Hi, we're Box Brown and Jared Smith, co-publishers of Retrofit Comics, and we're raising money to publish our next 6 graphic novels and comic books!
- Combed Clap of Thunder by Zach Hazard Vaupen
- Steam Clean by Laura Ķeniņš
- How To Be Alive by Tara Booth
- Iceland by Yuichi Yokoyama
- Tales from the Hyperverse by Will Cardini
- TRUMPTRUMP vol. 1: nomination to inauguration by Warren Craghead III
Who are you guys?
Box Brown is a New York Times bestselling cartoonist and creator of Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, Tetris: The Games People Play, and An Entity Observes All Things, among many others. He's the founder of Retrofit Comics and the editor. (Check out more of his comics at boxbrown.com )
Jared Smith is co-owner of the 4 Big Planet Comics stores in the Washington, DC area, and has been co-publisher of Retrofit Comics with Box since 2013.
We've published almost 60 comics and graphic novels since we were founded in 2011. We actually started with a successful Kickstarter, and have been aiming to publish around 12 comics a year ever since.
So why another Kickstarter?
We've run 3 successful Kickstarters so far, including our biggest Kickstarter ever last year, and it's simply one of the best ways to reach a big comics-loving audience!
We want to make sure the printed quality of our comics stays as high as possible to match the vision of all of our artists, but we also want to keep paying our artists advances upfront! Creating comics is a slow and difficult process, so paying advances helps the artists instead of waiting to be paid after their comic has been selling for a long time.
What are these comics?
In this Spring 2017 line, we're publishing 6 new comics and graphic novels, including the first English translation of a Japanese graphic novel. Here are the planned covers and some interior pages from them.
Combed Clap of Thunder by Zach Hazard Vaupen
44 black and white pages, 7x9 inches (15.2x22.8 cm), stapled comic book
Combed Clap of Thunder collects 3 short stories by Zach Hazard Vaupen: "The Lonely Autocannibal The Scientist", "Bodhisattva", and "The Real Jesuses", centered around themes of emotional and spiritual confusion.
Zach Hazard Vaupen is a cartoonist and printmaker living and working in New York City. His work has appeared in several anthologies and websites in multiple countries since 2006. When he's not drawing comics, Zach enjoys experimenting with digital printing methods on rigid materials. He's ashamed that he doesn't keep a sketchbook so don't tell anyone.
Steam Clean by Laura Ķeniņš
84 color pages, 5.5x7.5 inches (14x19 cm), softcover graphic novel
On a dark autumn night in northern Europe, a group of friends and strangers gather at a sauna for a women’s-only sauna night. Kaisa has been trying out dating apps after a breakup. Miika is conflicted about attending a women’s event as a nonbinary person. Maija’s work tensions bring up recollections of other events from the past. Laima feels torn between her role as goddess of women and her sexual orientation. As the sauna heats up, stories come out in the steam.
Laura Ķeniņš is a comic artist and journalist who has lived and worked in Halifax, Toronto, Latvia and Hungary. Her short comic Alien Beings was published by kuš! komikss in 2016 and her comics have also appeared in Kuti Magazine, Truthout, The Puritan, Carte Blanche, the Los Angeles Review of Books and other publications. She has worked with the Ladydrawers and Femicomix Finland. Currently she resides in Toronto with her tuxedo cat.
How To Be Alive by Tara Booth
40 color pages, 7x10 inches (17.8x25.4 cm), stapled comic book
How To Be Alive is a collection of Tara Booth's most recent gouache paintings. Straying from the narrative form of her first 2 publications, How To Be Alive is a series of densely patterned, colorful, one page vignettes.
Tara Booth is an artist from Philadelphia, PA currently based in Portland, Oregon. Since she began making comics in 2015, her work has been published by küs! comics, Colorama Press, Brainfreeze Comics and in various anthologies.
Iceland by Yuichi Yokoyama
88 black & white pages, 6x8.5 inches (15.2x21.6 cm), softcover graphic novel
A new surrealist tale by the creator of neo manga, the critically-acclaimed Yuichi Yokoyama. His frenetic visual style contrasts with the taciturn pace of the story and dialogue as a group of friends wander the high-latitude areas of the strange icy Far North looking for someone. Readers of Yokoyama's other stories may even recognize some characters.
Yuichi Yokoyama is an Eisner Award-nominated artist who was born in 1967 in Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department of Musashino Art University. Originally, he was making fine art paintings, but after 2000, started to release manga, feeling that through it he could “express time.” These unique works would go on to be called “neo manga” and receive high acclaim in many fields. Presently, he is also active as a contemporary artist. His other graphic novels include Color Engineering, Travel, Garden, and World Map Room.
Iceland is translated from the original Japanese by Ryan Holmberg, an art and comics historian whose many translations include Yuichi Yokoyama's World Map Room, Osamu Tezuka's Mysterious Underground Men, and Tsuge Tadao's Trash Market.
More writing by Ryan Holmberg: tcj.com/author/ryan-holmberg/
Tales from the Hyperverse by William Cardini
40 color pages, 7x10 inches (17.8x25.4 cm), stapled comic book
Tales from the Hyperverse collects a series of short comics that Will Cardini has been sporadically drawing from 2009 to now. The comics are set in the same psychedelic space fantasy cosmos, the Hyperverse, where wizards and witches battle over strange artifacts left by ancient aliens. It includes comics published online at Study Group and Arthur Mag, in newsprint anthologies such as Smoke Signal and Secret Prison, and 14 new pages. All the comics that were originally black and white will now be in color and Cardini has enlisted his frequent collaborator Josh Burggraf to add his own painterly colors to 5 pages.
William Cardini lives in Kansas City with his wife and daughter. His first graphic novel, Vortex, was published by Sparkplug Books in 2014. Most of his second graphic novel, Skew, was serialized on the Study Group Comics website from 2014 to 2016.
Comics on Study Group: studygroupcomics.com/main/category/contributor/william-cardini/
TRUMPTRUMP vol. 1: nomination to inauguration by Warren Craghead III
192 black & white pages, 7x10 inches (17.8x25.4 cm), hardcover graphic novel
In the summer of 2016 Warren Craghead began drawing and posting online daily grotesque portraits of Donald Trump, beginning when Trump won the Republican nomination for president. Craghead thought the project would be done that November, but when Trump won the election Craghead vowed to continue to draw Trump and his minions until “…this nightmare is over.” TRUMPTRUMP vol. 1: nomination to inauguration collects daily drawings from this ongoing series (with notes and commentary), beginning on July 21, 2016 through Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017. The drawings began as an offshoot of Craghead's LADYH8RS and USAH8RS projects, but over time have become more complicated, more narrative and more angry.
Warren Craghead III is a Ignatz-nominated artist based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Over the past 20 years his internationally-exhibited drawings and comics have appeared in numerous anthologies, websites and books. Craghead is known for his seminal poetry comics work such as HOW TO BE EVERYWHERE and thickets, and is a three-time Virginia Museum fellow. He received an MFA in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin, a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia in 1993 and attended the Skowhegan School in 1993.
When are these coming out?
We will be printing and shipping 2 comics together, to get printing discounts and to save you shipping when they get mailed out! Plus this way you get lots of cool comics in the mail!
May 2017: Combed Clap of Thunder & Steam Clean
June 2017: How To Be Alive & Iceland
July 2017: Tales from the Hyperverse & TRUMPTRUMP vol. 1
Where is the money going?
The money from this Kickstarter is going to printing costs and the artist advances. We also included an extra 5% for the Kickstarter fees, and an extra 5% for credit card processing fees. If we are lucky enough to meet our goal, any extra money will go towards publishing more cool comics in the fall!
Who made your cool video?
The uber-talented artist John Kinhart!
His documentary Pigheaded on the late great underground comix artist Skip Williamson is on the film convention circuit now: http://pigheadedmovie.com/
Thanks for helping Retrofit Comics keep growing for over 5 years! (We turn 6 in June!) We really appreciate it.
- Box & Jared
Risks and challenges
We've run 3 Kickstarters before, and they were all successful - it's how Retrofit Comics was started!
This is our 4th Kickstarter, and most of the art for these books is already done. We have quotes from our regular printer (Marquis Livre in Canada) for the printing costs, and we've published and shipped a lot of comics and graphic novels before! So the main risk is that it might take a little longer than we estimated to release some of the later books in our schedule!
We will let you know if anything else comes up!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (27 days)