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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Smash Pages Q&A | ‘The Woman in the Woods’ interview

The editors of the latest ‘Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales’ book discuss how the project came together and how the stories were chosen for the anthology.

Iron Circus has been publishing the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series, which collects folk tales from around the world and retells them in comics form for younger readers, for the past few years. Under series editors Kel McDonald and Kate Ashwin, the series has managed the incredible feat of being that rare series which contains the work of so many different artists telling stories for younger readers that is visually and stylistically exciting and just fascinating to read. 

The fifth book in the series, The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories, takes on the continent of North America, or Turtle Island, as it’s known to many Native and Indigenous communities. To curate the book, they are joined by artist and editor Alina Pete, who drew the book’s cover and drew one of the stories. The three are incredibly busy, but they were kind enough to join me on Zoom recently to talk about the book.

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Smash Pages Q&A | Otava Heikkilä

The Finnish cartoonist discusses the latest volume of ‘Letters for Lucardo,’ which is currently being crowdfunded by Iron Circus Comics.

Otava Heikkilä has been making the series Letters for Lucardo in recent years, and this week Iron Circus Comics will be crowdfunding the third volume in the series, Letters for Lucardo: The Silent Lord.

The series is about the relationship between a vampire and a mortal, and Heikkilä has brought a unique take and sensibility to the project. It’s a beautiful drawn and very delicately told love story with explicit sex scenes and it’s been striking to see how Heikkilä has grown as an artist and storyteller.

I’ve spoken with Heikkilä in the past, and we spoke briefly about this third volume, which is being crowdfunded starting today through April 28.

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Smash Pages Q&A | Kendra Wells

The creator of ‘Real Hero Shit’ discusses the role-playing origins of the graphic novel, working with publisher Iron Circus, their work at The Nib and more.

For years now, cartoonist and illustrator Kendra Wells has been one of those people making short comics for various outlets including The Nib, where they excel at finding ways to make readers laugh out loud as their blood pressure skyrockets, remembering just how angry they are at what’s happening in the world. Last year they collaborated with writer Sam Maggs on the graphic novel Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas, and Iron Circus just released Wells’ debut as a writer and artist, Real Hero Shit.

Real Hero Shit features a mismatched group of adventurers who, in between attacking each other, do actually stumble onto a mystery and manage to help a village. It’s funny and weird, and it manages to walk that very fine line of loving and paying tribute to the genre and its tropes, while also undermining and mocking almost all of them. And while it’s no surprise that Wells is able to write funny dialogue, they deftly manage to juggle writing a long narrative with character moments, humor and making a story that feel familiar but also surprising.

The first of hopefully many such books, Real Hero Shit is out now and next week, a new dating sim game that Wells is the lead writer for, Kiss U, goes live on Kickstarter. They were kind enough to answer a few questions about their book.

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Fund Me Friday | Iron Circus kickstarts ‘Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: North America’

Plus: ‘The O.Z.’ and ‘The Baboon’ return, Cary Nord and more.

Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter and Patreon. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Big Cartel and of course their own websites. If you’re looking to buy something from or support a creator directly, you’ve come to the right place. And that’s a good thing to do, now more than ever.

Iron Circus Comics launched their latest project, Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: North America, earlier this week, and they’ve already blown well past their $20,000 goal by almost $100,000. And they’ve still got 14 days to go! That’s all in a day’s work for the publisher, who are up to 30 successful campaigns, and, according to publisher Spike Trotman, they aren’t stopping anytime soon.

“I’ve grown an audience that’s interested in what I do and everything that I publish,” she told Forbes. “At this point my audience kind of knows my tastes and knows my inclinations and even if it doesn’t fit like a glove, it’s something they can get behind.”

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Campbell will bring back ‘Shadoweyes’ on Substack

‘Shadoweyes for Good’ will find new life on Sophie Campbell’s just-launched email newsletter.

Sophie Campell, known for her work on Wet Moon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more, has announced she’s joined the Substack Revolution and will share her next Shadoweyes project, Shadoweyes for Good, through her new email newsletter.

“BIG NEWS: I’m doing my next book, Shadoweyes For Good, on Substack!!!” she posted to Twitter. “Yes I am aware of the discourse but they’re paying me a ton of money and I could really use it (for expensive kaiju figures).”

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Fund Me Monday | ‘Thomas River,’ the return of Skullkickers and more

Check out recent projects from Jim Zub, Edwin Huang, Doug Wagner, Brian Stelfreeze, Iron Circus Comics and more.

Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Big Cartel and of course their own websites. If you’re looking to buy something from or support a creator directly, you’ve come to the right place. And that’s a good thing to do, now more than ever.

Send any suggestions of your own to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

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Iron Circus announces Pajama Con 2020

Publisher will host livestreams and other activities following the cancellation of the Emerald City Comic Con.

Iron Circus Comics, one of the scheduled exhibitors at this year’s now-postponed Emerald City Comic Con, has announced plans to host a virtual, livestreamed convention this coming weekend called Pajama Con 2020.

Pajama Con will take place from noon to 6p.m. Central March 13-15 on the Pajama Con Twitch channel. Guests so far include Steve Leiber, Chris Roberson, Lin Visel, Genue Revuelta, C. Spike Trotman and Kate Leth, with more to be announced.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Casey Gilly

The writer and journalist discusses her contribution to the ‘You Died’ anthology, working with Raina Telgemeier and more.

Casey Gilly has been working in comics for years. She was one of the writers of She Changed Comics, has written essays for Winnebago Graveyard, Codename: Babushka and elsewhere in addition to writing and editing various comics, including two of the best in Andrea Leigh Shockling’s series Subjective Line Weight. Gilly has a new short comic in the upcoming Iron Circus anthology You Died, which she made with Raina Telgemeier.

Gilly and I have known each other for years, since we worked together at CBR back in the day, and I’ve read her comics work over the years, both published and unpublished, and know how talented she is. I think one of the things that has connected us is simply that we both love comics but we have very different sensibilities and tend to write about different things. The Kickstarter for You Died wraps up today, and I wanted to ask Gilly about how she started writing comics, collaboration and her highest profile project to date.

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Fund Me Monday: ‘You Died,’ ‘American Cult’ and more

Find out about crowdfunding projects by Iron Circus Comics, Jim Calafiore, Robyn Chapman 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.

YOU DIED: An Anthology of the Afterlife

Creators involved: Spike Trotman of Iron Circus Comics + a host of other creators
Deadline: Wednesday, Aug. 21
Goal: $20,000 (funded)

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Smash Pages Q&A: Blue Delliquanti

The creator of ‘O Human Star’ discusses entomophagy, working with food writer Soleil Ho and much more.

Blue Delliquanti is best known for the webcomic O Human Star, which has been running since 2012. Delliquanti has also made shorter comics which have appeared in The Nib, Mine!, Beyond and the just-released Smut Peddler: Sex Machine, but Delliquanti’s new book is something of a departure. Meal was co-written with food writer and journalist Soleil Ho and centers around Yarrow, who moves to Minneapolis to work at a restaurant that serves insects.

The book is an enthusiastic and thoughtful primer for those who are unaccustomed to entomophagy (that’s eating bugs), but it’s more than that. It’s a story about food and our connections to it. It’s about the communities that have eaten and have a relationship to these foods for generations, and what it means for others to “discover” that. It’s a love story that captures some of that feeling from moving to a new place and working at a job that’s much more than a job. The tagline for the book is “Dreams. Love. Entomophagy.” I recently talked about those things and more with Delliquanti, who will be appearing this coming weekend at the Queers and Comics Conference in New York.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Otava Heikkilä

The Finnish cartoonist discusses the latest chapter of ‘Letters for Lucardo’ from Iron Circus.

Otava Heikkila had been drawing comics for a while, but he made an impression when Letters for Lucardo was published by Iron Circus Comics in 2017. The book is about the relationship between a vampire and a mortal, which is a familiar and recurring story, but Heikkila managed to play with the genre in interesting ways — in this volume by making the vampire young and the mortal old, and by featuring explicit gay sex.

Letters for Lucardo: Fortunate Beasts is the second volume in Heikkila’s series and he answered a few questions from Finland about the book and the series, and how to approach drawing the sex scenes.

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