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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Kickstarter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 210
1. Activism-Themed Picture Book is Featured On Kickstarter

Jason and Danica Russell hope to raise $35,000 on Kickstarter for their alphabet-themed picture book, A is For Activism.

They hope to use this book to inspire their children and other readers to give back to the world. The funds will be used to cover the cost of self-publishing. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“This book is not just for the earthy, the urban, the hipster, the hippy, the traveler, the militant extremist, the organic, the already active activists, but… for the cool kids all over the world, looking for a way to matter in that world. This book is for anyone who wants to get involved, and give back, but feels overwhelmed about where to start. We believe, it is never too soon for kids to start thinking about kindness, and pro-active problem solving in big and small ways.”

(more…)

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2. Kickstarter alert: Comic Chameleon goes Android

3042d2a6613392420063e64fd4e44079 large Kickstarter alert: Comic Chameleon goes Android

While digital comics have changed the medium for good, individual comics apps haven’t really taken off as much as you might think. But there are some good ones out there: Comic Chameleon is a webcomic aggregator that actually picks up popular webcomics like  Questionable COntent, Girls with Slingshots and the like. And with permission. They’ve been around on iOS for a while, but now they’ve got a Kickstrter fo develop an Android version. It’s about halfway to a $13,000 goal, so it looks pretty solid to go all the way. But in a twist, some of the Kickstarter money will go to creators:

10% of the campaign will go to the artists of your choice

If you care about supporting independent webcomic artists as much as we do, you’ll be happy to know that when you contribute to our campaign, 10% of your pledge will go to up to 3 artists of your choice who publish with our app. We’ve always been as much about supporting artists as we’ve been about entertaining you, and our Kickstarter is no different.

We’ve talked to head guy Bersie Sou a few times and he seems like an on the level guy. This is another strong move.

How about it, Beaterati? Do you read comics on your phone via apps like Comic Chameleon? Why or why not?

 

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3. And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems

2014102304041 And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems

Speaking of manga, as we just were, and Tezuka and Kickstarter as we were yesterday, here is another Tezuka Kickstarter project that has kind of gone into the “Kickstarter failure” file.

Last June something called Kansai Club Publishing raised more than $52,000 to publish an English language version of Tezuka’s The Crater. This is a short story collection, originally published from 1969-1970, that the Kickstarter page says is “the perfect blend of mystery, suspense, horror, fantasy and comedy. This is the first time that one of Tezuka-sensei’s short story collections will be published in English.”

Well that sounds great, and the money was raised. But then…this project fell into a crater. The usual foreign mailing costs hadn’t been factored in, and a rather glum update showed that this project was just too much for the organizer, Andrew Nevo, to handle:

Hello Everyone,
As some of you already know, the books are not yet ready to ship. We ran into a number of issues with the first batch that we received from the casebinder and needed to make various adjustments to the cover of the book and layout of a number of pages. The cover image is still the same and nothing was changed with the contents of the book, however, we felt that these adjustments were necessary in order to deliver the high quality book that we promised to all of our backers.
I wish that there was a way for us to provide everyone with additional compensation for the many delays that we have faced thus far in the book’s creation, however, there is little that we can do. We have already spent well over $30k and will spend another $40k plus on packaging, shipping and handling to send the books out to our Kickstarter backers only. All that we can do at this point is to make sure that our books come out perfectly and meet all of your expectations.
I cannot stress enough to everyone that we are making no money on this project. As everyone knows, this book was the first book that we have published and every step that we took to get to this point has been taken without guidance from industry experts. Sure, we started with extensive plans and deadlines for this book that we strongly felt could be met. However, our lack of knowledge and inexperience of the publishing industry has caused heavy delays throughout. Everyone who has worked on this book’s creation did so out of love for classic manga and without compensation. All help that we received came from people who work full-time jobs who took a few hours out of their weeks here and there to help bring this book to fruition.
I will be posting another update this week with the new dates for when the books will be shipped once we receive the updated schedule from our printer. I implore everyone to please stop contacting Tezuka Productions with angry complaints, sending me threatening emails and calling my house/cell phone. Tezuka Productions is just as angry with us as all of you are. I understand that your trust in us has been waning for some time and I simply cannot stress enough how sorry I am for not being able to provide everyone with a copy of the book on time. Please be just a little more patient.
This will likely be out first and last project. I hope that we have not discouraged others from trying their hands at legally printing classic manga themselves. If anyone believes that they can do a better job with future projects (as I’m sure many of you can) please feel free to reach out to me with any questions once this project has finished and I will be happy to help in any way I can. At least others who follow in our steps will not need to make the same mistakes that we made. Thank you again for your continual support, understanding and patience.

As of this date, no one has gotten books, and a 450 comment thread of complaints on the comment page has ensued. I’m not going to read through all of them, but the jist is mostly what I wrote above: the guy was in over his head. Here’s one representative one:

In all fairness this project did look amateur when it was live. I’m sure Osuma Tezuka’s name was the only reason this project got so much attention. This project, Kansai Club and Andrew all gave of signs that this project may be sketchy. I agree that Andrew mishandled pretty much everything on this project but we all took a chance and ignored the signs so now we are out our $ and this project is dead in the water. I wish there was more we could do to help remedy this but we will probably have to accept this as a failure.

Nevo hasn’t been heard from since June, and opinions seem to vary between being a conman and just naive. At any rate, we all know many Kickstarters do not come to fruition….and this seems to be another one. Caveat backer.

9 Comments on And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems, last added: 10/25/2014
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4. And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems

Speaking of manga, as we just were, and Tezuka and Kickstarter as we were yesterday, here is another Tezuka Kickstarter project that has kind of gone into the “Kickstarter failure” file. Last June something called Kansai Club Publishing raised more than $52,000 to publish an English language version of Tezuka’s The Crater. This is a…

And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems was originally published on The Beat

0 Comments on And oops, a Tezuka Kickstarter that ran into problems as of 10/25/2014 12:39:00 AM
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5. Book Discovery App Featured On Kickstarter

Jef Van der Avoort and Serie Wolfe hopes to raise $75,000 for a book discovery application called “Squirl.” With this app, users can check in to a literary-themed location, initiate conversations with fellow authors, and discover related content.

The funds will be used to develop the project. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Squirl bridges the gap between books and the real world. With the Squirl app you will bump into existing locations from captivating novels, life changing biographies and thrilling mysteries. Imagine passing by a street corner in New York City or a cafe in Paris and suddenly an excerpt from a book pops up on your phone. Literary serendipity!”

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6. An Anthology of ‘Outsider’ Fiction Stories is Featured on Kickstarter

Writer Steven Saus hopes to raise $7,000 on Kickstarter for a fiction anthology, Not Our Kind: Tales of (Not) Belonging. The finished book will contain 19 stories.

Saus plans to use the funds to compensate the contributors, pay the editor, and hire a designer to create the cover. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“When you talk about outsiders, it’s easy to think about that sense of isolation when you’re not one of the ‘popular kids’ in high school, when you’re the new person on the job, when you stand out in a bad way. But there’s more than that. There’s the sense of wonder at a new, alien place. There’s seeing everything you know through a new, different point of view. These stories defy expectations and easy genre boundaries.”

(more…)

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7. Sticky Note Portraits Book on Kickstarter

postitnotesChristopher Locke hopes to raise $6,000 on Kickstarter to fund a book of portraits drawn on sticky notes.

Locke, a school teacher and artist, keeps himself focused in meetings by making drawings on Post-It notes. With the new school year, he is looking for a project and a way to teach his students about commitment to a long-term endeavors. For the Sticky Note Portraits project, Locke will draw portraits of donors who give $20 or more and publish them all into a collection. His goal is to draw hundreds of people. (more…)

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8. ‘Cat’ Anthology Featured On Kickstarter

Coffee House Press intends to publish an anthology entitled Cat Is Art Spelled Wrong. The inspiration for this project came from the well-attended 2012 Internet Cat Video Festival.

Some of the funds will be used to compensate the contributing writers and to give a donation to the Humane Society. The book features essays with various answers to the question, “Why can’t we stop watching cat videos?” A publication date is set for September 2015. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“We left the festival that night thinking about cats, and for the last two years Coffee House Press has been collaborating with the Walker Art Center to put together a project that might capture that fascination and say something interesting—not just about cat videos, but also about how we decide what is good or bad art, or art at all; about how taste develops, how that can change, and why we love or hate something. It’s about people and the internet and why there are so many more cat videos than dog ones.”

(more…)

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9. French Cult Favorite ‘Wakfu’ Premieres on Netflix in the U.S.

Since its premiere in France in 2008, "Wakfu," an anime styled fantasy-adventure series created by Roubaix, France-based company Ankama, has picked up a dedicated fanbase, even in countries where it hasn't officially aired like the United States.

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10. A New Orleans Pop Up Travel Book is Featured On Kickstarter

Artist Jamie Hayes hopes to raise $50,000 on Kickstarter for New Orleans Pops Up. The funds will be used to cover the cost of printing this travel guide book.

With this book, Hayes will share history, personal stories, restaurant recommendations, and secrets about New Orleans. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“There will be lots of new illustrations designed specifically to ‘pop up.’ It’s going to be fantastic. It is not only a labor of love but quite different from printing a ‘regular’ book.”

(more…)

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11. Jimmy Palmiotti on Kickstarting Sex and Violence II and why women are reading Harley Quinn

Sex and Violence 2 Cover Jimmy Palmiotti on Kickstarting Sex and Violence II and why women are reading Harley Quinn

Everyone should  “Listen to JImmy” Palmiotti that is. The veteran writer, artist editor and publisher is one of the most knowledgeable comics people out there.  With his collaborators from Paperfilms, Justin Gray and Amanda Conner, he’s made a small publishing enterprise out of kickstarting a series of graphic novels based on the European album format. The seventh, Sex and Violence  Vol. II is ending in a few days and we advise you to get in on the Amanda Conner/Dave Johnson action as soon as possible — the books will not be sold in any other way. We talked to Palmiotti a few months ago when he was Kickstarting the SF tale Denver and got his overall thoughts on using Kickstarter as a platform. This time out we talk about the storytelling process,finding artists and also find out how Harley Quinn, which he co-writes with Amanda Conner, has become one of DC’s bestselling titles, with a huge female fan base. 

The Beat: Sex and Violence is billed as stories of “crime, lust, and redemption.” Are  these stories that you carried around for a while or did you sit down to think of  them just for this volume? 

3047913 jimmy3 12 300x281 Jimmy Palmiotti on Kickstarting Sex and Violence II and why women are reading Harley Quinn

Photo by Seth Kushner

Palmiotti: I can’t speak for Justin, but I have had the FILTER story idea for a while and was  at one point going to pitch it as a series, but never got around to it. I reworked  it so it can be enjoyed as a single story with a beginning and an end. The other  short story was something I came up with and thought it might fit perfectly into  the book. A lot of the time story ideas hit me and I keep files on them, waiting for  the right time or opportunity to place them. I have another story that I want to do  and hope we can get to a volume 3 of this series.

The Beat: I know Justin Gray wrote one of the stories, but can you tell us a little about  each of the three stories, and what interested you enough in your two to tell the  tale?

Palmiotti: Justin’s is called RED DOG ARMY and its based on actual history. Hitler  launched a full-scale invasion on Russia called Operation Barabossa, and Stalin,  reacting to this, authorized a special unit to train dogs as anti-tank weapons, sort  of a suicide dog squad. It’s a real interesting setting to tell a story and beautifully  illustrated by Rafa Garres whom we worked a number of time with on Jonah Hex.  The next story is called DADDY ISSUES and is about a mother and daughter  living in a trailer park dealing with the men in their lives. Its got a very tales from  the crypt feel but works perfectly here. Romina Moranelli illustrated it and it’s  just beautiful. The last story is called FILTER and it’s a look back on a killer’s life  and the things he has done to get to where he is today. It’s dark and cruel and  will stay with you for a while, I think. Vanesa R. Del Ray illustrates that story, an  art student I met a couple of years ago that is making a name for herself all over  now. All three stories work together pretty nicely.

The Beat: Your two stories sounds like they have fairly unsympathetic protagonists,  which I know can be a challenge. How do you make dark characters like this  compelling enough for the reader to want to follow along?

Palmiotti: Well, with Daddy Issues, you sort of understand what they are going through, but  in the end, these are killers and you should be scared to be around them. With  Filter, I set out to give the reader an understanding of how someone goes from  bad to worse. The interesting aspect of the story is there is a level or redemption  to the character that makes him a bit more sympathetic. I think the trick is to  humanize the situation into something we can relate to so we understand the  extreme reaction the character takes. Honestly, all of these characters are scary  on their own level.

The Beat: How do you find artists for these? You’ve said it’s like casting, and as a  sometimes editor, I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes you think of an  element of a comics story and an artist just pops into your head with just the  qualities that will make it work. Do you keep a physical or mental folder of artists  you want to work with?

Palmiotti: I actually meet most of them at conventions. They come by and show me  their work and I can feel the enthusiasm. I keep a file and also give them my  contact and hope they follow through and we chat again. The people that I end  up working with are the ones that stay after me and keep sending their latest  samples. I try to stay up as well on who is new and exciting in the field best I  can. I buy just about every new book that comes out, which my local retailer,  Emerald City loves. The casting thing is a perfect way of explaining what I do for  each story, It’s one of the most important parts of the job. I always say the Marvel  Knights gig was all about casting the right people with the right characters. The  magic happens after that.

The Beat: Do you ever write a story for a specific artist?

Palmiotti: All of the time. All three of the stories in Sex and Violence are catered to the  artist. I may have an idea, but once I know who the artist is going to be, I change  it to fit their style. In the case of All Star Western and Jonah Hex, we always  wrote for the artist. I think that’s how we got their best work. Issue 34 of All Star  was made for Darwyn Cooke and once we knew G.I.Zombie was going to be  Scott Hampton, the book took a creepier, grounded tone. I didn’t want to fight  against his style. I also think the work is better for it.

The Beat: I talked with you a few months ago for your Denver Kickstarter and it  sounds like you really have crowdfunding down to a science.   Were there any tweaks to the model this time?

Palmiotti: Yes, I did a few after the Denver Campaign. The first thing I did is stop  offering the expensive packages overseas because we felt the price was  too high to ask for the shipping and to be honest, a lot of the packages got  lost or damaged pretty bad. The next thing was limit the prints because we  felt there wasn’t as big a need for them this time, and last, since this is a  follow up of a series of books, we went back to press and reprinted the first  book with two brand new covers by Amanda Conner and Dave Johnson,  knowing a lot of people did not get the first one that might be backing the  new one.

The Beat: Your Kickstarter books seem to have a very European feel to them and  not just because you often use foreign artists. Is that part of the inspiration  for these books?

Palmiotti: It’s based on my love of European comics and artists. I grew up on Heavy  Metal and with that steady diet; it was bound to have its influence. I also  like to make the books mature audience books, again, a very European  thing. I feel I do a ton of all ages work for the mainstream, so we get to  unleash ourselves here and do whatever works for the story.

 Jimmy Palmiotti on Kickstarting Sex and Violence II and why women are reading Harley QuinnThe Beat: On another note, Harley Quinn has been a huge hit for DC and for the  Paperfilms crew. I saw you talking recently about the fact that it has a lot  of women readers. I know it’s all still anecdotal for DC but this audience  seems to be one that is really growing quickly. Can you talk about your  own experiences with that?

Palmiotti: Amanda and I have had a very busy year of conventions and signings and  the thing we noticed from working on the Harley book is that the majority  of the people coming up to us are females of all ages. We have only had  this happen once before and it was for the Painkiller Jane series. The cool  thing about this group is that we’ve had a large percentage telling us it’s  the first comic book they ever bought and thanking us for not weighing  down the title with continuity. They say they love that they can just pick up  an issue and enjoy it without going broke or feeling left out and confused  because they haven’t bought 15 other books. It’s something I am always  aware of on all my books because I’m one of those people that, if I feel  lost picking up a book, I never go back to it again.

What we are learning is that the traditional idea of done–in-one stories  not selling in comics just doesn’t apply to the new audience buying the  books, and believe me, most of that new audience are female. I think the problem right now is we have some people running the companies that just aren’t going out and trying new comics or interacting with the next wave of readers and keep pushing things the traditional way they did years ago. The retailers themselves are seeing this happening daily now and I feel it’s the reason Image comics will continue to grow and eventually outsell the big two, unless they start thinking outside the box and just make superheroes a PART of their publishing plan and not the entire thing and start looking at the different ways a superhero type of book can be done. Harley is one example , Hawkeye is another . The traditional graphics people associate comics with have been changing for years now and the market is embracing different looks and styles that are outside the house style and its pretty cool to see.

The thing that keeps me interested in comics is the prospect of new  ideas, new voices and especially new methods of applied technology and  connecting with the audience. It’s what keeps the Paperfilms crew and I  trying new things all the time. As an example, we had a soundtrack scored  on our last book DENVER and people loved it. That and the fact that  people can go to Paperfilms.com and get digital downloads of our books,  prints of Amanda’s work and copies directly from us is the next big for  creators these days. That thing is the connection between the creator and  the fan; something bigger companies have no real interest in promoting.  This is also happening in all media. Things are changing fast, and for me,  all for the better.

The Beat: You’ve made your Kickstarters a real cottage industry, What are your  plans going forward? How many a year do you foresee doing and how long  are you going to keep at it?

Palmiotti: I will keep making Kickstarters for as long as we have an audience for  them. The people that back our Kickstarters are a lot of repeat customers  and we are growing that fan base with every project. Our plans going  forward are to do more of them and take on less work that we just do to  pay the bills. Kickstarter has been a huge learning experience for us in so  many ways. Each project teaches us what the audience wants from us. We  look at the hard numbers, the comments and all the interaction and fine  tune each and every new project to be able to connect better with the fans.  We have only a few days left on SEX AND VIOLENCE VOL. 2 and after  this, we have another book ready to roll that is a western graphic novel,  something you would think we had enough of…but this one is different in a  number of ways and we are super excited to announce it in a few weeks.

5 Comments on Jimmy Palmiotti on Kickstarting Sex and Violence II and why women are reading Harley Quinn, last added: 9/22/2014
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12. A Book of Pun Poetry is Featured On Kickstarter

Emmy Award-winning artist Llyn Hunter hopes to raise $11,000 on Kickstarter for a book of visual puns. The funds will be used to cover the costs of self-publishing and printing.

The finished full-color coffee table book, entitled Punnies, contains pun-themed illustrations and poetry. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Punnies all started with a Catfish. When I work on storyboarding for animation, I regularly take a breather and create silly watercolor paintings. When I decided to do a cat as a fish chasing his dinner – Catfish – I just couldn’t stop.”

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13. Crowdwatching: Last Gasp is Kickstarting its fall season


Here we go again: another alternative publisher has turned to crowdfunding to stockpile some scratch for an upcoming list. This time it’s Last Gasp, the venerable SF institution that published some of the great foundational underground comics and now publishes and distributes art book,s comics and lovely ephemera, has a campaign for its fall list.

The Kickstarter has been running a little while but has a ways to go, so it’s a good time to get in on it. Rewards include books by Camille Gargia Rose, Ron English, Henry Sultan, t-shirts, Weirdo magazine bundles and all kinds of good stuff. If you like Undergrounds/Juxtapoz/pop surrealism or just eccentric amazing things, this is for you.

Do you want to live in a world filled with beautiful art books and bizarre printed matter? Of course you do! 
Join us – be a part of Last Gasp’s fall publishing season and help launch the next fleet of twisted art books into laps, coffee tables, and bookshelves worldwide. 

The book business is changing. In the past, it was “difficult” to publish unusual books. Now it is nearly impossible. To cover the costs of printing we need up-front support from people who love books. 

The money you contribute will go directly into the printing and production costs of these forthcoming publications.

About Last Gasp:

Since 1970, Last Gasp has been an axis of the art and counterculture communities in San Francisco and beyond, publishing both emerging and established artists. 

From our early years publishing underground comix to more recent art books, we’ve tried to publish unusual artists whose artwork moves us on a visceral level. In more than four decades we have published books with artists such as Robert Crumb, Mark Ryden,Camille Rose Garcia,Gary Baseman, Robert Williams, Junko Mizuno,Trina Robbins, S. Clay Wilson, Justin Green, Spain Rodriguez, Keiji Nakazawa, Suehiro Maruo, Elizabeth McGrath, Timothy Leary, Todd Schorr, Ron English, Laurie Lipton, Diane DiPrima, and countless others.

In addition to publishing, Last Gasp is a distributor, selling books from small and independent publishers to a network of booksellers worldwide.

Choose a reward and help us ensure this weirdness lives on!

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14. SPX: Hana Doki Kira – A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo

 

by Zachary Clemente

photo main SPX: Hana Doki Kira   A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo

While at SPX this year, I was able to grab a quick word with seven amazing cartoonists about their work in Hana Doki Kira, a Shōjo comic and illustration anthology released earlier this year after a rather successful Kickstarter campaign. Not only filled with gorgeous work inspired by Shōjo – a sub-genre of manga covering a wide variety of subjects, often with a strong focus on human and romantic relationships. As the anthology itself describes:

Shōjo is known for its distinctive use of flowery imagery, magical plot devices, and romantic themes. Out book takes its title from three key elements of the Shōjo world: Hana meaning flower, Doki echoing the sound of a pounding heart, and Kira – the impression of sparkling beauty.

Contributors to Hana Doki Kira in attendance at SPX were: Alice Meichi Li, Carey Pietsch, Kris Mukai, Megan Brennan, Rebecca Mock, Tim Ferrara, and Annie Stoll – who served as “art director” on the project. I asked each their introduction to Shōjo, how it has influenced their work, and what working on an anthology was like.

captiverosesalice SPX: Hana Doki Kira   A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo

Captive of the Roses by Alice Meichi Li

One of the most popular and influential Shōjo series, Sailor Moon was named as a gateway for many not only into the genre, but into comics in general.

When I was very young, one of my babysitters introduced me to Sailor Moon and at the time I had a serious need for stories about ladies and stories about girls who are fully-realized characters who got to be silly and dumb and got to express their wants and needs; but also be powerful and have agency in their own world. That started a life-long love affair. [...] I love stories about girls, about things girls love by women – it’s a wonderful thing. – Carey Pietsch

Megan Brennan: I wasn’t really into comics until some of my friends started reading Sailor Moon and other Shōjo comics and I realized that comics could be something completely different and I connected with it [Shōjo] really strongly. It was the only comics I read for a really long time because it was telling these stories I couldn’t get elsewhere; girls were the main characters, girl-things were important, and the things they cared would we life-changing and monumental; it was great. – Megan Brennan

Someone handed me Sailor Moon volume 10 in middle school at a school dance; I sat down, read the whole thing, my life was changed forever and I never looked back. – Rebecca Mock

It’s an understatement that there’s a drought in comics for stories starring or aimed at girls and it seems that many readers left wanted found what they needed in Shōjo such as Sailor Moon. Though he didn’t interact directly with Shōjo until later, Tim Ferrara remarked on how it informs his current work:

I didn’t actually grow up reading Shōjo; it was always a genre I thought should exist but I never knew that it did. [...] I’m glad it exists; it’s a needed genre – especially here in the States where we don’t have a lot of things that are representative for that demographic. – Tim Ferrara

janet sung 1000x839 SPX: Hana Doki Kira   A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo

Art by Janet Sung

Each artist is influenced or at least informed by Shōjo, many in the depiction of specific themes or use of ornate illustration.

There’s a lot of tropes that I use – a lot of decorative elements, lots of flowers, lots of sparkly things. [...] I also focus a lot on the clothing design and the hair. In Shōjo manga, there’s always beautiful, gorgeous, flowing hair. I love putting that in my art. – Alice Meichi Li

An untranslated copy of Candy Candy volume 10 was one of the earliest comics that I read and absorbed – and since I couldn’t read it, all I could do was look at their facial expressions and try to understand what was going on through the artwork alone. [...] One of the earliest things I learned from that was how to do was how to convey an emotion in a comic. – Kris Mukai

I think the themes and the beautiful linework have always been a big influence on me. My style is very sketchy and bold – you might think I would be more drawn to Shōnen, but there’s something beautiful about personal relationships as well as flowing lines that have always captured my heart. You may not think I’m a very Shōjo-inspired person, but I’m always thinking about beautiful lines and interesting stories. – Annie Stoll

It’s easy to latch onto the evocative beauty of how the work, but the influence Shōjo has had goes beyond that – granting an underserved readership access a necessary more.

It’s made me more conscious of writing all characters with agency; that’s something Shōjo manga does well – expanding beyond a traditional, mainstream narrative. I think some of the aesthetic seeps into my work too, I’m a fan of expressive faces and the ability to show emotion very clearly. – Carey Pietsch

It was a way for me to connect with comics. There’s a void in comics. [...] There’s comics for young kids and comics for young adults; but theres a gap there for pre-teens and young teens; there aren’t comics that speak to them and specifically not a lot of American comics that speak to girls. Shōjo fills that void, even if it’s cultural appropriation. These comics are coming from Japan – it’s an entirely different culture, we don’t really understand it, but even then there’s something there that we connect to viscerally and you can see how much they’ve caught on in a culture that they weren’t made for; there was such a hunger for that kind of comic. – Rebecca Mock

joyce lee SPX: Hana Doki Kira   A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo

Art by Joyce Lee

Lastly, I was happy to hear that all were pleased with the process of working towards an anthology and though many only had the responsibility of working on their own pieces, they came together and pulled off the project with aplomb, befitting an homage a spectrum of manga.

I do participate in a lot of anthologies; I take it as a way of making new friends. I love getting to know new artists and just getting to be part of that group is an honor. – Alice Meichi Li

It was so cool seeing the final book come together because everybody else’s stories fit together but they were all so different. You could see completely different perspectives of the same basic ideas. – Megan Brennan

It was at times exhilarating; we felt very powerful with all the possibilities available to us. At other times, it was very stressful because we were taking on a huge responsibility for no reason other than we sat down one day and decided we wanted to do this. We had to commit to this idea that you just come up with without any set due date, nobody backing you; it was really empowering to know that we were able to create something from nothing. – Rebecca Mock

It was so much fun; we really lucked out with Rebecca [Mock] and Annie [Stoll], and the Year 85 Group is so wonderful. It was so excited to get to see other artists talk about their themes and show sneak-peaks of their process along the way, and they did a wonderful job putting it all together. – Carey Pietsch

It was good having that initial group of six people who were really interested in helping out; everyone had a very unique job or position – it was a little bit like a Shōjo manga honestly. [...] It was a really good balance of personalities that all worked together – it never felt like a competition. – Annie Stoll

On the actual process of putting together the Hana Doki Kira anthology, Stoll described how it was born out of love for Shōjo.

There was a core six of us who hung out and drew and once we realized that we all loved Shōjo manga and started talking about making some kind of anthology. We ended up structuring it kind of like a pyramid scheme where each of us would invite two or three more people into it, so before you knew it, we had 26 amazing artists that were all making new friends and talking about Shōjo. – Annie Stoll

Stoll is a seasoned veteran in the world of comic anthologies, contributing in the astronomically successful Valor campaign, actively working on the second volume of Hana Doki Kira, and launching an extraordinarily ambitious project, 1001 Knights - a people-positive, feminist bent collection, aimed at making a tome of illustrations, comics, and unconventional art representing no less than 1001 characters.

hdkgif SPX: Hana Doki Kira   A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo

Here is the full list of the Hana Doki Kira contributing artists: Aimee Fleck, Alex Bahena, Alice U. Cheong, Alice Meichi Li, Anna Rose, Annie Stoll, Becca Hillburn, Carey PIetsch, Catarina Sarmento, Catherine, Chelsie Sutherland, Elisa Lau, Endy, Janet Sung, Kaitlin Reid, Kelly / Hkezza, Kris Mukai, Lindsay Cannizzaro, Megan Brennan, Rebecca Mock, Sarah O’Donell, Shelly Rodriquez, Sloane Leong, Stefanie Morin, and Tim Ferrara. For more, check out their Facebook and Tumblr pages!

1 Comments on SPX: Hana Doki Kira – A Beautiful Homage to Shōjo, last added: 10/1/2014
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15. 50 hours/$450 to go for Sparkplug’s Fall Kickstarter

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Actually $440 since I just pledged $10 for a copy of Elijah Brubaker’s Reich #12. If there is any company which deserves the preordering help that Kickstarter uses its Sparkplug, now run by Virginia Paine following the tragic death of founder Dylan Williams. The Kickstarter covers Reich #12 and a collection of William Cardini’s Vortex.

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Paine writes:

 

Hi all! This is Virginia, owner/showrunner of Sparkplug Books.  I’ve been managing Sparkplug since I took over ownership a year and a half ago.  It’s been fun/busy/hard but I’ve had a lot of help.  And now we need YOUR help.  Sparkplug needs funds to publish our next two books I’ll get to those later and so, we are kickstartering our fall publications.  If it goes well, we may even be able to fund a third!

I know Sparkplug has meant a lot to a lot of people over the years.  I’ve done my best to keep Dylan William’s vision alive and publish underappreciated, idiosyncratic comics by really awesome folks.  We’ve been struggling financially since Dylan passed, but I think it’s important to keep going and finish at least one of his projects, and create another that he would approve of.  With your contribution, you can be a part of this legacy of amazing comics.

 

The two books offer something for everyone.

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Brubaker’s Reich is a meticulously drawn and researched biography of psychologist Wilhelm Reich, inventor of Orgone and many other crazier than fiction theories.

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Vortex, by contrast is a crazier than life fantasy epic told in the Fort Thunder style. They’re both the kind of bold projects Sprakplug has always been known for. And some good rewards, like an acrylic painting by Cardini:

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16. ‘Snap Judgment’ Storytelling Show is on Kickstarter

Glynn Washington, the host of NPR‘s Snap Judgment, hopes to raise $150,000 on Kickstarter.

The funds will be used to cover the cost of producing the storytelling radio show’s sixth season. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Snap was born of love, and we have balanced on a razor’s edge since the very beginning. Your contribution goes directly toward making the most amazing season of Snap the world has ever known. Together, we’ve surmounted the obstacles before, and created the first five seasons of Snap. Let’s do it again.”

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17. 31 Days of Halloween: Bobby Timony’s Monster Pin Up Girl Playing Cards

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Kickstarter alert! Bobby Timony (The Night Owls, The Horror Lovers, Detectobot and Goblin Hood) is Kickstarting a deck of playing cards adorned with cute monster girl pin-ups.
That says it all right?
Timony’s cartoon-esque art is just right to present monsters girls who are sexy without being over the top, and just the right sense of humor as well. If the Kickstarter succeeds (only $8000, so let’s do it!) it’ll also be presented as a hardcover with a foreword by Molly Crabapple. Timony’s doing 54 different illustrations for the set, which is perfect for playing all your scary Halloween card games like Go Monster Fish and 21 Devils on Horseback.
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4 Comments on 31 Days of Halloween: Bobby Timony’s Monster Pin Up Girl Playing Cards, last added: 10/8/2014
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18. Evan Dahm’s Illustrated Edition of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ is On Kickstarter

Comics artist Evan Dahm hopes to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter for his illustrated edition of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Click here to to download a free digital copy of the original book.

The funds will be used to cover the cost of printing Dahm’s book in hardcover format. Follow this link to check out the “Baum by Dahm” creativity blog. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a beautiful, dreamlike book, and it’s very different from the adaptations that are more widely-known. In the illustrations, I’ve tried to emphasize the strange atmosphere of its setting, and the sense of being lost and overwhelmed by an otherworldly place. I made almost 100 illustrations for the book: 24 of them are full-page illustrations that begin each chapter.”

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19. SDCC ’14: Ben Costa on Kung-Fu, Gelatinous Goo, and Good Game Design

By Matthew Jent

Ben Costa is a maker. He makes comics, games, and deadpan jokes.

I caught up with Ben at the tail end of this year’s San Diego Comic Con to chat about the Kickstarter-funded second collection of Pang, the Wandering Shaolin Monk, his new webcomic Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo, and making the kinds of games you want to be able to play.

Ben exhibited in the Small Press area of SDCC as Iron Crotch University Press.

Photo courtesy of Ben Costa

Ben Costa at the Iron Crotch University Press booth.

How long have you been coming to SDCC?

I’ve been exhibiting for five years. I attended for a few years before that.

How’s your show been this year? What are you most excited about?

The Sakai Project. I have an illustration in there, and Stan Sakai has been one of my inspirations for a long time. Every year everyone says the show isn’t about comics anymore, but it’s still one of my best shows of the year.

And that’s probably because it’s five days long? It’s usually consistently good, but this year wasn’t the same way. Wednesday through Friday were kind of bad. A show like SPX is my best show, per day. One day at SPX I sold 40-something books, which I don’t do at San Diego.

But there were noticeably more people coming through Saturday and Sunday. The aisle would get full sometimes. And on Sunday, it felt like a bunch of people who have walked by and maybe didn’t buy anything came by, like, “Alright, I’ll take that print.” So I sold a bunch of prints on Sunday, whereas on previous days it was very few prints.

Do you still mostly sell the first volume?

Yeah, it seems that way. 90% of people coming past still seem like they have no idea what it is. One out of ten people will be like, “Kung-fu, this is awesome!,” or I’ll recognize them from previous years.

The last time we talked, your Kickstarter had been successfully funded but the book wasn’t out yet. How has the publication of volume 2 of Pang been?

Pretty good, overall. It’s been a little harder to get the word out than the first volume. It seems to be getting less press. I got several reviews from the first one, but I’ve only gotten one for the second one. I sent out review copies for both books. It wasn’t ordered into as many comic book stores. But both volumes were in Previews, and both volumes were Previews Staff Picks.

Pang started online, and you’ve self-published the two hardcover volumes that are currently out. Are you interested in working with larger publishers, or doing more work-for-hire projects?

Work-for-hire, on the right project. Like if it was Star Wars, or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — sure.

Twist your arm, and you’ll write Star Wars. Do you have a Turtles story you’re dying to tell?

No? I’ve never been a great plot generator. If I sit there a long time and think about things I can come up with stuff. But the relationships are what draw me in. But with Turtles, you can also have cool ninja fights.

A lot of Turtles stories, after the first 10 original issues, are good stories, but they don’t get the core of the characters. What’s at the core for me.

What’s at the core of a good Turtles story?

They’re brothers. And Raph, he jokes and acts like he’s having a good time, but really, you know — it’s painful inside. So it’s that family dynamic.

Let’s talk about webcomics. Your new project is Rickety Stitch & the Gelatinous Goo.

It’s a fantasy. It’s about a skeleton minstrel and his trusty gelatin sidekick.

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Rickety Stitch, caught up in a march to monsterdom.

You’re serializing it online, like you did with Pang — do you want to collect it as a physical volume somewhere down the line? Or partner with a larger publisher to put it out?

There are webcomics that gain enough of a following that when they produce merchandise — books, shirts, prints, whatever — they can make a living through their audience without having to go through a publisher. But you have to be really popular, and it’s geared more toward gag comics that update every day. Although there are exceptions.

I didn’t want to work on this, get it to a publisher, then have wait and just be silent for 2-3 years while everyone forgets I exist. So, we’re putting it online. I dunno if that will effect how a publisher might react to it later. On the first volume of Pang — the beginning is a little rough, compared to the rest of it, so I could see why publishers might not want it. But once I self-published the first volume, the vibe I got was always, “This is great. Show me what you’re doing next.”

The question I have is — at what point do you start pitching it? I feel like comic book publishers like to get in early on the editing process. When you have a novel, you’re supposed to just write it, completely, and then show it to people. But with comics, it seems like they don’t want to see a completely finished thing.

Is it fun to make? Rickety Stitch?

Yeah, it is. James Parks, my co-writer, and I could have easily let this project die. We showed it to Slave Labor a while back, and they turned it down. But it was so fun to make that we wanted to just do it.

Stitch searches for a song. The Goo is afraid of the dark.

Stitch searches for a song. The Goo is afraid of the dark.

The Pang table-top role-playing game was a Kickstarter reward, and you’ve been selling some physical copies at the show this year.

One of the guys from Fantasy Flight came by and bought a copy. He says they have a group there that gets together and plays indie games.

Are you interested in game design? Or is it more about adapting the story and the spirit of Pang, and fitting that into game mechanics?

Adapting the story and spirit is more appealing to me, though I do like design mechanics. My friend Amir Rao, from Supergiant Games, is my regular Dungeon. All his life he’s been making games and RPGs that we would play. It rubbed off on me.

What did you approach adapting Pang’s story and turning it into a game?

The obvious things is kung-fu fighting. I wanted to have a combat system that felt different, that wasn’t just “I attack, you attack, I attack.” I wanted defense to be something you actively think about.

Having played it — it feels like really squaring off with an opponent. You spend points or save them, and you can react based on your opponents actions. You can hold back and defend, or make a big offensive move but leave yourself open to be pummeled.

I thought there was good opportunity to make abilities around that. And trying to make it feel Ancient China.

How did you do that?

I started with choosing stat names that were a little different. Stuff you couldn’t just pin down as exactly representing the skills. Like “Benevolence” — you can’t exactly know what you would put under that off the top of your head. It was a long process. It took way longer than I thought it would.

I also made a Star Wars game, for fun, from which I pulled a lot of the abilities for Pang. I made a Rickety Stitch game, then Star Wars, then Pang. So I have a fully functional Star Wars game.

When did you make a Star Wars game?

2012?

Why did you make a Star Wars game?

I had three-year campaign in the d6 system that was great, but we could probably never play it again. I started working on the new game towards the end of that. I’d added a bunch of custom rules to the d6 game, which has no classes. I added a “rebel ranks” ability system, so as you go through the ranks with rebels you get new powers. Sort of like Pang, they build on skills. You use your skills to activate them. Same idea as the Class Masteries in Pang.

It was sort of in response to the Fantasy Flight game, because I’d gotten the Beta book, and I was really excited about it, but for my own personal taste there was something lacking. I’m particularly proud of the space combat, which in my own games, has not been satisfying.

I like that spirit. If there’s something you don’t like, you just create the thing you do like.

I justified it to myself by saying I would use this game for a science fiction comic I want to eventually do.

I love it. Almost everyone else in comics is making a comic book to spinoff into a movie. And you’re making comic books so you can spin off role-playing games.

It’s like the way to not make money.

The hope — in any of my games — is to capture the abstraction of the story.

 

1 Comments on SDCC ’14: Ben Costa on Kung-Fu, Gelatinous Goo, and Good Game Design, last added: 8/4/2014
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20. ‘Namesake’ Webcomic Authors Raise $37K on Kickstarter For a Fairy Tale Anthology

Megan Lavey-Heaton and Isabelle Melançon, the co-authors behind the webcomic “Namesake,” has obtained more than $37,000 through a Kickstarter campaign for her project, Valor. Originally, she set her fundraising goal at $20,000.

The finished book is a fairy tale comic collection. Altogether, this anthology will feature 17 stories. The money will be used to cover the cost of printing. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The purpose of this book is to pay homage to the strength, resourcefulness, and cunning of female heroines in fairy tales. Some of these are recreations of time-honored tales. Others are brand new stories, designed to be passed to future generations.”

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21. ‘Watson & Holmes’ Comic Series Featured on Kickstarter

New Paradigm Studios hopes to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter for the second volume of the Watson And Holmes series. This comics project re-imagines Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic detective duo as two African-Americans who live in New York City.

The finished book will contain a collection of one-shot stories. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Money earned will go to covering fees, postage, and printing of the exclusive Kickstarter copies. Leftover money will be used to fund future projects, which include adding more stories to this very trade. As always, if the demand is high enough and additional funds are earned beyond our request, we plan to roll out additional investment rewards and incentives as well.”

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22. A Manatee Picture Book is Featured On Kickstarter

Christopher Straub, a designer who has appeared on the sixth season of the Project Runway TV series, has hopes to raise $20,000 on Kickstarter. Straub hopes to self-publish a children’s book entitled Albert the Confused Manatee and produce a toy of the title character.

The funds will be used to cover the printing and manufacturing costs. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

Albert the Confused Manatee is a story about one animal’s quest to figure out what kind of animal he is. With the help of his 15 underwater friends Albert learns that, even though they have differences they also have a lot in common.”

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23. Author Spotlight on: Laurisa White Reyes

Today I’m really excited to welcome Laurisa White Reyes to the blog. I met Laurisa a few years back at a writing retreat, soon after her first novel, The Rock of Ivanore, had been picked up for publication by Tanglewood Press. Of course she was pulsing with excitement and we all wanted to sit next […]

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24. ‘The Most Dangerous Game’ Graphic Novel Featured On Kickstarter

James Mascia hopes to raise $2,500 on Kickstarter for his graphic novel project, The Most Dangerous Game. The plot is based on a short story by Richard Connell.

The funds will be used to cover the costs of finishing, printing, and marketing the book. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The story is about a man who gets stranded on an island with a hunter who had grown bored hunting animals and therefore turned to a more challenging prey: human beings. When we are fully funded, we will be creating a version of this story with a science fiction twist to it, in which our main character, Rainsford, will crash on a planet run by a crazed alien who also hunts humans.”

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25. My Audiobook Library Launches Kickstarter Campaign

The executives behind the My Audiobook Library company hope to raise $12,000 on Kickstarter. The funds will be used for expansion purposes.

The action plan for this money includes purchasing 55,000 titles and a distributors license. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Our customers want to listen to the New Releases from the Top Authors as shown above, but the ‘Big Five’ publishers are unwilling to partner with a company that does not already have a large customer base, and the kind of numbers they want, come from having audiobooks from the ‘Big Five’ publishers. Thus, the ‘catch-22.’ This is why Amazon has ~90% of the audiobook market.”

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