Tag Archives: kickstarter

Top Cow Productions Kickstarts Veteranthology to raise money for United States Veterans’ Artists Alliance

Top Cow Productions has launched a brand-new Kickstarter anthology that benefits veterans in the arts. Soldier Stories features 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 BurkeRev. William J. BellamyJalysa 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.

Soldier Stories

Shannon Wheeler Launches The Whistleblower Papers on Kickstarter

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.

The project is a little under halfway to its goal of $2500 and runs until November 15, 2019.

Kickstarter Fires Three Union Organizers. Unionization Effort Launched Due to Comics (Updated)

Kickstarter

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.”

…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.

(via Slate, Gizmodo)

Matt Miner and Christopher Peterson Talk Haunted Muscle Cars and Death Trap!

Kickstarter chase variant cover, art and color by Darren Lo (@DLo168)
Kickstarter chase variant cover, art, and color by Darren Lo (@DLo168)

From the Death Trap Press Release:

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?

MM: Death Trap 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.

And 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?

MM: F’n bananas fun.

CP: Finding peace in chaos.

Check out the Kickstarter for Death Trap here!


Adam is a writer, an explorer of consciousness, a dog owner (times 2) and a decent fellow if you ask him. He currently lives in a suburb about 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta.

Matt Miner, Christopher Peterson, Josh Jensen, and Matt Krotzer’s Death Trap is Live on Kickstarter

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.

Sound interesting? You can back it now on Kickstarter.

Death Trap is written by Matt Miner with art by Christopher Peterson, colors by Josh Jensen, and lettering by Matt Krotzer.

The Kickstarter campaign features digital copies of the series, exclusive covers, trades, personal art, and more!

You can head to the Kickstarter and check out a preview of the comic and see all that’s offered.

The campaign runs until October 2 at 11:59 EDT and is looking to raise $18,000.

Death Trap #1

Clover Press Kickstarts a New Edition of Ruth Plumly Thompson’s The Royal Book Of Oz

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.

The Royal Book of Oz

Brian Hurtt, Marie Enger and Matt Kindt present the HEK Treasury and Launch HEK Studio

HEK Studio

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. 

The HEK Treasury will 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 Treasury is “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.

 The HEK TREASURY Kickstarter campaign is live now.

From Puerto Rico Strong to Strange Encounters, a New Kickstarter

Strange Encounters

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.

Just look at some of the talent involved.

Brett Booth variant cover
Brett Booth variant cover

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.

Hellhound Character Designs by Jose Marono
The Institutes Character Designs by Puis Calzada

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.

But 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.

SDCC 2019: Space Bastards Volume 1, the Quarterly Mature Readers Comic

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.

The Kickstarter ends August 2.

Space Bastards Vol. 1

Return of the Toe Tag Riot! A chat with series creators Matt Miner and Sean Von Gorman

Return of the Toe Tag Riot

Toe Tag Riot, the comic book series that the infamous hate group Westboro Baptist Church claimed would “split Hell wide open” is back for round 2 and on Kickstarter, with the Return of the Toe Tag Riot.

Guest contributor Adam Cadmon got to talk to writer Matt Miner and penciler/inker Sean Von Gorman about the series which features colors by Gab Contreras and letters by Taylor Esposito.


ADAM CADMON: So, where did the concept for a zombie punk rock band originate?

MATT MINER: I grew up in the punk scene, and never really left, so all my work has a punk rock vibe to it because that’s the world I know and love – some books, like this one, are just a pure love letter to punk rock and the accepting and cool people I’ve known through my life.

SEAN VON GORMAN: I remember at some point at a convention we started talking about what if Matt was a vegan zombie, and what he would eat? Obviously he would have to eat people because zombies can’t survive on grains. And being an ethical punk if he HAD to eat people he would pick the worst people to eat. I think there is a sketch somewhere of a zombie Matt eating a little tofu person.

MM: Oh, yeah!  I think I have that sketch around here somewhere, actually.

Return of Toe Tag Riot

AC: Why did you go with the “thinking” zombie angle opposed to the mindless eater?

MM: The undead-zombie comic has been done to death, pun intended.  With Toe Tag Riot it was kind of like “What if you weren’t always a zombie?  If you knew what you were doing, who would you choose to eat?”  I mean, everyone’s gotta eat, but they can choose a more ethical course.

SVG: I feel no epic kill is ever complete without a snarky comment like an ’80s action movie star. For example, right before a zombie punk bites into a bad dude he says something like “It was nice to EAT you!”  Wait, that was pretty good. Matt, write that one down.

Return of the Toe Tag Riot

AC: Let me springboard a little; the choice to have the band cursed instead of turned always interested me…where’d that idea come from?

MM: I don’t remember how that came about, really, but what really appealed to me about the idea was this way you see both sides of the character – the ravenous zombie and the human toll it takes on them when they eat the wrong skinhead and have diarrhea for hours.

SVG: I remember part of the initial conversation on this was that the group’s bodies would start to physically breakdown as they rotted. A punk band in a tour bus smells bad enough when they aren’t zombies.

AC: You’ve had several guest stars in the past, can you give us anything–anything at all–in terms of who we should expect as either allies or foes in volume 2?

MM: Sean and I have some rock star pals, and we like to drop them in here and there.  Andy Hurley, from Fall Out Boy, is a returning regular and the band’s number one roadie, and I sure would like to sneak GWAR into the pages at some point since they’re such a huge inspiration for this book.

AC: Are there any plans to expand the Toe Tag universe, i.e., web series, movies, etc.?

MM: Sure, why not?  Would love to see a B-movie a’la Troma Films, but, you know, money and all.

SVG: I would love to see a big screen Toe Tag Riot!  I want toys of Toe Tag Riot!  We had considered the idea of doing a series of comic shorts. There are so many horrible people out there that it’s hard to keep up with in print.

AC: Are there any upcoming projects that you’d like to talk about?

MM: I have Lab Raider out currently from Black Mask Studios – it’s the story of these 2 women who take on dog fighters and animal abusers.  These are characters I’ve written in a few series now, and this particular volume gets really weird.  Also, the new GWAR graphic novel is in production and you can pre-order that at gwarcomic.com right now!

SVG: I have School Lab Raider, basically Lab Raider but for they are kids. Which may possibly come out as a back up in an upcoming issue of Lab Raider. I also have a story in Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force from Devils Due that is going into its 2nd printing.

MM: I think that Lab Raider backup is scheduled for issue 3, as long as we get it in time.  Issue 1 is on stands now – get it! HEY! The Kickstarter for Return of the Toe Tag Riot is live! Click the link to learn more!


Adam is a writer, an explorer of consciousness, a dog owner (times 2) and a decent fellow if you ask him. He currently lives in a suburb about 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta.

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