In 2018, the author and cartoonist Ronald Wimberly founded the broadsheet newspaper art magazine LAAB as an ongoing experimental platform for creative work and critical discourse.
LAAB #0: DARK MATTER tackled the aesthetic representations of Blackness and identity in science fiction, pop culture and speculative worlds using a combination of comics, critical essays, interviews, illustrations, aesthetic manifestos and more.
We funded it right here on Kickstarter, and released it to wide acclaim. THE NEW YORKER called it "the hottest publication at recent comic conventions." Jeet Heer (THE NEW REPUBLIC) writes that it's "the most mind-boggling comics artifact since the early issues of Acme Novelty Library." It's currently nominated for a 2019 Eisner Award, the highest prize in the American comics industry.
Here's a peek inside:
Now we're back with LAAB #4: THIS WAS YOUR LIFE! (LAAB numbering is non-sequential.)
It's even bigger and bolder, and full to the broadsheet brim with brilliant contributors, astonishing artwork and original thinking.
Ron has assembled a remarkable team of audacious thinkers, writers, artists, musicians, theorists, cartoonists and genre-defiers to mine this rich territory. LAAB is a long-overdue soapbox, stage, megaphone, bullpen, and launching pad – all in a mass-produced, widely accessible newspaper format that everyone can enjoy.
And we need your help to make it happen.
In our new issue, we confront mortality itself. LAAB #4: THIS WAS YOUR LIFE concerns themes of death and environmental devastation, horror, hauntology, necropolitics, and the anthropocene. We ask what it means to die, and what it means to live -- and what might have to die for a future to be born.
LAAB #4: THIS IS YOUR LIFE is a big 48 page 16x21" broadsheet newspaper printed on bright white heavy 50# paper stock. It's a high end art newspaper with top production values and gorgeously printed images.
LAAB #4 features:
- Comics by an absolute murderer's row of contributors, including Emily Carroll, Ben Passmore, Hellen Jo, Jonathan Djob Nkondo, Nishat Akhtar, Josiah Files, Freddie Carrasco, Richie Pope, Tanna Tucker, Gymah Gariba, and more.
- An interview with Sandy & John Carpenter on the meaning of horror and the arc of history.
- A piece by Sarah Jaffe exploring the connection between the ALIEN franchise and reproductive freedom
- An original twelve-page comic from Ronald Wimberly
- Kim Jooha on ugly comics
- Elizabeth Young on Frankenstein's monster as a metaphor for Blackness
- A Michael Horse spread on the battle over the waters at Standing Rock
- Horrorscopes! by Nicole Hamilton. What's your monster?
- ...and much, much more.
This magazine is providing a paying forum for a lot of deep-dive, longform writing, artwork, thinking and discussion by some of the most brilliant and singular writers, artists and storytellers working today. We believe in this ongoing mission and experiment-in-progress. Every backer is our collaborator in the construction of what we hope will be sustainable venue for the kinds of art and prose that can't be found anywhere else.
Here are some excerpts from the comics we've already commissioned for LAAB #4:
We recognize that LAAB is not a low-cost publication, and that to have $20 to spend on a small press publication is a luxury. In the interest of making a magazine that's accessible to everyone, for every two copies sold via this campaign we will donate one additional copy to a library, public school, prison, or streetcorner free-newspaper box where it will be accessible at no cost.
We donated over 500 copies of LAAB #0 to many organizations and institutions, including Books Through Bars, The Austin Justice Coalition and The A-Space. We hope to double that number with LAAB #4.
We also have a sliding scale on digital editions. If you can't afford the $7 that we're charging for the PDF, simply message us, and we'll make sure to send you a copy for a price of your choosing, or for free.
We have a number of pieces of original art for sale through this campaign. They are listed below. We'll be uploading more pieces throughout the campaign, so watch this space!
Sunset Park sketch #1 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on post-it note, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #2 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on post-it note, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #3 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on post-it note, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #4 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on post-it note, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #5 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on graph paper, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #6 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on graph paper, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #7 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on graph paper, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #8 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on graph paper, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #9 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on graph paper, 3x3". $75.
Sunset Park sketch #10 by Ronald Wimberly. Graphite on graph paper, each 3x3". $75.
SCREENPRINTS by TANNA TUCKER
LAAB contributor Tanna Tucker is producing a small run of twenty-five 12x18" three-color screenprints of her comic "The Haunted Plains of Nicodemus," featured in LAAB #4. Please message us directly if you want to combine the prints with any other rewards tiers.
Ronald Wimberly is an artist who works primarily in design and narrative. He is also an accomplished cartoonist, having created several graphic novels as well as shorter works for DC/Vertigo, Nike, Marvel, Hill and Wang, The New Yorker, and Dark Horse. His most recent works of note were the critically-acclaimed Prince of Cats, Black History in Its Own Words, and the cartoon essay “Lighten Up” for The Nib.
BEEHIVE BOOKS is a new Philadelphia-based boutique press founded by the artist and designer Maëlle Doliveux and author and editor Josh O’Neill. They create book art editions of great prose & pictorial works with a special emphasis on graphic art, design, and comics. Their line of forthcoming books includes monographs on Harrison Cady and Herbert Crowley, illustrated novels with art by Yuko Shimizu, Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean and Paul Pope, and the ongoing experimental periodical LAAB Magazine, curated and created by Ronald Wimberly. Learn more at www.beehivebooks.com, or find us on Instagram @beehivebooks.
Risks and challenges
With ten successful Kickstarters totaling over half a million dollars to our name, Josh and Maëlle are veterans of crowdfunded publishing. We know the tricky logistics of fulfilling these projects, and know how to overcome the inevitable hurdles in our way.
We've carefully priced out production costs for all magazines, prints and ancillary rewards, as well as expenses for domestic and overseas shipping. We’ve planned for the logistics of reward fulfillment. We know exactly how much money we need to get this project across the finish line. All we need to finish the job is you.
There are many risks and challenges involved with publishing. Problems can pop up in ways we can't always predict. But we get better at this every time we do it. We have the knowledge, experience and commitment to persevere through difficulties and deliver a product that meets and exceeds the exacting expectations of our audience of discerning readers and collectors.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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