Shawn McManus looks to Kickstart zombie baseball cards

The former ‘Sandman’ and “Fables’ artist seeks to crowdfund ‘Horror at Home Plate: League of Zombies,’ a 24-card set of zombified baseball players.

Shawn McManus’ comics work runs the gambit from Heavy Metal to Saga of the Swamp Thing to Dr. Fate to Sandman and many other titles, but now he’s turned his pen to something different — baseball cards. McManus is using Kickstarter to fund a set titled “Horror at Home Plate: League of Zombies” — so there’s a bit of a supernatural twist to them.

“This project started when I decided to paint a zombie baseball player just for fun between projects,” McManus said on the Kickstarter page. “I liked the retro look of it so I did another. Followed by one more, and then one after that. Before I knew it I had 24 of them done. I can’t tell you how much fun these were to do. I showed them to some fellow artists at lunch one day and someone suggested that I should do a Kickstarter campaign card set. So here we are. This seems to be a great way to share these cards with more than just family and a few friends.”

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IDW Publishing launches Kickstarter for quarterly hardcover ‘magazine’

New project out of their Portland, Oregon office will offer interviews, opinion pieces and more about ‘all aspects of the creative culture.’

IDW Publishing has launched a Kickstarter for Full Bleed, a hardcover “magazine” curated and edited by IDW Publishing’s Dirk Wood and CEO and Publisher Ted Adams. This is the first project coming out of their Portland, Oregon office, which was announced late last year.

Not to be confused with Matt Maxwell’s Full Bleed column-turned-book about the comics industry, IDW describes the project as a “brand-new quarterly, hand-crafted, print only, 200-page hardcover.” It will include interviews, short stories, opinion pieces and of course comics, covering “all aspects of the creative culture, and beyond — comics, music, film, TV, fine art, photography, design, politics and more.”

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Help ‘Midnight Tiger’ rise again via Kickstarter

Ray-Anthony Height, Vito Delsante, Éric Van Elslande and Action Lab Entertainment team up for the teenage superhero’s first ongoing series.

Ray-Anthony Height’s Midnight Tiger is looking to make a comeback at Action Lab Entertainment via an ongoing series, and the creator has recruited Stray writer Vito Delsante and artist Éric Van Elslande to help make it happen — and now they’ve turned to Kickstarter to ensure the young hero fights again.

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Comics Lowdown: Trump tweets swiped and altered cartoon

Plus: Tramp’s closing down, submissions open for a feminist critique of Whedon and more!

Indianapolis Star cartoonist Gary Varvel was surprised, and none too pleased, when Donald Trump Tweeted one of his cartoons—with some unauthorized alterations. The original cartoon, which was published in January, was a play on the “Trump train” trope, showing a Trump-branded locomotive with a donkey plastered on the front. (Varvel was careful to note that the donkey is “resisting” the train but not being flattened by it: “No cartoon donkeys were killed in the making of this cartoon,” he said.) Trump retweeted another version that replaced the donkey with a CNN logo, added a line about “fake news,” and cropped out Varvel’s signature.

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Fund Me Friday: Zombie cop, gothic romance and more

Check out — and help fund — projects from Felipe Smith, Hope Nicholson, Chris Wisnia and more.

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

Death Metal Zombie Cop Issue #1

Creators involved: Felipe Smith
Deadline: Aug. 18
Goal: $22,000

What to know: Smith, who’s previous work includes All-New Ghost Rider for Marvel and Peepo Choo for Kodansha/Vertical, kickstarts his first creator-owned series. He says he’s been working on it for five years. The story revolves around two L.A. police officers, rookie Marco Miranda and his disillusioned training officer, Rhonda Riley. There’s also Death Metal Zombie Cop, “L.A.’s deadliest Urban Legend” who proves to be very real. Smith warns that the book will contain graphic violence and course language.

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Comics Lowdown: ‘Abadazad,’ ‘Ghost Rider’ artist Mike Ploog to retire

Plus: designing variant covers, Sonny Liew, Tillie Walden, Simon Hanselman, food in San Diego.

Veteran artist Mike Ploog, known to comic fans as the co-creator of Ghost Rider, announced he will be retiring after a 47-year career. His career began with Filmation, as a clean-up artist on Batman and Superman, and eventually was promoted to layouts. He moved onto Hanna-Barbera, continuing his layout work until he became the assistant to Will Eisner.

He made his comic book debut on Werewolf by Night in 1972. Since then, he was credited as a co-creator of Ghost Rider and notable artist on Man-ThingPlanet of the Apes and The Monster of Frankenstein. Later in his career, he did minimal comic work, but teamed with J.M. DeMatteis on Abadazad in 2004.

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Fund Me Friday: Lucy Bellwood’s inner demons, Sistah Shark and more

Plus Amy Chu, Felipe Smith and Nicholas Gurewitch!

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

Sistah Shark #1 The Hunter and the Hunted

Creators involved: Christopher Caravalho
Deadline: Aug. 1
Goal: $6,000

What to know: Caravalho founded Mana Comics in 2014, and has since published several comics featuring superheroes from Hawaii — including Mana Double Feature, which featured Sistah Shark. Now he’s hoping to bring another solo adventure for her to life.

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Stephan Franck puts a stake in a third volume of his vampire heist series ‘Silver’

The animator returns to Kickstarter to fund a third volume of his graphic novel series that pits conmen versus vampires.

When he’s not helping to make animated hits like The Iron Giant and Despicable Me, Stephan Franck turns to his first love, comics. The son of two comic retailers, Franck started his own company, Dark Planet Comics, to publish Silver, a pulp-inspired heist story involving vampires.

Franck has used Kickstarter to crowd fund two volumes of the series already, and now a new campaign has launched for the third volume. I spoke with Franck about the project, the campaign and the appeal of working on comics.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Elizabeth Beier on ‘Bisexual Trials and Errors’

Elizabeth Beier only started working in comics a few years ago, but the graphic designer has made a name for herself self-publishing two issues of the comic Bisexual Trials and Errors, and comics like We Belong and I Like Your Headband. The winner of the 2016 Queer Press Grant from Prism and a Moth StorySLAM winner, this fall Northwest Press is publishing Beier’s first full length book, The Big Book of Bisexual Trials and Errors.

The spine of the collection is Beier’s own autobiographical story of starting to date after a six year relationship and being intimidated and finding her way through the entertaining confusion. Those comics, along with the flow charts and infographics that Beier enjoys crafting, manage to be funny and relatable in a way that transcends age and orientation. But the book is also much more that. Beier mentioned that she loves to draw faces, but she’s also interested in voice, and that interest in authenticity, in specificity, in capturing individuals and their stories is at the heart of her work. This is a coming of age story about a twenty-something woman, but it’s also about a woman situating herself in and coming to understand her community.

The book will be coming out this fall from Northwest Press, and the book is currently up as part of Kickstarter Gold, which highlights new projects by creators who have used the crowdfunding site in the past “making new works inspired by their past projects, so backers can discover extra-amazing ideas.” In 2013 Northwest published Anything That Loves, a comics anthology of comics story that took place in “the world outside of gay and straight boxes,” as editor and publisher Zan Christensen put it. The book was a critical and commercial success and Northwest will be publishing Beier’s book as a companion to and a continuation of that conversation. The campaign, which can be found here, runs through July 27.

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