown towards this project is admirable, and I think the comics have been incredibly entertaining thus far.  Give it a look and see if you agree.

0 Comments on Kickstart First Law of Mad Science to Stave Off a Deadly Future as of 6/18/2015 9:12:00 PM
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