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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Kickstarter, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Button Poetry Live Show Series Featured on Kickstarter

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2. KidLit’ers Help Needed! – Wizard Pickles by Author-Illustrator Chuck Whelon

One of the newer ways for self-publishing authors to get their books out is to start a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. I have helped to fund a couple of these ventures, but never tried to help a book by posting about it here at Kid Lit Reviews.

Well, today I am actually going to do just that. Traditionally published children’s author, Chuck Whelon (Dover Publications, Simon & Schuster, Michael O’Mara Books, SKODA Man Press), and winner of the 2002 Web Cartoonists’ Choice Award for Best Fantasy Comics (The Weird Worlds of Pewfell Porfingles), is publishing a story/puzzle book called Wizard Pickles (which will be reviewed soon). Here is the Kickstarter video about Wizard Pickles:

Wizard Pickles tells the story of young Mazie Pickles and her Aunt Wilma. Aunt Wilma works as a wizard at the local castle. Well, she did, until angering Queen Blackthorne, who is set to award the Golden Cup at the annual Picklefest. For one, Aunt Wilma has lost her wand, which was found by pickle gnomes. The pickle gnomes had a glorious time using the magical wand to reek havoc throughout the village. Now, Mazie needs to help her aunt retrieve the wand before anything worse should happen (hint:  it does!)

Every page in Wizard Pickles is filled with different picture puzzles for readers to solve. They range from simple search-and-find activities to muddling mazes, cryptic codes, and complex logic problems that will keep you baffled for many hours of puzzling fun! More than a puzzle book, Wizard Pickles contains a mystery story that runs throughout the whole book.

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Chuck is looking for a total of $1000, meager by Kickstarter standards. The campaign is open until September 17th and offers many perks to those who pledge from $5 to $500.

WP_00_FrontCover_800px_noBleedWhat I have always liked about Kickstarter book campaigns is the opportunity to help wonderful authors and books you can believe in, and help the book travel from conception to publication. As with Wizard Pickles, most book campaigns give you enough information that you can discern the story and the illustrations, getting a good idea if this is a book you would want your children or students to read. For a small $5—less than a cup of Starbucks coffee—you can help a deserving author’s dream come true.

Here are the Fund “Rewards”
Pledge of $5 or more – a PDF eBook of Wizard Pickles
Pledge of $20 or more – the above, plus a Hardback edition of Wizard Pickles (PDF offers endless solving of the puzzles!)
Pledge of $35 or more – all the above, plus your name (or any name you choose) on the Dedication page of Wizard Pickles
Pledge of $50 – all the above, plus a copy of Chuck’s original game Legitimacy* (Minion Games $40.00)

The “rewards” increase from there. To see them all, and to read more about Wizard Pickles and Chuck Whelon’s plans for publication, go to the Kickstarter link below:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whelon/wizard-pickles-puzzle-adventure-book

Chuck explained to me that many publishers loved Wizard Pickles, but when the book got to the marketing department, they had a difficult time categorizing his book and this makes any traditional publication all but dead. So Chuck did what any author who truly believes kids will love their book does:  He found a way to get it published.

BIG CVER

*LEGITIMACY
“The kingdom of Legitimant is in turmoil. The old king has died, leaving no legitimate heir… He has, however, left several illegitimate ones.

“Since you were an infant, your mother has told you of the royal blood that runs in your veins. Now the time has come for you and your trusty animal sidekick to set out on an epic quest to fulfil your destiny and claim the throne that is your birthright.

“Whether you choose to follow a path of righteousness or use every dirty trick in the book, you’ll need nerve, cunning and just a little luck as you assemble an assortment of strange creatures and magical objects to out-maneuver and overpower your rivals and prove that you are, indeed, the one true heir of Legitimacy!” [website]

Legitimacy is a fast-paced board game for 2—6 players, who fight to claim their birthright as heir to the throne of a magical kingdom.

chuckheadshot2Chuck explains the game’s creation like this,

“I created and designed the game as a showcase for my illustration and graphic design skills, and as something strategic and fun to play with my 8 year-old son which would not give me a competitive advantage!! It is fun to play and has a unique mechanic where your character can switch from being good to evil, or vice-versa.”

Chuck Whelon is a proficient author and illustrator of many children’s books, comics, and games. Below is a sampling.

Traditionally Published by Chuck Whelon
Where’s Santa?
Where’s the Penguin (in multiple languages)
Word Play: Write Your Own Crazy Comics (also many other editions)
What to Doodle?
Alien Invasion!
Create Your Own Monsters Sticker Activity Book
The Comic Book Guide to the Mission
           . . . and many more, including
Games Published by Minion Games
Legitimacy
Those Pesky Humans
Battle Merchants
Tahiti
         . . . and many more
Comic Book Series
Pewfell
Trogs
Rooftops

⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓Now you have the total scoop!⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓

HELP WIZARD PICKLES MAKE IT TO PUBLICATION.
Even a small $5 pledge goes a long way in this Kickstarter book campaign!

BookAnima_02

Book size: 17″ x 11″ — 26 pages (12 full-color spreads)

Wizard Pickles Kickstarter Campaign Link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/whelon/wizard-pickles-puzzle-adventure-book

Read more about the Kickstarter Campaign:  https://www.patreon.com/cartoon?ty=h

Here area few ways you can connect with Chuck Whelon.
Website:  http://whelon.com/
Blog:  http://whelon.com/blog/
Blogger:  http://wizardsofur.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/pewfell
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/chuck.whelon
Linked In:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/whelon
Amazon Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Chuck-Whelon/e/B0036Q6OQO

Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators:  http://www.scbwi.org/members-public/chuck-whelon
National Cartoonists Society:  http://www.reuben.org/members/
Wikiwand:  http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Chuck_Whelon

Comics Sites:  http://www.stripamatic.com/~pewfell/whelon/  —  http://www.pewfell.com/  —  http://comicfury.com/comicprofile.php?url=pewfell  —  http://tapastic.com/chuck

whelon drawing.

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Ask Chuck any question you might have:  chuck@whelon.com

 

 

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Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

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Full Disclosure: Text and illustrations of Wizard Pickles copyright © 2015 by Chuck Whelon, and received from Author/Illustrator/Publisher, Check Whelon for promotional purposes.


Filed under: Author Spotlight, Children's Books, Comics, Digital Book, For Writers, HELP!, Illustrator Spotlight, Picture Book, Special Event Tagged: Chuck Whelon, Kickstarter, Legitamacy, traditionally published children's author/illustrator, Wizard Pickles

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3. Five Online Animated Series Nominated for Streamy Awards

The Streamys will be televised for the first time ever next month.

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4. Mandolin History Book Featured on Kickstarter

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5. Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location

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

1 Comments on Flame Con announces 2016 return: twice as long, new location, last added: 8/26/2015
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6. Crowd Watch: Mike Dawson’s Rules For Dating My Daughter

A new day a new Kickstarter but this one is notable: a collection of comics essays by Mike Dawson called Rules For Dating My Daughter. Although the book will contain new material, som of it originally ran on The Comics Journal, Slate Magazine, and The Nib. Here's one from The Nib which we admired before, "Longstreet Farm." Dawson's take on things is very funny but he spend a lot of time asking a lot of questions:

1 Comments on Crowd Watch: Mike Dawson’s Rules For Dating My Daughter, last added: 8/26/2015
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7. Pedal Zombies on Kickstarter

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8. Creative Commons Launches Kickstarter Campaign for a Book

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9. Kickstarter Spotlight: Supreme Team Takes on the Rise of Hip-Hop and Drug-Culture

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

0 Comments on Kickstarter Spotlight: Supreme Team Takes on the Rise of Hip-Hop and Drug-Culture as of 8/4/2015 7:33:00 PM
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10. Nigel Sussman’s Illustrated A to Z of Things

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Illustrator Nigel Sussman is developing a really cool book project, and he needs your help!

“I am calling the project Alphabet Compendium; An Illustrated A-Z of Things. It will be an extensive illustrated alphabet book of objects. For each of the twenty-six letters there will be a visual representation creating an organic composition devoted to each character; even the color choices correspond with their respective letters. The entire book is basically a giant visual alliteration.”

Support Nigel’s project on Kickstarter here.

 

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11. Review: The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet

I totally loved this book. This sucked me in from the opening sentence and still has not let me go. The moment I finished I started missing all the characters straight away and want to get back to this universes as quickly as possible. This is science fiction at its best; expansive, alien, full of […]

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12. Could You Hug a Cactus? Book Featured on Kickstarter

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13. How To Make Crowdfunding Sustainable For Comics

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

5 Comments on How To Make Crowdfunding Sustainable For Comics, last added: 8/19/2015
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14. MATT CHATS: Wolves of Summer Creators on Kickstarter, Collaboration and the Hitler Youth

It truly is a new Golden Age of comics, not just because of the fantastic output from such publishers as Image, Fantagraphics, Oni, etc., but also because of how many great comics are going unnoticed. The market is brimming with material that has gone largely undiscovered. I experienced that in a big way with Shawn […]

0 Comments on MATT CHATS: Wolves of Summer Creators on Kickstarter, Collaboration and the Hitler Youth as of 8/19/2015 6:22:00 AM
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15. Interactive Story App on Kickstarter

Sarah Towle is trying to raise $40,000 for her company Time Traveler Tours & Tales to build an interactive story app that gives a tour of historic Florence through Mary Hoffman’s Tale of Renaissance Giants: Michelangelo & David.

The app guides tourists through an interactive first-person story that is based on true events from 16th century Florence, Italy.

Here is more about the project from the Kickstarter page:

In the Footsteps of Giants StoryAppTour, to be developed for iPhone, transports you to the streets of old Florence. You’ll feel as if you are there–a witness to history–as you watch one of the greatest artists of all time carve one of the most iconic sculptures in world history. Through immersive, high context games and activities, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the time and place in which Michelangelo lived and worked, interacting not just with your device, but with your companions and, most importantly, your surroundings.

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16. ... or Something Like That


Son Marc and his good buddy Travis are working together on an awesome and gigantically ambitious project. And guess what? YOU CAN HELP! Watch this video and then click this magic link - http://tinyurl.com/q529x4g

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17. MATT CHATS: Tyler James on the ComixTribal Magic

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

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

The Standard Ultimate Collection Kickstarter is going great!

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

Image0

Art by Jonathan Rector

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have you considered adding revenue streams like advertising or sponsorships?

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

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

ComixTribe Revenue Streams 2015(1)

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

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

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

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

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

What are your other priorities?

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

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

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

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

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

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Art by Alex Cormack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Art by Alex Cormack

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

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Art by Caio Oliveira

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

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Art by Joe Mulvey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But that’s not the endgame for me.

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

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

How do you plan on continuing to grow ComixTribe?

One reader, shop, and creator at a time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And I see the roadmap…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How is ComixTribe going to do all this?

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

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

So, just watch.


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

0 Comments on MATT CHATS: Tyler James on the ComixTribal Magic as of 6/23/2015 6:24:00 PM
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18. Tales of the Wolfman on Kickstarter

David Gruba is hoping to raise $5000 on Kickstarter for Tales of the Wolfman, a collection of comics and art that gives new life to some classic children’s tales and comic books.

The 48-page anthology, which includes contributions from various artists, reimagines Little Red Riding Hood based on the premise that the wolf marries Red Riding Hood.

Here is more from the Kickstarter listing: “But in this case, the Wolf is a Wolfman. In this all-ages series, writer David Gruba and artist Rene Castellano play with the possibilities of Wolf and Red’s uncommon pairing by blending Universal Monsters with Fairy Tale Classics. The series, so far, consists of Bride of the Wolfman, House of the Wolfman, Feast of the Wolfman and Time of the Wolfman.”

 

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19. Jamal Igle talks Molly Danger, Supergirl, and overcoming failure

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Jamal Igle didn’t expect to receive the support he got when he decided to work on his creator owned project, Molly Danger. Igle raised $50,329 to self publish the first installment of the story about the world’s most powerful 10-year-old girl. Kickstarter comics were booming in 2012, and a lot of industry favorties like Igle were making a lot of money and giving the fans something different. Igle tried to repeat the success in May but fell short. He admitted on his Facebook page (and in this very interview) there were a number of reasons that the project wasn’t successful, but that didn’t stop him.

He’s back but with a manageable goal, great incentives, and has passed the halfway mark in the project’s second week. Click here to check out the project yourself.

Igle took some time from his busy schedule to discuss latest attempt to fund his labor of love. There are a number of dope-ass incentives: personalized commissions, be a character in the book, original art and so much more. We talked about why he’s decided to take Molly Danger from the graphic novel format to a regular schedule, his reaction to CW’s Supergirl show, how his frank political discussions on Facebook affect his Kickstarter campaign, what the unsuccessful campaign did to his ego and why that didn’t stop him from launching another Kickstarter initiative.

Henry Barajas: I just want to start off by saying you look great. Every time I see you in person or online you seem to be shrinking. What’s your secret and has major the weight loss helped you with your art?

Jamal Igle: Mostly, it’s been a combination of changes in both my overall diet and getting almost daily exercise. I run 5-6 days a week, five miles a day. I still have my little indulgences, but I’ve cut out a lot of the processed food I was eating. I don’t eat at any restaurant where the kids meal comes in a box with a toy, so no McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s etc. unless I don’t have another option. No fruit juice, cow’s milk and very little fried food. I also changed my schedule drastically. I used to, like many comic artists, work primarily at night, staying up sometimes until 4 am but now I make sure that I stick to a strict schedule. I’m awake at 5 am, I run for an hour, I have breakfast and see the family off and I work from 9 am until 6 pm or so. I’m in bed by 11 pm, and just doing that has improved my health, my art has improved and I get more done during the day.

Art courtesy of Jamal Igle.

Art courtesy of Jamal Igle.

HB: What looked like a recipe for success, your last attempt to crowdfund the second installment of Molly Danger fell short. I’m glad you didn’t let that stop you. How did you process that set back on a personal and professional level? What did you learn from your first attempt, the unsuccessful project,  and what are you doing differently this time around?

JL: I would be lying if I’d said it didn’t sting a bit. There were a few times during the campaign where I thought about canceling it, because at a certain point it was clear that it wasn’t getting the traction I needed for it to be successful. It was an ambitious idea, to do both the physical book and the audiobook together but it became clear that the audiobook wasn’t as much of a draw as I would have hoped for it to be. I really had to put my ego aside though, and look at the bigger picture. The most important thing to me is telling the story, telling the story of Molly Danger and her world.

HB: I think an audiobook would be great for blind fans or families on long road trips. Have you scrapped the idea completely?

JL: No, I haven’t. We’re still trying to make it happen and if the campaign gets funded in a way that makes it viable it will become a stretch goal.

HB: I’ve noticed that Facebook is a good tool for promoting your Kickstarter projects; however, my feed is full of politics, black folks getting harassed by the police (or worse) and other social injustices. How do you stick out while respecting the world around you? I know you’re not afraid to speak your mind on topical issues, but has that affected your campaign?

JL: It may have but not in any noticeable way. I used to be afraid that my very vocal stances would drive fans away from my Facebook page, Twitter, etc. However, I started to meet fans who were following me online because I can be very outspoken about politics and social issues. Some people do it because they agree, others because they disagree and want to argue with me and some do it just to see me rail on comic book movies and argue with me about the Man of Steel (laughs).  I do, however, attempt to always be respectful in my engagements and I try to present some well researched facts. It doesn’t always work, I can get angry occasionally and just like everyone I’ve been fooled by a meme online. I’m also not afraid to play bouncer if I see a thread getting out of hand, since I do try to keep the conversation as civil as possible and I think people respect that.

HB: I find it interesting that you’re going from the graphic novel format to a bi-monthly ongoing series. How did you come to this decision?

JL: That all starts with plans that have been set in motion with Action Lab for the connected superhero universe we’re doing, “The Actionverse”, which launches during Halloween Comicfest this year. This something we’ve been developing for over a year, all of the scripts are written, artwork is in various stages of completion. Molly is a big part of the Actionverse and originally it was just going to be the Book Two graphic album.

The thing is, after the campaign failed, I had to really figure out what the best approach to making Molly a character people could get behind was and part of it was to make Molly come out on a more consistent basis. I have at least a decade’s worth of Molly stories written down in various books in my studio. So now the plan is to do each six issue as a “season”. One of my concerns was to be able to continue the hardcover format of the first book, and after talking to Action Lab, we’ve decided that instead of the traditional monthly comic book size of 6.5 x 8 inches, we’re going to make the Molly series “Golden Age” size, 7.5x 10.5 inches. Every two issues will be collected as a new hardcover and each season will be collected as a trade.

Doing the series in this manner actually allows me to expand the story more. I’m expanding Molly’s world a bit more with new characters and character dynamics that I didn’t have room for in the original outline for the miniseries.

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HB: What kind of reaction have received from Molly Danger fans? How is it different from your freelance work like Supergirl?

JL: On a personal front, it’s been truly heartwarming. The first book has been in circulation for a while and I have kids, particularly girls who come to my table at shows to tell me how much they love the book. It’s extremely satisfying in a way that working on and being recognized for drawing a character like Supergirl doesn’t match. Working for a DC or Marvel is fun work and I clearly enjoy doing projects for larger publishers, but it’s essentially brand management and there has to be a  professional distance when working on those characters. Molly is mine, I feel a pride and a fatherly protectiveness about how she’s portrayed in other people’s books. So far with everything we’ve been doing behind the scenes getting ready for 2016, every writer has embraced my view of Molly.

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HB: Speaking of the Girl in Blue, how does it feel to see that your work inspiring the upcoming television series? Were you consulted or approached by the CW or DC Entertainment?

JL: It’s pretty flattering, and a bit of a validation that Sterling Gates and I had a vision of the character that could potentially reach a mass audience. I wasn’t consulted, although it would be fun to be involved at some point, and it’s purely ego, of course, but I’d love to see them do Bizarrogirl at some point.

Click here to support the ongoing Molly Danger series.

1 Comments on Jamal Igle talks Molly Danger, Supergirl, and overcoming failure, last added: 7/2/2015
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20. Small Press Expo Featured On Kickstarter

The organizers behind the St. Louis Small Press Expo have hope to raise $2,500.00 on Kickstarter. Over 60 vendors and small presses will participate in this event. We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “The St. Louis Small Press Expo (SPEx) celebrates all these publishers (and more) by connecting them together, and to the public. It hosts a yearly – daring, sparkly, diverse, badass, free-entry – DIY bookfair. In 2014, the event featured 44 publishers and had over 400 guests.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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21. Margaret Atwood to Create Cartoons For a Comics Anthology

Margaret AtwoodAward-winning author Margaret Atwood has become well-known for writing novels, short stories, and children’s books. Now, she will also add “comics artist” to her résumé.

Atwood has agreed to produce artwork for an anthology called The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. According to the Kickstarter page for this book, she “will be contributing her own drawn cartoons detailing her personal experiences as a young woman, created specifically for this project.”

Publisher Hope Nicholson describes this book as a collection of dating and love stories from both the fans and creatives behind video games, comic books, and science-fiction works. To date, this crowdfunding campaign has received more than $60,000 in donations; the initial fundraising goal was set at around $30,000. (via Entertainment Weekly)

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22. eSpec Books on Kickstarter

eSpec Books is trying to raise $4000 on Kickstarter to produce a superhero anthology flip book.

The Side of Good…The Side of Evil – A Flipbook Anthology indulges readers in the point of views of both the hero and the villain. The collection features the work of comic book artists James M. Ward, Bryan J.L. Glass, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Aaron Rosenberg, Robert Greenberger, James Chambers, Janine K. Spendlove, Gail Z. Martin, Kathleen David, and John L. French. Here is more from the project’s Kickstarter page:

Superheroes inspire us to be more than we can be, and on the flip side, Supervillains are reminders of the potential for darkness within us all. We are super-excited to bring you this collection looking at the best and worst that mankind is capable of.

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23. ReadThisNext App Featured on Kickstarter

Dani and Elisha hope to raise $25,000 on Kickstarter. The funds will be used to develop a new book discovery app called “ReadThisNext.” We’ve embedded a video about the project above.

Here’s more from the Kickstarter page: “ReadThisNext provides ‘expert’ recommendations — books are recommended to you by authors. When you follow an author you’ll get notified when they endorse, or ‘blurb’ a book, or their own book is released. We want to foster the connection between readers and authors to give authors more control over how their books are discovered.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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24. Kickstarter Offers a Humble Bundle Deal

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25. Adult Coloring Books Featured on Kickstarter

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