‘Felix the Cat’ moves to Bottlerocket + is now up on Kickstarter

Rocketship Entertainment’s new imprint will crowdfund a softcover of the comic by Mike Federali, Bob Frantz and Tracy Yardley.

Rocketship Entertainment, which has brought many webcomics and other projects to print, has announced a new imprint aimed at younger readers — Bottlerocket. And one of their first projects will be Felix the Cat, which was previously announced to be coming from Source Point Press.

The project is already up on Kickstarter, and based on the preview artwork and creative team, it does look like this is the same project that was first revealed last year. The book itself is being created by Studio Stario, which is headed up by the comic’s writer, Mike Federali, who I spoke to last year about the project. He’s joined by Bob Frantz and artist Tracy Yardley.

For the Kickstarter, Bottlerocket is raising funds to publish Felix as hardcover and softcover collections, rather than as single issues, with other tiers offering prints by Thom Zahler and Art Baltazar.

“We’ve put a lot of love and time into this story, and I’m so grateful that it’s making its way to the fans,” said writer and Studio Stario president Mike Federali in the press release. “Felix has always been a favorite of mine, so it was very important to take the time with NBCUniversal to get it right. Being able to bring new Felix stories to life is a dream come true, and I hope the fans enjoy the ride as much as we did.”

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Cornell + Kelly crowdfund the finale to ‘Saucer Country’

The former Vertigo series will finally conclude if it hits its goal on Zoop.

Paul Cornell and Ryan Kelly’s Saucer Country has followed a rocky road — or would that be turbulent flight? — to publication over the years, starting out at Vertigo in 2012 before returning at IDW in 2017 for a new miniseries, Saucer State, that was never finished.

But now Saucer Country is back — Cornell and Kelly have teamed with Syzygy Publishing to kick off a crowdfunding campaign on Zoop that will fund publication of not only the final chapter of their story, but also a complete collection of the entire tale. The creators are looking to raise $20,000 to bring the saucer in for a landing.

“This project is so close to my heart,” Cornell said on his blog. “And this is my first crowdfunding campaign, which makes me extremely nervous. So please take a look and see if you’d like to help. As you’ll see from the page, we’re well on course to deliver exactly what we’re offering pretty swiftly once we’re funded. Zoop have successfully landed many such campaigns, which is why I went with them.

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DeMatteis + Spellbound Comics will launch ‘The DeMultiverse’ next week

DeMatteis will team with several artists on four new comics coming to Kickstarter Oct. 11.

J.M. DeMatteis, one of the most prolific and beloved comics writers of the last several decades, will team up with an exceptional group of artists for four new comics coming from Spellbound Comics, which they’ve dubbed “The DeMultiverse.”

DeMatteis will work with Matthew Dow Smith, David Baldeon, Tom Mandrake, Shawn McManus and more on Anyman, Godsend, Wisdom and Layla in the Lands of After. Spellbound will release them as individual comics, as well as a single 100+ page trade paperback. The TPB will include an introduction by Tom DeFalco. Their Kickstarter will kick off next week.

Here’s more on the four titles:

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Iron Circus seeks to crowdfund a final volume of the ‘Cautionary Fables’ anthology series

The final collection of fables and fairy tales will focus on stories from across South America.

Iron Circus Comics has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign for the final volume in their Cautionary Fables series. This final volume, The Lizard Prince and other South American stories, will be edited by Alberto Rayo, Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin.

McDonald and Ashwin have worked together on previous volumes, and will typically recruit a third editor from the region they’re focusing on for each anthology. Rayo is a creator and editor from Peru who started self-publishing works at 17 and has since formed his own comic book studio, Broken Panel Studio. He is majoring in Economics at Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú and aspires to help develop a comic book industry in his country. 

“The Cautionary Fables and Fairytales series has been chronicling folktales from around the world for nearly a decade, hopping from Europe to Africa, over to Asia, Oceania, and finally teaming up with Iron Circus Comics to hit the coasts of America,” McDonald said. “Our previous volume of North American tales told by Indigenous artists and writers smashed all records to become the highest funded comics anthology on Kickstarter, and now we’re fully onboard with Iron Circus’ crowdfunding, we can’t wait to see what happens next!”

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Ramón K Pérez seeks to crowdfund ‘Kukuburi: A Cotton Candy World’

First posted online as a webcomic back in 2007, the co-creator of ‘Stillwater’ seeks your support to finish the story.

Transmission-X was a webcomics collective that was active about 15 years ago and featured webcomics by Michael Cho, Scott Hepburn, Karl Kerschl, Ramón K Pérez and several others who would go on to form RAID Press. Now Pérez is looking to crowdfund a graphic novel collection of his webcomic from the time, Kukuburi.

Kukuburi: A Cotton Candy World collects the story in print, along with 40 extra pages. It’s the first volume in a planned series from the artist of Stillwater and Tales of Sand, who hopes to produce a volume of it every year.

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Nick Pitarra’s ‘Ax-Wielder Jon’ chops through its crowdfunding goal

The new graphic novel is available now through the crowfunding site Zoop.

Ax-Wielder Jon is a new graphic novel by Nick Pitarra, artist of The Manhattan Projects, The Red Wing and more, and just a few days into its crowdfunding campaign it has more than doubled its stated goal of $25,000.

The graphic novel is currently available through the comics crowdfunding Zoop, where it has raised more than $65,000. The 148-page graphic novel is complete, according to the campaign page, and it’s about “a ruthless killer in a world of monsters and mayhem” who “makes a precious discovery and learns what a man is willing to lose to protect what he loves most.”

Pitarra’s hyper-detailed art is a thing of beauty, and this project looks like it puts it under a much-deserved spotlight.

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Arizona Opera brings Georges Bizet’s ‘Carmen’ to comics

Back the Kickstarter for a new graphic novel adaptation of the classic opera by Alek Shrader, P. Craig Russell and Aneke.

You might not expect an opera to be referenced on a comics blog, but the two art forms have more in common than you might think, according to tenor, director, writer — and comic fan — Alek Shrader.

“Comics and opera have a lot in common,” Shrader told Smash Pages. “Engaging stories, interesting characters, artistic escapism… both art forms exist to communicate in storytelling. BUT, I think it’s the differences between live opera and comics that make graphic adaptation a strong idea. That being said, in their own fashion, both opera and comics tell dramatic and cathartic stories in meaningful, beautiful ways.”

In an effort to help connect more people to opera, the Arizona Opera has turned to Kickstarter to fund their first graphic novel — an adaptation of Carmen by French composer Georges Bizet, which itself was adapted from the novella by Prosper Mérimée.

“It’s a thrill for Arizona Opera to share the work of this remarkable team of artists through the graphic novel format and the timeless story of Carmen,” said Joseph Specter, Arizona Opera’s President and General Director, in a pres statement. “Throughout the pandemic, our company has constantly pursued novel approaches to connecting people through opera, when people need art and meaning the most. Carmen: The Graphic Novel represents an amazing opportunity to extend that focus on innovation, impact, and community.”

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Smash Pages Q&A | Ryan Claytor on ‘A Hunter’s Tale’

The minicomics creator and comics professor discusses adapting a poem by his grandfather into comics form.

It’s been at least 10 years since I first met Ryan Claytor on the floor of the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, where he was selling copies of his self-published minicomics. Claytor was living in San Diego at the time, working on his Master of Fine Arts degree.

Since then, Claytor has relocated to Michigan, where he’s now the coordinator of the Comic Art and Graphic Novel Minor and an assistant professor at Michigan State University where he teaches comics studio courses. But he’s still making comics, and his latest, A Hunter’s Tale, is currently up on Kickstarter.

Claytor’s previous work falls into the autobiographical and non-fiction arena, but this project is different — in A Hunter’s Tale, Claytor has adapted a poem written by his grandfather, Charles Kermit Claytor, into a comic. I spoke with Claytor about his approach to adapting his grandfather’s writing, how it helped connect him to his grandfather and more.

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Fund Me Friday | ‘X-Maschina : The Futuristic Holiday Horror Comedy Comic’

Help bring a story about Santa fighting killer robots to life.

Ho ho ho, and Merry Christmas Eve! With Santa’s big day just one day away, there’s no better time to support X-Maschina : The Futuristic Holiday Horror Comedy Comic and help bring it to life on Kickstarter.

Steve Urena, Misty Graves and Lane Lloyd are telling that classic holiday story about Santa’s battle with a bunch of angry, homicidal robots in this science fiction/horror/comedy comic.

“Teaming up with Lane Lloyd and Misty Graves has made this Grinch love Christmas,” Urena said. “Together we combined our favorite things: horror, humor, science fiction and Christmas to create the perfect holiday concoction that we hope turns into a Holiday tradition.”

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Fund Me Tuesday | ‘Foulbrood’ by Christopher Sebela and Claire Roe

Help fund a comic about crime and beekeeping.

If you’re looking to back a Kickstarter project with (no, don’t say it) literal buzz (ugh, I said it), then check out Foulbrood, a new comic by Christopher Sebela (.Self, Crowded, Dead Dudes) and Claire Roe (Darkhold: Wasp, Bury the Lede).

The duo previously worked together on the queer reincarnation thriller We(l)come Back, and this time around they’re telling a crime story set in the world of beekeeping — if my cheesy lede didn’t spell that out for you.

Their campaign is to fund the first two issues of a six-issue series. They’re looking for $15,000 to bring them to print, and you’ve got until Dec. 11 to help them avoid the sting that comes with not getting funded.

(Sorry, I’ll stop now, I promise).

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Fund Me Monday | Help bring Avery Hill’s Spring 2022 line to life

Fund new titles by Taki Soma, George Wylesol and Claire Scully.

London-based publisher Avery Hill needs about $16,000 to publish their Spring 2022 line-up, and they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds.

Avery Hill Publishing came into being about 10 years ago, when Ricky Miller and Dave White began self-publishing comics like Tiny Dancing and Reads. Eventually their small-press efforts evolved into a full publishing house, bringing comics and graphic novels by Tillie Walden, George Wylesol, Zoe Thorogood, Tim Bird and more to press. They describe themselves as a publisher that “helps aspiring creators reach their potential and is a home to the geniuses that the mainstream has yet to recognise.”

Their Spring books include three titles: 2120 by Wylesol, Sleeping While Standing by Taki Soma and Outer Wilderness by Claire Scully.

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Fund Me Sunday | Top Cow celebrates 30 years of ‘Cyberforce’

Pledge today to get a hardcover edition of ‘Cyberforce Complete Collection Volume 1.’

Top Cow is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the debut of Marc Silvestri’s Cyberforce with a crowdfunding project for a hardcover collecting many of the early stories featuring the characters.

The project is already live on Kickstarter and has blown well past its $30,000 goal, with more than $100,000 raised thus far.

The collection will include Silvestri’s original Cyberforce series from 1994, which has never been collected, in addition to volume 2 of the series, several miniseries and one-shots, and a crossover with Jim Lee’s WildCATS. In addition to Silverstri and Lee, the hardcover will feature early Image work by Todd McFarlane, Walter Simonson, David Finch, Joe Chiodo, Scott Williams, Brian Haberlin, Joe Benitez and Michael Turner.

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