Wednesday Webcomics: 2/29/2012

Welcome again to Webcomics Wednesday and Happy Leap Day! One of the ways I am using to find webcomics lately is a site called Ink Outbreak. It has a “More Like This” button that generates a list of “Most Similar” and “Fans Also Enjoy” webcomics, or you can search by categories like Science Fiction, which is what I did to find today’s comics: Mystery Babylon and Cleopatra in Spaaaace!

Mystery Babylon is a full-color comic by Val Hochberg. It is the story of a girl named Mystery Babylon aka Kick Girl (she could also be called Punch Girl or Stomp Girl, but she does indeed kick people a lot), and a boy priest named Zero. Kick Girl is surly, cynical and hyper-aggressive, definitely not a people person, which is why it is funny that sweet/naive Zero likes her so much.

I have read Chapter One so far, which is the first 43 pages, and the plot that is brewing in this introduction involves the pit that holds the Devil, a group that wants to unseal it, and a map that purports to reveal the location of the pit. While I am interested in the story, it is the relationship between Kick Girl and Zero that has me turning the pages and laughing out loud right now. The art is well done in a manga style and some of the funniest parts of the comic are the expressions on Kick Girl’s face as she has to deal with all the idiots (as she sees them) around her.

This is a fun action-comedy with Christian-religious themes (check out the FAQ if you are concerned about the handling of the religious themes one way or the other) and I say go check it out!

Cleopatra in Spaaaace!, by Mike Maihack, is another fun action-adventure webcomic that, as the name implies, takes place in outer space and is about Cleopatra. Yes, that Cleopatra. She has been sent into the future and the story starts out with her battling aliens called the Xerx alongside her talking cat, Khensu. And then she jumps on a spaceship/motorcycle in the shape of a Sphinx. I was pretty much hooked from the beginning of this one—Cleopatra looks really cool in Egyptian/science fiction clothes holding dual ’50s-style sci-fi laser guns. Throw in a talking cat and a Sphinxcycle? I’m in for the long haul!

Chapter One of Cleopatra is in black and white; thereafter it is in full color. I bought the PDF of Chapter One (the only PDF available; Chapter Two is only available in a hard copy) for $1.99 and it includes some nice sketches and guest artist pin-ups along with the first 28 pages of the comic. Now for some bad news: Cleopatra in Spaaaace! has been on hold since June 2011 except for some recent guest strips. Why? Because Mr. Maihack knew he could not keep up the weekly pace of the comic once a new addition to his family arrived in October, so he decided to put off Chapter Three until he could focus on it more. The webcomic fan part of me is bummed by this, but the new dad side of me understands completely. Mr. Maihack reiterated as recently as 1/27/12 that there will be a Chapter Three, so keep your fingers crossed. Cleopatra in Spaaaace! is a genuinely good webcomic, full of heart and action, well-drawn and -written, and by the way, it has a council of rulers who are all talking cats. No more need be said.

Final note: Namesake finished its Kickstarter successfully with nearly double its goal. Congrats!

Webcomics Wednesday: 2/22/2012

It is time again for Webcomics Wednesday! Let me start off by stating the obvious: I am having a blast finding and reading webcomics. I love the variety of genres, the unique stories that are being told, and the varied art styles. I like when creators have comments underneath each page, whether it explains that day’s comic or just shares some insight into their lives.

I am checking out a lot of comics in order to find ones I like and that I want to share here. Some work for me, some don’t. Likewise, I imagine some of the ones I share here might have you scratching your head. That’s why the sheer number of webcomics out there is great; there’s something for everybody. That being said, I looked through a lot of webcomics this week that just didn’t spark for me, but still took me a lot of time to look through, so I only have two to recommend right now: City of Cards, and The End.

City of Cards, written and illustrated by C.J. Joughin, is a black-and-white webcomic set in a Kafka-esque future where everyone is controlled by the system/government/corporate entity. The story starts off with Plato, a kind of shlubby guy who is running a nightclub called The Cave, which he is barely keeping afloat. He cannot get his liquor license until he is able to show that he can run the nightclub profitably, but he can’t make a profit without a liquor license. Enter Ace, a mysterious young man with amnesia and no official ID. Plato starts to take care of Ace out of the kindness of his own heart or perhaps more likely an attraction. It soon turns out that Ace, even though he can’t remember who he is or how he got there, knows things he shouldn’t. Perhaps he is psychic, perhaps there is something deeper going on. I mean, “Plato” is running a place called “The Cave” and the Allegory of the Cave is quoted at the beginning of the comic, so we are primed to doubt the reality of the world we are reading about straight from the get-go.

City of Cards has a kind of slow, gentle feel to it, even in the most recent pages which depict a fight scene. The characters, almost all of whom look kind of stocky and solidly built to me, talk a lot and kind of meander through life, while we learn bits and pieces about the world they exist in. I normally don’t go for this slow of a pace in a story, but it works well here, as I kind of feel that I am along for a ride and I am intrigued as to where it will go and what sights we’ll see along the way.

The End, written by Cory Brown and illustrated by Ran Brown*, is in full color and is the story of an alien race, the Fiah, who collect sample populations from planets that are about to be destroyed. The latest mission brings Navigator Endi and Monitor Ethma to Earth to nab some specimens. And not just anywhere on Earth, but a comic-book convention. Part One of the story is all about the setup of who will be collected by the Fiah, so we jump from one group of characters to another, getting small glimpses into their lives before Part Two, where the action moves to outer space.

It’s a simple enough setup, but there appears to be a lot going on under the surface of this story. Without giving anything away, the end of Part One kind of changes the whole ball game, and the intermission between Parts One and Two introduces even more questions about what is really going on.

The End looks great; it is really well-drawn and colored. There are some scenes where the characters are backlit and I had to strain to see the details of their faces, so I felt it was a little too dark, but that could just be me or the gamma correction on my monitor. The story seems very deep, and you can tell from what Mr. Brown has shared of his world-building notes, that he has put a lot of thought and energy into this setting.

The End is exciting, fun, and looks to be full of mysteries and secrets to uncover. I could easily see this as being an ongoing TV series, sort of like Lost, except in space instead of the Island. Lost, in Space. But not, you know, Lost in Space. Okay, you get the point, go check it out.

*I am assuming from the comments I have read that Cory writes and Ran illustrates, but I could not find an “About” section that explicitly stated this.

On a final note, I am always scanning Kickstarter for more comics and this time Gastrophobia Volume 2 caught my eye. I only read the first few pages of the webcomic and then opted to pledge for the PDFs of Volume 1 and 2, because the story and art seem fun and it’s a good price for the 2 PDFs. As it says on the Kickstarter page, it is “about a single mom Amazon in Ancient Greece and her less-than-athletic 8-year-old son.” Hilarity ensues. Check it out.

Webcomics Wednesday: 2/15/2012

Welcome back for another edition of Webcomics Wednesday. As always, if you have a suggestion or just want to say you were here, please leave a comment below. Now on to the show.

The Adventures of the 19XX is a dieselpunk webcomic by Paul Roman Martinez, and I am only covering Chapter One in this mini-review. The story takes place sometime in the 1930s, or 193X as it says in the comic, the X being a wildcard to give the story some leeway as to how much earlier than World War II it takes place, I guess. The 19XX is actually the name of an organization which I would describe as fighting the good fight against the forces of occult evil. This first chapter is a bit of an introduction to the characters and setting, but manages to include a couple of nice action sequences and a number of surprising turns right off the bat.

This is the type of fun pulp story that I love to read, like Lobster Johnson or the 1930s-era flashback Iron Fist adventures in the Brubaker/Fraction Immortal Iron Fist run. Like those stories, the 19XX have both magic and science on their side, including “mojo bags” that give their user some measure of protection against injury, and (my favorite), the world’s smartest rabbit. Of course, the evildoers have both magic and technology at their disposal as well, with villains like Demonhand and Aleister Gurdjeff (presumably referencing Aleister Crowley and G.I. Gurdjieff).

The art itself is mostly realistic, with special detail paid to period vehicles and architecture. It looks like it was printed on newsprint, which is a nice touch to make it feel more like a historical document. Under most every page, Mr. Martinez has some historical information or pictures that he used in the making of that page, even down to the type of paperclip that would have been used in the ’30s, and for me these are as fun to read as the comic.

All this adds up to a fun read and I am looking forward to catching up on The Adventures of the 19XX.

Tinkers of the Wasteland by Raúl Treviño. I am about 110 pages (out of 356 as of the time of this writing) into Tinkers of the Wasteland and I would love to unequivocally recommend it. But I can’t. I really like the art style and the action scenes in this post-apocalyptic tale; I even like the story, although it is oddly chicken-centric (you have to read it, I can’t explain it). But the dialogue in the story does not work for me. It’s supposed to be funny, but I just find the characters to be dumb and unlikeable. Maybe that’s the point of these characters. but that doesn’t mean it is fun to read about them. The dialogue is pretty crude, mainly consisting of cursing a lot and using homosexual epithets. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against R-rated comedy, but it falls flat for me here.

Yet for some reason I keep clicking, page after page, because of the car chases, fights, bizarre weapons and fighting styles, and the environments. Now that I think on it, the art and action actually make me think of a grungier One Piece, where part of the fun is seeing all the bizarre fighting styles.

So for now, I am continuing to check this one out, and I can definitely recommend giving it a look to see if it suits your taste more than mine, but if at some point the super-lowbrow (like subway level) humor doesn’t let up, I’ll probably give up on this webcomic despite enjoying the rest of it. Oh, and needless to say, it is NSFW.

Widdershins, by Kate Ashwin, is set in the 1830s and is done in a pleasant, cartoony style. It begins with the story of Sidney Malik, a wizard and magician (explained in a bit) who has been expelled from his wizarding university and is about to be evicted from his home. You see, Sidney can do magic tricks and some true magic (wizardry), but he has an unfortunate malady that got him kicked out of school and makes it somewhat difficult to even be a practicing magician. To give away his malady would be to spoil the fun; needless to say, it is vital to the plot, which is about bounty hunters, thieves, and of course, magic.

Per Ms. Ashwin’s commentary, Sidney’s story is just the first chapter and it will be ending this month; the second chapter will switch to other characters that are seen in passing during the first chapter. I will be curious to see where Widdershins goes next, as I have already become attached to Sidney and his associates and want to read more about them.

Two short bits to end this post:

I ran across a new webcomic and I can’t even remember how, but I wanted to mention it here. It is called Cocotte and it is written and lettered by Kat Vapid, and drawn and colored by Ryan Kelly. It is about a cook (not a chef!) at a restaurant in Minneapolis. No kung fu, no hidden world, no airships in the background. In short, nothing like anything else I am reading, so I thought I would give it a try. Perhaps you’d also like to get in on the ground floor of a new webcomic, too. Check it out and give the creators some love; starting a webcomic has to be a bit of a leap of faith, and knowing you have readers keeps you up in the air longer.

Lastly, I reviewed Plume back in the end of January, and I wanted to mention that the Plume Kickstarter funded successfully, tripling its $3,000 goal. Congratulations to Kari Smith and Plume! I also mentioned Namesake in the same post and you still have time to back Namesake Volume One on Kickstarter if you are so inclined.

Tales of the Far West: Full Review

In a previous post, I talked about Far West and reviewed the first four stories in the new short story collection, Tales of the Far West. Here is my full review of the book; to skip the reviews of the first four stories, click here. And, yes, there are already plenty of reviews of the book on Amazon but I started to review the collection here, so I felt like finishing it as well.

He Built The Wall To Knock It Down by Scott Lynch: This story re-energized my passion for the Far West setting, which had started to wane a bit with the passage of time from the initial Kickstarter project. It is cool in exactly the way a Western/Wuxia/steampunk tale should be, with clear, concise action scenes that impart a very cinematic feel to the story with an amazing brevity. It has bar fights, the requisite master teaching the apprentice by having him do mundane tasks, amazing feats of kung fu and gunfighting, gravity-defying acrobatic stunts, explosive fights, and steampunk limbs aplenty.

In Stillness, Music by Aaron Rosenberg, is about a Wandering Star, a member of a clan of couriers who, according to the Far West website “are carefully neutral, no matter what their hearts may tell them. While many of them would be swift to assist wounded farmers after a bandit raid, for all their martial skill, they would not lift one brightly colored finger to stop it in progress.” So of course this story is about an exception to that rule. This story was good but not quite as strong as the opener. (There is a distracting formatting error in the Kindle version of this book: when the character sings, his sentences are smushed together, two to each line, so you can’t tell where one phrase ends and another begins.)

Riding the Thunderbird by Chuck Wendig. I would call it more of a scene, or the seed of a story. It starts in media res and ends there as well. Secrets are hinted at and what happens next is implied, but as a stand-alone story in a collection, it left me shrugging my shoulders. It might just be me, but I expected something fleshed out more. If this is a prelude to a longer story someplace else, it should say so. If not, I don’t think it stands on its own.

Purity of Purpose by Gareth-Michael Skarka, is one of the vignettes that was already up on the Far West website. While short, it is a complete story with a well-described, fantastical fight scene that combines gunplay and kung fu.

Paper Lotus by Tessa Gratton: This is a morbid but curious tale that offers some insight into the religious practices, both official and folk, of the Far West setting.

In the Name of the Empire by Eddy Webb: A nice murder mystery where the suspect is the sheriff and the investigator is a female Twin Eagle detective. The Twin Eagles are a for-hire detective agency that use a lot of steampunk gadgets in the course of their work, which is fun to read about.

Errant Eagles by Will Hindmarch:  This story starts out with a fight on a crashing airship, a great idea that is dragged down by the monotonous description of the fight itself. The two characters involved are named Redhand and Hollowaigh, and the scene plays out as “Redhand does something. Hollowaigh does something. Redhand does something else. Hollowaigh does something else. Etc.” Some variety in the description would have been more enjoyable, and this is not the last time in the story that a fight scene is handled in this manner.

Railroad Spikes by Ari Marmell: This is more of a Twilight Zone-y tale of a train robbery gone bad. I found it to be pleasantly wicked with a good ending.

The Fury Pact by Matt Forbeck: This is the third story in the book to include an Imperial Marshal, a sort of Judge Dredd-esque judge/jury/executioner wearing a stylized mask who protects the Empire’s interests in the Far West.  In this tale, the main character has a jetpack that the Empire wants, so a Marshal is sent to collect it by any means necessary.

Seven Holes by T.S. Luikart: I enjoyed this story for the insight it gives into the powers controlled by the kung-fu experts in Far West, and also what can happen when those with powers are not trained properly.

Local Legend by Jason L. Blair: A bounty hunter comes to town claiming to have killed a local outlaw, and he has the outlaw’s famous sword to prove it. Not a bad story, but not very surprising, either.

Crippled Avengers by Dave Gross: This is a neat revenge story with a cool cast of misfits and a mwu-ha-ha evil villain. Of all the characters in the book, these are probably the ones I would most want to read more about.

Overall, if the purpose of this collection was to showcase various aspects of the Far West universe, then mission accomplished.

Webcomics Wednesday: 2/1/2012

For today’s Webcomics Wednesday, I decided to catch up on The Bean, a comic written and drawn by Travis Hanson. First, some history: My wife and I first met Travis while at the 2009 San Diego Comic-Con. It had been a bad couple of years for us and we went a little crazy with the retail therapy at the Con. One of our purchases was a print by Travis. From there, I discovered his website and his long-form webcomic, The Bean. My wife also recently commissioned a print for me from Travis, which turned out great, don’t you think?

Since that time, I have backed two of his projects on Kickstarter, the first two volumes of The Bean in print. Volume One, available at the Bean Leaf Press store collects the first 150 or so pages, and it wasn’t until I received and read that volume that I decided to go ahead and catch up with the rest online (believe it or not, I wasn’t really into reading webcomics before then. Travis, The Bean was a gateway drug!). In this post, I will stick to discussing Volume One.

The Bean starts out in what feels like your typical fantasy world set-up. There are humans, ogres, elves, and goblins, and the story is centered around an orphaned human boy named Bean whose father disappeared, resulting in Bean having to work as an indentured servant to an ogre who runs an inn. Bean is soon caught up in an adventure that deals with an evil, rhyming troll (my least favorite character of the story, due to the sometimes forced nature of his rhymes) and a revelation about Bean’s missing father.

So what elevates this work above other Tolkien-esque fantasy stories? Travis’ artwork, for one thing. His landscapes (both above and below ground, but more on that in a bit), the fantastical flora and fauna that inhabit them, the run-down feel of the world the characters inhabit, and the style of the characters themselves, all work together well. I find myself examining every panel for the details it holds, rather than simply rushing through the story. Travis is able to breathe life into the world and the characters, so that you believe in and connect to even the most inhuman of characters (see this page toward the end of volume one for a touching example, but if you don’t want to spoil the story, read everything preceding it first, of course).

I especially enjoy the underground worlds that Travis creates, both in this story and his prints. I love stories, fictional and true, about underground environments hidden under the world we know: unused subway systems, the tunnel system under Paris, the under-city in Seattle, even the tunnels under Disneyland (which I like to imagine are much more extensive and nefarious than Disney would have us to believe). Once The Bean heads underground, you have caverns full of decrepit statues, endless staircases, rusting pipes, ancient hieroglyphs, and hints of monstrous things lurking at the edge of darkness.

The other thing that kept me reading was a second plot about a ranger who goes searching for Bean only to stumble onto a larger threat facing the region, which may just loop back around to tie into Bean’s own hidden history. There are also hints of influences of Michael Moorcock and even The Legend of Zelda thrown in here (those might just be my perception), and by the end of Volume One, the series was hitting all the right notes to entice me to read on.

The Kickstarter project for Volume Two of The Bean has funded and is closed, but you can catch up on the adventures of Bean at http://www.beanleafpress.com/, and then perhaps support Volume Three on Kickstarter when it is ready to go.

I followed a link off of the links page on The Bean to Twilight Monk, because it sounded cool. Twilight Monk is written and drawn by Trent Kaniuga and it reminds me of Naruto so far, in a good way. The impish lead character is named Mao, and he is a goof-off who wants to be taken seriously as a hero. He is friends with Rin, a big oaf whose special attack is certainly one I have never seen before, and Nora, who unfortunately seems to exist to be the nagging Jiminy Cricket of the group when she is not fulfilling the Princess Peach role. (The story is still in its early days and I hope to see Nora grow into a more fleshed-out, unique character.)

There is a lot of good humor in this webcomic, both physical and in the dialogue, and some well-done action scenes. And a talking turtle with an attitude, which is a nice addition.

The art is in black and white but uses a wide range of greys; I am not an artist, so I hesitate to use art terminology I may be getting totally wrong, but I would describe the art as having an ink and wash style to it (feel free to correct/educate me on this), rather than just crisp black and white lines. Some dramatic examples include this and this. Indeed, that second link starts a whole flashback sequence that is framed in vivid, thick black brushstrokes that appear to be scraped out of ink (or perhaps blood?).

The backgrounds are usually loosely sketched and then painted in light grey, which lets the more-detailed foreground action stand out clearly against them. Just as with Travis Hanson’s The Bean, the landscapes in this comic are well-detailed and delightful to examine. I like that the village where the story takes place seems to be built into a craggy mountain area, with wood-slatted ramps and ladders connecting everything. It looks like it would be a fun place to explore.

It looks like this webcomic had a lengthy hiatus from June to nearly December in 2011 but is back with weekly updates since then. Twilight Monk has had a great beginning, so I hope Trent is able to sustain the work over the longer term so I can see where this is going (and eventually have a copy for my shelf).

My Journey Into The Far West

I am in the middle of reading a short story collection called Tales of the Far West right now, so I thought I would share some thoughts on the stories and my journey into the world of Far West. (If you are already familiar with Far West or want to jump right to my partial review of the short story collection, click here.)

Kickstarter

I first noticed Far West on Kickstarter (or maybe I got pointed there by someone else, but if so, I can’t recall from who or where…bygones). The project was described as a “transmedia” project, including fiction and a role-playing game (RPG) set in a fantasy world “based on the inspirations of the Spaghetti Western and Chinese Wuxia. Add steampunk elements. Mix well.” Well, I’m not a big Western fan, but I have enjoyed Wuxia movies ever since I saw Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (perhaps the only movie that I have paid to see in theaters three times in the span of 2 or 3 weeks) and I have always thought steampunk was great fun. The project also referenced Stephen King’s Dark Tower series. Okay, now we’re talking. I may not have watched a bunch of Westerns, but I tore through that series and I could imagine the type of gunfighting skill that Roland displays mixed with the high-flying acrobats of Chow Yun Fat and Michelle Yeoh. Add to that a really cool selection of Kickstarter rewards, and I was in. By the time the Kickstarter was over at the end of August 2011, they had raised just shy of $50,000 (their original goal was only $5,000) and had added a bunch of great rewards as time went on.

Into the Far West

The website for Far West had a number of vignettes set in the Far West universe, and informative short entries about some of the people and places that make up the world. Some combination of the excitement that led up to the successful funding of the Kickstarter project and the intriguing setting led me to write a short story based in the Far West universe, even though I did not have much knowledge of the details of the world yet. I sent it to one of the game’s designers, Gareth Skarka, and he was kind enough to edit it and post it on the Far West site, and even to create some art for the piece. The story, Digging in the Dirt, can be found here.

Forums

My excitement for the project waned a little as the project had its completion date pushed back a couple of times; I understand the reasons and the nature of Kickstarter projects, but without any new details about the setting, I didn’t give much thought to creating more stories in the Far West world. Without a “bible” to work off of, or the core RPG book, I don’t feel like I could add much to the setting. Not so some other fans, who have already come up with some cool ideas on the Far West forums, which went live in January 2012. (Caveat: You have to belong to the Far West Society to see the forums that contain these ideas; membership to the society allows you to pitch ideas that can be voted on for inclusion in the game.) The forums have been a fun place to be introduced to new (to me) music and movies that either inspire or mesh well with the Far West setting, and background information on Wuxia. So even if you do not plan to get involved with Far West, you could do worse than to browse the Inspirography and Far West Music discussions for some cool links.

Tales of the Far West

Last week, the short story collection Tales of the Far West was released. I have only read four of the twelve stories so far, but I have to say that the first story, He Built The Wall To Knock It Down by Scott Lynch, re-energized my passion for the Far West setting. It is cool in exactly the way a Western/Wuxia/steampunk tale should be, with clear, concise action scenes that impart a very cinematic feel to the story with an amazing brevity. It has bar fights, the requisite master teaching the apprentice by having him do mundane tasks, amazing feats of kung fu and gunfighting, gravity-defying acrobatic stunts, explosive fights, and steampunk limbs aplenty.

The second story, In Stillness, Music by Aaron Rosenberg, is about a Wandering Star, a member of a clan of couriers who, according to the Far West website “are carefully neutral, no matter what their hearts may tell them. While many of them would be swift to assist wounded farmers after a bandit raid, for all their martial skill, they would not lift one brightly colored finger to stop it in progress.” So of course this story is about an exception to that rule. This story was good but not quite as strong as the opener. I also wonder if this exception will be overused by players once the RPG comes out, because a character that must remain neutral could be a very difficult character to roleplay in the context of a larger group that likely will be taking sides quite often. (One minor complaint regarding my Kindle version of the book: in this story, the character sings songs and the formatting does not show up correctly on the Kindle. Two phrases are smushed together with no separation on each line, and with no punctuation it was up to me to guess where the sentence break should be.)

The third story is Riding the Thunderbird by Chuck Wendig. I would call it more of a scene, or the seed of a story. It starts in media res and ends there as well. Secrets are hinted at and what happens next is implied, but as a stand-alone story in a collection, it left me shrugging my shoulders. It might just be me, but I expected something fleshed out more. If this is a prelude to a longer story someplace else, it should say so. If not, I don’t think it stands on its own.

The fourth story, Purity of Purpose by Gareth-Michael Skarka, is one of the vignettes that was already up on the Far West website. While short, it is a complete story with a well-described, fantastical fight scene that combines gunplay and kung fu.

There are eight more stories to go and I am hopeful that some of them rise to the level of kickassedness in the first story.

The RPG

Even though I do not currently have a roleplaying group, I am still looking forward to the RPG’s eventual release. Why? Because once it is released, the setting will be wide open to all the fans to help flesh out the world. In effect, I will have the setting bible in my hands at last, and I am looking forward to writing more stories once I have that. I only hope my pen and paper style kung fu will be strong enough for the task.

Webcomics Wednesday: 1/25/2012

I checked Kickstarter for comics for the first time in quite a while and found a slew of them to check out. Here’s a couple that I checked out today:


Namesake (W: Megan Lavey-Heaton, A: Isabelle Melançon) is about a girl who discovers she can enter literary worlds (a story which I always enjoy) and has black-and-white art with select splashes of color for emphasis. I have only read the Prologue and the first chapter of Book One so far but it has hooked me and I look forward to catching up (about 200 more pages so far). The Kickstarter project is to put Book One in print (144 pages). I pledged $5 for the PDF version. With a month to go, this project is at about $4,000 of a requested $7,000.


Plume (W/A: Kari Smith) is still in its infancy (about 40 pages up so far), but is a well-drawn manga-ish webcomic set in an alternate early 1900s with some magic thrown in. This one has potential and I hope to see it continue. The Kickstarter project will collect the first 24 pages in print and has met its funding goal. I have not pledged for this one; $10 for one comic book is more of a donation than I feel like making. (I submitted a question to the creator to see if a PDF could be made available for $5 instead.)

Speaking of comics I did not Kickstart but that are cool, check out this update for an adaptation of the Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Even though I did not Kickstart it, I have since pre-ordered it through Midtown Comics. It looks great, and I really enjoy Lovecraft’s dream stories, so I can’t wait until April when I get my hands on this.