There are a lot of creative people looking for a boost through Kickstarter and other fundraising sites. This one caught my eye because it’s a seasonally appropriate (or, depending on how you look at it, inappropriate) thing and because the folks involved have interesting track records, so…
Once upon a time, people loved newspaper comic strips. Then, they stopped loving newspapers, period, and the world largely forgot that comic strips exist. That’s unfortunate, because there are some cartoonists trying different things with the art form as it withers away. Ed Power (writer) and Melissa DeJesus (artist, worked on Tokyopop’s Sokora Refugees) created a comic called My Cage that ran in newspapers in 2007-2010, and it spoke to young, frustrated creative people, being the story of an aspiring writer stuck in a soul-sucking office job. Oh, and it was drawn in a manga-inspired style and all the characters were animals, since humans had gone extinct, and their society was pretty much just like ours, including animal versions of celebrities, replete with animal-related pun names. It was set in Zoo Jersey (rimshot) and the main character, Norman T. Platypus, was a huge fan of Kevin Smith (in the strip, a sloth).
Needless to say, it didn’t last. Newspapers prefer talking animals that don’t suffer from existential angst and have a pet amoeba and obsess over Kevin Smith movies.
But Ed and Mel have another project, and it’s actually moving forward. Santa vs. Dracula is a 175-page color graphic novel about… well, the title is pretty much self-explanatory. Let’s just say Dracula shows up at the North Pole with an army of celebrated monsters and wants Santa’s ability to invade people’s houses, and you can imagine the rest. Ed describes it in the video as if Michael Bay and Jerry Bruckheimer did a Christmas special. The project’s well along the way, and it’s headed for release for the 2012 holiday season.
So, why are they asking for money now? Melissa can’t make it her primary work and get it done in time for the publisher’s schedule for the holiday in 2012 without some income to supplant the money she’d make doing freelance art in the same time frame. They aren’t looking for a massive amount, either — just $9,500, and they’re over halfway there with a deadline of November 27th. And the way they’re raising money is creative: They’re planning to produce a special edition first printing of the graphic novel for donors and other bonus items at certain levels. One buck gets you a thank you on their website, five bucks gets a PDF of the book plus bonus material, ten bucks adds a couple of greeting cards, fifteen bucks gets an 11×17″ mock movie poster, and copies of the first edition start at the $20 mark (signed at $25, with a sketch inside the copy at $35, with a Christmas tree ornament at $50). Give ’em $300 or more and you get a cameo drawn into the book, either as a vampire or as an elf.
Click here for the Kickstarter page, where there’s more information, some artwork from the book, and a blog about the project’s progress. If you’re interested, help ’em out.