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.
The Christmas season is upon us once again, and that means that it's time for children all over the world to kick off the annual debate about the existence of Santa Claus -- despite the fact that we've already settled that in court, twice. I mean, yes, it was a court in a movie, but this is America, and if there's anything more binding than a fictional courtroom scene in a beloved classic that's upheld in its '90s remake, I'd like to hear about it.
In any case, the Santa Question has provided the inspiration for a new short comic from Kyle Starks. The infuriatingly good creator of one of the year's best graphic novels, Sexcastle has given us the gift of ten new full-color pages, decorated in the spirit of the season with a whole ton of cusswords. It's a Christmas miracle!
If you've ever wanted a thoroughly authentic glimpse at modern university life which sometimes also features extended sections of foxy boxing, then ComicsAlliance has some very good news ahead for you: BOOM! Box have announced that they'll be bringing a new story from John Allison's Giant Days to print in March of next year.
Following a group of girls - and their doting hangers-on - during Fresher's Week at uni and beyond, the series features all the familiar perils of life away from home; flu, food thefts, tutus, Enya; all the familiar perils. With the move to BOOM! Box, however, the series is going off in a new direction from the original webcomic. Allison will write, but artist Lissa Treiman will be coming in to pencil all six issues - that's her cover for issue #1 you can see up top.
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.
One of the great strengths of webcomics is that they can offer a corrective to mainstream media. Rather than pandering to the interests of the perceived common majority, webcomics can target under-served audiences, embrace alternative heroes, and present a non-traditional view of the world. And sometimes that philosophy can manifest in surprising places. Like a beefcake calendar.
Mancalendar is a project put together by Countershot Press, a collective of five webcomic creators from Canada, the US and the UK, which brings together twelve talented illustrators to present their refreshingly different takes on the pin-up.
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.
Author H.P. Lovecraft's stories of ancient terror gods that drive people insane upon seeing them and cruel fate making life difficult for people aren't exactly laugh riots, but cartoonist Patrick Dean has managed to find some macabre humor in the horror writer's work.
For the past two years, Brennan Lee Mulligan and Molly Ostertag's webcomic Strong Female Protagonist has mixed up gender politics, social responsibility, and superheroes into a really compelling package, with excellent art to boot.
Now, after a successful Kickstarter, the creators are partnering with Top Shelf to release a 220-page print version of the comic, collecting the first four issues along with bonus material.
Here's the thing about Boulet: As amazing as that guy's comics are, and stories like "The Long Journey" and "Darkness," the most incredible thing about them is how suddenly they appear. You're just minding your own business one day and then boom, there's a new forty-page Boulet masterpiece out there, and whatever you thought you were going to do that day becomes "read this new Boulet comic and then probably also all the others that I've already read." They're that good.
And that, my friends, is exactly what happened this week when the French cartoonist dropped "Kingdom Lost," a story that starts out with classic high fantasy and turns into something completely different.
One of the best things about digital comics is that you can read them online pretty much anywhere, but sometimes, every now and then, you want to read them in print. Whether it's the extra features that inevitably come with a printed collection, the texture of paper or just the comforting reminder that physical objects exist and you are therefore not alone and isolated in a formless void, printed webcomics have a lot to offer today's discerning reader, and Dark Horse is stepping up to give you three of the most exciting collections of the year.
Set for release next spring, Eisner winning digital comic Bandette and the webcomic Polar: Eye For An Eye are returning to Dark Horse for the book trade customers, but the third, Murder Book is a newcomer, and it looks awesome.
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