Hey there! My name is Zack Soto, and I run a webcomics site and micro-publishing set up called Study Group Comics. SG's been putting out high quality print editions for the last several years and while it's mostly been going just fine, I need to ask you for help in getting the 2014 line together.
We've got three excellent titles scheduled to come out this spring, and here is a handy way to pre-order all three!
First up is the new issue of the amazing IT WILL ALL HURT by Farel Dalrymple. It's a weird, sad, silly, and sketchy, fantasy adventure strip with magic and science-fiction and some fightin' action.
You may know and love Farel's work from Prophet (Image) or Omega The Unknown (Marvel), but this is his most free form work to date. And the new issue is fantastic. It'll totally knock your socks off. If you haven't seen IWAH #1, these are beautiful print objects. Featuring full color offset printing on toothy newsprint, Golden Age sized (back when comics were BIG and BOLD), and risographed covers - this is a comic book that's not ashamed of what it is!
I'm also really excited to put out our very first square-bound graphic novel, a collection of Sam Alden's beautiful and inspiring HAUNTER. This is Sam's first long-form work, painted in lush and colorful ink washes. It's a wordless tale of a young woman trying to survive an ancient evil in an unknown land. The pacing and storytelling in Haunter is completely masterful.
Jeff Smith (Bone) liked it so much that he recently published a short excerpt of the story in the 2013 Best American Comics volume that he edited. About it, he said “Haunter surprised me. It's impossible to start the thing and not keep reading. It really flows.”
The final project is STUDY GROUP MAGAZINE #3D. That's right, the next issue of our comics anthology/comics crit mag has an extensive 3D section! Not only that, but the rest of the book is printed in full color! Not only that, but this issue is 80 pages instead of 64! Whaaat!
Comics and art from Jim Rugg, Sophie Franz, Connor Willumsen, Trevor Alixopulos, Mia Schwartz, Kim Deitch, Chris Cilla, Malachi Ward, Ben Max Urkowitz, Julia Gfrorer, Pete Toms and more. Articles by Sarah Horrocks, Sean Witzke, and more. The 3D section is kicked off by a retrospective look at the career of pioneering 3D prophet Ray Zone, with testimonials from Mary Fleener, Alan Moore, and more. There's also an in-depth piece on the history and philosophy of 3D comics by Jason Little. You know what, there's still more, too (plus cool glasses)!
One more pre-order possibility to help make those two books a reality: Everyone loved this Study Group shirt by Michael Deforge, but not everyone who wanted one was able to get one in time, so I'm going to do ONE LAST PRINTING of the shirt and then retire it forever. Kickstarter-unique colorway on a soft nice shirt. If you want it, didn't get it before, whatever - this is your chance.
I know - Twelve thousand dollars is a TON of money, for me at least. And that's just for two of these books! But that's how it works. Let me tell you how the numbers break down:
- Printing costs: $9000
- Shipping (guestimation): $1500
- Kickstarter gets their cut: $1008
- aaaand: TAXES! (the rest)
If this Kickstarter exceeds its goal, I've got some cool stretch goals that will enable us to put that money directly to the production costs of four more books I hope to put out in the near future.
UPDATE: STRETCH GOALS!
Our first stretch goal is $14000, which will allow us to fund the second issue of François Vigneault's sci-fi series TITAN and add 16 more pages to SGM#3D!
A sociopolitical thriller set on the fringes of the solar system, Titan follows the intertwined stories of Terran productivity expert João da Silva and Titan union representative Phoebe Mackintosh. As tensions mount between the giant, genetically engineered Titan workers and their despised Terran management, João and Phoebe find themselves caught in a dangerous game that threatens to explode at any minute.
Titan #2 will further expand and deepen the series' "multifaceted, fully dimensional universe" (Jason Sacks, The Comics Bulletin), delving further into the lives of the Titans and ratcheting up the stakes. As Justin Giampaoli notes, "There’s no false utopia presented in Vigneault’s future world, merely an aspirational sci-fi narrative that allows us to reflect back on our own social issues through the lens of this re-contextualization process." Readers can expect Titan #2 to complicate and intensify Francois' examination of historical and sociological issues as his first-ever full-length comic continues.
Just like the first issue, Titan #2 will feature two-toned art on pulpy newsprint and fully-painted cover art, evoking classic sci-fi tales through a distinctly contemporary sensibility: "Vigneault’s lines dance between a sort of Herge influenced European classicism, complete with ligne-claire coifs of hair, and the full-bodied beady sweat style of many modern alt cartoonists" (Giampaoli). Rob Clough of High-Low Comics calls Titan "a smooth but still highly personal read" and says "the format, design and every aspect of production make this a beautiful comic to look." This is François' most fully-realized work to date, and we are delighted to be publishing it at Study Group Comics!
Stretch Goal #2: If we make it to $16,000 Zack Soto's (that's me!) comic The Secret Voice #2 will be pre-funded!
The Secret Voice is my version of an "epic fantasy-adventure comic," though there are elements of metaphysics, art comics, super hero fiction and science fiction to round it out. In The Secret Voice, the warrior-monk Dr. Galapagos races against time to stop a war, save himself, his world and everyone he holds dear. There's action, mysticism, kung fu, trolls, epic battles, and I've built a huge world, which people have only seen a fraction of so far. Still to come are conspiracies, hand-to-hand mayhem, secret societies, doomed romance, betrayal, psychic showdowns, bloody battlefields, and dark forces!
Risks and challenges
No risk! These books will be made! All the work is done! I just need to send the files to the printers, and to do that I need a bit of backing up here on the kickstarter.
I've also got a great support team ready to help me ship out orders. Making sure you get your rewards in a timely manner is our #1 priority.
The plan is to have IWAH 2 out for Linework NW in April, and Haunter & SGM #3D out for TCAF in May, so as soon as these books exist, we can start shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter