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Cartoonist Jess Ruliffson set out paint 100 portraits of her comics peers. The best of those portraits are collected in this book.
Cartoonist Jess Ruliffson set out paint 100 portraits of her comics peers. The best of those portraits are collected in this book.
65 backers pledged $1,269 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The portraits in Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists were created by Jess Ruliffson for a one-day exhibition that featured one hundred paintings and drawings of comic artists. Jess selected fifty of those pieces to be published in this collection.

The book is sixty pages, full-color, and measures 3.5" x 5.5". The cartoonist portraits included are:

Sam Alden
Jonathan Allen
Lara Antal
T. Edward Bak
Gregory Benton
Nick Bertozzi
Reilly Brown
Christa Cassano
Robyn Chapman
Domitille Collardey
Rob Corradetti
Pat Dorian
Nate Doyle
Chris Duffy
Mike Freiheit
Shiraj Ganguly
Sarah Glidden
Dan Goldman
Dre Grigoropol
Robin Ha
Dean Haspiel
Zack Helwa
George Jurard
Dave Kelly
 Josh Kramer
Tim Kreider
Seth Kushner
Meghan Lands
Brendan Leach
Ellen Lindner
Gregory Mackay
Andrés Vera Martínez
Maki Naro
Josh Neufeld
George O’Connor
Cody Pickrodt
Adrian Pijoan
Tom Pitill
Frank Reynoso
Ingrid Rios
Kenan Rubenstein
Nathan Schreiber
Anuj Shrestha
Tory Sica
Jeremy Sorese
Connie Sun
Andrea Tsurumi
Edwin Vazquez
Jess Worby
J.T. Yost

BONUS: a self-portrait by Jess Ruliffson

Jess has a knack for capturing a cartoonist's likeness in her small gouche paintings. Those of you within the cartooning community will enjoy recognizing these familiar faces.  

 Paper Rocket initially printed a small batch of Characters to sell at Jess' exhibition. Now, we want to share it with the world! Characters will be released in early March. Be the first to get your copy by pledging towards one of our awards. Characters will ship IMMEDIATELY after this Kickstarter ends and funds have cleared.

Among the rewards we offer is a soon-to-be published comic/zine by Jess Johnson (yes, another Jess!) Jess Johnson has been making strange and intense comics since the 90s, and Forward Looking Statement offers a unique combination of sketches, collage, and found text. Order this long-awaited new work by making a pledge.

 Much thanks to Miriam Agwai (who provided the footage for our little movie) and Preston Spurlock (who helped me edit it). The music is Cutie by Eubie Blake and his Orchestra.

Risks and challenges

Kickstarter campaigns, or as I like to call them, Kickstarter pre-order campaigns, are par for course for Paper Rocket. We use Kickstarter as a distribution mechanism for all our books, and it's one of the most successful ones we have available to us. I'm not in this to supplement my salary or raise thousands of dollars (perhaps I'm doing it wrong). Our goals are modest and the cost of each reward is about equal to the retail price of the reward, plus shipping.

This is all to say, the risk of Paper Rocket not completing this project is near zero. With or without Kickstarter, I will publish Characters. What Kickstarter helps me do is reach a larger audience, build buzz, and cover up-front costs.

Paper Rocket pays all its authors a modest sum—the additional orders from Kickstarter helps make this possible.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Forward Looking Statement by Jess Johnson, and a Characters postcard.

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    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists by Jess Ruliffson, and a postcard.

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    Pledge $13 or more About $13

    Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists by Jess Ruliffson, shipped internationally.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Double Jess Award! You get Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists by Jess Ruliffson and Forward Looking Statement by Jess Johnson. NOTE: Characters will be sent in early March (immediately after this Kickstarter) but Forward Looking Statement will be sent separately, in April.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Triple Jess Award! You get Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists by Jess Ruliffson, Forward Looking Statement by Jess Johnson, and Lovf New York: Destination Crisis by Jess(e) Reklaw. NOTE: Characters and Lovf will be sent in early March (immediately after this Kickstarter) but Forward Looking Statement will be sent separately, in April.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    You get EVERYTHING Paper Rocket Minicomics has published to-date! This includes Characters: Fifty Portraits of Contemporary Cartoonists by Jess Ruliffson, Forward Looking Statement by Jess Johnson, and Lovf New York: Destination Crisis by Jesse Reklaw, Star Fruit by Gretta Johnson, and The Complete Deep Girl by Ariel Bordeaux. NOTE: Characters, Lovf, Star Fruit and Deep Girl will be sent in early March (immediately after this Kickstarter) but Forward Looking Statement will be sent separately, in April.

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    Limited 7 backers
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Funding period

- (15 days)