By now, many of you have at least heard about the Walking Dead Escape, a traveling obstacle course of sorts themed around The Walking Dead. It's been regularly occurring in San Diego since 2012, with a few other adventures in Philadelphia, New York and Atlanta sprinkled in over the past few years. The Escape has been one of the big draws every year at San Diego Comic-Con for people looking to live out their wildest zombie apocalypse dreams. With it, fans can either participate as survivors hoping to make it out alive or be transformed into the undead by make-up veterans from the show, who then chase around the survivors.
Now, the Escape is part of Walker Stalker Con, itself a crowdfunded convention that allows fans to meet and greet some of the stars from The Walking Dead (and other horror properties) all over the globe. This year alone, there will be Walker Stalker Cons in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, London and the Bahamas, to name a few. No longer content with just one zombie apocalypse interactive scenario for fans, Walker Stalker Con is kickstarting an all-new interactive experience to premiere at the "home" show in Atlanta this October.
Kate Ashwin's webcomic Widdershins has been running for several years, telling a series of different stories in a quaint little town of the same name. Widdershins is a magical place in the heart of Yorkshire, where technology is banned but magic is heartily encouraged... most of the time. Inhabited by a cast of brilliant rogues, daring adventurers, and heroic cake-makers, it's a uniquely English sort of series, inspired as much by the Great British Bake Off as by classic novels gone by.
The Road North is a new all-ages comic from writer/artist Joshua Covey, set in a lawless wasteland of a future where mankind has all but become extinct. With the planet slowly dying, the end of man is hastened by the arrival of an alien species called 'The Pure', who have one goal --- to wipe out the last human survivors and claim the planet for their own.
Across the dystopian sands walks a young refugee called I, as well as her trusty canine companion, Z. Together, they're on a mission to find I's brother, dodging The Pure and sticking to her wits in a deadly landscape. Covey, an artist whose work has been published at Boom and Dark Horse among others, has taken his latest story to Kickstarter, where he's already met his funding target to take the book to print. We spoke to Covey about how The Road North came to be.
Following two successful Kickstarters collecting the comics work of classic Canadian cartoonists, this year sees writer and editor Hope Nicholson return to crowdfunding for a completely new project, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls. Gathering a varied collection of thematically-linked pieces, including comics, illustrated stories, and prose, the anthology --- now running on Kickstarter --- will feature work from creators including Mariko Tamaki, Sam Maggs, Jen Vaughn, Irene Koh and, yes, Margaret Atwood.
The Secret Loves of Geek Girls will focus on just that --- real and imagined stories on the topics of dating, love, romance and (whisper it!) sex. Nothing more, nothing less; love is the best. This is a huge undertaking, but one that Nicholson is certainly qualified to bring together. To find out more about the project, ComicsAlliance spoke to her about what we can expect from the collection, how Margaret Atwood got involved, and the story that Hope herself will write for the anthology.
Twenty-Seven has become a legendary, tragic haunting number in the world of music over the years, as a number of the brightest and most talented artists to ever take to the stage all sadly passed away at that young age. From Jimi Hendrix to Amy Winehouse, Robert Johnson to Richey Edwards, the age has become synonymous with loss. For that very reason, 'The 27 Club' has reached a kind of mythic quality over time, with scholars, fans and artists all considering just what resulted in so many lights being extinguished so early in their careers.
It's also the focus of Red Stylo's fifth Kickstarter anthology in five years, 27, A Comic Anthology. Jumping deep into the mythos of the 27 Club thanks to editor Enrica Jang and a huge collection of writers and artists, the anthology will features stories about Hendrix, Joplin, Cobain, Jones and more. It's an intriguing premise for a comics anthology, so ComicsAlliance spoke to Jang about how she conceived it, and her plans for the book.
Based in Philadelphia, the all-female Dirty Diamonds comics collective has spent the last few years putting out a series of anthologies filled with real-life, autobiographical stories centered around a single theme each time. Past anthologies have been on the topics "alcohol" or "jobs", for example, with open submission calls sent out for female writers/artists to submit their pitches.
It's been a tremendous success so far, to the extent that editors Claire Folkman and Kelly Phillips are this year bringing out anthology number six for Dirty Diamonds. Six! This time the theme is "Beauty", and the pair have now come to Kickstarter to fund the print run. To find out more --- and to share a look at some of the comics that will be featured --- ComicsAlliance spoke to Kelly and Claire about the project.
A familiar fixture at conventions, writer John Lees' The Standard has been in-publication since 2011. The story of a retired superhero forced to put back on his cape to investigate the apparent murder of his former sidekick, the six-issue series was picked up by ComixTribe and published across 2013-14. Joined by artist Jonathan Rector and a creative team of Will Robson, Mike Gagnon, Kel Nuttall, and Steven Forbes, the series was highly acclaimed across the UK, and earned Lees the Best Writer Award at the Scottish Independent Comic Awards.
This year the team has come to Kickstarter to fund a collected hardcover edition of the complete series. Featuring over 200 pages of story, back material, and many other surprises, the collection has already been funded and is headed into stretch goal territory. Following on from that success, ComicsAlliance spoke to Lees about the long journey that led him here.
Here's one for fans of The X-Files. Running on Kickstarter right now, Cash and Carrie follows the junior high school adventures of Dallas Cash and Inez Carrie, two budding investigators who find themselves pulled into a fiendish fiasco with a hint of the supernatural. Somebody has taken their school's mascot, a goat, and they race off (on their vespas, awesomely) to go get it back.
Created by Shawn Pryor, who recently served as President of Action Lab Comics, the book is written by Giulie Speziani and pencilled by Penny Candy, and the whole team were determined to create an all-ages series with real diversity. The term sometimes becomes a meaningless catch-all, but, here's a book that takes the concept seriously and gives it some depth. Inez and Dallas are bright and fun characters to hang out with, as are the creative team. ComicsAlliance spoke to all three about their project.
With Kickstarter's rise has come a rise in new projects featuring superheroes who sit outside the dynamics you'll find on the Diamond Catalog. Writers and artists have been able to find audiences for superheroes who represent a wider group of readers, and whose experiences mirror those of the new wave of creatives who have come to comics over the last few years.
Gamer Girl & Vixen is a great example of just such a comic, starring a pair of caped villainesses (of sorts) who fall in love with each another, and spur each other on to be better, and to be themselves. The creation of Kristi McDowell and Sean Ian Mills, the comic is illustrated by Gemma Moody, and lettered by Taylor Esposito, and is now seeking funding on Kickstarter for print editions of the first two issues.
We spoke to Kristi and Sean about how the series came about, and why they decided to bring it to Kickstarter.
Last week, ComicsAlliance showed you an exclusive preview of Gene Ha's graphic novel Mae, which he's currently running a Kickstarter for. The project is funded twice over with three weeks left in its campaign, but Ha still has more stretch goals and incentives planned. We've spoken with him about genesis of the project, his careful planning for the Kickstarter, what it's like taking on new roles as a creator, and why he thinks broadening comics' readership is important.
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