Category: Crowdfunding

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Vito Delsante Has a Kickstarter You Need to See

Spotlight SquadCast Interview: Vito Delsante Has a Kickstarter You Need to See

We have another great interview to bring to you. This one is with comic writer Vito Delsante. He has a current Kickstarter campaign in progress for the long awaited graphic novel World War Mob: La Collezione Completa .

We spent some time discussing the origins of this comic project. It sounds and looks fantastic. We highly recommend backing this project.

The elevator pitch for the book is simple.

“It’s the mob from the 1930’s, they take a hit out on Benito Mussolini and I think it is pretty self explanatory from there. If I am worth any kind of salt as writer, there will be obviously nuance involved, but I will let the audience suss that out as they read it.”

The goal of the campaign is to complete and print the book that had been solicited a few years ago but never made it to print.

Artist Giancarlo Caracuzzo is utilizing a fantastic watercolor style bring a unique look to this book.

The Kickstarter campaign ends in twelve days on January 27, 2021, and this is one that you won’t want to miss. The rewards for this project are reasonably priced and as we discussed in the SquadCast, this is one of the projects that you want to see succeed because it deserves to be in the world.

Take a listen to our conversation for more about the history and content of this interesting comic project.

Of course, Vito and I discussed his creator owned book Stray that he developed with co-creator and artist Sean Izaakse. We talked about the plans for the next volume of Stray that he hope to get going this year with artist Marcelo Mueller.

For more of my feelings about Stray check out the Continued After The Next Page column that I wrote about it.

Fans of ’80s comics will enjoy the last third of the SquadCast as we dive into collecting X-Men comics, and you will find out what Chris Claremont has to do with “Luke and Laura” and “Bo and Hope”.


Here is some more art from the Kickstarter campaign.

World War Two! Five men, all members of different crime families, all US soldiers, undertake a clandestine mission ordered by the heads of the Five Families; for crimes against the Mafia, Benito Mussolini must be killed! They must overcome bad blood and family rivalries, the Nazis and the men loyal to Il Duce, and go behind the Army brass’ backs to do it for “La Cosa Nostra!


 

 

 


You can follow Vito’s work at www.incogvito.com

He is @Incognvito on Twitter and Instagram.

And for updated information on what is going on with Stray follow the Facebook page or the Kickstarter page.

Continued After the Next Page #017: Looking Back At The Good In 2020

Continued After the Next Page #017: Looking Back At The Good In 2020

Well, we made it to the end of 2020. I am sure that it didn’t turn out like any of us expected. There have been plenty of low lights, and there are too many people who have been irrevocably harmed by the local and global tragedies that happened this year. That is awful.

However, someone told me something recently that stuck with me. Despite the horrible dumpster fire that 2020 has brought, your mental health can benefit from the activity of looking at the good things that happened in this past year. So, that is what this final post of 2020 will be about.

The SquadCast

This year I finally got off my tush and started presenting the interviews that I do with comic book professionals in a podcast format. In the past, I had merely transcribed the interview, but I found that there was more interesting content in the discussions that people would enjoy that didn’t quite fit in a text post.

So, I went to Buzzsprout and created a hosting site for the Pop Culture SquadCast: Interview Edition. I learned enough of Audacity to edit the interviews and splice some sound together, and here we are.

I need to say thanks to our artistic genius Marc Allan Fishman for the logo and episode art. Also Space In Time is the band that we use for the intro and closing music. You can check there music out at Bandcamp.

And of course, thanks to the pros who to took the time to talk to me about their work.

The Books

While all of you Pop Culture Squad Members know about our digital presence here on the site and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, there is now physical printed evidence that Pop Culture Squad exists. On the back covers of two trade paperback collections, I have blurb quotes for reviews.

I cannot tell you how awesome it is to see my name on a comic book. I could not even have ever imagined that five years ago.

Both of these books are special to me. Hyperbreed from Louise Simonson and Guy Dorian is a fun YA space story from Storm King Comics. Did you notice that? My name is on a book written by THE Louise Simonson!!!!

I have been following the Love and Capes stories that Thomas Zahler creates for years, and when he told me last year that he would be coming back to that universe, I was stoked. He totally made it work, and I am grateful for his putting my review blurb on the back of the book in some seriously impressive company.

The Comics Industry Adapts and Supports Itself

This year has hit the comics industry hard. Publishers and retailers had to deal with a nearly two month shutdown of new comics distribution. But through it all, people worked hard to support each other and save the industry that relies a lot on in-person contact.

So many great new comics were made and you can check out our list of the years best here.

Fundraisers and charity auctions popped up all over the place. We detailed some of those as they occurred.

Give Comics Hope is one of the charities that we highlighted through the year and will continue to do so.

There were plenty of Kickstarter campaigns launched to find different ways to publish and create comic book content. You better believe that we covered them.

Conventions Happened… Sort of

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit America hard in March, comic conventions were scrapped as we all needed to isolate to stop the spread of the dangerously contagious disease. But plenty of talented people scrambled to turn the experience of seeing pop culture personalities and comic creators in virtual cons.

Some were better than others, and none truly replaced the experience of strolling down artists alley and chatting with creators and friends. However, they were good enough to be a decent placeholder for the time that we will be able to be vaccinated and able to go out and see each other in person.

Geek Culture TV

There was a massive amount of quality television programming that was produced and broadcast this year. There are more outlets, streaming and otherwise that are now committed to delivering high quality shows. Here is a list of some of our favorites in no particular order:

  • SCHITT’S CREEK: SEASON 6 – AMC
  • WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS: SEASON 2 – FFX
  • HARLEY QUINN: SEASON 2 – HBOMax
  • THE BOYS: SEASON 2 – Amazon Prime Video
  • THE MANDALORIAN: SEASON 2 – Disney+
  • LOVECRAFT COUNTRY: SEASON 1 – HBOMax
  • THE UMBRELLA ACADEMY: SEASON 2 – Netflix
  • STARGIRL: SEASON 1 – CW
  • I AM NOT OKAY WITH THIS: SEASON 1 – Neflix
  • STAR TREK: PICARD: SEASON 1 – CBS All Access
  • KILLING EVE: SEASON 3 – BBC
  • PERRY MASON: SEASON 1 – HBOMax

And don’t forget there were some other shows like Tiger King (Netflix) and The Vow (HBO) that left us captivated, or horrified, or both.

Based on the announcements from Disney, Warner Bros, and others, it looks like this trend of high quality serialized episodic programming with continue.

Pop Culture Squad Thrived

Even before the pandemic shut down a lot of the world, we worried that this would be a slow year for PCS. However, we persevered and continued to bring you content as best you can.

If you are not a regular reader of Mike Gold‘s two columns here, you are missing witty and entertaining stories and opinion.

Ed Catto’s regular With Further Ado column finds new ways to look at comics, books, film and other cool stuff.

While we have bigger dreams for what is to come, it was a pretty good year for Pop Culture Squad and we are excited for making them happen in the next year.

Thanks for being here, and READ MORE COMICS!

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer and Artist Andrew Pepoy, Creator of Simone & Ajax

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer and Artist Andrew Pepoy, Creator of Simone & Ajax

Welcome back to another spotlight interview. In this session, we spoke with comics writer, artist, and inker Andrew Pepoy.

Andrew has been working professionally in comics for over thirty years. He has worked for Marvel, DC, Archie, and Bongo Comics, among others. He is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for his creator owned property Simone & Ajax. Simone and Ajax has been around for over twenty-five years, and Andrew is working on collected edition of four new stories, plus extras and it looks fabulous.

We talked about the series and what Andrew is looking to deliver in this project as well as his history in comics. This interview is a great discussion of what is possible in the comic medium.

You can find the audio recording of our discussion below, and we transcribed a big portion of it for you as well.

We hope you enjoy the conversation.

Pop Culture Squad: Let’s talk about Simone & Ajax. The Kickstarter is live as of the publication of this interview even if we are recording it prior to the campaign launch. How long has this new project been in the works for you and what can we expect in the Kickstarter?

Andrew Pepoy: Well there is a longer answer and a shorter answer. To give you the short answer, I have been planning this for about the last year, and really focused on it for much of this year, 2020.

The long answer is that in some ways, some of the stories in here are stories I have been wanting to tell for twenty-five or thirty years since I first created the characters.

Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Comic Writer and Artist Andrew Pepoy, Creator of Simone & Ajax”

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing:  August Edition

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: August Edition

Hey everyone! Welcome back to the latest edition of Kickstarter campaigns that we think you should check out. There are lots of creators taking advantage of the slowdown in comic publishing and lack of comic conventions by running campaigns for crowdfunding their work. We have been keeping our eyes on the stream of great projects that are being offered and come up with a list of campaigns to spotlight.

Below you will find a list of Kickstarter campaigns listed by the order of the end of the campaign. We will give you the details and a quick word or two about why we like them.

Cupid’s Arrows Volume 1 by Thom Zahler

Campaign Ends: August 27, 2020

This is the collected edition of the hit Webtoon series Cupid’s Arrows by Thom Zahler. It is a fun, light hearted, but moving romance series with a great concept. There are plenty of extra options for backer rewards.

BACK IT HERE

Note: You can check out the last time that we talked with Thom about his other upcoming publication, the 5th volume of Love and Capes, here.


Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: August Edition”

PANDEMIX Is the Comic Anthology You Need to Be Reading Today

PANDEMIX Is the Comic Anthology You Need to Be Reading Today

We are living and surviving today in a world with a virus that has changed so much of how we were used to living. It has affected everyone in America and most of the world whether you “believe” in it or not.

Talented artistic folks have invariably impacted significantly. While many artists were used to the working at home that has become the new norm for so many more, the world is different than it was pre-COVID19, and we knew that it would be only a matter of time before we saw creative expression of what the pandemic has wrought in comic form.

That time is now. We present to you PANDEMIX: Quarantine Comics in the Age of ‘Rona!! Available Today!!!

A group of nineteen talented artists and writers have come together to share their impressions of how they are seeing the world that we live in today. It is a wonderful collected anthology of comic goodness, but wait there’s more. This self published digital edition is available on Patreon , and all proceeds go to charity with donations to The Hero Initiative.

Continue reading “PANDEMIX Is the Comic Anthology You Need to Be Reading Today”

With Further Ado #99: Jetta, Jeff and the Entrepreneurial Project that Turned Into An Artists’ Party

With Further Ado #99: Jetta, Jeff and the Entrepreneurial Project that Turned Into An Artists’ Party

It’s hard to believe that in 2020, the concept of “Archie” can mean so many different things to so many different people. To me, the first image I conjure up of Archie is that classic, squeaky clean strip about teenagers.  I read about a thousand classic Archie Comics in the orthodontist’s waiting room and a big box of Archie comics way when, and then my aunt Elissa bequeathed another big box of Archie comics to me too.

But today, it’s more likely that the images of Archie and his “pals & gals” from CW’s Riverdale are what comes to mind for many younger fans. Comic readers might think of the horrific Vampironica, or the Netflix’s Sabrina, or the new Katy Keene TV version of the characters.  (I can’t believe that the obscure character, Pepper is on TV!)  These different incarnations are all legitimate and all engaging.

Kudos to folks masterminding the Archie brand – for their creativity, flexibility and vision.

But it turns out that even the “classic” version of Archie – the house style established in many ways by Dan DeCarlo – was co-opted.  Before Dan DeCarlo started his long and impressive career at Archie Comics (MLJ), he worked on a title called Jetta Raye, the delightful teenage sweetheart of the future.  And back in 1952, that meant the 21st century.

In the 50s Jetta comic series, published by Standard/Nedor/Pines, teenager Jetta Raye went (would go to? syntax for future stories is tricky)  to Neutron High School in the year 2052.  That doesn’t seem that far off now, does it? She had a boyfriend named Arky (gulp!) and stumbled into zany adventures. To a reader today, it would seem to be a delightful mash-up of the Jetson’s and classic Archie. But the incredible part is that Jetta  pre-dated both of them!

More Jetta Raye Is On The Way

The good news is that there’s new Jetta Raye on the way. I caught up with the very creative Jeff Schultz and he told me all about it. Continue reading “With Further Ado #99: Jetta, Jeff and the Entrepreneurial Project that Turned Into An Artists’ Party”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Maybe Someday by A Wave Blue World

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Maybe Someday by A Wave Blue World

Hey folks. It’s that time again. It’s time to tell you a about a Kickstarter campaign that you should be backing. We search the current Kickstarter campaigns, and when we find one we feels needs a little boost, we let you know about it.

The project we are spotlighting is Maybe Someday: Stories of Promise, Visions of Hope by A Wave Blue World. It is a comic anthology full of inspiring, forward-looking stories for tomorrow.

 

 

The campaign description states:

MAYBE SOMEDAY: STORIES OF PROMISE, VISIONS OF HOPE is a full-color anthology featuring over 25 inspiring stories about a brighter future. It is also the sequel to the New York Times featured and Ringo Award Nominated anthology, ALL WE EVER WANTED.

Like its predecessor, MAYBE SOMEDAY features stories full of hope. Instead of focusing on dystopian fiction, these stories help show the path forward to a better world. It is edited by Matt Miner, Eric Palicki & Tyler Chin-Tanner and published by A Wave Blue World.

As we were already fans of All We Ever Wanted and the publisher’s other anthologies, including Dead Beats, we wanted to do what we could to support this project we reached out to the editors Tyler Chin-Tanner, Eric Palicki, and Matt Miner to get some more info on this book.


Pop Culture Squad: What about the current state of the world makes this the right time for an anthology like this?

Matt:  If I could gesticulate wildly to EVERYTHING, maybe?  For decades we fantasized about the post apocalyptic and authoritarian worlds, because they make for fun stories – but we’re starting to really live in that scary future that used to be the thing of movies, and for some folks it’s never been that great.  I think a little positivity and hope is a much needed thing right now.

Eric: I’m fond of a turn of phrase Matt used to describe the mission statement of our first volume, ALL WE EVER WANTED. Our goal was to tell science fiction stories that were “less Mad Max, more Star Trek.” Now, I look out my front door and I see a world practically on fire, and people not too far removed from Immortan Joe in positions of power. We don’t need to dramatize the dystopia we’re already living in, which makes now the perfect time to start thinking less about what the present is and more about what the future could be. Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: Maybe Someday by A Wave Blue World”

With Further Ado #97: What is Graham Nolan up to?

With Further Ado #97: What is Graham Nolan up to?

Back in my college days, I dated this intoxicatingly beautiful blonde who went to school at Buffalo State College. One time, when I was visiting her, it was during a vicious snowstorm.  It was nothing new for Buffalo, but I was astounded. There was so much snow.  In fact, I still remember the local kids throwing snowballs at my bus as it rolled into town. The amazing part was that the kids were throwing down at the bus. The snow along the roads was heaped so high that it was higher than the bus!

Comics creator Graham Nolan had a similar cold-weather experience in Buffalo, but the difference is that it sparked his uber-creative mind, and he has created a new comic from his wintery experience.  The Chenoo is his newest project. The backstory is fascinating. Nolan’s approach to business is ambitious, and I’m betting comic itself will be a pretty good read too.

A Hidden Entrepreneur

One of the courses I teach at Ithaca College is called Hidden Entrepreneurs. The basic premise is that not every entrepreneur is like ‘that guy’ who shows up in front of the sharks on TV’s Shark Tank. Continue reading “With Further Ado #97: What is Graham Nolan up to?”

Creators are Caring for Comic Shops

With the mass chaos and uncertainty that the physical comic book industry is in as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis, comic book writers and artists are finding unique ways to try to help comic shops. As we have detailed earlier, comic professionals are also affected by this pandemic in real financial terms. As their income streams dry up and “pencils down” orders are given, the community searches for ways to survive.

We are confident that the medium of sequential art will not go away, but it may emerge from this crisis altered. Will it be for the better? It is impossible to tell. In the meantime, the community is trying to support each other.

Today, we want to highlight some of the innovative efforts to support both creative talent and comic shops.

Love and Capes Returns

We told you in an interview earlier that cartoonist Thom Zahler has been working on the new Love and Capes: The Family Way series, and selling small print run single-issues at conventions. IDW will be collecting and printing a Trade Paperback this summer, but with all conventions on hold, Thom came up with an inventive way to get the story and get new inventory into the hands of comic shops that are still open in whatever form.

He is offering a way for comic shops to order the individual issues directly from him, and is, even, offering a way for the issue covers to be customized. Comic Shops can get all the details and links to the order forms on Zahler’s website. Orders are being taken until Friday 4/17 at Noon!!

Fans can reach out to their Local Comic Shops and encourage them to order the new content.

#Creators4Comics

An event is going over in the Twitterverse. Over a hundred comic creatives are auctioning off artwork, books, and experiences through the #Creators4Comics. The auctions will end on Monday 4/20. The funds raised will be donated to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, an organization that supports independent booksellers, including comic shops. Continue reading “Creators are Caring for Comic Shops”

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection

Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection

Hey folks. It’s that time again. If it’s Friday, it must be time to tell you a about a Kickstarter that you should be backing. We search the current Kickstarter campaigns, and when we find one we feels needs a little boost, we let you know about it.

This week we are spotlighting The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection.

Continue reading “Kickstarter You Should Be Backing: The Middle Age: Volume 2 – Hardcover Collection”