Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 12, 2012.

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A hilarious guide to everything wrong with "the invisible art". You won't understand comics until you misunderstand them!

Misunderstanding Comics

Your guide to everything wrong with comic book art.

Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics was a landmark book in the comics world for clearly establishing the potential of visual arts to convey beauty, drama, and transcendent meaning. But comic book readers didn't want beauty – they wanted hyper-thyroid walking tanks trading bad-ass cliches; sex kittens with impossible figures drawn by unskilled artists; an army of hacks hoping to sell a million issues of collectible, pre-bagged and individually-numbered special editions to drooling fanboys before anyone noticed they were bankrupting their own medium.

Join us as we turn a jaundiced eye toward all that is wrong with the "invisible art". Every innovative idea that still shuffles along past its much- deserved death, every awful web comic that still manages to rack up a million page views with recycled Star Wars jokes, the once great artists and writers who have become caricatures of their former selves, and the new talent ready to discover bold new ways to sell out.

You won't understand comics until you misunderstand them.

Chapters

  • The History of Comics – Why comics and "fine" art ain't so different.
  • Misunderstanding Art – How your skill and talent are holding you back.
  • How to Misunderstand Characters – How to create compelling characters, and do you even need to?
  • Storytelling – We distill ideas from the top names in comics, reducing a lifetime of innovation to a punchline.
  • Web Comics & Self-Publishing – When no one else will print your web comic about a zombie robot pirate ninja who loves bacon.
  • Manga & Everything Wrong with Japan – It's not all school girl uniforms and tentacle rape. Just most of it.
  • Intellectual Comics – Feign intellectualism with bigger words and smaller fonts.
  • Comic Book Collectors & Other Fanboys – The people who pay your salary and how to exploit them.
  • Making Good Money with Bad Ideas – Take this book, for example.

All this in 88 pages of black-and-white-hot fury!

Variant Cover - $10 pledge

Here we've totally re-imagined Skutch to draw in female readers who want to see, like, more women portrayed in comics. Pretty sure this is what they meant.  The special, collectors' edition variant cover PDF is available at the low, low $10 pledge level.  Get a close, non-objectifying look at this beauty!

Tee-shirt - $50 pledge

Check out the two tee-shirt designs we have in store for you. The first is a classy, full-color image of our book cover and logo. For the more obscure fan, we have a light gray tee featuring our narrator Skutch's trademark thundercloud.

Both are American Apparel cotton tees, in men and womens sizes ranging S-XXL. When our Kickstarter is concluded, expect an email asking your preferred size and style!

Who would do such a thing?!

Tim Heiderich is a TV writer and creator of the web series Assignment: Unexplained, the animated series Emergency 411, and longtime fan of comic books and comic art, both good and bad. Misunderstanding Comics is co-written and illustrated by Mike Rosen, the writer/illustrator behind the satirical adaptation of The Malleus Maleficarum: the Medieval Guide to Hunting Witches.

Neither expect to be hired to write comics after this.

FAQ

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    NON-COLLECTOR: A DRM-free PDF of the final graphic novel sent to you via e-mail.

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    VARIANT COLLECTOR: a special variant-cover DRM-free PDF of the final graphic novel emailed to you, plus a signed thank-you postcard mailed to you.

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    FAN: Autographed copy of the book, plus the PDF, a sticker, thank-you postcard, and your name in the thank-you section of the book! (international orders please add $15 for shipping)

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    OBSESSED FAN: A collector's edition in a sealed poly bag, tee-shirt, plus thank-you postcard, sticker, and your name in the thank-you section of the book. The rare, sealed edition is guaranteed* to appreciate in value! (*not guaranteed)

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    12 backers Limited (8 left of 20)

    VANITY COLLECTOR: You (or someone of your choice) will be drawn as a character in the graphic novel! Plus you'll receive all prizes from the OBSESSED FAN reward.

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    COLLECTOR: autographed 11x17 poster of the cover artwork, plus all prizes from the OBSESSED FAN reward.

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    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    YOUTUBE COLLECTOR: we make fun of any issue of your favorite comic on YouTube. Good or bad, as long as we can find it, we'll rip it to shreds (make us squirm by giving us something actually good!). Plus all the prizes from the OBSESSED FAN reward!

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    1 backer Limited (99 left of 100)

    SPECIAL COLLECTOR: original drawing of Scutch McLoudmouth (limit 100), plus autographed book, collectible sealed book, tee-shirt, autographed poster, PDF and stickers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)