Because while I buy a couple of their books, it’s not like I have a vested emotional interest in the publisher. But a whole bunch of webcomics types had things to say at their industry announce-fest yesterday, and that’s hard to ignore.
- First up: the team that revived Batgirl for DC (Brendan Fletcher, Babs Tarr, and Sin Titulo creator Cameron Stewart) wrapped up their contributions to DC with issue #50 yesterday. About the time it was hitting the shelves, they were announcing that the band was not breaking up, but rather jumping to a label that will let them be them. Thus: Motor Crush, a balls-out action SF story with the requisite murky secrets.
- Next: Karl Kerschl recently wrapped up art duties on Gotham Academy, but he’ll be teaming up with lifelong friend Brendan Fletcher to produce Isola, set in a fantasy world with intrigue and revenge and plans within plans¹. Interestingly, Stewart & Kerschl are old studiomates, coming off Bat-books, and both cited DC not letting them engage in all their artistic tendencies as a reason to go to Image, with its creator-driven ethos. Seeing these two incredibly skilled creators (with creative partners that they click with) is going to be a kick.
- Jim Zub is the epitome of a busy guy, and with Skullkickers wrapped up and Wayward between story arcs for the moment, and with his takes on Thunderbolts and Ravenloft not due for a couple weeks, I guess he’s got a spare minute in his day because he also announced a new creator-owned series. Glitterbomb will be an exploration of fame and how it works, through the lens of otherworldly, demonic horrors.
The entire famous-for-being-famous industry is fundamentally parasitic, so it’s not a huge leap for supernatural beasties to want to get in on the whole scam; this is the first horror project I can recall from Zub, and should do nicely to replace Rachel Rising on my pull list, seeing as how it’s about to wrap up.
- The most significant thing, though, was not about a book being launched; it was about a new initiative to groom talent in the comics industry, with both a monetary grant and mentoring from established, successful comics folk. It’s called Creators For Creators and the founding personnel are named near the bottom of the page; it’s an A-list of Image talent and one creator that (to my knowledge) hasn’t worked with Image²: C Spike Trotman, whose cartooning is less frequent than it was because she’s too busy running her own publishing company and facilitating careers for other creators.
It makes perfect sense to see Spike on that list; there’s probably nobody in webcomics that’s provided as much direct payment to as many different creators as she has. It’s also no surprise that Iron Circus is presented as the equal of Image Comics in one critical benefit of the CFC grant:
The recipient has total control over how and where they choose to publish their work once it is completed, whether they choose to submit it to a creator-owned publisher or release it themselves in any format. Iron Circus Comics and Image Comics have both pledged to support the recipient by publishing their work, if the recipient so chooses. No matter their choice, the recipient retains all rights to their work.
The full criteria for the CFC grant will be released on 1 May, along with applications for the first grant cycle; the page doesn’t indicate how often the application process will open up (given that the US30,000 grant is meant to support a creator to make an original work³ over the course of a year, I’d guess annually) or how the grant will sustain its funding for future years, but then again the entire endeavour is only about 24 hours old at this point. All I know is if they’re taking contributions for the grant, I’d be willing to kick in; I hope to see a CFC corner at the Image booth at shows with a donation jar set up.
- And one last item that has nothing to do with Image: Irregular Webcomic creator David Morgan-Mar (PhD, LEGO®©™etc) will be doing a Reddit AMA in /r/comics “tomorrow”; I put that in quotes because it may not be Friday depending on where you live. It’ll be 11:00pm GMT, 7:00pm EDT, and 9:00am on Saturday for Morgan-Mar himself, home in sunny Sydney, New South Wales, Straya. Be sure to ask him about the Kickstarter campaign for the first IW print collection (just shy of 50% funded, with just shy of three weeks to go).
Spam of the day:
4 Ways to Avoid Running Out of Money During Retirement
I’m going to guess — and this is only a guess — that the chief way that the investment advisor who sent this would recommend is to not spend all your money on frivolous things like food and shelter and healthcare. Die when you are no longer contributory to society, elder scum!
¹ Bonus: one of the characters gets turned into a tiger, meaning Kerschl will be drawing animals in motion, at rest, and in conflict. It’s not Charles Christopher, but it’ll do.
² To be perfectly clear, the name list also included the invaluable David Brothers; he’s written extensively on comics and works for Image as a branding manager, but isn’t a creator himself. I’d guess that he did a significant amount of the logistics and coordination work around setting up CFC.
³ I am already anticipating the whiny ragetears of newbies who are offended that the CFC jury couldn’t perceive the obvious genius of their new concept, The Adventures of EscherGirl in Slutland.