Kickstart From The Heart – kaBOOMbox

Bleeding Cool’s  Kickstarter Correspondent, Shawn Demumbrum has lead three Kickstarter campaigns to launch comic books, two successfully funded and one that wasn’t.  Each week he will point out some of the unique Kickstarter projects that wouldn’t normally be published by the big comic book companies, but deserve your attention.  Shawn’s current project Break the Walls: Stories Inspired by the Songs of the Pixies was also funded through Kickstarter  Interested in learning how to run a Kickstarter campaign?  Read his new series Kickstart Your Comic.

This week I talk to editor, Brandon Clarke, and contributing artistsAndrew MacLean and Paul Maybury about their Kickstarter project kaBOOMbox.  I look thorugh dozens of projects each week, so I’m used to the different ways that people pitch their comic book projects.  kaBOOMbox was a bit of a head scratcher for me.  The art and the artist spoke for itself, but the video seemed disconnected from the project almost as if it didn’t relate at all.  I had to ask them what the deal was with the video and what we can expect from kaBOOMbox.

Every week, I look through hundreds of Kickstarter projects trying to finding interesting projects to talk about.  The project images tell me a little bit about the project as well as the project description.  If I have some base level interest, I’ll click out the video.  When I watched the video, I was confused.  Was the video an ad for a company?  Was the video related to theme of the anthology?  Was I supposed to laugh?  Maybe you can clarify?  What’s the deal with the video?

Brandon – I’m not shocked by this question. Basically I was tired of seeing the same Kickstarter video where someone is just sitting there talking into their Macbook camera. Perhaps I over-corrected by going too far with our video? I just thought it’d be fun to try to paint a false narrative about how Brand New Nostalgia started, so I produced a “mockumentary” about this huge corporation. I just wanted to do something different. This question has seriously made me question that move.

Andrew – The video is totally tongue-in-cheek. When the time came for Brandon and I to plan out the video, he came to the table with this idea nearly fully formed. It’s silly and sarcastic, but more importantly it’s a fun idea and that’s really been the point of Brand New Nostalgia all along. Just keeping it fun.

I’m glad we got that cleared up.  Most anthologies have a theme and your Kickstarter campaign aludes to this.  The books title is kaBOOMbox.  What’s the theme of the book and how does the title apply to this?

Andrew – If I was to coin a phrase for the book it would be LICENSE TO KREATE. Meaning we formed the team in an effort to give us all a reason to create art for fun, no rules about tools or style, no strict deadlines, just complete freedom. So naturally that was the philosophy of the book. These artists are all phenomenal and their voices are all so unique and so strong, we just wanted to offer them a venue where those voices could be heard without ristrictions.

Without getting too meta about the thing, the title “kaBOOMbox Volume One” represents the project in a couple ways. I wanted it to be somewhat nostalgic but funky, as a kid from the 90’s, I started with “boombox.” I then added “kaBOOM,” because we’re comic artists and its a classic, even nostalgic comic sound effect. Beyond that, the goal was to come up with a name that alluded a theme. I didn’t want the title (or cover image for that matter) to suggest what they might see on the inside. I didn’t want any of what you see from the outside to represent or favor any one artist or genre. We were even going to hire an artists from outside the group to draw the cover but it wasn’t really in the budget.

Anthologies usually have stories.  Artbooks usually have only art.  Is this an artbook or an anthology with pin-ups?

Brandon – This book will primarily be an anthology comic, but it will also feature pinups from the blog.

Andrew – You could call it an anthology with pinups. I’ve been referring to it as an artbook/anthology. Basically, our approach was to offer each contributor a chunk of pages with limited direction. Only that they are free to fill their pages with a comic or stand alone pieces. I believe most of us are doing a little of both.

Let talk about the artists you have working on the book.  Who do you have working on the book and what comic book work have they done?

Brandon – Geez. Who’s not? I mean, we’ve got over a dozen artists contributing to this thing.

Probably the most well-known BNN guys would be Tradd Moore from Image’s “The Strange Talent of Luther Strode” and the upcoming “The Legend of Luther Strode”, and Brian Churilla who did “The Secret History of DB Cooper” for ONI Press. Giannis Milogiannis who’s recently gotten some attention for his great work on the “Prophet” relaunch will also be contributing to “kaBOOMbox”. You’ll also see some work from Mateus Santoluco from DC’s “Dial H”.

Let’s not forget the folks from the Out Of Step Arts collective who are also contributing as well. Ming Doyle, who has done work on Marvel’s “Fantastic Four”, has her new title “Mara” coming out soon from Image.

But that’s kinda what Brand New Nostalgia is about — not only will you see new artists that you know, but you’ll also discover lesser-known artists who are up-and-coming.

Andrew – Here’s how it breaks down by “camps” :

From Out of Step Arts: Ming Doyle, Paul Maybury, Greg Ruth, Toby Cypress

From Brand New Nostalgia: Tradd Moore, Ricardo Venancio, Mateus Santolouco, Joseph Querio, Joseph DellaGatta, Jorge Coelho, Joao Vieira, Giannis Milonogiannis, Felipe Andrade, Brian Churilla, Alessandro Micelli

And from both camps:

Alexis Ziritt, Logan Faerber, Andrew MacLean

At 18 artists the catalogue of work here is pretty vast obviously. While they are all “comic-artists,” a few pay the bills with more editorial work than sequential work, while a few others work or the major comic publishers regularly… and everything in between.

As an artist on this book, what did you contribute?

Andrew – As an artist, I am contributing the same as any other artist in the book: 8 pages of content. For me that means an 8 page comic, written and drawn by myself and colored by Michael Spicer. I also drew and colored the cover.

As founder of Brand New Nostalgia, I organized the original team. Luckily they are all so passionate we need no real “running” to keep the ship afloat other than posting the pieces at our various homes around the internet (BIG thanks to Brandon and Ricardo). On this book, kaBOOMbox Volume One, together with Brandon Clarke we crunched the numbers and all the other boring business junk needed to get a 200 pager off the ground.

Paul – I was the last addition to this project I believe, so it’s going to be an unpublished chunk of work I have laying around. I did a ten page pitch for a book with the creators of Scurvy Dogs about a year ago. The book never happened but I’m trying to work it out so it can be published here for the first time. If I can’t finagle that, I’m running my favorite self contained scene from Party Bear, which was a webcomic I drew around 2008.

How would you describe your art style?

Andrew – Like any other artist my work is a mush of my favorite artists, including but not limited to: Mike Mignola, Rafael Grampa, Jack Kirby, Gabriel Bá, Toby Cypress, James Harren, Eric Canete, etc. Again these are the guys I consciously feel affecting my work, but I KNOW there must be so many more crammed in. I can only hope there are a few genuinely original decisions in there somewhere haha!

Paul – My brain won’t allow me to answer that. People say it looks like Paul Pope, which is a pretty neat compliment.

What work have you done prior to kaBOOMbox?

Andrew – I’m currently working on a creator-owned series called SNIP SNIP that will be introduced through Dark Horse Presents next year. I’m also drawing a series called Department O (with Jamie Gambell), a series called Colonial Souls (with Nolan Jones), and MEATSPACE (with Josh Gorfain). And a few others for 2013.

Paul – I’ve been drawing comics for about a decade now. I mostly Publish with Image, but I drew Spider-man once. I have an upcoming series from Image with Chris Roberson called Reign, and a series written by Joe Casey over at Dark Horse called Catalyst Comix. Both will be out early 2013.

Where can people see your art or purchase your own books?

Andrew -You can get Department O #1 here: http://monkeypipestudios.storenvy.com/products/558856-department-o-issue-1 and MEATSPACE #1 here: http://comicspace.storenvy.com/products/312876-meatspace-issue-1

And I spend way to much time goofing off and posting work in these places:

http://andrew-ross-maclean.deviantart.com

http://andrewmaclean.tumblr.com

http://www.facebook.com/andrew.ross.maclean

@Andrew_MacLean on Twitter

Paul – For original art sales, outofsteparts.com. You can snag some comics anywhere comics are sold. To learn more about me and my art, visit my website, paulmaybury.com

As editor on the book, how did you decide what pieces to put in book?

Brandon – Well a lot of this will be determined by what will fit within the parameters of the book’s dimensions because I’ll also be doing the print design. But the artists themselves will get a say in which pieces they want in the book. My job as editor will be more of a support role – “kaBOOMbox” and Brand New Nostalgia is about artist freedom, so we want the artists to have a sense of ownership over the pages they have in this book.

Brandon, I saw your art on your website and your “Night Doodles”.  Very different than my night doodles which involve picking cheese doodles out of the couch while watching late night informercials.  Seriously though, I liked your art.  Having edited three anthologies myself, the biggest perk of editing a book is getting your own art into it.  Why didn’t you put some of your own art in the book?

Brandon – HA! I’m flattered you even looked at that stuff. But I don’t really fancy myself an “illustrator” in the same way I would the guys at Brand New Nostalgia or Out Of Step Arts. My drawings are really just for fun and a creative exercise I do to stay fresh as a designer. I don’t know, I have my fingers in a lot of pies with design, video, and everything else — drawing is just something I do for me.

It looks like most of the upper level limited rewards are claimed.  Any chance of getting some more limited rewards?

Brandon – We’ll have to see what happens. On the chance that we surpass our goal and get into the “push goal” area we might have to take a look at what can be done.

Brandon – The incentives are tricky because there are so many artists that are so spread out — it’s not like the incentives are all coming from the same place. And you also have to take into account the schedules and capabilities of each artist too.

We’re talkin’ logistics, dude.

Andrew – Oh yeah. All of our incentives were built upon donations from the contributors themselves, out of their own pockets, their own time, and from their art stashes in the closet. We’re now seeing that as these more popular incentives are being scarfed up the artists are offering more swag to be added to the pot. We actually just saw how popular the Original Sketch Reward ( at $100) was and we bumped that up to 40 spots from 9.

Update from Brandon –

We added a bunch of new incentive packages centered around the Out Of Step Arts crew like:

– Ming Doyle: 2 original sketches

– Paul Maybury: 8 signed/sketched copies of DOGS of Mars

– Greg Ruth: 3 signed copies of Freaks of the Heartland

– Limited Edition anniversary collections of OOSA prints

When does your Kickstarter campaign end?

Brandon – Our campaign will end late night on Tuesday October 23rd.

How can people find out more about the book and the Kickstarter campaign?

Brandon – The Kickstarter page:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bnn/kaboombox-volume-one

And definitely check out brandnewnostalgia.com and outofsteparts.com

Andrew – The best place for updates is brandnewnostalgia.com from there you can also find more info and links for each artist. Also be sure to check out our partner Out of Step Arts at OutofStepArts.com or http://outofsteparts.tumblr.com.

I speak for everyone involved when I say we really appreciate the support, Shawn.

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