Help ‘shine a light in all this darkness’ by resurrecting Pepe the Frog

Matt Furie attempts to #SavePepe with a new crowdfunded comic about the stoned frog who was hijacked by white supremacists.

The Associated Press reports that Pepe the Frog, like all good comic book characters, is returning from the grave.

Pepe’s redemption will come via Kickstarter, where creator Matt Furie and his brother Jason are attempting to raise money “to positively resurrect Pepe through the creation of a brand new comic in the spirit of the original Boy’s Club.” Per the AP story, Matt’s attorney, Kimberly Motley, is exploring possible litigation against those profiting off Pepe’s image without Furie’s permission.

Pepe the Frog debuted in 2006 as part of the Boy’s Club ensemble, appearing on MySpace and in comics published by Buenaventura Press. Later his chill nature became the subject of many memes. In 2015, the white supremacists in the far right “alt.right” movement co-opted Pepe for their own white nationalism campaigns, leading to the Anti-Defamation League branding him as a hate symbol in 2016. Furie killed Pepe off on Free Comic Book Day earlier this year. Since then, the ADL has worked with Matt Furie to help #SavePepe.

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Kickstarter ‘Gold’ brings back 7 comic projects

‘Black,’ ‘Plume,’ ‘The Secret Loves of Geek Girls” and more get remixed as they return to the crowdfunding site for another go.

Kickstarter is giving new life to several of their past campaigns, including seven of them from the comics category.

“Kickstarter Gold” brings back projects by creators who were “specially selected for their creativity, ingenuity and past success on Kickstarter,” the site reads. “We’re spotlighting them because they do excellent work — and because creators who repeatedly use Kickstarter to support and sustain creative ventures are an integral part of our community’s ecosystem.”

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Fund Me Friday: ‘Comics for Choice,’ Niobi and more

Help bring comics to life by checking out campaigns for ‘Niobe: She is Life,’ the ‘Comics for Choice’ anthology, ‘As the Crow Flies’ 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.

Niobe: She is Life hardcover & She is Death #1

Creators involved: Sebastian Jones, Amandla Stenberg, Ashley Woods, Sheldon Mitchell and Darrell May, plus a host of cover artists
Deadline: June 25
Goal: $21,500 (Funded!)

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Comics Lowdown: The woman behind Wonder Woman

Plus: ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ returns, Red Planet opens in Albuquerque, Melanie Gillman, Alex Segura, Harley Quinn and more.

The Wonder Woman movie has lots of people looking at the history of the character and how she has evolved over the years. The Fresh Toast has a great interview with Trina Robbins, the first woman to draw Wonder Woman and a pioneering underground comics artist and comics historian as well. She’s a delightful person who has had a fascinating life, and this interview is a great way to start off your week.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Sebela & Kambadais serve up crime in ‘Short Order Crooks’

If you read the Eisner-nominated High Crimes, you know Christopher Sebela has a talent for turning crime stories on their head, setting them up in interesting places with compelling characters. With Short Order Crooks, Sebala leaves Mount Everest behind and heads to Portland’s food truck scene, enlisting the talented George Kambadais and Lesley Atlansky to help cook up a story with equal parts comedy, crime and cooking.

With eight days left on the timer, Short Order Crooks passed its funding goal yesterday on Kickstarter. As they look ahead to their stretch goals, I spoke with both Sebela and Kambadais about the project, food trucks and more.

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Kesel and Grummett’s ‘Section Zero’ returns via Kickstarter

The former Gorilla Comics title could finally be completed, with your help.

Back in 2000 several creators whose names most comic fans will recognize came together and formed their own imprint, Gorilla Comics. Although the imprint didn’t last long, several of the titles that originated under it went on to find new life — Mark Waid and Barry Kitson’s Empire, for instance, ended up at DC, while Tellos by Todd Dezago and Mike Wieringo was Published through Image Comics (which initially published all the Gorilla titles).

Karl Kesel, the Eisner Award-winning inker who also has written comics like Fantastic Four and Harley Quinn, teamed up with Tom Grummett (they created the 1990s Superboy together) to create a six-issue miniseries called Section Zero for Gorilla Comics. Only three issues were completed, however, as Kesel had to step away for personal reasons. After a brief return in 2012 as a webcomic, Kesel and Grummett have turned to Kickstarter to “help us finally finish what we begun.”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Ekstrom & Brownfield on Imminent Press and ‘Terminal’

Two members of the newly formed collective discuss their current Kickstarter campaign as it nears its completion date.

In January, a new comics imprint, Imminent Press, took to Kickstarter to raise funds to bring their graphic novel anthology, titled Terminal, to life. The campaign failed.

But more importantly, they didn’t give up.

The second time’s the charm, as they dusted themselves off and retooled their project and campaign. Now with less than a week left, they’ve hit their funding goal for the first issue of a Terminal miniseries, with hopes that they can earn enough to publish the second issue as well. Contributors to the project include a mix of veteran and emerging comic and webcomic creators, along with several names you might recognize from the comic press — one of whom is even our former boss.

I spoke with two members of their “board,” Steve Ekstrom and Troy Brownfield, about Imminent Press, Terminal, their Kickstarter campaign and more.

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Retrofit/Big Planet announces Spring line and new Kickstarter

Retrofit Comics has just announced a Kickstarter to fund their spring line. Here’s the lineup:

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‘Swords of the Swashbucklers’ sails again

Kickstarter for a new collection of Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice’s classic Epic Comics series funds in under 24 hours.

Dynamite Entertainment is looking to bring Bill Mantlo and Jackson Guice’s Swords of the Swashbucklers back into print, and they’ve turned to Kickstarter to do it. And less than 24 hours into their campaign, they’re already 100 percent funded.

If the name doesn’t ring a bell, Swords of the Swashbucklers began life as a graphic novel from Marvel back in 1984, followed by a a series that ran for 12 issues under their Epic Comics banner. It’s about a teenage girl whose parents are kidnapped by an alien empire, so she joins up with a crew of space pirates to try and save them.

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