Top Cow Productions has launched a brand-new Kickstarter anthology that benefits veterans in the arts. Soldier Storiesfeatures five compelling tales of military conflict all written by veterans who served. These first-person accounts of real-life warfare have been re-imagined across a variety of genres from sci-fi to horror to personal memoir.
Soldier Stories features tales by film and television writers Megan Ferrell Burke, Rev. William J. Bellamy, Jalysa Conway, Brian Anthony, and John Cullins! The Kickstarter funds raised will go to printing and distributing the rewards, and a portion of the profits will go to the United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance (USVAA).
USVAA provides opportunities for veterans in the arts by highlighting the work of veterans in the arts, humanities and entertainment industry along with the contributions veterans have made to the rich cultural history of our nation since the Revolutionary War.
Additionally, USVAA networks with veterans, artists, supportive individuals and organizations within the arts and veterans’ communities to find funding and support for individual artistic projects in theater, film, television, the visual/fine arts and a wide variety of crafts.
Cartoonist Shannon Wheeler has launched a Kickstarter to bring the Whistleblower Report and Ukranian Call transcript to comics.
The creator behind Too Much Coffee Man, and the bestselling book Sh*t My President Says: The Illustrated Tweets of Donald J. Trump is currently working on a graphic novel adaptation of the Mueller Report.
But, with the news moving so quickly, he decided to adapt the recent political rattling revelation and news.
Reward levels range from $7 for a digital version to $100 for a “super special edition” and original cartoon. The regular edition includes a print and digital copy is just $10 dollars. There’s a signed and numbered reward level at $20 as well. Print reward levels are limited to just 220 copies total.
Kickstarter is letting it’s anti-union flag fly as it’s fired two staffers who were attempting to organize a union at the company.
Taylor Moore and Clarissa Redwine were fired within a week of each other. Both were involved in a unionization effort that began last year. It’s reported the reason for the firings were “performance-related issues.”
Update: A third individual was told there was “no place for him at the company” according to Moore. It’s unknown if that individual is still employed with Kickstarter but the wording of Moore’s Tweet would indicate that’s not the case.
Redwine and the Office and Professional Employees International Union filed an unfair labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board. They allege that the severance agreement offered to her by Kickstarter contained an illegally phrased nondisparagement clause. The Professional Employees International Union was the organization employees were organizing through.
The company in response to the charge has said that it offered Redwine a narrowed nondisparagement clause focused on employees and not the company as a whole.
Redwine has since tweeted:
Talking to Slate, Redwine said she believes that it’s impossible for a former employee to “give an accurate, detailed depiction of their experience” with such a clause. She went on to say that she feels any “agreement that treats severance as repayment for silence is an unethical one.”
Unionization efforts sparked by a comic…
The unionization effort began in March. In May, CEO Aziz Hasan told employees the company wouldn’t voluntarily recognize the union if asked but would respect the results of a secret staff vote. Since then the company has expressed to staff that it doesn’t believe a union is right for Kickstarter. They claimed it’d be “expensive, disruptive, and slow the company down.”
Kickstarter United, the union effort, has concerns over workplace issues like salary equity, diversity in hiring, and a seat at the table concerning company decisions.
The effort stemmed from the handling of a comic project, Always Punch Nazis. That comic has run two successful campaigns ont he platform with a third incoming. The comic made thew news and far-right site Breitbart accused Kickstarter of violating its terms due to allowing a project that encouraged violence. The comics’ titel comes from the incident where white nationalist Richard Spencer was punched. The satirical graphic novel was about the country’s battle against racism.
Breitbart’s article rattled Kickstarter having them review the project. The Trust and Safety team initially decided to not act about the project but then management overruled them saying it had to be cancelled.
Employees felt management was giving in to bigots. An emergency meeting was called to hear employee concerns. Management said that the company needed to be consistent and enforce its policies and that the project shouldn’t have been approved to start.
A protest then ensued saying management was making a “both sides” argument. Not all staff agreed the project should remain but the overwhelming majority did. Management eventually reversed their decision.
In the weeks that followed the employee who shared the decision about the project to the company Slack channel was fired. Workers believed it was due to the posting. Threats from management against the Trust and Safety team were made about questioning decisions. Employees were then reminded that New York is an “at will” employment state meaning employees could be fired at any time.
From there, the discussion to unionize began with the majority off junior employees supporting it.
Kickstarter has become a vital tool in the comic industry where unionization has been a hot topic for years.
Comics have seen 14,670 projects launched on the platform with 8,383 of them successfully funding. Those successful comic projects have earned over $93.88 million dollars. There are nearly 241 projects raising almost $1 million currently running on the platform as of the publishing of this article. You can find daily updates stats on the Kickstarter site.
Comic creators have been vocal in recent years over comiXology’s support of creators and conventions and their parent company Amazon. Labor abuses and anti-union efforts by Amazon and their clients was one reason cited for concerns. It’s unknown if Kickstarter’s anti-labor stance will see similar ire. Kickstarter is sponsoring tables and the Ignatz Awards at this week’s Small Press Expo.
A haunted muscle car, a circus
crime family, a dancing bear, bearded women, methed out carnies, crab twins,
and a young woman teamed up with the ghost of her dead father on a mission of
vengeance: just some of the utter insanity that awaits you in the hot new comic
Death Trap, now launched on Kickstarter!
The 4-issue mini-series is the high-octane brainchild of creators Matt Miner (Toe Tag Riot, All We Ever Wanted) and Christopher Peterson (Grindhouse: Doors Open at Midnight). Josh Jensen and Matt Krotzer are the colorist and letterer on the book.
Recently, Matt and Chris took the time to answer a few questions for Graphic Policy about Death Trap and its inspiration.
Adam Cadmon: So the obvious question, why a Mercury Cougar? Does that model have personal significance?
Matt Miner: I mean, it’s a badass muscle car that doesn’t see enough
love in pop culture. Look at those
hidden headlights – just makes that front grill so sexy. It’s also the car I’m looking to buy, you
know, when I can afford it, and find one with a manual transmission that’s in
good running shape, because I’m a comic writing dog rescuer, not a mechanic.
Christopher Peterson: I think Matt decided to find a car that no one has
any extensive reference for me to draw … so I hope he likes 1968 Ford
Mustangs in half his panels. But seriously, it’s cool to have something
different instead of the usual muscle cars.
AC: The book’s press release states that Death Trap is a “love letter to carsploitation and revenge flicks of the 1970s and 1980s…” What made you want to explore this type of book now?
MM: Most of my previous
work has more of a political edge, but I think right now in the world of 2019,
we need fun escapes more and more. I’ve
been a huge fan of B-movies my whole life, and am stoked to partner up with
Chris, who has experience bringing the exploitation film feeling to
comics. This comic is an enormous amount
of wild and bloody fun.
CP: I like this era/style/genre because it’s got a lot of
clunk to it. I enjoy the grounded foundation where there’s no magic or
anything, just people in a rural area without all this slick technology and
style … and then we dump the wacky onto it. I love realism, but with a slight
kick to it – everything has just a bit of an aberrant or bizarre quality to it
that makes it fun
AC: You’ve done some socially conscious stuff in the past, Matt, will Death Trap address current events or is this a more localized story as regards Ollie and her family?
steers clear of real-life politics in an overt sense. At least for me, it’s nice to get a break
from that stuff that hangs over our heads every day, and dive into a world of
circus freaks and vendettas and dancing bears.
My fingerprints are all over this thing, though – it’s not like we
kicked our progressive sensibilities to the curb when creating the book.
our albino dancing bear’s name is Wojtek (pronounced Voy-tek) after the World War 2 Polish bear who carried artillery
shells and smashed Nazis.
CP: I think the main thread going through all this is that we
treat these characters like people, including backstories. We’re not here to
make fun of people with differences or laugh at their situation – we hope we’re
empowering them – and that hopefully comes across.
AC: This book crosses into several genres, that said, what overall tone are you going for?
A 4-issue miniseries, Death Trap is about a hunt for a killer. Ollie teams up with the ghost of her father, who haunts his old Mercury Cougar, to find his killer. Set in a world of circus sideshow freaks, dancing bears, bearded strong women, and methed-out carnies, the story is one of betrayal.
Released in 1921, The Royal Book Of Oz was the 15th in the Oz series and originally credited as the last written by creator L. Frank Baum (he passed away in 1919). In reality, it was the first book in the series written by Ruth Plumly Thompson.
Clover Press is currently running a Kickstarter for a new edition featuring all-new illustrations by Eisner Award-winning artist Sara Richard. It will also feature an afterword by Eisner Award-winning artist and writer Eric Shanower.
The Royal Book Of Oz is the FIFTEENTH book in the Oz series and it’s the source material for The Return to Oz movie.
In 1920 William F. Lee, one of the partners of the Oz book’s publisher, approached Thompson to continue the Oz series. She eventually took over as the new “Royal Historian of Oz,” the “official” title of each writer of the Oz series. It wasn’t until the 1960s that Thompson was given credit and listed as the author of the book.
The Kickstarter features pledges where you can get pins, signed editions, art prints, a lunch box, and more. It runs until September 27 at 5pm EDT and already passed the halfway point of its $15,000 goal.
Dynamite has announced a special creator exclusive cover for Vampirella #1 by Billy Tucci on Indiegogo! Celebrating the dual celebration of Vampi’s 50th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of Tucci’s Shi!
Live on Indiegogo right now! The Daughter of Drakulon and Billy Tucci’s Shi share a beautiful cover being offered only on Indiegogo for a limited time. This critically acclaimed and explosive debut of the new ongoing series by Christopher Priest and Ergun Gunduz has already sold a Dynamite 130,000 units both through the Direct Market and outside it with retailer and creator exclusives like this one!
Multiple options are available for those with differing budgets and tastes as well as the ultimate Vampi/Shi collectors out there, but all copies have already been printed and made available to fans in extremely limited quantities on a first-come-first-serve basis. At the base is the original cover by Billy Tucci, with logos and full gorgeous colors by Wes Hartman. Variations include a logo-less “virgin” cover, dressed “black and white,” “black and white virgin” and even a premium “Pure Line Art” edition reproducing Tucci’s flawless original pencil art. Only 300 copies of this cover have been produced! Fans can also get a combo pack with the four base covers, a pack with all four signed or the signed line art cover.
In addition to the comic, Dynamite and Billy Tucci have also turned this historical image into a high-end lithograph! Every detail will really stand out on this high quality 18 by 24 inches print. It’s also available signed and can function as an add-on alongside any of the covers.
What if the TWILIGHT ZONE and McSweeney’s made a baby?
And what if the baby was one hardcover treasury of comics — curated and created by three acclaimed creators — featuring over 100 pages of story and art?
Brian Hurtt, Marie Enger, and Matt Kindt present The HEK Treasury, a deluxe collection of all new epic, experimental science fiction, fantasy and genre short stories. The HEK Treasury will showcase each creator as they unleash new ideas, using experimental art and storytelling techniques. If funded through Kickstarter, pledges will be delivered to backers this fall. The HEK TREASURY Kickstarter campaign is live as of August 12th and runs for 30 days.
TheHEK Treasurywill be presented in a large prestige format hardcover (8 ¾ x 11 5/8 )* and offer readers an immersive experience, featuring full color art, a tri-fold narrative poster and loose-leaf story cards. Hurtt, Enger, and Kindt began sharing a studio in St. Louis in 2015 and have been creating graphic novels and comic books side by side for the last four years. This is their first truly collaborative effort and the inaugural publication by their new collective, HEK Studio.
Matt’s contribution to The HEK Treasuryis “The Great Mech Wars,” 3 interconnecting 10-page chapters presenting the tale of an old, sad war-mech.
Marie’s Enger’s stories for The HEK Treasury share a dystopian theme of bleak, fantastical, ruined worlds and great despair — leading to new, dangerous, beginnings. From death cults to telepathy, her stories push the outer limits of storytelling.
Brian Hurtt’s stories, like Matt’s, consist of three interconnected dystopian tales, featuring weaponized flora and fauna, suspended animation and mutants.
Last summer, HEK Studio purchased a vintage Route 66 garage (circa 1953). They’ve been working on converting it into the first full-time exclusive comic book studio in St. Louis.
Strange Encounters is a 64-page comic book Anthology about magic, mystery and the Strange Encounters that happen when you meet beings of the supernatural kind.
The graphic novel is from the team that brought you the Eisner Award-Winning and Diamond Gem Award-nominated, Puerto Rico Strong Anthology, Marco Lopez, Derek Ruiz, and Neil Schwartz.
The anthology is made up of original tales, and stories adapted from some of the most popular novels and novellas from some of the most talented female authors in the supernatural prose genre today.
The team is aiming to bring you the next must-have anthology and it’s coming from the brand-new boutique label, King Skull Comics.
look at some of the talent involved.
Brett Booth is illustrating a KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE variant cover.
Mentioned earlier were prose authors. We’re talking Rue Volley (Hellhound, 13 Ways to Midnight), Kim Alexander (Pure, The Demon Door Series), JD Brown (Athena’s Oracle, The Ema Marx Series), and Rachel Rawlings (The Maurin Kincaide Series, Rotten Luck). Excited yet?
Let’s talk about some of the other artist’s and creators involved. We got Jose Marono, Ally Cat (Spread, Spook House), Jess Taylor (Catalyst Prime Summit, Adventure Time), Puis Calzada (Hatchet: Vengeance, Zorro: Rise of the Old Gods), Jamie Jones (The Baboon, Kicking Ice), DC Hopkins (IDW, Lion Forge, DC, BOOM! Studios, Dynamite) and Bryan Arfel Magnaye (Titan Comics, Chido Comics).
And if that’s not enough here are some character sketches from two of the stories in the anthology.
The Kickstarter campaign offers a softcover trade in print and a digital PDF. Prints of both covers to hang on your wall and the option to be drawn in the short story, I Hate the South (From the Case Files of Izzy Desoto) as a monster of your choice. And for the amazing retailers out there because they love retailers, they’re also offering a Strange Encounters Retailer Pack at a fantastic discount.
wait there’s more!
There are STRETCH GOALS! If the goals are met everyone that pledges will get a bookmark, a Strange Encounters Pin, a King Skull Comics Pin, mini prints by the incredible Leila Leiz (Alters, Horde) and Ariela Kristantina (Mata Hari, Adora and the Distance), a BOOKPLATE by Sweeney Boo (Marvel Action Captain Marvel, Eat and Love Yourself) signed by the prose authors and last but not least a PREMIUM sketch card by Brett Booth of his variant Kickstarter Exclusive cover. It’ll feel like the 90s all over again when holding that card in your hand.
Welcome to Space Bastards, the new quarterly hardcover anthology created by Joe Aubrey, Darick Robertson, and Eric Peterson. The first volume features the talents of Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Colin MacNeil, Boo Cook, and Clint Langley and is on Kickstarter now!
The project is a massive one with a huge first volume that’s over 100 pages and a foot in height. But, they didn’t stop there, there’s a year’s worth of content, over 500 pages, already produced.
You can find some of the team at Booth #1806 at San Diego Comic-Con going on this week.