With Further Ado #257: Sherlock and Joel on Zoop

Joel Meadows is a hard-working creative entrepreneur. You might know him from his brilliant work on Tripwire Magazine over the years. There’s been a lot of buzz this past week about the Tripwire Awards too, and that’s fascinating to see.

Joel also has a new project coming up with Andy Bennett called Sherlock Holmes and The Empire Builders. Here’s the official write-up:

Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders is an epic alternate world sci fi adventure featuring The World’s Greatest Detective as people have never seen him before.

When Watson leaves Holmes to help Crick unravel the DNA helix and finds himself in the employ of England’s most evil man, Holmes is forced to team up with an unlikely group to defeat this monstrous figure and return England to its status quo. With your support here we can get the first part of this exciting graphic novel out to readers!

Testing the waters with three shorts which ran in Tripwire magazine, we felt that now was the time to debut this in its own graphic novel series. This will be a hardcover with a dust jacket running at 88 pages with 68 pages of story (much of which will be new material) plus character sketches, script pages and an interview offering extra information on the series.

In our recent conversation, Joel revealed a bit more to me. “Actually, I put this little twelve-page magazine, which has an eight-page short and some fake newspaper pages in there, in about 2002, and we sent this out to a few places – to Vertigo and Dark Horse – and nobody bit,” said Meadows. “And so, I just put it down for years. And then, many years later, about 2019 or 2020, my friend Scott Braden, who writes for us <at Tripwire Magazine> , does a thing called lost tales which is about comics which never happened. I told him about the Holmes thing, and he said it could be really interesting to that as a feature.”

“I talked to him about that, and he asked to talk to Andy Bennett as well. It got me thinking that maybe I should have another go at Holmes. So, we kind of resurrected it, and the first short appears in the 22nd issue of Tripwire magazine, which is our comeback print magazine, for the first time in nine years.”

“And then, we did three shorts to test the waters, and they seem to be very well received. And then, we thought we’d actually bite the bullet and do a longer story. That’s where we are.”

As you can see, Joel has reached out to his network for contributions. The alternate cover by Walter Simonson, in particular, really pops.

The crowdfunding effort for Joel’s Sherlock Holmes and Empire Builders just reached its goal, but there’s still time to jump on board. You can find it on Zoop, a new(ish) crowdsourcing platform that focuses on comics. One day soon I need to conduct a proper interview with Zoop’s co-founder, Jordan Plosky. Jordan’s an industrious big thinker and he’s making great things happen. Here’s the official write up from the Zoop site:

While the idea for Zoop was born in 2018, the 2020 Pandemic proved that we needed an end-to-end, low-risk, direct-to-consumer solution to meet the needs of the fandom community.

We aim to sustain and grow our favorite industries (and beyond) by bringing crowdfunding, e-commerce, production, fulfillment, and distribution together under a single, simple platform.

Because a reliable distribution system should be the standard. Because publishers shouldn’t be forced to constrict their staff and output. Because creators shouldn’t waste valuable time researching and vetting potential 3rd party vendors, making profit and loss spreadsheets, and calculating shipping costs. Because fans should be able to have a more à la carte experience on a streamlined & intuitive interface and connect with the creators they love. Because no one can do it alone.

Check it all out at : https://zoop.gg/c/sherlockholmesandtheempirebuilders

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I’m looking forward to learning new things at San Diego Comic-Con this week. And if you’re there – swing by my panels and don’t be shy about saying “Hi” afterwards.

How to Get News Coverage – Thursday 7/20/2023 10:30am – 11:30am ROOM 10

Lost Universes Panel – Thursday 7/20/2023, 5:00pm – 6:00pm Room 28DE

Captain Action: Introducing New Voices to a Legendary Property – Friday, 7/21/23, 7:00PM – 8:00PM, Room: 23ABC (We’re introducing some cool things at this one!)

Comics on Campus: Academia vs. Fandom (Battle or a Collab?) – Saturday, 7/22/23, 1:00PM – 2:00PM, Room: Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library

Licensed: Overstreet’s Licensed Comics – Saturday 7/22/23 1:00pm – 2:00pm Room 28 DE

Admissions Departments Emitting Geek Vibes: College Course Focused on Pop Culture – Sunday, 7/23/23, 10:00AM – 11:00AM, Room: Shiley Special Events Suite, San Diego Central Library


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