Tag Archives: super

Kickstarter Spotlight: Super! Volume Two: The Secret is Out!

Vol_2_Super_CoverSMALLby Laurie Foster

On October 4th, Unlikely Heroes Studios launched a crowdfunding effort to finance the next six issues of Super! (6 to 11).  We are looking to fund the creation and printing of Volume 2, but also plan to reprint Volume 1 for new fans. We are offering Fire Ant toys, a Super! Art Book, and even a video game – all of which are there simply to sweeten the pot and help reach our goal!   There are also options in our campaign for large and small retailers.  For example, we have a $1000 tier – we’re offering 50 of each volume, with a custom store stamp on Volume 2.  This is a great price point for retailers!

We ran a successful Kickstarter last year to fund printing of Volume 1.The books flew out of our inventory and into the hands of adoring fans, with reviewers claiming it was “…the kind of comic you want to be reading”.  We’ve had a slight delay in production since then, and people have been crawling on the ceiling asking about Issue 6.  Good news; a release for the issue is planned by the end of 2015.  We’re giving it away with every reward tier to whet your appetite for what’s to come!

Volume 2 plans to have some very interesting drama between two of our main characters, as well as expanding on the lore of some of our heroes.  The deeper moments are going to have more weight because we’re more invested in the characters. Delivering the content that you were waiting for, but weren’t aware you were waiting for, but then it’s happening on the page and oh-my-gosh-it’s-so-awesome. That is what Volume 2 is all about!

Because every page of Super!, while entertaining and serving a purpose within its own issue, is leading to big payoffs, and as we start cashing in on those investments, Super! will be hitting at a level that’s rarely seen in American comics.

We also have a newly-released live-action trailer for our comic and Kickstarter, which you can check.

 

 

While we’re no longer picking crowd funding projects to spotlight on our site, we’re allowing project creators to make their case for their project on our platform. We remind individuals, we don’t endorse any of these projects, and that by supporting any crowd funding project, you’re taking any risks associated with doing so. – the Management

Justin Piatt has 5 ways that comic publishers can continue pushing comics forward in 2015

Below is a guest editorial from the creator of the comic Super! Justin Piatt.

blitz_pushcomicsforward-1Last week, BOOM! Studios launched Push #ComicsForward, a Twitter hashtag conversation and blog page with two aims. “It’s about promoting more gender diversity, racial diversity, and LGBT diversity, as a start.” said BOOM!’s Editor and Chief Matt Gagnon. Beyond that, the initiative seeks to applaud studios and creators who have broken the established mold of storytelling.

Today, fresh voices entered that conversation; the artists-turned-publishers who created the superhero comic Super! – an off-the-radar superhero comic that was amongst the highest critically rated superhero comics in the country, partly because it coincided with the core values of BOOM!’s #ComicsForward initiative – it’s female-fronted without being exploitative, diverse without beating readers across the head with their diversity, and it shamelessly screams “let us give fans what they want” with its balls-to-the-wall action.

Here are 5 ways that comic publishers can continue pushing comics forward in 2015, according to Super! co-creator Justin Piatt.

1) Comic publishers need to develop relationships with comic book stores independent from Diamond Distributors. Without these relationships, what would protect them, or the industry, were Marvel or DC to pull out from print comics completely?  These relationships with brick-and-mortar comic stores are important because as a creator (Super!) without a publisher, our two main options for avoiding the expensive, high risk/high reward Diamond distribution system cut comic stores out of the picture completely.

2) By partnering with Comixology Submit, Super! was able to sell our comics directly to fans all over the world, and we were even lucky enough to be chosen for a few of Comixology’s sales, which gave us a load of exposure.

Through Kickstarter, we’ve been able to hook up with new fans and empower our existing fanbase to push Super! to new heights. The 10% fee charged by both Amazon and Kickstarter is much less than what Diamond takes off the top, and it’s lower risk because if your fans and the market don’t rally around your project and it fails, it won’t be funded. This sounds horrible (“oh no, we failed!”) but it’s a lot better to know that something isn’t commercially viable BEFORE you put a lot of money into it.

3) Marvel and DC comics need to give almost total writing power to their writer and artist team, taking it from the hands of their editors, and ending the era of editorial mandate once and for all.

50_51_issue1

In this page from Super! issue 3, Blitz carries Professor Max Archer away from the rampaging Plague. Super! is penciled by Zack Dolan, inked by Laurie Foster, colored by Everardo Orozco.

People don’t hate “cape books.” They hate that cape books often make no sense. They want some friggin’ continuity! They want the books they read to not insult their intelligence and they don’t want to pay for a product that tries to sell them other products. They want a great, diverse, interesting superhero comic… and I’ve got no problem coming into the market with Super! and winning back the jaded fans (usually with a “show me on the doll, where did Marvel hurt you?”).

I’d also like to see those big companies change their structure, stop making bonehead decisions, and really start leading by example. It would grow the industry, push comics forward in more ways than one, and really be better for both creators and fans.

4) Comic publishers should farm talent from Comixology Submit and Kickstarter. There are a ton of comic publishers that have closed submissions and only farm talent from other comic publishers. How then, will they get their talent, other than from catching them as they run, screaming, from the clutches of another company? While it’s great to see that initial spark from creators once they’re freed from editorial mandate, publishers should also try to find fresh young talent who can push comics while they’re still young, idealistic, and ready to prove themselves.

That’s how the artists from Super! found each other, and our internal pages look as good as most comic book covers. Part of this is because we’re obsessed with quality. The other part is because every panel and every page is essentially a job interview. Established publishers should be the NFL to Kickstarter / Comixology Submit’s college football, but instead they often ignore what is an obvious source for emerging talent. As more publishers come to recognize this, it will be comic fans from all over the world who will reap the rewards cultivated from the rich and diverse depths of independent comics and their amazing artists.

5) Comic publishers need to challenge Marvel and DC comics at their core: superheroes – and stop being afraid of superhero comics. I know that Marvel and DC have a huge chunk of the market share, and that superhero comics are their bread and butter. This usually forces other publishers to look to different genres, and it’s why we’ve seen a glut of “dark and edgy” comics.

This is a mistake. The key to a great comic is a great story and great team, regardless of the genre.

All comic fans and creators want to push comics forward, but in a changing industry, which way is forward? I think we’d all agree that Boom’s first goal of promoting gender, racial, and LGBT diversity is a step in the right direction for comic content. But can any of the ideas proposed by Super! help the industry as a whole? Does Super! really push #comicsforward ?

Let us know in the comments.

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Justin Piatt is the co-creator of the self-produced superhero comic Super! For more info, check out: www.super-comic.com

Super! by Unlikely Heroes Studios Out this November

On 11/19, the independent comic Super! by Unlikely Heroes Studios will see its first volume released exclusively on its website –www.unlikelyheroesstudios.com! It’s 180 pages, full color, and collecting the first five issues in hardcover. Super! is a refreshing and original superhero comic, already receiving tons of praise.

Being creator-owned has allowed the team to offer a very unique opportunity in their store; for a small fee, series creator and artist Zack Dolan will put a custom sketch in the inside front cover of your book!

To demonstrate what these sketches might look like, every single book that was pre-ordered through their 2013 Kickstarter received a free sketch.

The series is written by Zack Dolan and Justin Piatt (who co-created the series together), features pencils by Dolan, colors by Everardo Orozco, inks by Laurie Foster and lettering byPiatt.

Super_Vol1_standard_cover

Kickstarter’s Ashes Isn’t the First Project to Include Retailer Participation

The Beat spotlighted the recently funded Ashes over on Kickstarter and deservedly congratulated the project in it’s success.  As one of the funders, I can’t wait to have it in my hands.  Unfortunately the article perpetuated the incorrect information that it is the first comic book project to include retailer incentives.

Aside from such a large upfront goal funding an original graphic novel, Ashes is also significant for being the first Kickstarter project to offer retailers a chance to participate and get discounted copies of the graphic novel for sale in stores.  As of this writing, it looks like 11 retailers have participated.  A small start for a new practice of cutting and the distributor and merging Direct to Consumer with Direct to Retail fulfillment.

Reality is that’s not true.  We fact checked (I gave to both projects cited which is why I knew) and corrected the original Publisher’s Weekly article where this incorrect fact was first hatched.  From our article:

two projects (I found, might be more) beat Ashes by over 3 months when it comes to retailer incentives.  Super by Aberrant Press and The Hero Code by Jamie Gambell both offered incentives for retailers.

Super saw two levels for $200 and $500.

$200 – GROUP/RETAILER PLEDGE #1: 20 copies of the book will be sent to you as well as 20 of the preview books and 20 of the postcards and your name(s) printed in the book’s “thank you’s” section. Also, you’ll get a page of original art (again, first pledged gets first pick).

$500 – GROUP/RETAILER PLEDGE #2: 40 copies of the book will be sent to you as well as 40 of the preview books, 50 of the postcards, your name(s) printed in the book’s “thank you’s” section and 10 of the signed and numbered prints! Also, you’ll get 2 pages of original art from the book (first pledged gets first pick)!!! AND A SPECIAL BONUS: A ONE PAGE AD FOR YOUR STORE OR GROUP OR WHATEVER REALLY (so long as it’s within reason)!!!

The Hero Code offered the following:

$30 – *RETAILER REWARD* – x10 copies of the book, 7 standard cover, 2 JR Variant and 1 wrap around variant, plus a button, print and 5 full collections of trader card sets. Retailers can order more than one set.

This is the second example this week of erroneous reporting being taken as truth (Dark Horse digital pricing being the other this week).  The fact is Aberrant Press and Jamie Gambell deserve the credit for doing this months before Ashes.  Give credit where credit is due.

Ashes Isn’t the First Kickstarter Project to Offer Retailer Incentives

It’s great to see Publishers Weekly cover Kickstarter and Alex de Campi & Jimmy Broxton’s Ashes.  It’s an interesting project and I myself chipped in $30.  Kickstarter is a crowd sourcing website that allows creators to reach out to the public to raise money for their projects.  It’s become a democratic publishing engine that relies on consumers to vote with their pledges and dollars.  However in the coverage, writer Todd Allen claimed:

In what appears to be the first of its kind, de Campi has offered a “retailer pack” of the graphic novel: 5 limited edition, numbered hardcover graphic novels (suggested retail price: $30) for $105, which works out to a 30% discount. The offer also includes an “art card” that can be sold immediately and also contains a password to read the digital edition of the graphic novel, which will be serialized at comiXology as the book is being produced. The participating stores will be the only retail locations selling Ashes in 2012.

That’s fantastic except two projects (I found, might be more) beat Ashes by over 3 months when it comes to retailer incentives.  Super by Aberrant Press and The Hero Code by Jamie Gambell both offered incentives for retailers.

Super saw two levels for $200 and $500.

$200 – GROUP/RETAILER PLEDGE #1: 20 copies of the book will be sent to you as well as 20 of the preview books and 20 of the postcards and your name(s) printed in the book’s “thank you’s” section. Also, you’ll get a page of original art (again, first pledged gets first pick).

$500 – GROUP/RETAILER PLEDGE #2: 40 copies of the book will be sent to you as well as 40 of the preview books, 50 of the postcards, your name(s) printed in the book’s “thank you’s” section and 10 of the signed and numbered prints! Also, you’ll get 2 pages of original art from the book (first pledged gets first pick)!!! AND A SPECIAL BONUS: A ONE PAGE AD FOR YOUR STORE OR GROUP OR WHATEVER REALLY (so long as it’s within reason)!!!

The Hero Code offered the following:

$30 – *RETAILER REWARD* – x10 copies of the book, 7 standard cover, 2 JR Variant and 1 wrap around variant, plus a button, print and 5 full collections of trader card sets. Retailers can order more than one set.

Great to see the coverage, even if the claims are wrong.

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It was a very quiet weekend with a bit of news coming out of some conventions, but nothing Earth shattering.  Below is what you might have missed.

Around the Blogs:

Comic Book Resources – Top 125 Comic Book Writers Master ListWho are your favorite writers?

Bleeding Cool – “Spiderman Stroke All Criminal Activates”As much as I look for this type of stuff, they never seem to have it at my local Dollar Store.

Kotaku – Sunday ComicsKotaku checks out some web comics.

Con Coverage:

Bleeding Cool – Kapow: What Is Movie X? – UPDATE: It Was Super

Comic Book Resources – KAPOW: Marvel Announce Spencer & Rios on “Cloak and Dagger”

Comic Book Resources – KAPOW: Millar Talks Four New Titles

Comic Book Resources – KAPOW: Day One Brings It Con!

Graphic Novel News – Great show at Kapow Comiccon

Multiversity Comics – Kapow ’11: Mark Millar Writes Comic Books

Comic Book Movie – KAPOW: Detailed Description And Review Of Green Lantern Movie Footage!

Bleeding Cool – Sunday At Kapow – How It Went Down

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It was a pretty quiet weekend for the comic book industry as everyone prepares for C2E2 (expect me, I won’t be there).  I’m expecting it to pick up as some announcements are made concerning what we’ll be seeing this summer.  Also, it’s NCAA tournament time!  The one time a year folks care about college basketball.  Good luck to everyone in their bracket.

Around the Tubes:

Bleeding Cool – Raising Money For Japan Through Art –  Artists are scrambling to help raise funds to benefit the victims of the earthquakes in Japan.

UGO – Rainn Wilson Smacks Superhero Films in the Face in Super – Not sure what to think about this upcoming movie.  Hoping it’s good.

Kotaku – Sunday Comics – Kotaku gathers some solid web comics.

Bleeding Cool – Hot Comics – The Four Image Contenders – Continuing to speculate on what comics you should sink some dollars into, here’s four possible contenders from Image.

2DX – PAX East 2011: Peering into The Darkness II – PAX East is over and a few folks have gotten a chance to check out the sequel to the Darkness video game.