Of all of Nick Bertozzi's comic book projects, the artist says that his ACT-I-VATE strip Persimmon Cup has had the most enthusiastic response from readers. Bertozzi's posted 454 panels of the fantasy adventure following two outcasts on the run online to read for free so far, but wants to release his creator-owned material as a 124-page printed hardcover. That's where the artist's new Kickstarter comes in. The goal of the KickStarter is to not only cover the printing and shipping costs of 500 hardcovers for backers, but also to spur the completion of two more volumes of the story down the road.

Here's how Bertozzi makes his case on Kickstarter, although you may only need to read him characterize Persimmon Cup as "the direct byproduct of taking Kirby/Hergé/Tezuka/Kubrick/Herzog/Topor/LeGuin/Heinlein/McEwan/Python/Heston/Goldsmith and stewing them in my head for forty years":

I've been a cartoonist for two decades and I've made many comics. I started out as the manager of a comic book store, I worked at DC Comics, and I've self-published several comics so I know the quality that people expect and I know how to get those books to the readers. One of my first comics was self-published using a grant from the Xeric Foundation. Boswash, a map-comic, was a very difficult printing job, but I persevered and the book was printed and led in no small part to my winning an Ignatz Award that year.

On top of the Ignatz Award he references in 2000, Bertozzi won two Harvey Awards in 2003 for Best New Series (Rubber Necker) and Best New Talent.

Bertozzi's Kickstarter is nice and concise. For $10 backers get a PDF of the book, $25 gets backers the hardcover itself with an estimated April arrival. Backing at higher dollar amounts, such as the $100 level, yields an original page from the story cut from Bertozzi's sketchbook itself. Spending even more can get fans drawn into the world of Persimmon Cup and other bonuses that related directly to the material and the artist drawing it.

Bertozzi hasn't quite posted any stretch goals, but given that he's halfway to his $8,000 goal with 25 days left to go, backers could very well expect updates.



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