Herman Mellville's Moby-Dick is one of the most well-regarded literary classics in the modern Western canon, but if illustrator Evan Dahm's latest crowdfunding venture is successful, it's about to be seen in a whole new light. With the classic having been in the public domain for many years, Dahm is seeking to release a hardcover of the original text paired with his own gorgeous illustrations, and the project is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.
Back in 2012, Benign Kingdom was launched by Becky Dresidadt, Frank Gibson and Evah Dahm as a series of creator-owned, high-quality art books featuring webcomics creators. It's a great idea that made for a fantastic showcase of independent talent, but unfortunately, we haven't seen any new offerings from the Kingdom since 2013. After putting out a series of books featuring creators like KC Green, Anthony Clark and Emily Carroll, it seemed like the project might have run its course.
But Benign Kingdom recently returned with a Kickstarter campaign meant to fund a whole new set, with 32-page art books from Meredith Gran, Dustin Harbin, and co-founders Dreisdadt and Dahm.
Benign Kingdom fills a niche that lay absurdly open for too long: well designed and curated artbooks from webcomic creators. Somehow, the idea never occurred to me or most anyone for years, despite the absolute cavalcade of talent on display. Who knew Danielle Corsetto, creator of Girls With Slingshots, produced such gorgeous figure drawings? Who knew Yuko Ota, co-creator and artist of Johnny Wander, could fill a page with such whimsy and menace?
One enormously successful Kickstarter later, Benign Kingdom has presented the world with these awesome talents, but also helped demonstrate the viability of self-publishing. ComicsAlliance sought out Evan Dahm, co-founder of the Benign Kingdom project and creator of the webcomic Rice Boy, to discuss a changing industry and their place within it.
When spinning stories, some writers prefer to play in a sandbox. For writers at Marvel and DC, that sandbox is a long-standing universe, slightly off-kilter from our own, pre-populated with characters waiting to have their stories told and retold...