Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Interview: Jennifer Daydreamer: Comics and Beyond

Jennifer Daydreamer

Jennifer Daydreamer

Jennifer Daydreamer has been published by Top Shelf Productions and regularly contributed illustrations to the Seattle alt-weekly, The Stranger, in the late ’90s. In the course of a creative life, Daydreamer has seen her path take an interesting trajectory. I share with you now a conversation with artist and writer Jennifer Daydreamer on her new project, “Mack Stuckey’s Guide to the Center of the Universe.” A Kickstarter campaign in support of a print run to the book is going on now thru August 28th. You can find it right here. She is the author. Full disclosure, I’m the illustrator for the book, and I contributed to the story. And she’s my partner.

HENRY CHAMBERLAIN: Let’s begin, Jen. We can jump in to the very beginning of the Mack Stuckey project.

JENNIFER DAYDREAMER: You certainly did contribute to the prose. There are details in Mack, plot points, character names and so forth, that you came up with. We are both illustrators but you were the instant choice of illustrator. Although I can draw fast, I don’t normally paint in quick thick brush strokes, the kind you do, and so I was excited about a real artistic collaboration with you. Probably our first. I think after you’ve been blogging for ten years, this has been the first time you have interviewed me. So, thanks!

What was the impetus to writing Mack Stuckey?

Well, before 2008, I could score a job pretty easily. I’m a creative type but I have a detailed part of my brain that does well with accounting. I actually enjoy accounting because I find it meditative and so for most of my career I have been able to do accounting work for my jobs. I was in a series of job layoffs. One, the company went out of business, the next, the company transferred my position out of state, another one I was a new hire and when they do layoffs, the new hires usually get cut first. In a nutshell, the book is about the economy and expressing my frustration about it, in a creative way. I just don’t want to spend my time venting at this point. I have expressed my employment dilemmas to my friends over the years. At this point, I’d rather be joking.

Illustration for "Mack Stuckey" by Henry Chamberlain

Illustration for “Mack Stuckey” by Henry Chamberlain

Jennifer Daydreamer quote

Where does it take place?

It takes place in Seattle. Poor Seattle. The inspiration to write the book is my need to express myself in regards to the economy and state of housing and living in our city with a disappearing middle class. The story takes place in 2014, by the way, and so, any uptick of the economy happening today, I hope is really happening. I digress. Seattle happens to be the fall guy, the theatrical back drop of the story and so, we make fun of Seattle. Specifically, Fremont. We venture into Ballard, Downtown, and the U District.

How so?

For one thing, I create a feud between Ballard and Fremont, either real or imagined. I examine the tension that I think exists between the two locales because when you want to buy something practical in Fremont, like pens and a pad of paper there is only one or two small places to go. There are no standard drug stores allowed in Fremont (I think from building codes) so you have to take your car or the bus or your bike and dip into Ballard for practical needs.

What else is the book about?

Well, we describe the book succinctly on our Kickstarter page! Basically, I created a love triangle between a woman and two men, representing the upper, middle, and lower classes. I don’t come right out and say that in the book, because that would be too explicit, but that is one of the themes. I think there is something for everyone in the book, if you like humor, a sexy romance, or interest in the local icons. I try my hand at what I call comedic erotica.

Tell us about what you’ve been up to in the last few years.

After drawing comics, I was inspired to write a screenplay because that imprint, what was it called?

Minx.

Yes, Minx, from DC Comics, asked me for some ideas. They cancelled the imprint. One of my ideas was for a dystopian novel about the separation between a guy and a girl and killing in the army, that someday I should write. They really did not like it, too macabre, and then Hunger Games comes out later. I remember believing them at the time that the story pitch is not good, so its a reminder to believe in myself. I wrote the screenplay for the humor submission that they did like. Then Minx was cancelled. I never had a contract, just a “that’s funny, I like that one.” So, I spent about a year studying how to write a screenplay and it took me about 1.8 to finish it, because it was my first screenplay.

Where did that leave you?

With one foot halfway in the door! It left me with one manager who switched companies and his job position and so he could not represent it. Then I found an agent who read it, she is known in the industry and so I felt lucky. She was encouraging. She said I needed edits and she gave me her manager contact and said to try and do edits with him and then resubmit it to her. But her manager nixed it. By the way, I respected how he communicated with me, as he got to it, read the script promptly and let me know his opinion. Everyone I submitted it to over a year’s time or so, was very nice, frankly. I know there is crap that happens in Hollywood, but, somehow, I felt encouraged by people in the business I was in contact with. Most did not have room or time to read it and some commented that my pitch was great and so to keep at it. So, I got my foot in the Hollywood door about an eigth of the way. A toe.

Interesting visual, one toe clinging to a door. But, seriously, it put you in an interesting situation. You were in the thick of transitioning from comics, moving beyond comics.

It was fun to try. I felt a cartoonist could get a foot in the door because comic book movies were taking off. I had an agent/lawyer to make some pathway, also, when I submitted, so I was not completely unprofessional and just cold called everyone. I think the writing contributed to writing Mack – the more you create the better you get. Mack has taken 2.5 years to write and I still have some details I want to round it out with. Its basically done. Besides those projects, I have spent a lot of time writing and sketching out a four book Young Adult Fantasy Series which I am eager to launch on social media. For this YA series, I really think a book agent, editor or editors and publishing company is necessary. You need help to keep detail accurate when you are world building.

After Mack, I have one very odd book, I have to get off my chest, then I will launch my YA series. I have spent a year on it. Its not complicated like writing a story but I am scared of publishing it, and so, I have to publish it. I’m scared as I have to dip into some religious and societal explanations. I had an out of body experience or an altered state from drawing my mini comics long ago and it was not until recently when I studied Jung in detail and some Jungian psychologists that I realized there is a biological explanation or a science explanation for it.

Lots of room to dig deeper.

Usually the explanation in our society, is something spiritual or “occult” and so I am eager to lay out my idea to disprove the occult notions, that there may be a more reasonable or logic based explanation. I have not completely ruled out a spiritual component. I think there is a spiritual component, I understand the shamanic explanation for something like that, but I think there is a middle ground, because the explanations from psychologists are so clear and sound. There’s compelling commentary by Oliver Sacks on YouTube (13.45). Maybe you can link the video for our cartoonist friends because it’s interesting if you draw comics.

Yes, consider it done. It will run right below these comments.

Great!

What Oliver Sacks has to say I am relating to my experience in the book. I think the brain is activated because of the archetypal nature of comics. What archetypal nature is, should be explained more but there is not room in this intervew to go into that kind of detail.

“There is another part of the brain which is especially activated when one sees cartoons. It’s activated when one recognizes cartoons when one draws cartoons and when one hallucinates them. It’s very interesting that that should be (so) specific.”

–Oliver Sacks

Are you still drawing comics? Where would you say you are today in relation to comics?

I love comics. I am following my heart and my heart wants my YA series to be prose – just words – and my illustrations. And so, no, its not comics. I would like to draw comics and be in anthologies, but there is no time at the moment. I am really focused on the projects listed above. I have the door open on comics, the door is not closed. Same with, you know, doing another humor book like Mack. When I was in high school I was the kid that made fun of all the teachers and drew riffs on them and passed them to my friends in class. I have a humor side and I have the side that loves to create long fantasy.

Anything else you’d like to add?

One last word. We make fun of some drug usage in Mack but I don’t do drugs. I am a very very square cat when it comes to things like that. It’s important for me to be clear on this because I don’t like my out of body experiences nor my illustrations to be accused of being “drug influenced.” Because I think fantasy story and art is related to healing and I want to contribute to that. I want to explore more in the future on the connection to drawing comics and naturally based hallucinations.

Thanks, Jennifer!

Thank you, Henry!

Be sure to visit Mack Stuckey right here. To go directly to the Kickstarter campaign on thru 8/28, go right here.

2 Comments

Filed under Comics, Humor, Interviews, Jennifer Daydreamer, Kickstarter, Satire, Seattle, writers, writing, Young Adult

Kickstarter: IT’S ALIVE! Needs Your Help to Publish The First Ever Collection of DOPE by Trina Robbins

Page from the graphic novel, DOPE, by Trina Robbins

Page from the graphic novel, DOPE, by Trina Robbins

IT’S ALIVE! is an imprint that specializes in bringing great comics, many out of print for decades, to new readers. IT’S ALIVE! has partnered with IDW Publishing to make these wonderful books available to you. However, the imprint’s founder and editor, Drew Ford, is still responsible to come up with the funds to publish each book. Right now, a Kickstarter campaign is going on in support of the first ever collection of a comic book adaptation by Trina Robbins of Sax Rohmer’s 1919 novel, DOPE. The Kickstarter campaign runs thru August 19th and you can support it right here.

Dope Trina Robbins comics

If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, IT’S ALIVE! will publish the first ever collection of Trina Robbin’s comic book adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s sensational 1919 novel, DOPE. The story centers around a talented young actress, who becomes fatally ensnared in London’s mysterious and glittery drug culture of the early 20th century. DOPE was both the first novel to speak openly about the world’s international drug trade, and the first story to center around the death of a celebrity by drug overdose. Robbin’s comic book adaptation was first published in 1981, serialized within the pages of ECLIPSE MAGAZINE (and later, ECLIPSE MONTHLY). The story started out in a black and white magazine, and finished up in color comic book. Since its initial publication, it has never been collected in any form.

Its Alive Press Drew Ford IDW

Trina Robbins is one of the best cartoonists in a long history of great comics art. DOPE exemplifies her distinctive vision. The campaign ends soon, August 19th. Jump on board here.

2 Comments

Filed under Comics, Drew Ford, IT’S ALIVE! Press, Kickstarter, trina robbins

Seattle Focus: Kickstarter campaign for satire, ‘Mack Stuckey’s Guide to the Center of the Universe’

This is NOT "Sleepless in Seattle"

This is NOT “Sleepless in Seattle”

Mack Stuckey’s Guide to the Center of the Universe

A Kickstarter campaign has been launched (ends 8/28) for the illustrated novel, “Mack Stuckey’s Guide to the Center of the Universe,” a dark satire set in Seattle. This isn’t your “Sleepless in Seattle” or “Singles.” Join the campaign right here.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Crowdfunding, Games, Geek Culture, Henry Chamberlain, Humor, Jennifer Daydreamer, Kickstarter, Microsoft, pop culture, Satire, Seattle, Sex, Social Commentary

Kickstarter: ‘The Nowhere Man Book 1: Nothing, Never, Nowhere’ by Jonny Bloozit

Nowhere Man 02

Nowhere Man 01

Jonny Bloozit is a Boston area creator with a cool new project that’s running on Kickstarter this month. It’s called “The Nowhere Man,” and it’s the story of a man trapped in the spirit world. You can read the beginning online here.

“The Nowhere Man Book 1: Nothing, Never, Nowhere,” seeks your support. The Kickstarter campaign runs to July 29, 2016. Support the campaign right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Humor, Kickstarter

Kickstarter: Bringing Back RED RANGE by Joe R. Lansdale & Sam Glanzman

"Red Range" by Joe R. Lansdale and Sam Glanzman

“Red Range” by Joe R. Lansdale and Sam Glanzman

Imagine an outrageous story, on par with Quentin Tarantino at his best, about an African-American seeking revenge over racists who have murdered his loved ones. Then imagine it created by some of the best talent in comics: Sam Glanzman and Joe R. Lansdale. That is what you get with RED RANGE, published in 1999 by Mojo Press. Unfortunately, Mojo went out of business that same year, and the book has been out of print ever since. Enter comics authority Drew Ford, responsible for bringing back to life a number of lost comics gems. His plan is to reissue the original RED RANGE in color. This is part of Drew Ford’s new publishing imprint, IT’S ALIVE!

Drew Ford has worked closely with both Sam Glanzman and Joe R. Lansdale to put some of their more important out-of-print works back on the shelves. For Glanzman, Ford put together the A SAILOR’S STORY collection, the U.S.S. STEVENS collection, and the ATTU collection. For Lansdale, Ford resurrected his first award-winning short story collection, BY BIZARRE HANDS.

So, it’s down to basic facts: books like these can remain lost to the general public or they can find a new home and new readers. Lend your support to the Kickstarter campaign to bring back RED RANGE, running until June 25th, right here.

Join the Kickstarter campaign right here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comics, Drew Ford, Kickstarter, Quentin Tarantino, Westerns

Review: Farlaine the Goblin (Kickstarter campaign ends May 18th!)

Farlaine the Goblin!

Farlaine the Goblin!

It is high time we talked about goblins. You like goblins, don’t you? The Green Goblin has maligned the good name of these creatures. Take Farlaine the Goblin. He’s a tree-loving shaman! In fact, Farlaine the Goblin is a lovable little guy who seeks out fun and adventure and the main character of this wonderful all-ages comics series.

Farlaine the Goblin books

Farlaine the Goblin books

The creator of this comic wishes to remain in the background. We just know him as, J. Having had a chance to read the first four books in the series, I salute J. Not only that, I congratulate J on a terrific Kickstarter campaign that ends May 18th! Every penny helps when you’re a cartoonist. Check out the KS campaign and join in right here.

Reading Farlaine the Goblin

Reading Farlaine the Goblin

I get a lot of comics to consider for review. I have read a lot of comics, believe me. What I appreciate about the Farlaine the Goblin series is its determined spirit and engaging whimsy. It is not easy to maintain that jovial tone throughout such an ambitious work as this, comparable to the work of Jeff Smith. Each book in the series follows Farlaine the Goblin as he searches for a forest he can truly call his own. But he will need to go through a number of adventures before he reaches his goal. This is a comic that will easily provide a laugh and lift your spirits. We can always use more of these comics that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Panel from Farlaine the Goblin

Panel from Farlaine the Goblin

“Farlaine the Goblin ~ Completing the Series” is the Kickstarter campaign in support of completing the 7 volume all-ages comic about a tree goblin shaman trying to find a forest. Books 1-4 have been released. J is embarking upon the remaining volumes, 5-7. Keep up with Farlaine the Goblin right here. And follow Farlaine the Goblin on Facebook right here.

2 Comments

Filed under All-Ages, Comics, fantasy, Graphic Novel Reviews, graphic novels, Kickstarter

Kickstarter: Seymour Chwast’s AT WAR WITH WAR

"At War with War: An Illustrated Timeline of 5000 Years of Conquests, Invasions, and Terrorist Attacks" by Seymour Chwast

“At War with War: An Illustrated Timeline of 5000 Years of Conquests, Invasions, and Terrorist Attacks” by Seymour Chwast

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez flanking a Seymour Chwast poster, 1964. Photo: Courtesy SVA Picture Collection.

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez flanking a Seymour Chwast poster, 1964. Photo: Courtesy SVA Picture Collection.

Legendary graphic designer Seymour Chwast has chosen to run a Kickstarter campaign in support of his latest book project, “At War with War.” Kickstarter, at its heart, is community based. And the issue of war resonates with each and every community. What Chwast has done is review war in a unique way by illustrating five centuries of conflict, chaos, and violence on a continuous timeline. The book is made up of 35 two-page spreads featuring a series of Chwast’s black-and-white pen-and-ink drawings and woodcuts. The Kickstarter campaign will run from 26 April to 7 June 2016. You can find it right here.

Anti-war poster by Chwast, 1968

Anti-war poster by Chwast, 1968

Subversive. Personal. Obsessive. Radical. There is no mistaking the work of Seymour Chwast. As co-founder with Milton Glaser of Push Pin Studios, he led a revolution in graphic design producing bold, vibrant work that pushed the limits of nearly every visual medium: posters, advertisements, book jackets, magazine covers, album covers, product packaging, typography, and children’s books. His pioneering role as a designer, author, and activist continues to influence and inspire 21st-century designers.

Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser at Push Pin Studios, 1968

Seymour Chwast and Milton Glaser at Push Pin Studios, 1968

For more than six decades, Chwast, who celebrates his 85th birthday this year, has used his signature blend of design, illustration, and social commentary to wage a campaign against war.

Excerpt from AT WAR WITH WAR

Excerpt from AT WAR WITH WAR

Chwast finds, “It’s the ongoing relentlessness of the thing, the seemingly never-ending urge to resolve disputes with deadly conflict, century after century. That’s the nagging notion through the years that keeps bringing me back to the subject of war.”

Excerpt from AT WAR WITH WAR

Excerpt from AT WAR WITH WAR

Among Kickstarter rewards offered to backers, Chwast has opened the doors to his archive, with both new and vintage items. Included among the special items are three of Chwast’s personal copies of his first antiwar publication, A Book of Battles, which he self published in 1957; his Vietnam War era poster “War is Good Business, Invest Your Son”; and a one-of-a kind four-color mechanical for a book he wrote with Steve Heller.

Seymour Chwast, at work, 2016

Seymour Chwast, at work, 2016

Be part of a significant book, “At War with War: An Illustrated Timeline of 5000 Years of Conquests, Invasions, and Terrorist Attacks.” The Kickstarter campaign seeks funding for the production of the book, which will involve a master letterpress printer and a specialised process used for creating fine and limited editions. At War with War will include an introduction by former editor and publisher of The Nation, Victor Navasky and edited by renowned graphic design writer, Steven Heller.

Excerpt from AT WAR WITH WAR

Excerpt from AT WAR WITH WAR

The Kickstarter campaign runs run from 26 April to 7 June 2016, and you can find it right here.

2 Comments

Filed under Crowdfunding, Edward Sorel, Graphic Design, Kickstarter, Milton Glaser, New York City, pop culture, Protest, Push Pin Studios, seymour chwast

Kickstarter: Luminous Ages #1

Luminous Ages

An Australian comic with an ambitious vision will appeal to fans of fantasy and dragons. The series goes by the name, “Luminous Ages.” This is a spirited work created, written, and illustrated by Anthony Christou. I think this first issue goes a long way in setting the tone to a free-wheeling adventure. It’s not so much what I have read in the actual text thus far that I’m too concerned with. I’m mostly intrigued with a drive and energy running throughout. I expect good things to come as Christou delves further into his saga. He seems to genuinely be invested in the genre. If you are interested in such things as what a character’s “mage trait” is, then this comic could be for you. If you’d like to jump on board and help Christou develop his series further, be sure to visit his Kickstarter campaign, which runs through February 29th, right here. For ongoing information, be sure to visit the official site right here.

2 Comments

Filed under Comics, Crowdfunding, Kickstarter

Batton Lash’s New Kickstarter: A VAMPIRE IN HOLLYWOOD

Batton Lash

Batton Lash, a comics legend in his own right, has launched a new Kickstarter campaign in support of his latest collection, “A Vampire in Hollywood.” You can join the campaign, which runs thru March 11th, right here.

Batton Lash Vampire in Hollywood

With a distinctive wit and style, Batton Lash has entertained readers over the years with the misadventure of “Wolff and Byrd, Counselors of the Macabre,” the only law firm that represents vampires, zombies, and other ghouls. Wolff and Byrd has subsequently been known simply as, “Supernatural Law.” It is a cross between Archie comics and The Walking Dead. It is definitely something different!

Press release follows:

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Batton Lash, Comics, graphic novels, Hollywood, Kickstarter, Monsters

Review: PIZZA MAN: THE SUPREME COLLECTION by Damien Shanahan

PIZZA MAN: THE SUPREME COLLECTION by Damien Shanahan

PIZZA MAN: THE SUPREME COLLECTION by Damien Shanahan

Those of us who seriously follow the comics medium are always mindful of homegrown stuff. There’s a select group of us rooting for the indie cartoonist making it happen against all odds. As a cartoonist, I have a few more layers of empathy. I don’t need a work to fit any particular theme or agenda. I just need it to grab me. In the case of the book we have before us, I sense a kindred spirit right away. Damien Shanahan created a character in his youth and developed that character and his world. In the process, Damien Shanahan grew as a person, an artist, and so on. Sort of like Woody, from Toy Store, Pizza Man sat on a shelf for a while. But then Damien Shanahan got a craving for pizza again and the cheese was, once again, bubbling hot. The crust was crispy too. And it all led to “Pizza Man: The Supreme Collection.”

Opening story: "Comic Conned!"

Opening story: “Comic Conned!”

Shanahan has done a lot of smart things with his Pizza Man over the years and that is reflected in the book. He knows how to keep it fresh. He begins the book with a new story that showcases his current art and writing skills. He knows how to bring the reader in. He kicks off with an informative introduction and also provides further explanation at the start of each section. He knows how to keep it moving. I think Shanahan does a great job of presenting his older work in the best light. And he knows when to share in the fun. There are some awesome pieces here with other artists drawing Pizza Man and the gang.

From "Viva Las Pizza," art by Chris Wahl

From “Viva Las Pizza,” art by Chris Wahl

Pizza Man brings to mind Flaming Carrot and other parodies of the superhero genre. There have been parodies for as long as there have been superheroes. Funny thing is that even your most unconventional superhero is liable to get complacent and start to act too much like a traditional superhero. In that regard, Shanahan demonstrates a keen sense of humor and dedication to remain as weird as possible. I really enjoyed the new work that begins this book. He has Pizza Man and his sidekick, Mozzarella, posted at a booth at a comic book convention. These guys aren’t creators. They’re fictional characters. They have no vested interest in being at a comic book convention. So, whatever onlookers have to say to them, it really doesn’t mean a thing to them. If only it could be that easy for cartoonists.

In the course of all his adventures, we don’t dwell too much on how Pizza Man became Pizza Man. It’s nothing as dramatic as surviving some freak accident at a pizza parlor or escaping from some pizza planet. He just is what he is. That’s what I like most about Pizza Man. Shanahan seems to be comfortable to keep things simple while also playing up the absurdity of being a superhero. This is just the sort of vibe that a lot of comic book publishers find very appealing. And that should bode well for the future of Pizza Man.

I’m sure this book will be fun for both fans of superheroes and fans of superhero parodies. It will be of keen interest too for anyone interested in the storytelling process as Shanahan does a great job of documenting his creative journey. This collection was the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign. You’ll want to seek it out as it becomes more available.

Keep up with Damien Shanahan and Pizza Man right here.

4 Comments

Filed under Comics, Comics Reviews, Damien Shanahan, Pizza, Pizza Man