Category Archives: Crowdfunding

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Legendary Chinese Mythic Figure The Monkey King Heads to Contemporary New York City in A Chinatown Odyssey

The Monkey King: A Chinatown Odyssey

Taiwanese American creator Jerry Ma is supporting AAPI Heritage Month and #STOPASIANHATE this May by bringing one of Chinese literature’s most enduring characters, the Monkey King to modern-day New York in The Monkey King: A Chinatown Odyssey which has launched on Kickstarter. 

Jerry Ma hits home as he shows his native New York City falling apart with the Empress of Chinatown turning her back on the City. Tripitaka the monk must locate Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy to help her make the journey west to Chinatown San Francisco in hopes of finding enlightenment to then go back and save New York from itself!

With the amazing group of people helping with this campaign, Geof DarrowAllan DorisonJim CheungDavid Soto, and Lisa Y. Wu, through Stretch Goals, they’ll be donating money to small businesses in Chinatown New York.

Readers will also get the opportunity to own this title for only $20 during this Kickstarter which ends on Friday, June 4. Along with the book, readers will be able to back these money saving rewards and help unlock stretch goals that will help increase the amount given to local New York City Chinatown small businesses.

Eric Powell and Harold Schechter’s Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? Is Live on Kickstarter

Eric Powell and Harold Schechter are collaborating on an ambitious new graphic novel about one of the most notoriously deranged murderers in American history, Ed Gein.

Powell and Schechter are co-writing Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?, an all-new, 200-page, an original graphic novel illustrated by Powell that delves into the twisted history of the Gein family and the notorious violence that inspired Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Silence of the Lambs. Painstakingly researched and illustrated, Schechter and Powell’s true-crime graphic novel presents Gein’s infamous story like never before.

Eric Powell’s company Albatross Funnybooks is launching a Kickstarter campaign for Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? Sign Special Edition, featuring a Kickstarter exclusive paperback edition of the book with a cover by acclaimed horror artist William Stout, a hardcover edition with a Kickstarter exclusive dust jacket by Eric Powell, limited edition prints, and more. Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? will be published by Albatross Funnybooks in comic shops on July 21, 2021 and in bookstores on August 3rd, 2021. The Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? mass-market edition, distributed to comic shops and bookstores, will not be available via the Kickstarter campaign.

The signed special edition hardcover is $40, a pledge level of $75 gets a Gein Family Portrait Print Set, the William Stout Cover Paperback Edition is at the $100 level. For $150 backers can pledge to get a Slipcase, $500 is a commission from Eric Powell, and $1,000 nets a Zoom call with Schechter and Powell.

Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno Takes Us on a Stoned Kung-Fu Adventure with Stoned Master

Stoned Master

Aubrey Sitterson returns to Kickstarter, this time with his co-creator of The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling Chris Moreno. Stoned Master is about a burnout martial artist using stoned kung fu to defend his Los Angeles neighborhood of Chavez Heights from a rapacious corporation.

With the project now live, we got a chance to talk to Aubrey and Chris about the comics’ influences and what’s the best way to get stoned and read it.

You can back the project now before it ends on May 20.

Graphic Policy: From wrestling to stoned Kung-Fu. How’d Stoned Master come about?

Chris Moreno: I feel like it was a gradual process rather than a bolt of lightning moment, but I recall Aubrey and I had a blast working on The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling, and I mentioned how much fun I had drawing the action scenes, but because we were covering the entirety of the history of the art form I always had to move on to another subject when I would have loved to draw an entire fight scene. That spurred many discussions about doing an all-action/fighty-type book next, and then that led to talking about our favorite kung fu flicks. That’s when I recommended to Aubrey that we watch a little movie from 1977 called Death Promise, the story of two ass-kicking best friends who use martial arts to fight to save their NY apartment building from a syndicate of evil slumlords trying to force them out. It’s a real schlocky hidden gem (with a great titular theme song and a poster by Neal Adams, to boot!) and one of my favorite types of action movies, where it seems like they just got a bunch of stuntpeople and martial artists together and built a movie around them. But it also has this level that we really responded to, which was that it was basically a story about tenants’ rights, but the tenants using martial arts to fight their landlords instead of, say, starting a co-op. Then we started talking about what the better version of that kind of story could be.

Aubrey Sitterson: I remain immensely proud of what Chris and I accomplished with The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling. However, when you’re doing nonfiction – especially something with as broad a purview as CBSOPW – you’ve got a lot of masters to serve. We knew that our next project needed to be something we could cut fully loose on, leaning into all the action and comedy that we excel at, i.e.,  the stuff that makes a comic truly rip. Stoned Master fits the bill, and, like the best collaborations, exists in the big meaty section of the CHRIS & AUBREY’S INTERESTS Venn diagram.

GP: Be honest, you were stoned while making this, right?

CM: I can only speak for myself, but I was not under the influence of any substances while working on this project. I actually can’t draw while stoned, I just get really chill, sit on my couch, and watch movies like Death Promise all day.

AS: Dude, honestly; look at me. Do I look like a guy who gets stoned? Come on, now.

Stoned Master

GP: I’ve seen some of the art. How’d the visual style come about? I notice from the pages I’ve seen it’s very bright in colors.

CM: I was born in CA, but spent my whole life on the East Coast, which has its own beauty, though it’s kind of earthy and neutral compared to living in LA. There’s a vibrance of color everywhere you look– the buildings and local shops, the neighborhoods, the communities with full-wall murals. Even the clothes people wear or the cars they drive. It’s just a place that embraces color. When we talked about setting the story in LA, I knew I wanted to showcase that vibrance in every panel.

GP: The comic has a burnout martial artist using stoned kung fu to take on a corporation. Aubrey, your recent Beef Bros seems like it’d be somewhat anti-corporation. Going through a phase with that?

AS: I believe that all art is political, even self-proclaimed apolitical work, especially in the polarized time in which we currently find ourselves. But something else I’ve learned is that, when it comes to expressing my political beliefs, I need subtlety, nuance, even ambiguity, along with the space to work big issues out in all their complexity. Personally, I haven’t found a way to get any of that on social media, which is why I’ve been making such a concerted effort to explore this stuff in my fiction work, which is a medium perfectly suited to rumination.

GP: I see a comic of taking on an evil corporation in Los Angeles, and I go to Breakin 2. Is there something about Los Angeles being the location for these battles?

CM: Aubrey and I actually put together a “movie mood board” of films for inspiration and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (one is obligated to say the entire title at all times) is definitely high on that board. Fights occur in our book similarly to how the power of breakdancing could make miracles happen in that film. That hospital scene where those surgeons start poppin’ mid-surgery and bring a dead patient back to life? We hope to hit that level.

GP: So, what type of pot would you suggest while reading this? Would you go CBD? Edibles? Leaf?

CM: Definitely edibles. Grab some gummies or brownie bites, something that allows you to have one hand free to turn the page.

AS: Every time Stoned Master readers open their mouths to laugh or gasp at the intense, hilarious, kung fu action, they should take a healthy bong rip. By my estimation, they’ll be fully obliterated about a quarter of the way through. Increases reread value that way.

Stoned Master

GP: Are you basing the “stoned kung fu” on anything real?

CM: Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master films are the primary inspiration Frankie’s style. Where Jackie had moves that were based off of drunkard’s actions (hands holding the cup, arms carrying the keg, etc.), Frankie’s moves are all based off the pothead’s actions (pinching the joint, rolling papers, lighting the hash pipe, bong rips). Jackie Chan and Sammo Hung’s “anything goes” improvisational styles from movies like the Lucky Stars films, Project A, or Wheels on Meals are a big reference for Frankie’s moves, too.

AS: After The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling, Chris is used to getting copious amounts of visual reference from me and we kept that proud tradition alive here. Most everything you see Frankie do in Stoned Master is his “Blazed Fist” riff on traditional drunken boxing techniques as seen in Drunken Master and other flicks.

GP: Any kung fu films and stoner films this is inspired by?

CM: Definitely the above films, Pretty much all of Cheech & Chong’s oeuvre, Kung Fu Hustle, Half Baked, Harold and Kumar, Big Lebowski.

AS: Obviously the Drunken Master movies and anything with Sammo Hung, but we also took a lot of structural and thematic influence from classic Lau Kar-leung & Gordon Liu flicks like The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Dirty Ho and The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter. Those movies manage to balance aesthetically stunning action, pitch-perfect humor, and a shocking amount of thematic depth and were a massive inspiration for Stoned Master. Also, I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a significant amount of Pineapple Express in the mix.

GP: Beef Bros was on Kickstarter, what lessons have you learned from that going into this one?

AS: The BEEF BROS Kickstarter was an absolute game changer for me. No hyperbole, it changed now only how I view the comics industry but what I want out of it. While I love working with my pals at Dark Horse and am so very stoked about The Worst Dudes, Savage Hearts, and my as-yet-unannounced third series launching this year, there are certain projects that, while a tough sell in the direct market for any number of reasons, have a ton of potential with folks on Kickstarter. BEEF BROS was one of those projects and so is Stoned Master.

GP: Any advice you’d give others thinking about doing a Kickstarter?

AS: Calling on my background as an Eagle Scout (shout out to Troop 747!), the absolutely best advice I can give is to BE PREPARED. Running a Kickstarter well is an immense amount of work and the only way to keep from getting overwhelmed during the campaign is by having a firm plan in place and getting all your schedules, spreadsheets, newsletters, Graphic Policy interviews, and sacrificial offerings done before you hit the LAUNCH button.

GP: Thanks so much! We’ll make sure to take a nice bong rip and click back on Kickstarter!

I am not a number, I am a person… and a Kickstarter. The Prisoner Bends a Little in New Toys

Wandering Planet Toys is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first-ever officially licensed action figure line based on The Prisoner, the cult classic television show starring and created by Patrick McGoohan. The campaign will run until Wednesday, May 26th at 6:06 PM PT.

In 1967 the cult classic TV series, The Prisoner burst onto the screen. The series, about an unnamed British intelligence agent who awakes to find himself trapped in an idyllic seaside village, was not only an instant hit with viewers at the time, it went on to be watched and re-watched obsessively by fans, quickly gaining cult status. And while there have been several collectibles released over the decades, The Prisoner has never received a line of officially licensed action figures… until now. Wandering Planet Toys, appointed by ITV Studios, will bring to life 4-inch retro-style action figures that celebrate Patrick McGoohan’s brilliant series.

Wandering Planet Toys’ campaign features multiple tiers:

NUMBER 6 FIRST EDITION features the iconic black jacket with white piping, and the classic 6 badge.

NUMBER 6 KICKSTARTER-EXCLUSIVE “ARRIVAL” EDITION features the Prisoner’s all-black outfit, as seen in the episode “Arrival” and in the opening credit sequence of each episode.

NUMBER 6 BEACH ESCAPE EDITION version of Number 6 is a variant of the First Edition figure, but WITHOUT the #6 badge. This edition features a special cardback featuring the icon moment of Number 6 attempts escape on the Village’s beachfront.

NUMBER 6 “CHECKMATE”  EDITION. This edition of NUMBER 6 figure sports the multi-colored cloak worn in during the living chess game in the episode “Checkmate” complete with the chess staff.

NUMBER 6 – LIMITED EDITION ROVER PACKAGE. No discussion of THE PRISONER is complete without mention of the Village’s spherical guardian and menace, ROVER. In order to evoke the iconic moment of NUMBER 6 pushed up against the gelatinous side of the guardian, Wandering Planet Toys has created a Limited Edition plastic packaging unit depicting our hero in the belly of the beast. This package is a resealable clamshell so the figure can be removed for display, then reinserted.

“FREE FOR ALL” TWO-PACK SET. This 2-figure set features NUMBER 6 and NUMBER 2 (as played by Eric Portman). The accessories include NUMBER 6’s hat, bullhorn and election poster from the episode, as well as phones from NUMBER 2’s office.

“SCHIZOID MAN” TWO-PACK SET. This 2-figure set features NUMBER 6 as well as his doppelganger NUMBER 12 (also played by Patrick McGoohan, but with a color-reverse white jacket with black piping). The accessories include two fencing foils, two fencing helmets, and two marksman pistols, and miniature versions of NUMBER 24’s psychic testing “Zener cards”, so that you can hold your own contest to determine which figure is the real NUMBER 6.

DEGREE ABSOLUTE – The “ALL IN” PLEDGE including an EXCLUSIVE Wandering Planet designed THE PRISONER T-Shirt. In addition to the full Wave One product line, backers will also receive an exclusive THE PRISONER T-SHIRT designed by Wandering Planet Toys.

The Wandering Planet Toys campaign concludes May 26, 2021.

The Monuments Comes to Kickstarter and is Funded in 12 hours

The Monuments

Sci-fi fantasy graphic novel The Monuments is now live on Kickstarter, was funded in 12 hours, and has now collected over $21,000 in pledges.

The Monuments is a 140 page, beautifully illustrated, mystery/adventure story from Oliver Mertz, Michael S. Bracco, and Mike Isenberg.

The first issue/first chapter of The Monuments was released in September 2018. This Kickstarter is to fund the printing for the complete graphic novel.

The Monuments is about a fantasy world in which four warring city-states are forced to come together to face a common enemy: giant mysterious mechs. Right before wiping out the entire civilization, the mechs all power down for no clear reason, leaving the survivors to rebuild their world together.

800 years later. The world has moved on. The city-states are now united as one nation: a land littered with massive robotic relics that serve as monuments to a long-forgotten war.

After centuries of dormancy, one of these long-frozen mechs suddenly powers up, revealing a man who is confused, misplaced in time, and still very much alive.

Exclusive: Kickstarter Hit “Inferno Girl Red” Gets a Ten-Page “Ashcan” Stretch Goal

Inferno Girl Red "Ashcan"

Inferno Girl Red is a hit on Kickstarter reaching its funding in two days and delivering some awesome rewards. From Mat Groom and Erica D’UrsoInferno Girl Red is an all-new original graphic novel that combines high school super-heroic drama with the dynamic storytelling and world-building of Japanese tokusatsu superheroes, and the intrigue and relationship drama of British boarding school fiction. The Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund this all-new 100-page, hardcover superhero graphic novel by Groom, D’Urso, colorist Igor Monti, letterer Becca Carey, editor Kyle Higgins, and design group For The People, will run through May 5th, 2021.

The Kickstarter has blown past its goal with over 900 backers and still 25 days to go. Last week, a new tier was announced, 10 INFERNO GIRL RED helmets which are jaw dropping. These will be available, along with the hardcover and a Radiant Black/ Inferno Girl Red print for $650. 9 of them are already gone!

Now?

If the campaign reaches $70,000, a new stretch goal will be unlocked. Every physical reward tier will receive a ten-page, black-and-white ‘ashcan’-style mini-comic that details an adventure of a different, mysterious Inferno Girl Red! This mini-comic will be written by Matt Groom, and drawn in a sketchy style (which you can get a sense of from the cover which you can see up) by artist Valeria Favoccia (who has already contributed a stunning art print for the campaign).

Mat said:

When you’re building an entirely new world, you also have to build an entirely new history. Erica and I have delighted in this process – creating weird and wonderful foundations that have a major influence on the present. This mini-comic is a chance to explore one of those foundations.

We didn’t have any to steal any of Erica’s time and energy from drawing the book itself, though — so we turned to Valeria Favoccia, who created an INFERNO GIRL RED print for our campaign that perfectly captured the spirit of our world. Erica and Valeria are close, and will be collaborating closely — ensuring Valeria can bring unique style and energy while still ensuring this mini-comic feels cohesive with our larger narrative world.

But what is Inferno Girl Red?

We all need something to believe in. Especially Cássia Costa. An ancient cult and their army of demons have stolen Cássia’s home, Apex City.  When a magical dragon bracelet rockets into her life and affixes itself to her arm, Cássia’s the only person equipped to stop the cult from offering the entire city to their dark lord. There’s just one catch…

The magical bracelet is powered by belief, and Cássia — an intensely pragmatic, rational girl – doesn’t have much to spare. She’ll have to find something to kindle her faith, though, and fast —because she has a secret legacy to live up to. Because her mother’s life is on the line. And because Apex City needs Inferno Girl Red.

In Inferno Girl RedCássia’s not shy– but bouncing around from city-to-city as her Mom bounced from job-to-job meant it was hard to make friends… and any friends she did make disappeared pretty quickly once they found out who Cássia’s mother was. So instead of socialising, she focused on learning– showing a particular aptitude for science. Now Cássia has a chance for a fresh start in Apex City. Her impressive test scores have earned her an invitation to the world-famous entrepreneur Doctor Janine Caro’s prestigious boarding school for promising young minds. There, Cássia starts to settle in. She starts to make friends. She starts to see a future for herself.

But when a magical bracelet blasts through a window while Cássia is studying late one night, everything changes. Cássia’s quickly drawn into a strange war that she previously only heard about from her mother… 

Not convinced? Check out art from the graphic novel below and you can back the campaign now!

Mat Groom and Erica D’Urso Launch Inferno Girl Red on Kickstarter

From Mat Groom and Erica D’Urso comes Inferno Girl Red, an all-new original graphic novel that combines high school super-heroic drama with the dynamic storytelling and world-building of Japanese tokusatsu superheroes, and the intrigue and relationship drama of British boarding school fiction. A Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund this all-new 100-page, hardcover superhero graphic novel by Groom, D’Urso, colorist Igor Monti, letterer Becca Carey, editor Kyle Higgins, and design group For The People,  will run through May 5th, 2021.

We all need something to believe in. Especially Cássia Costa. An ancient cult and their army of demons have stolen Cássia’s home, Apex City.  When a magical dragon bracelet rockets into her life and affixes itself to her arm, Cássia’s the only person equipped to stop the cult from offering the entire city to their dark lord. There’s just one catch…

The magical bracelet is powered by belief, and Cássia — an intensely pragmatic, rational girl – doesn’t have much to spare. She’ll have to find something to kindle her faith, though, and fast —because she has a secret legacy to live up to. Because her mother’s life is on the line. And because Apex City needs Inferno Girl Red.

In Inferno Girl Red, Cássia’s not shy– but bouncing around from city-to-city as her Mom bounced from job-to-job meant it was hard to make friends… and any friends she did make disappeared pretty quickly once they found out who Cássia’s mother was. So instead of socialising, she focused on learning– showing a particular aptitude for science. Now Cássia has a chance for a fresh start in Apex City. Her impressive test scores have earned her an invitation to the world-famous entrepreneur Doctor Janine Caro’s prestigious boarding school for promising young minds. There, Cássia starts to settle in. She starts to make friends. She starts to see a future for herself.

But when a magical bracelet blasts through a window while Cássia is studying late one night, everything changes. Cássia’s quickly drawn into a strange war that she previously only heard about from her mother… 

The Inferno Girl Red Kickstarter campaign features the oversized, deluxe format hardcover (7 x 11 inches) with an exclusive, Kickstarter-only cover and Kickstarter-edition-exclusive concept art, as well as a RADIANT BLACK/ INFERNO GIRL RED team-up print by RADIANT BLACK artist Marcelo Costa and INFERNO GIRL RED artist Erica D’Urso and fourteen collectible INFERNO GIRL RED giclee art prints by Darko Lafuente, Doaly, Francesco Manna, Eduardo Ferigato, Dash O’Brien–Georgeson, Federico Sabbatini (with Martina Fari), Wil Sur, Kath Lobo, Serg Acūna, Eleonora Carlini, Tiffany Turrill, Nicola Scott, Nicole Goux, and Valeria Favoccia!

Small World Comes to Kickstarter from Toru Terada and Magnetic Press on April 6

Small World Kickstarter

Magnetic Press has announced their latest exciting Kickstarter campaign, a dark sci-fi fantasy tale for grown-ups called Small World, by written by JD Morvan and illustrated by celebrated mangaka Toru Terada!

Small World mixes elements of anime-inspired futurism with the gritty flair rolled up into a vice-filled version of a European children’s book. Not only is the blend of elements wholly unique, but the book is also the only full-length graphic novel by popular mangaka Toru Terada.

To further complement the originality of the book, Magnetic Press is offering an exclusive, campaign-only variant edition featuring a brand-new cover by in-demand comic artist Peach Momoko. This variant edition will only be available through the Kickstarter campaign. Furthermore, fans can pre-register their support to receive an exclusive, Limited Edition 8.5×11” Linen Cardstock Print of Peach’s cover art for FREEOne lucky backer can even purchase Peach’s original 11×15” watercolor painting

Plus, all backers who pledge on the first day will receive a bonus exclusive, Limited Edition 8.5×11” Linen Cardstock Print by Toru Terada. That’s TWO FREE PRINTS for pre-registering and backing on Day-1! Toru will also create 30 original drawings for lucky backers at a limited tier level. 

Magnetic Press is also offering several other “manga-adjacent” books to the campaign – titles that would appeal to true mangaphiles while introducing global art styles influenced by the medium — including a brand-new edition of the sold-out ZAYA by JD Morvan and Korean wunderkind Huang-Jai Wei.

Pledge on Day-1 for your FREE print when the campaign launches at 10am CST Tuesday April 6th.

The Dusk Kickstarts a new Superhero

Down below the abandoned skyscrapers and crumbling colonial architecture, beneath the buzzing lights and ragged billboards, is a fading, floundering city propped up by vice, extortion, and fear. This is BLACKSTONE—a dark, mirror image of Boston or Philadelphia. A city whose history dates back to the earliest days of our nation.

Jaime Nuñez is a former baseball hero turned public defender. After coming into a fortune and some super heroic tools, he discovers there might be a more direct way to do good in the world.

The Dusk is a new superhero comic from Creation.Ink and Alex Segura, Elizabeth Little, and David Hahn, with Ellie Wright and Taylor Esposito. It’s currently running on Kickster and will be published by Ominous Press.

The Dusk is a modern reimagining of the superhero vigilante that flips the script on the traditional “might makes right” approach while adding the grounded, socially conscious perspective that modern crime fiction has become known for.

There’s a lot of options to back the comic with single issues, collected graphic novel, t-shirt, and so much more.

The campaign runs until April 22 at 11:50 AM and is looking to raise $39,500.

The Dusk

The Truth Shall Set You Free in Blanco

Blanco

Blanco is a 64-page black and white post-apocalyptic sword and sorcery graphic novel currently being funded through Kickstarter. Co-created by writer Marco Lopez and artist David Brame, it features lettering by DC Hopkins and is edited by Derek Ruiz.

In a post-apocalyptic future where mankind has long since been dead and Medieval Kingdoms, control their people with an iron fist. The religious rule is the order of the day and Blanco, is one of the most beloved warriors in the Kingdom of the seraph Azrael.

He and his brother Cain hunt the heretics who dare defy their father’s law. Zealots of a new apocryphal belief that is spreading across the Five Kingdoms and the Middling Lands.

When Blanco discovers a band of heretics is heading through the Outer Zone to a safe haven, they call New Eden. He decides to make an example of them, but what he finds in the Outer Zone will literally change his perception of the world he lives in.

We got to chat with the creative team about the series, its influence and the democratization of comics.

You can back Blanco now and help it reach its goal of $3,900.

Graphic Policy: So, tell us a a bit about Blanco.

Marco Lopez: Well, not to repeat what I said in the campaign. But Blanco is about a Nephilim in the service of the Kingdom of the Seraph Azrael. And he is one of the most beloved soldiers in his father’s service and a fundamentalist who blindly follows his father’s will. But eventually, that blind faith is going to open him up to a truth that, as the old saying goes, will turn his world upside down.

David Brame: Blanco was Marco’s idea. He contacted me and I thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to put my sauce in the mix.

Blanco

GP: Where did the idea come from?

ML: It’s been so long since I came up with the idea of Blanco that I don’t remember the exact details. I vaguely remember thinking about the old 70s Jack Kirby DC comics. The whole 4th world and other titles he created. I’m a huge fan of pulp storytelling. Whether it’s The Shadow or The Phantom or Conan, John Carter and Tarzan. I love the whole aesthetic. I think it mostly came from my love of Kamandi, OMAC and Hanna Barbera, and Ruby & Spears action-adventure cartoons. I also wanted to do something that was postapocalyptic where the world reverted to a past time. It doesn’t really make any sense that we’d revert back to medieval or 18th-century tech or whatnot but, I loved that about cartoons, and I wanted to do something similar. Kamandi but without the last human boy as the lead. All of man is gone, and all that’s left are humanoid animals. Or so they’re led to believe.

DB: I’ve always wanted to work together with someone who wanted to do an andro/anthro story and Marco and I vibed really well on what kinds of stories we liked to tell. We both had a love of ban Dessine and European comics. Large format, cinematic storytelling, sweeping saga-like beauty—we are blending 70s pulp sword and sorcery with contemporary euro stylization all bookended by post-apocalyptic furry content. What’s not to love.

GP: How did the team come together for this?

ML: David was the original artist back in 2010 when I first came up with Blanco but, he had to drop out because of a job opportunity. Fast forward 9 years later, and I was pitching this to publisher 133art. I think I talked to David a bit about it back then, but I don’t think either of us made the connection on the 2010 version. I mean, it had been 10 years. 133art was really high on David drawing this, and so was I, and David loved the idea, so he came on board but then 133art had to back out when they started their distribution arm. So, I talked to David about it, and we took it over to Subsume, and the rest, as they say, is history. During all this, I did find those old designs and realized David was the artist back then. I hit him up about it, and we had a good laugh about how the world is so small. It really shows you this was meant to be that 10 years later, we’re working together again on Blanco.

DB: I partied a lot back then so there is a solid decade of fuzzy memories. I vaguely remembered the Blanco project when Marco hit me up but then things clicked in place once I saw the artwork. My first thoughts were “cool idea—but we can do better” fast forward a few scribbles and doodles and chats we developed the Blanco pages we are previewing.

GP: There’s a lot of fundraising platforms out there. You originally chose Indiegogo but switched to Kickstarter. Why the change?

Marco: The main reason for the change was the political turmoil that was going on back in January. It was the main talk on social media, and unless you’re a name creator, it’s easy to get drowned out in all that talk. Also, we decided to drastically lower the goal. Our aim is just to get this book out. Get it funded. Get it out. There are other avenues after Kickstarter’s success in which we can further release the book.

Also, while I think Indiegogo has better options and is easier to set up and navigate than Kickstarter. Kickstarter is the leader of the pack here. So, it was best when relaunching to start there first. We’re not leaving IGG behind. Our plan is to either go IGG In Demand after the close of the campaign or create an IGG when we reach the goal and have it run for the remainder of the KS campaign and then have that go In Demand.

If you have two top platforms for raising funds, there is no reason to not use both. It would be idiotic to do so otherwise.

David: We agreed the timing and the platform wasn’t a great fit. So we tried again!

GP: Out of the two platforms, what are you noticing the big difference is?

Marco: For me, I think there’s a larger audience for comic books and graphic novels on Kickstarter. Though that’s rapidly changing over at IGG. It’s basically the difference between, let’s say, CGC and CBCS when it comes to who you want to go with grading your comics.

CGC is the older and more trusted brand. But that doesn’t mean you should discount CBCS. Also, I think Indiegogo tends to favor more slam-bang action-type comics. That’s not to say KS doesn’t either, but if you’re a nobody putting out that type of comics, IGG might be more for you.

David: I honestly haven’t put my finger on it. I think any quality project with good visibility can be crowdfunded on any platform. I suppose it seems to be more about luck timing and the hard work that precedes the launch as well as the deliverables. I think most people are hungry for content right now especially those in the sword and sorcery fandom and we are happy to give it to them

Blanco

GP: You mention it a bit on the project page, but there is a lot of comics released, and crowdfunding platforms provide another avenue for consumers. What are your thoughts about the choice’s creators have today for their releases?

ML: Unless the only thing you want to do is write for Marvel and DC. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But you need to get your work out there and build a fanbase. And crowdfunding helps with that. Even the most popular webcomics eventually crowdfund collected print editions or merchandise. Crowdfunding is making it easier than ever to self-publish and build yourself into a force to be reckoned with. It’s not easy, of course, or everyone would be doing it. But it’s another arsenal in the distribution of stories. Especially if you can’t do it all yourself in comics.

DB: Crowdfunding is a boon for independent creators. Initially relegated to hawking your merch in sweaty artist allies and praying for the big 3 to pick you up, being an indie comic artist was a tough road. I would say with all these new accessible options for distribution, printing, and dissemination being an Indie creator now is only based on visibility. We are finding that there are niche markets and subcultures in the comics spectrum everywhere. The crowdfunding independent model has allowed us to tell a plethora of stories and we are excited Blanco gets to be apart of that.

GP: Do you think crowdfunding has democratized the comic industry in a way with consumers voting with their dollar to make projects happen?

ML: I think it has because that is always the answer to any entertainment industry. Does it sell? If the publishers don’t believe your idea or story will sell, you can prove it to them. The American comic book industry still isn’t there with the wide variety it should be publishing. Like, say Manga, or European comics. But it’s getting there, and until it does. Crowdfunding proves even the weirdest or controversial, and even old-school ideas are worthy of people’s money.

DB: Absolutely democratized. However, We are still left with the pay to play model—meaning if you have more money or resources to advertise or connect to your audience you’re likely going to have a higher success rating even within the indie world. But with that said as creators, our goal is to entertain and to craft new and interesting ways of telling stories. Blanco is for sure something that’s not a wasted vote.

GP: You describe the series as Conan with great anthropomorphic characters. Did you always want to do anthropomorphic? Were there thoughts of just using humans or some fantasy race?

ML: The characters were always going to be anthropomorphic. You can thank a childhood of Don Bluth, Rock and Rule, Disney Afternoon, and other animated films and series. It’s always been my dream to combine the aesthetic of something like those titles in a brutal adult world.

DB: For sure. As a young artist from the 80’s lots of start with Disney and Nickelodeon as our understanding of cartoonish characteristics. I’ve always wanted to make anthro work and even more after seeing what was being done with Manga, Anime, and Blacksad.

GP: With that, were there thoughts about the animals and their representation? There’s a lot of stories with anthropomorphic stories where the animals themselves have a deeper meaning.

ML: No, there isn’t really anything behind the different humanoid animal species. They’re not supposed to parallel any human ethnic groups of today or cultures. The one difference, though, is they’re all mammals. You won’t see humanoid birds walking around or anthropomorphic reptiles.

DB: Marco had no directions for me in terms of the animals belonging to specific tribes or whatever there’s just barbarians and not barbarians. Visually though I needed linchpins to help craft the setting, visual mechanics, and how this post-apocalyptic place came to be. Each place we visit will have remixed elements of lots of ancient and contemporary design—I used lots of Bantu, Igbo, Mongolian and Korean elements. Blanco was originally based off a wolf but there are so many wolf stories I opted to base his design on an African Wild dog. I took it a step further and decided the clothing artifacts weapons everything will be distinct to help immerse readers into the world of Blanco.

GP: You mention Conan, Secret of Nimh, and Brian Jacques Redwall as influences, what else are some of the stories influences and inspiration? And are you trying to traumatize people my age with Secret of Nimh!?

ML: Blacksad is an influence, but you won’t see it until the third volume. I’m also inspired by Oscar Martin’s Solo. Everyone in the U.S. should be reading that. He’s an amazing artist and storyteller. Everything Jack Kirby did at DC comics in the 70s. Like I said before, the old action-adventure Hanna Barbera and Ruby-Spears toon and John Carter. And yes, I am trying to traumatize people our age. haha I loved me some Bluth.

DB: I may have a heart of stone because I missed out on the trauma I was like ‘oooh mice’ Blanco will evoke feelings of darkness and brutality but also moments of quiet austere beauty. I have been looking at a lot of HR Geiger, Paul Pope, Jeff Smith, Bill Watterson, Gojima, Otomo and Jae Lee leading up to Blanco as well streaming as many Attenborough docs I can find.

GP: I see the religious rule and I can’t help but think there an overarching influence of religion in our real-world society. Is there some greater themes/meaning to the series or is it just entertaining sword and sorcery?

ML: There will be in the story things I touch on. I grew up Catholic, but I grew up in an open-minded household. I never had communion and was always taught to challenge ideas. But I also grew up with a fascination with religion and the bible. Why people turn to religion and the use of religion for control. I read the Book of Revelations during a major hurricane when I was a teen in Puerto Rico. But as a writer, I believe that in any story character should be first, plot second, and what you’re trying to say third. Anytime you push what you want to talk about in society upfront. Then you’re characters just become a soapbox, and people stop caring. Make them care about the characters, and the rest will find its place.

DB: I have no religious message to convey other than through the art historian aspect of remixing these motifs.

GP: You mention this is hopefully the beginning, how much of the series and world do you have sketched out? Is there a “Blanco bible”?

ML: I’d like to do at least 8 volumes. Each one is the equivalent of a three-issue mini-series. After volume one, I have volumes two through four roughly mapped out, and I know where the series ends and where Blanco ends up. And yes, I have a rough bible and a series of notes I keep every time a new idea, plot, or character piece pops into my head. So, hopefully, with everyone’s help, this first volume becomes a smashing success and will lead the way to more. Adonai speaks to us in our sleep. Adonai wants us to tell the stories of Blanco’s world. Of the world to come. Help us fulfill Adonai’s wishes.

DB: I would love to retire doing Blanco stories. My dream is to have quarterly issues that people ravenously devour and flame me online wondering why there can’t be ten of me making more! But I’ll settle for 8 issues, some spin-offs, and maybe an omnibus hardcover reprint someday in the future.

GP: Thanks so much for chatting and we’re excited to read it. Backed!

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