This is Virginia, owner/showrunner of Sparkplug Books. I’ve been managing Sparkplug since I took over ownership a year and a half ago. It’s been fun/busy/hard but I’ve had a lot of help. And now we need YOUR help. Sparkplug needs funds to publish our next two books (I’ll get to those later) and so, we are kickstartering our fall publications. If it goes well, we may even be able to fund a third!
I know Sparkplug has meant a lot to a lot of people over the years. I’ve done my best to keep Dylan William’s vision alive and publish underappreciated, idiosyncratic comics by really awesome folks. We’ve been struggling financially since Dylan passed, but I think it’s important to keep going and finish at least one of his projects, and create another that he would approve of. With your contribution, you can be a part of this legacy of amazing comics.
“Science!I’m going to plant a bomb under its ass!!”
We are SO CLOSE to being done with Elijah Brubaker’s Reich series! For those of you unfamiliar, this series is a biography of Wilhelm Reich, Freud protégée and inventor/eccentric genius behind the theory of Orgone, an energy source that pervades the universe. The story has been a wild ride so far, with Reich working feverishly while battling aliens, the US government, allies and even friends. Brubaker’s art has done a wonderful job of capturing the complexity of this story while remaining cartoonishly approachable. We want to fund the publication of the final chapter of this epic series – Reich #12. It will be so satisfying to complete Reich – and this is your opportunity to be a part of it!
“Brubaker’s shadowy, sketchy and angular style is a deft match for the bizarre world of Reich. There’s an almost haunting, static quality in each of the panels, even when there is movement involved. Brubaker wants the reader to focus in on each character’s body language in each panel as a counter-point to the dialogue. The sketchiness of the line allows the reader to focus on the expressionistic qualities of the character design, and the extensive use of shadow effects contributes to the downbeat mood of the comic. … Reich is one of the more impressive feats of comic biography that I’ve read and certainly the most interesting since Chester Brown’s Lous Riel, which was obviously a huge influence.” Rob Clough, Foxing Quarterly.
“Everything is in flux in this cosmos of constant magical warfare.”
I have wanted to publish a collection of William Cardini’s Vortex series since Cardini first approached me about it last year. I love the minis, and there is really nothing else like them in comics. Bold, mystical, expertly designed and engrossing - Vortex follows the Miizzzard as he travels to a mysterious planet and battles a strange, regenerating monster. The story gets more complex as the Miizzz finds himself sympathizing with the monster and her kin. Cardini’s art is stylish and stylized in a way that is entirely unique and deserves to be collected in the awesome little package I know it can be. And by contributing to this campaign, you can help create it!
“Goopy alien wizards melt, battle and stab their way from each others’ stomachs in cosmic landscapes forged from bold halftones and thick wacom lines. The contrast between low-res digital textures and organic shapes is a real eyeball melter.” Jack Hayden, Comics Workbook.
We have a lot of great rewards for backers! There are images of the books above and below, some of the other items mentioned!
3D Hypercastle print (includes 3d glasses!) by William Cardini, part of the $35 reward tier.
Sparkplug t-shirt design by Sera Stanton, part of the $50 and $70 rewards tiers!
An example of a original black and white ink drawing by William Cardini, available at $75 reward tier.
An example of a color acrylic painting by William Cardini, available as part of the $250 reward tier.
UPDATE: STRETCH GOAL #1
$8450 to print Bird Girl and Fox Girl by Yumi Sakugawa (and to pay our videographer and t-shirt designer).
Woohoo we made our goal! Our stretch goal will get the third of the Sparkplug Minis Series printed! The Sparkplug Minis Series is a series of short run (500 copies) mini comics by new and/or under-appreciated artists. The next artist in our line up for this series is Bird Girl and Fox Girl by Yumi Sakugawa.
Sakugawa has put out a great deal of self-published minis and online comics. She is best known for her webcomic-turned-book I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You. Her writing is spacious, meditative and self-conscious and perfectly complimented by her gorgeous brush work. We are so excited to be putting out her next book!
As I said in one of our updates, I would also like to use our stretch goal to pay Craig Phillips, who shot and edited our video, and Sera Stanton, who designed our t-shirt. Both of them volunteered their time and effort for this project and I really appreciate that! As an artist, I know we get asked to work for free a lot and it would mean a lot to me (and them!) if I could pay them.
In the interest of transparency, and since we’re asking for a lot of money, here is a breakdown of where the funding will be going. We’ve been using the awesome 1984 Printing in Oakland for the last couple books, and plan on using them again for these two. Amy does great work.
$1095 Reich #12
$1100 Amazon’s cut, taxes, wiggle room
And that’s it! All we need now is your help. We can’t do this without YOUR generous contributions. In return, you’ll receive one of our amazing rewards packages AND our undying gratitude. Thank you!
Risks and challenges
Both books are completely laid out and ready to send to the printer, so I don't anticipate any issues on that end. Our printer is speedy and flexible.
I will be communicative about any delays if they occur!
I plan on getting everything fulfilled as quickly as humanly possible - keeping in mind that I am just one person who has another job and other projects she is working on. Brubaker and Cardini also have busy lives, but are good at getting work done.
- (30 days)