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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Kickstarter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. 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.”

(more…)

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2. ‘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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3. PEN America on Kickstarter

PEN Center USA hopes to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to help increase funding for its literary fellowship Emerging Voices.

The organization will use the money to help increase its general operating budget and pay for the cost of books, event space rentals, transportation and printing costs.

The fellowship has been around since 1995 and has supported 119 authors. Here is more about the organization from the Kickstarter page:

PEN Center USA initiated Emerging Voices as a literary mentorship program designed to launch potential professional writers from minority, immigrant, and other underrepresented communities. The program has now evolved into an eight-month writing fellowship for writers who lack access to a traditional writing education for those who seek financial and creative support.

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4. 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.

RicketyStitch1

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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5. Interview: Rick Geary on Kickstarter, Murder, and Billy the Kid

Anybody who has read any amount of my writing, either here and elsewhere, will probably know who my favourite comics writer is*. But I also have a favourite comics artist, whose work is a constant delight to me, and by whom I have pretty much everything I can get my hands on. It’s Rick Geary. He mostly works in black & white, has almost never done any work for The Big Two, and you could just about be forgiven for not having heard of him, but he’s been making his living as a cartoonist and comics artist for nearly forty years now, and is, for me, the comics artist whose work I cherish the most.

He worked on all sorts of things for Dark Horse Comics, and many others, over a number of years, much of which has been collected, and on a shelf right beside me, as I write. In 1987 he started work on a series called A Treasury of Victorian Murder for NBM Publishing, which now stands at eight volumes of true murder tales, which has since been joined by A Treasury of XXth Century Murder, which is up to six volumes, both of which feel like his true life’s work. I’ve always been a fan of true crime stories anyway, and to have them drawn in Geary’s gorgeous black line work is wonderful. If you want to try one – and you should – they’re all available on his Author Page at NBM. It’s not for nothing that Our Glorious Leader, Ms H. MacDonald, said ‘

No season would be complete without the latest in Rick Geary’s ongoing series of 20th-century murders: with elegant, unsettling penwork, Madison Square Tragedy: The Murder of Stanford White tells the notorious story of architect Stanford White, who was murdered by a jealous husband in a theater atop the original Madison Square Garden.

As well as his ongoing work with NBM, Rick Geary has recently taken to selling books through a series of Kickstarter campaigns, with the most recent, for The True Death of Billy the Kid, still running, until Monday the 11th of August, a week from today. It’s going to be a 60-page black-and-white hardcover graphic novel, and I can pretty much guarantee it’ll turn up right on time, too, because I’ve backed his other two projects, and they did – which is more than can be said for other fundraisers I’ve ante-ed up for, but that is something I’ll wait to address here another day, in the not too distant future.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s a quick interview with Rick Geary, which I was thrilled to be given the chance to do…

Billy the Kid

Pádraig Ó Méalóid: This is your third Kickstarter campaign, at this stage. First of all, what made you decide to try out fundraising like this as a way to get your work out there?
[Link to The True Death of Billy the Kid Kickstarter.]

Rick Geary: The first time I tried fundraising on Kickstarter was about a year ago, simply out of curiosity as to how it works and to see how well I would do. I thought I should start out with the kind of true crime graphic novel I’m known for. This was The Elwell Enigma, and it succeeded beyond my wildest imagination. After that, I thought I’d try something different. A is for Anti-Christ: Obama’s Conspiracy Alphabet, a kind of satirical children’s book, was a bit of a harder and slower process, but it finally came through. At last, I thought I’d use Kickstarter to fund the kind of historical and non-fiction subjects that fascinate me but which aren’t precisely murder cases. The True Death of Billy the Kid comes out of my life here in Lincoln County, and has now exceeded my funding goal with several more weeks to go. So I have to say I’m very happy with my Kickstarter experience. I also must say that the experience has been made as smooth as possible by my friend and agent and production genius Mark Rosenbohm, who has managed all three campaigns.

PÓM: Yes, I’d noticed that all your campaigns were under Mark’s name. So, is he effectively acting as your publisher on these, or is that the wrong way to look at it?

RG: I suppose he could be technically called my publisher, although I like to think of these books as self-published. They all have come out under my little imprint, Home Town Press.

PÓM: What led you to want to try out an internet fundraiser like this in the first place, and why did you choose Kickstarter to do it on?

RG: There are certain projects in my mind that I know would never be taken on by a mainstream publisher. The Obama Alphabet was certainly one of them. I began my career publishing my own work and I’ve always believed in it. Why Kickstarter? At the time, it seemed to be the only one out there.

PÓM: Are there any drawbacks to using Kickstarter, do you find?

RG: The hardest part of a Kickstarter campaign, though I’d hate to call it a drawback, is the work that comes on the back end. I try to be very conscientious about packaging the books and other premiums and sending them out in a timely manner. Almost 200 mailings for my first project. It’s all well worth it, though.

PÓM: Are you still producing work through more conventional means, like with NBM, for instance? I know they published your Madison Square Tragedy – The Murder of Stanford White around December 2013, so is there anything more scheduled from them?

RG: Yes, I’m still producing murder stories for NBM. I’m currently in the midst of a project that’s a bit of a departure from the true-life cases. Louise Brooks: Detective is a fictional mystery featuring the actress Louise Brooks solving a murder in 1940′s Kansas. After that I plan to return to non-fiction with the story of the Black Dahlia murder.

PÓM: Am I right in thinking you’re somehow related to Louise Brooks?

RG: She was my mother’s second cousin. Though they never met, they grew up in the same area of southeastern Kansas. Brooks was my mother’s maiden name (and my middle name). My mother was born and grew up in the tiny town of Burden, Kansas, as did both of Louise’s parents. The graphic novel I’m working on, Louise Brooks: Detective, takes place during the brief time (1940-42) that she returned to Kansas after her Hollywood career collapsed. The action unfolds in Wichita and Burden.

PÓM: What is it that draws you towards these murder stories, do you think?

RG: It’s become kind of a cliché, but for as long as I can remember, I’ve been attracted to the dark side of human nature. Perhaps because I have such a light and sunny nature myself. Stories of anti-social behavior have the most drama and excitement. And the unsolved cases are the best of all, for the mystery they embody and the speculation they engender. I’m a big proponent of the essential unknowability of things.

PÓM: With the unsolved cases, do you have opinions of your own on who might have done them, or does that not matter to you? With things like Jack the Ripper, for instance, which has virtually mutated into fiction, do you have any ‘favourite’ suspects?

RG: In most cases my goal is to keep a journalistic detachment and not express opinions of my own. Some of the unsolved murders have, as you say, mutated into fiction, but I try to give equal weight to all the theories out there, no matter how ludicrous. Jack the Ripper is the perfect example. The endless speculation linking him to the royal family or other well-known people is pretty flimsy, though entertaining. My belief is that the Ripper had to be some faceless, anonymous East End resident, someone you wouldn’t even notice on the street.

PÓM: What is it about Billy the Kid, that made you want to do this particular book?

Billy 21 (1)

RG: Upon moving to Lincoln County, New Mexico, seven years ago, I found that the Kid is a very big deal here. The town of Lincoln, where he spent much of his brief life, is a perfectly preserved little western settlement, and the local historical society is very protective of his story. Accuracy is the top priority. I noticed that no graphic novel has been published that told his true story, and it seemed a natural for my next project on Kickstarter.

Billy 22 (1)

PÓM: How much research goes into doing one of these books?

RG: I do as much as I can and still fit within the deadline. I start by reading as many books with as many different points of view on the subject as I can find, and take copious notes. I fill this out with online sources, but what I find there is usually not as detailed as the information contained in books. Then I condense all the material into what I hope is a clear and compelling narrative structure. As for picture reference for period costumes, interiors etc, I usually rely on my extensive personal library. But I can also find pretty much anything I want online.

Billy 23 (1)

PÓM: Have you any plans to do more ‘Wild West’ based stories, or is Billy the Kid a one-off?

RG: Nothing specific on the horizon, but I wouldn’t rule anything out.

PÓM: What’s your feeling about fundraisers like Kickstarter, now that you’ve been through it three times? Is it the future of comics publishing, or just an interesting sideline, for you?

RG: I can’t speak for others, but my own experience with Kickstarter has been nothing but positive thus far. I don’t know if it’s the future of comics publishing, but it’s certainly my future. I plan to use it, perhaps once a year, for graphic novel projects that treat broader historical subjects and wouldn’t overlap with the murder stories I do for NBM.

PÓM: Will this, and your previous Kickstarter projects, be available for the general public to buy later on, or is this the only way to get hold of them?

RG: All of my Kickstarter books are, for the moment, sold personally by me at the SD Comic-Con and at APE, or else are available via the “RG Store” on my Website. I’ve also been selling them, on consignment, through a retail outlet in my tiny burg of Carrizozo. Whether they will eventually gain a wider distribution remains to be seen.

PÓM: Thanks very much for taking the time to do this interview, Rick.

RG: Entirely my pleasure, Pádraig. Thanks for everything.

Some Links:
The True Death of Billy the Kid Kickstarter page
Rick Geary’s own Website
Rick Geary’s Author Page at NBM
Rick Geary’s Facebook Page

header_original

[*It’s Alan Moore, in case there was any doubt.]

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6. ‘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.”

(more…)

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7. The Beige Planet Podcast Kickstarter Recap for Talbot Toluca

A month ago I launched a Kickstarter campaign for my new comic puzzle book, “Talbot Toluca.”

After sleepless days and nights, I’m happy to report that it ended on a great note with the campaign exceeding its goal. Here’s a quick podcast recap with Al and Paul from the Beige Planet podcast talking about the experience and things that I’ve learned from it.

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8. KICKSTARTER POWER HOUR: Jump on the Todd Allen Train

Todd Allen – you know, the guy from this very website? – is taking his first project to Kickstarter. And true to form, not only will he be running the Kickstarter campaign himself… he’ll also be blogging about it. This is ‘The Economics of Digital Comics’.

toddallen

Notable not just for offering you the chance to see what Todd really looks like, the campaign is for a new book he’s writing in which he delves into digital comics. Having written for Publishers Weekly for a long time, there aren’t many people who know as much as Todd does about comics retailing, and this whole new world of Kickstarters, webcomics, crowdfunding and Patreons could use a little explaining.

The Kickstarter has already crushed the goal, meaning if you jump onboard the Todd Allen train you’re guaranteed to get yourself a copy of the book. Hurrah!

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9. KICKSTARTER POWER HOUR: Girls With Slingshots Goes On Tour

Danielle Corsetto’s Girls with Slingshots webcomic has been a decade-long success, collected into 7 print editions over the years and amassing a huge audience around the world. So to celebrate, she’s chosen to go on a road trip across America, meeting fans and taking part in signings.

gws1

She’ll be hitting a few comic-cons along the way, and has a fairly exhaustive tour diary already planned out. To help fund the trip she’s headed to Kickstarter, where she’s offering books, prints, all kinds of merchandise and comics goodness for anybody who takes part.  And she’s already hit her target, once more! You lot really don’t waste time on these Kickstarters, do you?

While she’s gone, guest artists will be taking over her site for a few weeks, offering their own takes on the characters. Find out more about the plans on the Kickstarter page!

 

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10. KICKSTARTER POWER HOUR: Vera Greentea’s ‘Recipes for the Dead’

Vera Greentea is back once more for a seventh shot at Kickstarter, having enjoyed success with every single one of her last campaigns. And she’s returning with Allison Strom once more for a third issue of her series ‘Recipes of the Dead’.

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A series about a young, struggling baker who accidentally whips up a magical recipe which starts attracting her all kinds of trouble, the series mixes fantasy, magic, demons, romance – all the things every comic could do with more of. And the series features gorgeous, lush, expressive artwork from Strom, a brilliant talent whose every issue is somehow an improvement on the last.

Having already hit the funding target, the third issue will now get to go into production, with Greentea able to pay Strom for all 22 pages of the comic. Any extra money now will go into enhancing the book, as well as helping Greentea head across to NYCC so she can launch the book there. Lucky NYCC.

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Issue #3 is expected to be completed around September. To find out more, head to the Kickstarter page!

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11. ‘Moby Dick’ Marathon Reading Featured On Kickstarter


Polly Bresnick, Amanda Bullock, and Molly Rose Quinn will come together to host a marathon reading of Herman Melville’s beloved novel, Moby Dick. The trio has raised more than $5,000 through crowdfunding to pull off this event.

The group first launched this event back in 2012 with the participation of more than 150 readers. Last year, they presented a Moby Dick-themed variety show. This year, they plan to have this reading from November 14th to November 16th. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“The funding will help pay for the aforementioned expenses (printing and providing spoons and such) but it will also allow us to make the whole marathon bigger and better: color programs, hiring a designer to create print and online materials, higher quality print souvenirs, more chowder spoons, and the countless miscellaneous expenses that producing an event of this magnitude requires. We not only hope to fund this year’s marathon, but also to grow the MDMNYC community.”

(more…)

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12. Reading Rainbow Team Raises $5M+ on Kickstarter

LeVar Burton (pictured, via) and his collaborators have raised $5 million in 35 days.

In addition to crowdfunded money, actor Seth MacFarlane has agreed to donate $1 million which brings the total to more than $6 million. Now that the campaign has ended, the Reading Rainbow team plans to establish a Reading Rainbow digital library (for the web, mobile devices, game consoles, and Over the Top boxes) and allow 7,500 classrooms to access this library free of charge.

24 hours after the Kickstarter venture launched, supporters had pledged more than $1 million. Follow this link to watch Burton’s reaction video towards the first million. What do you think?

(more…)

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13. H.P. Lovecraft-Inspired Short Story Collection Featured On Kickstarter

The 01 Publishing team hopes to raise $5,000 to produce print copies of the anthology, Whispers From the Abyss.

The writers who contributed the 33 short stories drew inspiration from famed horror writer H.P. Lovecraft. The book was designed “specifically for readers on the go.” We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

Whispers From the Abyss is a collection of Lovecraft inspired short stories. The anthology was released last year for the Kindle and was well received. Of the entire 01Publishing catalog, we have been consistently asked by fans to bring this title to print.”

(more…)

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14. The Sonic the Comic Convention is on Kickstarter

Adam Tuff, editor in chief of the Sonic Stadium website, has raised more than £2,200 on Kickstarter. He plans to use the funds to organize the UK’s first Sonic the Comic convention.

This event will celebrate the comics inspired by the “Sonic the Hedgehog” video games. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:

“Although the comic was discontinued in 2002, the artwork and stories had a resonating effect with many readers, who have continued the comic in an online incarnation as Sonic the Comic – Online. The comic still continues to garner interest to present day, with many stories featured in the comic being cited by fans as some of the best written across all of the many universes of Sonic the Hedgehog.”

(more…)

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15. Kickstarter Power Hour: Strangebeard, Vol 1

We round out the Kickstarter Power Hour with a look at the story of the world’s greatest pirate – who also happens to be a twelve year old girl.

sb1

Strangebeard is written and drawn by Kelly Tindall – and when I say that, I mean that it’s been COMPLETELY written and drawn, and is all ready to go. Tindall is looking for $4500 in total to fund the project, and is now under $100 away from the target.

The series tells the story of Jenny Brigham, a young girl who, on the night of her 12th birthday, is possessed by the spirit of notorious pirate Augustus Strangebeard. Gaining amazing pirate-powers in the process, she takes to the high seas for a series of ridiculous and wonderful adventures which see her taking on talking dogs, vampires, and wizards.

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Collecting together the first year of stories from Tindall’s webseries, the Kickstarter is looking to bring Strangebeard’s adventures to print – and you can find out more here.

3 Comments on Kickstarter Power Hour: Strangebeard, Vol 1, last added: 5/23/2014
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16. Kickstarter Power Hour: Modern Times

Let’s continue this power hour of Kickstarting comics by turning to Modern Times, a new publication looking to mix journalism, comics, and photography.

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By Olivier Kugler

Set up by Katherine Hearst and featuring contributors including Isabel Greenberg, Jess Ruliffson, Tom Humberstone and Fionnuala Doran, Modern Times is looking to fund a first print run. The first issue appears to be completely mapped out by this point, and will be themed around a discussion of housing, and issues relating to it. Written articles will feature alongside comics journalism, to create a multimedia periodical which looks at politics in the UK and Ireland.

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By Madeline Swift

The project is looking for £1000 to launch the first issue, and if successful will be looking for submissions for the second issue, which would then follow on.

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17. Kickstarter Power Hour: Albert the Alien by Trevor Mueller and Gabriel Bautista Jr

We round out this Kickstarter Power Hour with a Thrillbent series which’ll be coming to print if it makes the Kickstarter goal. Written by Trevor Mueller and drawn by Gabriel Bautista Jr, Albert the Alien is an all-ages graphic novel looking for $8000 to make funding.

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Albert is Earth’s first intergalactic exchange student, arriving to Earth to help bridge the cultural gaps between his planet and our own. Finding Earth to be a place where we have strange school social structures, bullies, nerds, jocks and all kinds of other groups, Albert sets about making school life a strange and amazing adventure for everybody to get involved in.

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Having originally published over at their website, the creative team brought Albert and his world to Thrillbent more recently, and are now looking to publish the first 100 pages – and some new, Kickstarter-exclusive content – as a print book. Suitable for all ages, I’ve been reading up on his stories over at the site myself, and can verify that this is absolutely suitable for anybody at all but especially aliens, non-aliens, and everybody who doesn’t fit into those two descriptors. It’s brilliantly funny, packed with jokes, and filled with a genuine warmth for the characters.

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Albert himself is an utterly infectious character, and I would love if we could see him head to print. This is absolutely EXACTLY the sort of comic we should all be reading. Smart, addicting, good-hearted and brilliantl put together, Albert the Alien is a wonderful comic. And you can find it here! 

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18. Kickstarter Power Hour: #ResistComics

From editor Can Yalcinkaya comes an anthology of stories from upcoming and established Turkish creators, following the story of the 2013 Uprising in Turkey. Focusing on the side of the Turkish resistance, this is a collection of books which develops and establishes Turkish culture and society for an international audience – a political book which is focused primarily on entertaining.

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Featuring a number of distinct and impressive creators, the anthology will see work from artists including Okan Bubul (whose cover for the project is above), as well as Sumeyye Kesgin (below).

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Aiming for a funding target of $5000 Australian dollars, the project is currently reaching the $2000-mark after only a few days of being active. It’s not often that you find somebody publishing an anthology of Turkish comic – it’s well worth taking a look at this project, and pledging if you find it interesting.

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Art by Murat Gurdal Akkoc

I thought this excerpt from their Kickstarter description was particularly of note:

You might think, “I have no connection to Turkey, why should I be interested in something that’s happening over there?” or “this book would be too culturally specific for me”.

We see our project as part of a larger global movement, which has universal themes. From the Arab world, to the US, from Turkey to Brazil, there is a growing restlessness. We would like a better future, where our basic rights, well-being, and environment have more priority over corporate interests. We would like to see people of the world unite beyond their national borders and work for equal rights and opportunities for all.

Our comics reflect our worldview. We tell stories that relate to the human condition, and we use genres and tropes that would be familiar to readers all around the world. Our comics aren’t inaccessible, and we will also provide some context for what has been happening in Turkey by providing notes and timelines.

By supporting our project, you will also be supporting comic art in Turkey. There aren’t many opportunities for Turkish comic artists to publish their works. We are happy to introduce the works of some talented artists to an English reading audience.

You can find the Kickstarter here.

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19. Kickstarter Power Hour: ‘The Leg’ by Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta

The power of the Kickstarter Power Hour is that you never know when it’ll happen! And here we are, bank holiday Monday, with a whole load of new and exciting crowdfunding projects to tell you about. Let’s start with a just-funded book from the creative team of Van Jensen and Jose Pimienta, ‘The Leg’.

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You may know Van Jensen from, well, The Beat, where he’s written before. He’s also currently handling one of the best DC titles, Green Lantern Corps, and has just taken over The Flash. The Leg marks the arrival of a decade-in-the-making story, with a bizarre central premise. The first ever comic script he wrote, The Leg has been in the works for several years now, as Jensen and artist Pimienta worked on putting the project together.

Telling the story of a sentient leg on a revenge mission (the sentient leg of Santa Anna, no less), this is a massively surreal, wonderfully drawn and coloured story which is never anything less than thoroughly surprising. President Santa Anna was wounded in battle during The Pastry War in Mexico, and lost his leg to cannon fire. The leg was subsequently buried with full military honours (really).

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However, when the people rebelled against Santa Anna, they dug up the leg, dragged it through the streets, and abandoned it in a ditch. Jensen and Pimienta’s story picks up several years later, as the leg – now sentient – learns of a new threat to Mexico, and embarks on a revenge mission which could finally redeem Santa Anna for his previous wrongdoings.

Looking for $10000, the project has just passed the funding mark – you can find it here.

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20. Talbot Toluca Crosses Dimensions in an All-Ages Epic Adventure

Las Vegas, NV May 29, 2014 – Two weeks ago, award-winning children’s picture book author and illustrator Kenneth Lamug launched a Kickstarter campaign for his newest book,The Tall Tales of Talbot Toluca.

This adventure book aims to reignite the all-ages genre by combining the high-impact visuals of comics while engaging the reader with Where’s Waldo-like hidden-object games, mazes and puzzles. The story follows a group of friends who must save their science professor by travelling through different dimensions and battling the robotic minions of evil scientist Dr. Kadoom.

“This campaign has definitely been an adventure all of its own,” says Lamug. “We’ve been lucky enough to have a great launch and consistent pace. Friends and social media have made a huge impact on getting the word out. Now we just have to make it across the finish line.”

New add-on rewards and incentives have been added for current and future backers, including exclusive art prints and free domestic shipping. Backers who wish to be part of the book as a character can still pledge under the Monster Package.

Currently, the project is 75% funded with less than two weeks to go, ending on June 10th.

For more information visit the Kickstarter campaign athttp://kck.st/1skCg51

Contact:
Kenneth Lamug
www.talbottoluca.com

Talbot-cover

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21. Shebooks Team on Kickstarter for the 2014 Equal Writes Campaign

The Shebooks Team hopes to raise $50,000 for the 2014 Equal Writes Campaign. The group behind this project aims to use the funds to cover the costs of publishing pieces authored by female writers. The team plans to release at least 100 eBooks this year. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: "Not enough women are able to get their work published today—even the best women writers. Almost three-quarters of the bylines in leading print and digital publications belong to men. What’s up with that? Amazingly, that gender disparity is nearly the same as it was 100 years ago. What’s up with that?" continued...

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22. Kickstarter’s Creator Handbook

Are you thinking about creating a Kickstarter project to help fund your book? The crowd sourced funding site has published a Creator Handbook online with lots of tips and tricks about creating a successful project. The guide walks users through every step along the way of a Kickstarter project from figuring out how to tell your story and what kinds of rewards to offer to advice on promotions and fulfillment. Check it out: "This guide is based on everything we’ve learned from watching over 150,000 projects, each of them created by someone like you. We hope it’ll help you get started with shaping your own project, whether it’s to make a movie, an album, a game, a design, a play, a restaurant, or pretty much anything else that springs from the imagination."

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23. A Writing Lifestyle Book is Featured on Kickstarter

Jodi and Owen Egerton hope to raise $20,000.00 for their book, This Word Now. They plan to use the funds to cover the costs of editing and self-publishing. The Egertons have written down their thoughts and tips on writing and living a creative lifestyle. Readers will find essays and exercises throughout the book. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: "We view writing not just as a craft or a profession, but as a way of interacting with the world. The title This Word Now captures the focus on presence and passion that we aim to bring to our writing, teaching, and our day to day approach to life. We're excited to share this part of who we are in this book." continued...

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24. Shebooks: A fantastic kickstarter project for women readers and writers

Did you know that 3/4 of the stories published in traditional magazines are written by men? And yet women read SO much. Yep, there’s gender bias even in publishing.

This is where digital publisher Shebooks steps in. Shebooks publishers short ebooks written by women for women readers and designed to be read in under two hours–and they need your help to publisher even more! They only have 9 days left to their campaign.

One hundred percent of the donations made through their kickstarter project: 2014 Equal Writes Campaign will be used to pay women writers.

At every pledge level, Shebooks offers rewards, including a Shebooks subscription, a chance to get your own original work published in an upcoming Girl Power anthology, an “EQUAL WRITES” T-shirt, a night out with Shebooks authors, author visits to your book club, the opportunity to have a protagonist named after you in an upcoming book, and more.

Shebooks has already published over 40 original books by top authors and journalists. Shebooks authors include international bestselling author Hope Edelman, New York Times-bestselling author Caroline
Leavitt, former Deputy Editor of Essence Teresa Wiltz, founder of Ms. Magazine Suzanne Braun Levine, and National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart.

Shebooks can be purchased individually for $2.99 or by subscription.

I hope you’ll consider donating to them. Women need to have a voice, and publishing is a great way to have our voices be heard.



I also found this post by co-founder Laura Fraser inspiring and informative:

Not enough women are able to get their work published today—even the best women writers. Almost three-quarters of the bylines in leading print and digital publications belong to men. At Shebooks.net, we’ve decided to do something about this problem: Publish more stories by women. We’ve launched the Equal Writes Campaign to raise money to publish great reads by as many women writers as possible in 2014.

I’m the Editorial Director and co-founder of Shebooks.net, which publishes short e-books by and for women. I’ve been a journalist and author for 30 years, and while I’ve been relatively successful—one of my books was a NYT bestseller—I’ve experienced how increasingly difficult it is to be published. One of my cofounders, Peggy Northrop, has been the editor-in-chief of four magazines, and a senior editor at many more, and she’s seen the space for women’s writing shrink and shrink. Getting published is difficult for everyone, of course, as content has been considered free on the Internet, and publishers are putting all their money into their top earners and basically ignoring the rest. But it’s particularly hard for women.

Why is that? It’s a complicated question, having to do with both socialization and sexism. On the one hand, we have what people call the “confidence gap,” where women are reluctant to pitch to magazines–they don’t have the sense that their work is worthy. And there has been some research that shows that if women do pitch, if they are turned down, they tend to personalize that, and think, “the magazine doesn’t want me,” whereas men might think, “they answered my email; I’ll nail it next time.”

But the other factor is plain old sexism. It’s still very much a boys’ club, where male editors tend to trust male writers because they’re part of the tribe. I’ve been in the writers’ collective called the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto for 15 years, for instance, and I’ve seen equally talented men and women approach male editors at top-shelf magazines, and guys get the upper hand. I’ve had many personal instances of sexism in my career. One recent one was when an editor on a panel was describing a story in Italy he was considering. I approached him and said I’d like to pitch him on it–I speak fluent Italian and know Italy well. His immediate response was, “Oh, I was kind of looking for a science guy.” He automatically assumed I don’t write about science–which I have done, quite a bit–which is not what he might have assumed about a guy. And, well, a guy would have had the “guy” part of his remark down. Now, if you asked that editor if he was sexist and if he felt women should be equally published, he’s a nice liberal guy who would have said “of course,” and would have had no inkling of his deeper prejudices. Now, maybe it had to do with me and my writing. That’s certainly a possibility. But his answer seemed automatic. (I did persist and check out the story, calling Italian journalist friends to get the scoop, and it turned out to not be the story the editor thought it was.)

Shebooks wants to change inequities in publishing by giving great women writers a platform. We want to raise their visibility not only to our own readers but to other publications.
My partners and I—the third is Rachel Greenfield, who was the EVP of Martha Stewart Publishing–have been excited by the explosion of digital media, which is giving readers new ways to find compelling stories. And we’re pleased to see writers find fresh ways to work and make money outside the usual channels.

But even on these new media platforms, the problem has persisted that female authors, journalists, editors—and ultimately female readers—are being shut out of the revolution. Innovative digital publishing companies led by men and publishing mostly male writers are getting lots of investment and attention. But we know that women are voracious readers in every format—buying the majority of books and magazines and reading (and writing) the majority of blogs.

So we decided not to wait for our invitation to the party. Shebooks.net was the result: a new media format, real money for writers (our writers all share in our profits), and engaging stories that women can’t wait to read, that fit the corners of their busy lives. We’ve been amazed at the quality of writing we’ve been able to publish.

We hope lots of readers and writers will join our Equal Writes Campaign. We publish mainly seasoned writers, but if you’re an aspiring writer, you can pledge at our $35 level and one of our editors will take a look at your manuscript—for possible inclusion in a Shebooks anthology.

Please spread the word—and thanks so much!

Laura Fraser
co-founder, Shebooks

Please pledge to join our Equal Writes campaign! http://kck.st/1kbVVz7

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25. Ralph McQuarrie Coffee Table Book Featured on Kickstarter

Are you a fan of Ralph McQuarrie's artwork for the original Star Wars film trilogy? Over the years, he has also created pieces outside of Star Wars. Dreams and Visions Press hopes to raise $50,000 for their coffee table book, The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: ARCHIVES. The executives at this publishing house intend to feature "a career-spanning retrospective of Ralph McQuarrie’s non-Star Wars artwork" with this book. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: "The Art of Ralph McQuarrie: ARCHIVES contains examples of Ralph's work in each of the following areas: Early technical illustration, movie posters, book covers, film and television production, other commercial illustration and a selection of personal pieces. In many cases we have examples of work that demonstrate Ralph's process, from his tiniest thumbnails to larger sketches, color comps and ultimately his finished paintings." continued...

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