The launch and rise of Peow, a Swedish publisher that was nominated for three Ignatz Awards this year, is one of the most encouraging success stories of 2015. Founded by Patrick Crotty, Olle Forsslöf and Elliot Alfredius, the studio started with three artists and a risograph machine, but has now established a reputation for bright, vibrant, and funny works that are unlike anything else in the industry.
Peow has now turned to Kickstarter to fund its Spring/Summer 2016 line-up, featuring new work from creators including Guillaume Singelin, Wai Wai Pang, Mathilde Kitteh, Luca Oliveri, Mackenzie Schubert,and Patrick Crotty himself. It looks as though next year will see Peow grow even further, so we sat down with Crotty to take a closer look at the publisher's history and its hopes for the future.
The Kill Screen is a comic that shows a world where computers have run rampant --- not on society, as you might expect, but rather within society. As a virus. Created by Mike Garley, Josh Sherwell and letterer Mike Stock, the series sees computers literally infecting people and places into digitised oblivion, glitched and broken. It's sci-fi horror as social commentary, but it puts characters before anything else --- which is what has made it such a success on the UK comics scene over the last few years.
When the world goes to hell in the weirdest way imaginable, how would society try and move on? Having put out the entire story as single issues, the creative team has now come to Kickstarter to seek funding for the oversized hardcover collection of the story. As part of our ongoing spotlight series on Kickstarter projects worth your attention, ComicsAlliance spoke to writer Mike Garley about how the series came together, and what backers can expect from the completed comic.
Tech-witches living in the future. That's what comics are bringing us now. Hex11 is a series created by the HexComix team of writer Kelly Sue Milano, artist Lisa K. Weber, and editor Lynly Forrest. Set in a world where magic not only exists but has been commodified by giant corporations, the series focuses on Elanor Kent, an apprentice witch who accidentally gets herself wrapped up in a larger conspiracy that hurtles her into the dangerous world of black market magic.
The series has already wrapped volume #1, and the team has headed to Kickstarter to fund a print collection. They're also looking to set up funding to help produce the second volume of their story as they seek to build up HexComix as a new studio publisher. Nominated for the inaugural Dwayne McDuffie Award for Divisity this year, Hex11 seems like a project well-worth taking a closer look at, so we spoke to the entire Hex11 team.
Sometimes you see a style of storytelling that is so distinct and different from anything else out there that you have to stop and just admire what's going on. In the case of Martin Simpson's Misc anthology, currently running on Kickstarter to fund a print edition, you'll need every moment possible to try and cram in every little detail of the work.
Simpson's artistic style is inspired by everything from Bruce Timm to The Triplets of Belleville, and it offers a strikingly bold, sideways glance at a world that pulses with off-kilter energy. His colors stamp an electric atmosphere across the faces of his characters, while the worlds and lives they live feel unique, uneasy, and imposing. It all looks hugely impressive, and feels like a firm footstep into another dimension. To find out more about Misc, and the uneasy shimmer of neon nightmares that glimmer beneath each page, we spoke to Simpson about the project.
Cartozia Tales brings together a number of artists and writers, including Lucy Bellwood, Dylan Horrocks, Jen Vaughn, and Jon Lewis, to tell stories set within a huge map. Each artist starts off telling a story set in a specific part of the map --- so they could be in a jungle, up a mountain, in a lake, anywhere --- but then rotate at random, so each issue sees different writers and artists creating an interconnected world and telling all-new stories with the characters created in issue #1.
It's a great idea, and recently the Cartozia team launched a Kickstarter to reprint that crucial first issue for anyone who may have missed it the first time round. To check in on how things are going, and to learn more about Cartozia itself, ComicsAlliance spoke to project editor Isaac Cates
Teachers are the greatest heroes in the world --- we all know it. From Indiana Jones to the person who taught you geography, teachers are some of the hardest-working, most important people in all of our lives. Writer Dino Caruso, artist Shawn Richison and colorist Dijjo pay tribute to just such a heroic teacher with their latest, Fisk: the S.U.B.S.T.I.T.U.T.E..
An agent of the secretive S.U.B.S.T.I.T.U.T.E. organisation, Fisk's job is to protect schools from supernatural risks like alien attacks, temporal rifts, supervillain plots --- all in the guise of a substitute teacher. It's a fun idea for a series, and one that the team has launched on Kickstarter to help fund a print edition of the story. To find out more about Fisk and the heroic world of substitute teaching, ComicsAlliance spoke to the team.
Like Father, Like Daughter is running a Kickstarter for its second issue. It tells the story of Casey, a young girl whose father is the most powerful and beloved superhero in the world. But he's also the man who walked out on her family when she was just a baby. While trying to reconcile her hatred for a man who everybody else loves, she finds that she's inherited his power set. That's when things start to get really complicated.
It's a neat concept, and one that seems to be picking up a fanbase. ComicsAlliance spoke to Calamia about how the series came about, and her experiences with crowdfunding.
Kickstarter has really proven that the number of new, eager, ready comics writers and artists has been booming over the last few years. The number of anthologies and projects with a specific focus on those who don't usually get featured over at 'mainstream' publishers has been staggering, with each week bringing an array of fresh talent into the world of comics.
One of the most recent is Oath, a queer comics anthology masterminded by Audrey Redpath. The anthology consists entirely of queer comics talent telling LGBT superhero stories. Featuring a host of new and established writers and artists, the book has already hit its funding target --- but it still has stretch goals to reach in its closing days.
Earlier this year, Joe Madureira hinted at the possibility of Battle Chasers, his creator-owned series, returning in some form. After leaving comics for a time to focus on game development, and then releasing two games with Vigil Games and THQ, it seems the time is now right for Gully, Garrison, Calibretto and the rest of the gang to make their comeback. Battle Chasers: Nightwar will see Joe Mad return to the series and characters for the first time in almost 15 years, but this time the franchise is stepping into a new arena --- video games.
Using Kickstarter to fund the development for PC and Mac (other platforms will follow if stretch goals are met), Airship Syndicate is bringing the fan-favorite comic to life as a JRPG. If you're at all familiar with Battle Chasers, you know just how perfect a fit the world of that series is for a role-playing game steeped in the traditions of Squaresoft and Enix, but with a modern twist. That means there'll be loads of turn-based battles, mana and dungeon crawling to go around, but the dungeons will be generated randomly and have a bit of that Diablo flare.
The Original Adventures of Doc Sterne/Mr Monster is the latest project from comics historian Rachel Richey, who is working to bring a number of classic Canadian comics back into print via Kickstarter. Doctor Jim Stearne was an adventure hero created by writer/artist Fred Kelly in the 1940s, who eventually transitioned into the role of monster hunter Mr Monster.
Richey is bringing his stories back to print after decades in the wilderness, with a Kickstarter campaign launched this past weekend to coincide with Fan Expo Canada. To find out more about the project, we spoke to Richey about what drew her to Doc Stearne, and where he belongs in the pantheon of lost Canadian heroes.
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