Category Archives: Crowdfunding

The Return of Sam Glanzman’s Combat (with Walter Simonson)

It’s Alive has launched the Kickstarer campaign to bring back the first issue of Combat by Sam Glanzman, and they need your support to make it happen! This issue of Combat tells the story of Dunkirk from WWII, and will offer a limited edition cover illustrated by Walter Simonson! There will only be 100 unsigned copies, and 50 signed copies, of the limited edition Simonson cover available. Your pledge will help get Sam Glanzman’s actual comic books back on the shelves of comic book shops, for long-time fans to rediscover, and new fans to enjoy for the first time!

Welcome to Quickstarter, Your Source for Comics Crowdfunding Coverage

As crowdfunding sites become an increasingly popular and accessible option for independent creators looking to launch their next big project, the absence of consistent coverage of crowdfunding projects becomes even more glaring.

Big name projects may pick up an interview or a write up here and there, but if you’re a creator looking to promote your work, or even a reader looking for interesting books to back, where can you turn for a round-up of interesting projects, reports on campaign fulfillment progress, interviews with creators, or even information on how to launch a campaign of your own down the line?

Starting today, we want it to be Graphic Policy.

Quickstarter will feature a regular round-up of current projects, progress reports, and down the line, interviews with creators both about their current campaigns and about how they make their campaigns a success. Creators interested in a review of their campaign can e-mail CK Stewart at quickstarter [at] ckstewart [dot] com.

For curious minds, here’s what we’re looking for beyond just a compelling story concept:

How reasonable is the goal? If this is a creator’s first crowdfunding campaign and they’re asking for upwards of $25,000, we’ll check into their previous work and only recommend it if they seem to have a big enough audience to meet the goal.

What’s the best pledge tier? Are digital deliveries of the completed book only starting at $25? With so many excellent campaigns running, we bet we can find you two future digital books for $30. Is a campaign promising extra cute add-ons for just a dollar or two more than the pdf? We’ll give you a heads up.

What is their track record? If the team’s past campaigns are consistently late, or they have outstanding items undelivered after a year past the promised date, it might be worth giving the campaign a pass.

Quickstarter will begin with at least a monthly round-up, but ideally offer round-ups of campaigns on the first and second Friday of each month. Currently the focus is exclusively on comics, but as time allows we may also try to feature campaigns for other media.

Crowdfunding has been a vital path to publishing for creators from marginalized communities in particular, and has produced incredible works like The Other Side anthology or the beautiful print edition of Sophie Campbell’s Shadoweyes through Iron Circus.

But it can be hard to keep up with all of the new projects cropping up each day — and that’s where Graphic Policy wants to help potential backers find new creators to support, or help creators find a potential new audience. Creators, send information about your projects to quickstarter [at] ckstewart [dot] com — we look forward to sharing the first round up soon!

The Forbidden Chamber: An Interview with Sarah Searle About Gothic Tales of Haunted Love

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cover art by Leslie Doyle, logo by Dylan Todd

Sarah Searle brings a new twist to the gothic genre and an old tale in her story for Bedside Pressanthology Gothic Tales of Haunted Love. A fundraising campaign is currently running on Kickstarter and you can read more about it in this previous article.

Searle’s story, “Ladies of the Lake”, is Searle’s “spin on the classic Bluebeard tale, incorporating some Arthurian themes over a setting of spooky 1920s Wales.”

The new themes and setting is one twist Searle gives this source material, but this story is even a slight departure for Searle herself. “I’ve done a good amount of historical fiction at this point, but I’m allowing myself to stylize it and go a bit darker this time, which sets it apart from my past works that focus more on research.”

Although Searle hasn’t “read anything from that time period [the 1970s gothic romance comics that inspired this anthology]”, she is “a great lover of gothic literature and romance comics, so it was a natural fit!”

It was such a good fit, in fact, that she “had this story already written, just waiting for the perfect home. ‘Ladies of the Lake’ references some of [her] favorite books, including Northanger Abbey, so [she pays] homage to [her] own inspirations as well.”

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“Ladies of the Lake” by Searle

Searle elaborates on her love of Northanger Abbey: “Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey is a delightful play on the gothic romance genre back when it was much fresher, which is an enjoyable read.”

But Northanger Abbey isn’t her only gothic inspiration, as Searle explains: “I also love Terry Pratchett’s Carpe Jugulum for a healthy dose of vampire romance. I suppose I’m drawn more toward humorous, satirical approaches these days, but I can’t help but love taking it seriously sometimes, too.”

And Searle doesn’t just create and read gothic stories–she plays them too, as she explains: “My D&D group recently finished the Curse of Strahd campaign and I really enjoyed seeing the romance and drama unfold amongst the NPCs.”  

When discussing Hope Nicholson and Sam Beiko, the two editors in charge of the anthology, Searle had nothing but good things to say: “I haven’t worked directly with Sam before but she’s had great feedback for my script, and Hope is always super on top of the business side.”

Having worked with NIcholson on The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, Searle had already experienced Nicholson’s business acumen.  In particular, she commented on how “everyone in publishing is so busy all the time, which often means (understandably) long waits on emails, so [she] extra appreciate[s] how quick they’ve been with communication.”

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The Secret Loves of Geek Girls Kickstarter Edition Art by Gisele Lagace and Shouri

Searle offers one last word on the Gothic Tales anthology itself: “I’m especially excited for the comic my friend Hien Pham is working on, about a man who gets help from a friendly ghost during the Vietnam War”, a comic covered in this interview with Pham.

But this anthology isn’t the only place to see Searle’s work.  Much of her work can be seen on her website, www.swinsea.com.  Searle is passionate about her site, putting in the same effort in designing it as she would her comics, saying, “I started it back when I was a new media major learning coding and web design, and I don’t know if I could ever leave it behind. It’s like I’ve built this time capsule that tracks my whole career.”

She continues to express her passion for her site: “I keep it mostly for myself, but I do see that it gets regular traffic, and I like knowing people can get a taste of my work even while I’m toiling away on books that won’t see the light of day for years to come. Plus the accessibility of webcomics has been so important to me, I try to put as much out there as possible.

As seen in the images above, both the anthology piece and the pieces posted on her website, Searle avoids extensive cross hatching and weighing her work down with unnecessary details.  

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Searle’s “Ruined” from Oni Press/Rosy Press’s Fresh Romance

Part of this comes from her many inspirations.  While “it changes all the time,” Searle lately has “been studying the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Jillian Tamaki in particular”, artists known for conveying much emotion and story in few lines.

As Searle herself says, “’I’m very story-focused so my art ends up on the minimalist side, and I want to learn from artists like [Miyazaki and Tamaki] who seem to really understand just how much detail is needed in a character design or environment to convey meaningful nuance.”

Reflecting on “Ladies of Lake” and her other work Searle concludes, “I’m proud of all the comics I’ve made for various reasons, but I’m also generally pretty happy to leave them in the past. I learn so much from every project I do, even the small ones. Even if I don’t feel confident about the quality of story or art anymore, I’m proud of myself from making them so I could grow into the better storyteller that I am today –– and still growing, I hope!”

Anyone interested in more of Searle’s work can follow her on Twitter and study her online portfolio while waiting for Gothic Tales to release!

 

CJ Standal is no stranger to Kickstarter, having run a successful Kickstarter for his comic Rebirth of the Gangster, for sale as a print copy or an ebook now!  Find out more about him at cjstandalproductions.com.

Advent Comics’ Titan the Ultra Man #2 Kickstarter Launches

That’s right, Titan the Ultra Man is back in Titan the Ultra Man #2! But Titan needs your help to get into print. Advent Comics has launched a Kickstarter to cover the expense of getting the book printed. They’re trying to raise $1,000.00 which will cover the cost of printing the book.

Titan the Ultra Man #2 picks up where the first issue left off with Titan defending Sky City from harm. In this issue, Titan encounters brand new allies (such as Giant and Porcelain Doll) and dangerous new villains like the evil Corporate Raiders, powerful Atom Smasher and brutal Mauler. And if that isn’t enough, Titan debuts his NEW COSTUME!

Even if you can’t suppor the Kickstarter, help spread the word. Reward packages are from $1 to $50. As little as ONE DOLLAR can help.

Stephan Franck’s Silver Kickstarter Gets a Second Comic

It’s been over 30 years since Professor Abraham Van Helsing visited Dracula’s castle. Now his descendent, the mysterious vampire hunter Rosalind Van Helsing, is teaming up with a ragtag group of con men for a high stakes heist to rob Europe’s richest vampires. Welcome to the world of Stephan Franck’s Silver, a globe-trotting graphic novel series that mashes up the world of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula with action, adventure, humor, pulp storytelling and modern sensibilities.

Having previously funded the first two volumes of Silver via Kickstarter, Franck and his company Dark Planet Comics has about a week left in its Kickstarter campaign to fund the third volume of Silver and help bring the first two volumes to a wider audience.

Sometimes, a story just wants to be told. It doesn’t care if you have other plans or an already busy schedule. It burns its way through your psyche until you have no choice but to just let it out into the world. And thus, this Kickstarter adds a new wrinkle (or comic in reality), Rosalynd. The graphic novel is a 244-page Hard cover one-shot which dives deeper into the Silver Universe.

Rosalynd is meta fiction not only expanding Franck’s world but also reflecting his family and its history, “wandering Jews” from Bessarabia–the East just beyond the East that Bram Stoker writes about—who fled across Europe.

 

Rosalynd is available in a couple of ways.

  • As its own pledge level $22 – Rosalynd (HC)
  • Part of a new bundle pledge $57 – Rosalynd (HC) + Silver Vol 1,2 & 3 (TPB)
  • As and add-on at survey time: TO ADD ROSALYND TO AN EXISTING PLEDGE, INCREASE YOUR EXISTING PLEDGE BY 21.99$ AND SELECT ROSALYND AS AN ADD-ON AT SURVEY TIME (additional shipping will apply at survey time–$6 domestic, $25 international

And check out some images below!

 

 

 

A Ghost of a Chance: An Interview with Hien Pham About Gothic Tales of Haunted Love

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Hien Pham brings a new twist to an old genre in his story for Bedside Pressanthology Gothic Tales of Haunted Love — an anthology and Kickstarter that you can find more information on in this previous article.

Pham’s story, “Minefield”, concerns “a young ghost in love with a young farmer whose home is under attack by a foreign troop during the later stages of the Vietnam war.”

Part of what makes this story unique, however, is that it draws on stories Pham’s parents–who grew up in Vietnam–would tell him. According to Pham, “This is the first time I have directly tapped into my parents’ war stories I grew up on. There has always been some sort of war-like, bigger forces and conflicts in my stories, but I haven’t done anything so close to the source material.“

Pham elaborates on this inspiration for “Minefield”:

The story that inspired Minefield was actually a precautionary myth of sorts: back then, if you weren’t conscripted into the American army in the day, and you weren’t conscripted into the Vietnamese army in the night, the next morning you’ll find your head on a spike. ‘Minefield’ originally was written to directly reference this ‘rock and a hard place’ position Vietnamese folks had to live through. After rewrites, the comic has lost some of this resemblance, but hopefully it’s still a good gothic romance nonetheless!”

Gothic Tales of Haunted Love draws inspiration from 1970s gothic romance comics, but Pham “wasn’t too familiar with the genre until [he] did [his] research to write [his] anthology submission!”

But perhaps this lack of familiarity is what led Pham to take such a personal and unique approach with his story:

“The stories from that era that I’m used to are simply horror stories from my parents who lived through the war. These stories are always human stories, myths, rumours, and precautions that were either passed down to my parents or actual life experiences they have lived through. Growing up in the Vietnamese culture has made me entirely too aware of the pain and horror their generation suffered. I wanted to take this chance to put a sweeter slightly-less-bitter spin to that.”

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Image Credit: from “Minefield” by Hien Pham (told entirely in Vietnamese)

In creating this story and trying to make it as authentic as possible, Pham decided to use Vietnamese instead of English (as seen in the above image).  

To explain this choice–telling a story in a different language than the one the target audience speaks and reads–Pham said,

This is a Vietnamese story. These are Vietnamese characters and for them to speak Vietnamese just rings true to me. In the process of writing the story. I made two different scripts: one with the dialogues in Vietnamese and one in English. There are tiny subtleties and nuances in the way they speak that scream Southern Vietnamese that are lost in translation. Some parts of the story change ever so slightly and feel less interesting when I have them speak English. To me, there’s just something that’s slightly more genuine and authentic when I let them speak Vietnamese.”

Pham adds in his trademark self-deprecating way, however, that he has “no idea if it works better or worse on the comic page, ahaha! That’s my challenge to solve!

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Image Credit: Hien Pham’s“The Young Giant” promo picture on Supanova Comic Con page

He elaborates on these concerns–and the second guessing almost any artist experiences in creating something new and personal:

“I am downright terrified, ahaha! I’m quite afraid of the fact that the readers can’t understand what the characters are saying which might put them off finishing the story altogether. I’m afraid that they can’t connect to the characters and find the story boorish and boring. I’m afraid that Vietnamese readers might read it and say I didn’t do it justice and they would rather read it in English anyway! I’m quite the paranoid person so I have millions and millions of worries in my head.”

Despite all these worries, though, Pham insists he is making the right choice:

“What makes it worth it is that it might just work as I intend it to. The language barrier emphasizes that this is specifically a Vietnamese story, not a romanticized vision told by anyone who hasn’t been on excursions to actual prisons where people were tortured and murdered since first grade. I wanted these Vietnamese characters to speak Vietnamese as a way to reclaim a tiny bit of my culture from everything that’s used it as exotic backdrop or tragedy porn. I’m hoping the the audience would be firmly aware of the cultural differences, yet still be able to emotionally invest in these characters, and find love, lost, hope, and dreams within them.”

Another benefit, he adds, is that creating the story this way presents a unique artistic challenge: “the classic ‘show don’t tell’. The story is practically wordless, so I will need to flex my storytelling muscles to get the emotive language across. I’m very excited to give it a good shot!”

Pham expressed his working relationship with Hope Nicholson and Sam Beiko the editors of the Gothic Tales anthology as very rewarding:

 

“I am a new face to the comic-making community in general and haven’t had much experience working with editors. They were very open to my ideas and gave me great advice and direction to go with the story. I wholly appreciate their trust in letting me do a foreign-language story and believing that I’ll have the skill to deliver it.”

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Image Credit: from Hien Pham’s “Float”

Nicholson is also well known for working with diverse creators on diverse stories, and there is one more part of Pham’s “Minefield” that aligns with this diversity: “Minefield” is also a love story between two men, something not frequently seen in mainstream comics.

And this focus on homosexuality is something Pham is looking to explore more of with Pham’s future work, It Will Be Hard, which has no release date yet–Pham says it will be coming out soon though.  Pham describes it is as a “lite choose-your-own gentle smut adventure about two men’s relationships with their bodies and with each other.”

He adds that he’s “still got a long way to go with [his] drawing skills and drawing this comics has been practically doing anatomy aerobatics!”

Other than improving his anatomy skills, Pham has found that working on It Will Be Hard has carried other benefits: “Making this comic has also made me look more into my own sexuality and the different ways I feel about my body and myself. It’s given me a lot to think about and a lot still to process but I can feel myself being more confident in my own skin the more I work on the comic.”

Anyone interested in Pham’s work can follow him on Twitter and his online portfolio!

 

CJ Standal is no stranger to Kickstarter, having run a successful Kickstarter for his comic Rebirth of the Gangster, for sale as a print copy or an ebook now!  Find out more about him at cjstandalproductions.com.

Watch the Crowdfunding Success Stories Panel from San Diego Comic-Con

I had the opportunity to moderate the Crowdfunding Success Stories panel at San Diego Comic-Con. Luckily ComicBlitz, who put the panel together, live streamed it. So, if you missed it you can catch the rather interesting panel with some great advice.

Hope Nicholson Talks Gothic Tales of Haunted Love

The summer might be almost half over, but Hope Nicholson and her imprint Bedside Press are just getting started on a Kickstarter for their new anthology Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, stories that will chill the blood even on the warmest night.  

Image Credits: “Gothic Tales of Haunted Love”

cover art by Leslie Doyle, logo by Dylan Todd

(click on link to see anthology credits and details)

Or in Nicholson’s words herself:  “If you like horror, you’ll like this book. If you like suspense you’ll like this book. But if you need happy endings, well….you might NOT like this book!”

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Image: Cover of a 1970s gothic romance comic; typical of the comics that inspired the anthology (not part of Gothic Tales of Haunted Love anthology)

The campaign itself started July 15 and ends on September 15.  After that point, the creators involved in the anthology have two months to finalize their stories before the anthology goes to print with January 2018 as the targeted delivery date.

Gothic Tales of Haunted Love, like Nicholson herself, has many inspirations.  It all started when she “was doing research for The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen [published by Quirk Books].”  She discovered the 1970s comic genre of gothic romance, and had one reaction: “They were thrilling! After spending days reading romance comics, which were entertaining but usually pretty formulaic, it was so great to read stories just as emotional but with a lot more unpredictability.”

Hope elaborates on her love for the genre, saying it’s “interesting because though it still had many stories of pale beauties on the moors and dastardly lords, it was also very campy and supernatural. Lots of demons, witchery and ghosts!”

Despite her interest in this genre, though, she did admit that it had one drawback: “[These stories] were still mostly focused on North American creators, white girls, and straight romances.”

For anyone familiar with Bedside Press and Hope Nicholson, it’s no surprise that this lack of diversity troubled her–in her own words, that lack of diversity is “boring for an anthology”–and it’s something she’s looking to fix with Gothic Tales of Haunted Love.

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Image Credits: from “Minefield” by Hien Pham (told entirely in Vietnamese)

Specifically, to create an anthology that reflects true diversity and brings this genre into the 21st Century, they “did a half-curated, half-open call for new content and the stories…in this project have a focus on global gothic romance.”

And this is reflected in the stories themselves; one story has “two young men falling in love in Vietnam”, another has “pain and loss in Jamaica,” a third has “fashion intrigue in Taiwan, and [overall there are] lots of beautiful ghosts of all genders falling in love with mortals.”

The anthology itself is the reward Nicholson hopes most people enjoy.  

However, there are some other killer rewards: “Something really fun [Bedside Press] did was reach out to the estates of classic 1970s gothic romance cover artists and license artwork for special print reprints. So while [there is] a lot of new content, [Bedside Press] still [offers a] nod to the aesthetics of the old.”  Finally, as part of the rewards they “also have brand new prints from our creators as well!”

Next week, we’ll continue Nicholson’s interview, focusing on her journey as a self-publisher and Kickstarter Thought Leader.  But until then, make sure you check out the Kickstarter for Gothic Tales of Love!

 

*Note* All quoted language in this article was from Hope Nicholson.

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Image Credits: from “Crush” by Janet Hetherington, Ronn Sutton, Becka Kinzie, and Zakk Saam

 

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Image Credits: from “Fazenda do Sangue Azul” by Dante L. & H. Pueyo

Stephan Franck’s Silver Returns!

It’s been over 30 years since Professor Abraham Van Helsing visited Dracula’s castle. Now his descendent, the mysterious vampire hunter Rosalind Van Helsing, is teaming up with a ragtag group of con men for a high stakes heist to rob Europe’s richest vampires. Welcome to the world of Stephan Franck’s Silver, a globe-trotting graphic novel series that mashes up the world of Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula with action, adventure, humor, pulp storytelling and modern sensibilities.

Having previously funded the first two volumes of Silver via Kickstarter, Franck and his company Dark Planet Comics are launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the third volume of Silver and help bring the first two volumes to a wider audience.

In Silver, a group of cons discover the late Jonathan Harker’s secret ledger, which discloses the existence of an exotic treasure of silver hidden in Dracula’s castle. Finnigan, the group’s leader, may be ethically challenged, but he knows a retirement plan when he sees it. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to pull off the heist of the last ten centuries, even if it means allying with a beautiful, sword wielding vampire hunter…. who just happens to be a descendent of Van Helsing.

If funded through Kickstarter, pledges will be delivered to backers this fall. The Silver Volume 3 Kickstarter campaign is live as of July 10th and runs for 30 days.

Super Hero Diversity Alive And Well In New Role Playing Game Superhero 2044

Checker Book Publishing Group has made known that with all of the recent controversy surrounding diverse super hero universe, one group of very diverse heroes has found a home. Contrary to large comic book publishing conglomerates stating ‘diversity is dead’ a new role playing game based on super heroes has seen nothing but positive reviews upon playtesting the various characters with divers backgrounds and motivations.

Super Hero 2044 features such classic characters as the African American legend John Henry as well as the Hispanic hero Fantomas who steals for the rich to aid the poor.

Super Hero 2044 is a comic book themed role playing game originally published in 1977 with a substantial upgrade to the game being launched on Kickstarter in August of 2017.

Check out more about the game where you’ll be able to create your own superhero adventures.

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