The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
If you don't have a chance to get to Bethesda, Maryland, this coming weekend, and you still want to keep the spirit of Small Press Expo in your heart, you're in luck! Comixology and SPX have teamed up to put 100 Comixology Submit titles on sale at 50% off, from now through to September 21, just by using the code 'SPX' at checkout. With so many great independent comics to choose from, we've selected some standouts that you might want to try.
Iron Circus Comics, the publisher of, among other things, Smut Peddler, is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for another anthology called New World. New World is a fantasy/sci-fi anthology about what happens when cultures meet. The campaign is more than 200% funded, but there are still some great rewards for backers who may find this topic intriguing, and higher totals for the campaign can lead to bonuses for the creative teams.
As the campaign winds down, Iron Circus has provided ComicsAlliance with this exclusive preview of the first 10 pages of the story "Hosts," by Sophie Goldstein and Carl Antonowicz.
This week, we're taking a look at a handful of comics that were produced with the crowdfunding help of Kickstarter, from magical realism to filthy, filthy porno and more! Did your favorite make it onto the list? Check it out and see!
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.
In the overwhelmingly male comic book industry, it has been a challenge for some editors and readers to see the ever growing number of talented women currently trying to make a name for themselves. With that in mind, ComicsAlliance offers Hire This Woman, a recurring feature designed for comics readers as well as editors and other professionals, where we shine the spotlight on a female comics pro on the ascendance. Some of these women will be at the very beginning of their careers, while others will be more experienced but not yet “household names.”
Spike Trotman is probably best known for her webcomic Templar, Arizona which she creates entirely herself, and the sex-positive Smut Peddler anthologies she's published through crowdfunding on Kickstarter.
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.
If you're a ComicsAlliance reader, then there's a pretty good chance that you're already familiar with Spike Trotman, especially when it comes to her success on Kickstarter. As the creator of The Sleep of Reason and Poorcraft, Spike's had Kickstarter success funding her own comics, and as the editor of Smut Peddler, her latest campaign pulled in an overwhelmingly successful $180,000. If anything will make you an expert on how crowdfunding works, that's the kind of track record that'll do it.
Now, Spike's back with her latest comic, Let's Kickstart A Comic (And Not Screw It Up), featuring harsh truths and solid tips on how to help artists get their own projects off the ground without being financially devastated as a result.
American printing houses: We need to talk.
I coordinate an erotic comic anthology called Smut Peddler. The 2014 edition is on Kickstarter right now, and it's slaying. Owning. Knockin' 'em dead. Far and away, the most popular KS project I've ever run. And I'm glad its been so well-received, because otherwise it wouldn't be worth the aggravation.
Have you ever tried to print comic book porno? Not a picnic. I know where to look, thanks to two years of experience and the aid of a freelance print production manager, but it still took two weeks and a dozen price quotes. I had to assemble a PDF of what I call "the black diamond pages," or the most potentially objectionable content, to send around with the quote requests. I had to double and triple-check. "There is sex in this. There are sex organs in this. There is penetration in this. Is that okay? Are you sure? Very sure? Did you see the PDF?"
In 2012, the first volume of Smut Peddler, the "ladycentric, sex-positive erotic comics" anthology with a roster of female creators ,was crowd-funded on Kickstarter, racking up a grand total of $83,000 after a month of funding. With that kind of success, and with reader interest only growing over the past two years, a sequel is pretty much inevitable. Last week, the second volume launched on Kickstarter and met its predecessor's total in just five days, taking in over $80,000 with 25 days left to go, and passing the money that was raised on to the creators as a bonus to their page rate.
To find out more, I spoke to Smut Peddler editor Spike Trotman about the difficulties of putting together an erotic comic and getting it out to readers, why porn isn't always the answer to how to make a quick buck, and how one contributor's teenage fan-fiction gave a boost to the funding just after it launched.