Cash and Carrie Comic Successfully Kickstarted

A Kickstarter project from an ex-comics industry executive and some independent comic creators recently surpassed its $3600 goal since starting May 1; this project is the diversity-focused, all-ages mystery book Cash and Carrie.

“Who doesn’t love mysteries?” said co-creator and head of the Kickstarter campaign Shawn Pryor via Skype interview.

Cash and Carrie is a comic book about Dallas Cash, a young black boy ready to believe in the supernatural, and Inez Carrie, a young Latina girl who is more of a skeptic, according to the Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter campaign’s goal of $3600 aims to pay for the printing of special edition copies of an issue containing a 12-page story, which was previously released in limited supply at a convention, a bonus four-page story, and more listed on the project’s page.

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Image from Crowntaker Studios

The more money one puts into the campaign, the bigger their backer reward becomes, starting with a $5 pledge that nets a digital copy of the comic and a signed post-card, all the way up to a $100 pledge that nets a lot more, like a personalized art commission from Martheus Wade.

The story is inspired by X-Files, Scooby-Doo, and Fillmore, the last of which something Pryor really appreciates as a fun, all-ages show with a black lead, he said.

“I knew I wanted a black lead, but I also wanted a positive black lead,” said Pryor, a black man himself.

Pryor came up with the initial idea himself and then sought out a writer and artist, finding Giullie Speziani and Penny from Penny Candy Studios. Both of these folks are given co-creator descriptors on the Kickstarter page.

“I knew how I wanted [the characters] to sound, but I wanted someone who is able to write all-ages,” said Pryor.

Giullie Speziani has worked on a variety of self-published comic books like Golden Age, a post-World War II comic starring a young girl, and By the Slice, a slice-of-life book about working at a pizza shop starring another female protagonist, according to the books’ respective ComiXology pages.

Other than her body of work, Speziani finds that the kids in her life help her to be able to write an all-ages book like Cash and Carrie, she said via Skype interview.

“It’s great for kids to be able to relate to more people,” Speziani said.

Speziani has never worked from someone else’s idea before, nor has she ever worked for an editor, but that is the position she found herself in.

“It was a good first experience,” she said.

Pryor keeps a check on Speziani’s work and doesn’t do any writing himself, acting as a sort of editor.

“Shawn gives me the free range to come up with ideas for future issues,” she said.

What was the most exciting moment working on Cash and Carrie for Speziani? Seeing her writing visualized for the first time thanks to Penny’s illustrations.

“It was like a Christmas gift,” she said.

Penny is a comics and cartoon artist who has worked on projects like the webcomic Witchlette.  Her work can be checked out on pennycandystudios.net.

“Cash and Carrie is far less pink than my typical work, haha!” said Penny via email interview.

Penny was “incredibly excited” to be contacted by Shawn to draw Cash and Carrie, she said. Her illustrations have an impact on the characterization, like that of the technology-loving Cash.

“I wanted Cash to be kind of hipster-cool, a mixture of modern and quirky styles. He likes nerdy graphic tees paired with his signature green blazer,” said Penny.

Carrie also became a more fleshed out character thanks to Penny.

“Carrie’s style is more conventional for a girl her age, but she has a signature look too with her scarf and hairbow. She prefers clothes that are easy to move around in and adds her personal touches with accessories,” said Penny.

As the Kickstarter page catalogues, Pryor tested out the comic at a convention, printing out 25 copies for sale; all of these copies sold out the first day. The first customers were two young boys who loved it, said Pryor.

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Variant Cover from Shauna Grant; Image from Crowntaker Studios

“They just raved about it for ten minutes!” said Pryor.

The plan for Cash and Carrie after the Kickstarter is done with is to shoot for a bi-annual, 48-page comic that contains two stories and pin-ups, said Pryor. Cash and Carrie will be available digitally on ComiXology, Amazon, iBooks, Google-Play, and any library that wishes to order it, he assured.

Cash and Carrie is being released under the banner of “Crowntaker Studios,” something Pryor created alongside this Kickstarter. He explained the name comes from his goal of getting creators to chase success and stand out.

After all, the comics industry is lacking in the personality Pryor appreciates in the realm of hip-hop, according to him.

“I really feel a need for not just diversity on the page, but diversity on the stage,” said Pryor.

The Kickstarter page can be accessed here. It ends on June 10 at 11:59 AM.

Check out Matt’s digital portfolio here.