Retrofit Comics aims to publish 17 32-page floppy-style comics by 17 of the best comic artists in the business. Why 17 artists? Originally it was going to be one year's worth of comics, but too many amazing artists wanted in. Far be it from me to deny these artists their right to work!
Right okay, but why?
I am all too envious of fans of superhero-style comics. Every week they get to go into a comic shop and for a couple of bucks get some new comics to read. Alternative comic fans don't have that luxury anymore. Graphic novels have taken over the alt-comics industry as a natural progression. It's worked out well for fans and publishers, but the floppy comic has fallen by the wayside. Drawn and Quarterly, Top Shelf, and Fantagraphics used to publish lots of floppy comics but now, for a variety of reasons, they do not. Retrofit aims to highlight the importance of the floppy comic to retailers, fans, and the industry.
Wait, the "importance?” Get off your high horse!
Let me explain: The floppy comic allows artists to experiment and work on comics while building an audience. Without the floppy comic (or mini-comic), the artist is forced to work on a largescale graphic novel mostly in private and then sell it. What if it doesn't sell? What if the audience isn't there? What if there are kinks that could have been worked out somehow? The artist basically has to go back to the drawing board. If there is an avenue and audience to work with, the artist can produce better and more refined work.
For retailers, the cheap and frequent publication of floppy comics creates an incentive for people to visit the shop on a regular basis. It can also help to bring in new readers not willing to drop $20 on a book.
For fans it means more and more frequent content!
Aren't artists already doing this via the self published mini-comic?
Yes, they are! This is proof that the format of the floppy comic is a viable medium for storytelling. But like it or not, having a brand on the back of that comic means something to readers. If people see a logo on the back of a book--Top Shelf, Fantagraphics, or even Marvel--it is a mark of quality that is very hard to garner as a self-publisher. The books are receiving the selling power of every amazing comic that was published before it.
"Mark of quality?” Who are these Retrofit artists exactly?
Only the best working cartoonists in the business. Collectively these artists have won Harveys, Ignatzes, Xerics and been nominated for Eisner Awards! They are a diverse and amazing group, check out their work:
Noah Van Sciver
How will people be able to get these books?
They'll be able to get them via the Retrofit website, subscription and through our ever growing bunch of amazing retailers:
Jim Hanley's Universe
New York, NY
Forbidden Planet UK
Bergen Street Comics
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Atomic BooksBaltimore, MD
Brave New Worlds
Big Planet ComicsWashington, DC Area
What about the money, pal? Where is the money going? We all know from HBO's The Wire that we need to follow the money.
We are asking for $9000 to get the project off the ground. This money will go straight to the printing and mailing of these books. Books will be released monthly from September 2011 to January 2013. Any extra money that may come in will go toward convention tables, convention travel costs for artists and freebies for subscribers!
Thanks to Brian, Tom and Sara!
- (40 days)