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No Reason Not To Do Both: Cartoonist Kel McDonald On Web Vs. Print [Interview]

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Kel McDonald has been making comics for ten years, including a ten year run on her webcomic Sorcery 101. She was an early adopter of crowdfunding as a way of getting her comics out in print, and book one of McDonald's Misfits of Avalon series came out earlier this year through Dark Horse Comics. As increasing numbers of young, particularly female comics creators turn to webcomics as a way of getting their work out there, and as increasing numbers of comics publishers look to webcomics for up-and-coming talent, creators like McDonald are poised to have a unique understanding of the current comics world we live in

As part of her wrap-up of Sorcery 101, she's currently running a Kickstarter campaign for an omnibus of the series. ComicsAlliance sat down with McDonald to talk comics, crowdfunding, and web versus print.

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Books That Feel Real: Spike Trotman On ‘Poorcraft 2′ And Building An Indie Comics Empire [Interview]

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Comic book publishing is a difficult world to survive in, particularly for small and independent publishers. C. Spike Trotman and her Iron Circus Comics, however, has found a way to thrive. When we spoke with Trotman earlier this year for Hire This Woman, we spoke primarily about her role as a creator. Today, this is only a small part of the role Trotman plays in comics, as the slate of books from Iron Circus continues to increase.

As a publisher, Iron Circus places a high value on inclusivity and publishing books that are too often ignored in mainstream comics. To wit, the publisher has a currently-running Kickstarter for Poorcraft: Wish You Were Here written by Ryan Estrada and drawn by Diana Nock. The 130-page black and white book is the the followup to Trotmans original Poorcraft, and is available in a variety of formats at eminently sensible price/reward tiers.

With less than one week left to pledge to the Kickstarter, we reconnected with Trotman to talk about webcomics, publishing, smut, and paying the bills.

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Dropping The Cool Veneer: Becky & Frank Welcome You To The World of Capture Creatures [Interview]

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Frank Gibson and Becky Dreistadt have established themselves as a creative team who excel at making a lighthearted, adorable comics with their work on Tiny Kitten Teeth and their Little Golden Book-esque publication of Tigerbuttah. In 2013, they were part of a crowdfunding campaign with Benign Kingdom for an art book titled Capture Creatures, which is launching this week as a new comic book series from Boom! Studios.

After giving the first issue a read, I had a quick chat with Frank about the book to learn more about the inspiration and thought behind Capture Creatures.

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Black Dynamite’s LeSean Thomas Kickstarts ‘Cannon Buster’ Animated Pilot

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If there's one thing that you need to know about the staff here at ComicsAlliance, it's that we're staunchly anti-cannon, and feel that they should be busted as often as possible. As a result, our interest was piqued when we heard about a new Kickstarter for a project from comic artist and animator LeSean Thomas called Cannon Busters, which seeks to raise $120,000 for what we assume will be an extended and thorough campaign design to leave no cannon un-busted. Finally, we will have these fearsome weapons out of the hands of the pirates that menace our shores.

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Be Weird, Be Inventive, Go For It: Talking ‘Dirty Diamonds’ With Editors Claire Folkman & Kelly Phillips [Interview]

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The Dirty Diamonds booth at this year’s Small Press Expo was impossible to miss, both because of its bright signage and because of its eye-catching display of tote bags, zines about Weird Al Yankovic, and, of course, the Dirty Diamonds all-woman anthology.

Brighter still are its co-editors, Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips, who were among the most ardent lovers of comics in the room -- and with good reason. The Dirty Diamonds anthology series is their passion project, collecting semi-autobiographical comics by women since 2011, and it's enjoyed particular success of late. Their recent Kickstarter was a hit; the Library of Congress singled Dirty Diamonds out for inclusion in its permanent collection; and the contributor list for the latest volume reads like an Ignatz Award nominations list from 2020.

Eager to learn more, ComicsAlliance hunkered down behind their bustling booth to talk the future of crowdfunding, apartments full of books, and just how rad the women of comics really are.

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Toronto Unveils Statue To Honor Life Of Young Superman Fan Jeffrey Baldwin

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The story of five-year-old Torontonian Jeffrey Baldwin is about as sad as it gets, but out of that heartbreaking story has come something uplifting.

Jeffrey died of starvation and septic shock in 2002 after years of physical and emotional abuse by his guardian grandparents, who kept him and his sister locked up in a filthy room. The grandparents were convicted of second-degree murder in 2006 and sentenced to 20 years for the grandfather and 22 years for the grandmother without parole.

Speaking at an inquest into the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey's death, Jeffrey's father, Richard Baldwin, talked about how much his son loved Superman, and how he had always wanted to fly. Todd Boyce, a dad in Ottowa, was so touched that he launched a campaign to honor Jeffrey's memory.

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Spotlighting Three Awesome Cartoonists On Patreon: Lauren Monger, Austin Holcomb & Drew Weing

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If you've not heard of Patreon yet, it's a service not dissimilar to Kickstarter, in that it allows you to donate money to projects and artists you'd like to support, sometimes for rewards, but largely because it's something you're invested in and would like to see continue. It's also different in that you can pledge ongoing support; giving a certain amount of money each month- say a dollar- although there's the option available to cancel at any time. As you can imagine, these factors make Patreon better tailored for those working and producing art online, as evidenced by the number of more established online artists doing well on there- KC Green, Anthony Clark, Meredith Gran, Ryan North, and more.

With so much projects and content to sift through, it's easy to miss some perhaps lesser-known, but equally excellent comics worthy of wider attention, so I thought I'd spotlight three of my favorites here. Regardless of whether you choose to support them or not, at the very least hopefully you'll be introduced to a few great comics that you may not have been aware of.

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Edmonton City Councilor Says He Wouldn’t Be Opposed To A Wolverine Statue

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Metropolis, Illinois, has a Superman statue. Philadelphia has immortalized Rocky in bronze. Detroit has a much-publicized Robocop statue. Why shouldn't Edmonton be home to a statue of its fictional hero, Wolverine?

About 3,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling for the mayor and city council of the Alberta's capital city to put up a life-size statue of the Marvel superhero in City Hall. At least one city councillor says he isn't opposed to the idea.

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Graphic Novelist Seth Kushner Is Raising Money For A Bone Marrow Transplant

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A day may be coming when comic book creators no longer have to turn to the kindness of others to help them pay their medical bills, but that day is not today. Writers, artists, colorists, letterers -- virtually everyone involved with making your favorite comics works in a freelance capacity, where healthcare remains a financial burden in America.

As you may have read a few months ago, Schmuck writer and photographer Seth Kushner has been diagnosed with leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. This week, his family started a GoFundMe page to raise $50,000 to make it happen.

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Comics’ New Golden Age: Spike Trotman Talks Taking Down The Gatekeepers [Interview]

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Spike Trotman is a visionary. She sees possibility where others throw their hands up in defeat. She sees innovation where others see stagnation. She is fundamentally optimistic about the future of comics — and why shouldn't she be? Trotman has conducted massively successful Kickstarters — plural — organized some of the best talent in comics into anthologies like Smut Peddler and The Sleep of Reason, made money-producing Poorcraft (a comic about not having money), and, all the while, maintained Templar, Arizona, her long-running and beloved webcomic.

Comics have been good to Spike Trotman, but her success is very much the result of hard work and fresh thinking rather than chance—hard work that has left her one of the most interesting people in the industry. So, naturally, ComicsAlliance tracked down her booth at San Diego Comic-Con to talk Kickstarter foibles, “porn for chicks,” and a new golden age for comics.

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