Comics Are Great! 82 – Funding Your Kickstarter with C. Spike Trotman and Laur Uy

Hooray! Thanks to services Kickstarter and Indiegogo, we finally have a mechanism to fund our dream project! But is it as easy as just asking your friends or audience to support your thing? It sounds like a lot of work. And how do you avoid annoying everyone with tweets and updates during the campaign’s run? Suppose I raise a boatload of money during the campaign: Do I get to keep the extra income, or does it have to go back into the project?

I’m joined by C. Spike Trotman and Laurianne Uy on how to run a successful Kickstarter campaign. Spike and Laur spill their secrets to engaging an audience, managing costs, and building a system of reward tiers that will elicit support for your dream project.

We also have our regular round of book recommendations with AADL PLA Rachel Moir!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Comics Are Great! 80 – Public Domain Comics with Barry Gregory and Kim Holm

What is the benefit of working with public domain characters and stories? Is it just fun to play in “someone’s sandbox,” or is there a larger cultural benefit to authors building on and expanding the works of those who came before? What might happen if more creative works were to enter into the public domain? And is copyright “stealing” from the public?

I’m joined a great roundtable to help navigate these challenging questions! Barry Gregory is the man behind Ka-Blam Digital Printing (and the provider of audio hosting for this show!). Barry teamed up with Steven Butler to create Gallant Comics featuring public domain characters created by Jack Kirby, Bill Everette, and others. Kim Holm is the author of the graphic novel adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s Pikman’s Model, which you can purchase or download for free on archive.org.

We’re joined later by Erin Helmrich of the Ann Arbor District Library for another round of book recommendations!

Comics Are Great! 79 – The Final Superhero Discussion with Dan Mishkin and Dean Trippe

Over the past years we’ve seen more and more summer blockbusters featuring superhero characters and stories. Are they just fashionable again, or is there something to these kinds of stories that connects us to them? What characterizes an effective superhero story? I’m grateful to be joined by two of the best sources on the topic for a walk around this idea. Dan Mishkin is the co-creator of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld and Blue Devil (with writing credits on stories about Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and more) as well as one of the founders of the annual Kids Read Comics Celebration. Dean Trippe is the creator of Butterfly, co-founder of Project: Rooftop, co-host of The Last Cast, and owner of the most Batman-filled Tumblr you’ve ever seen. Together we have the definitive discussion on the hows and whys of superhero stories.

We’re joined at the end by Erin Helmrich of the Ann Arbor District Library for another round of comics recommendations!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Comics Are Great! 78 – Cartoon Appeal with Chris Giarrusso

It’s hard enough to learn how to draw, but things get even dicier when we start talking about what it takes to create appeal. Fortunately I’m joined by Chris Giarrusso of the eminently appealing G-Man series and Dave Carter of the University of Michigan comics and video game Library. Together we discuss how using kid logic, exploring character choices, and trusting your voice are essential elements to creating a story with appeal.

We’ve also got another round of book recommendations with Sharon Iverson of the Ann Arbor District Library!

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):

Comics Are Great! 77 – Action and Comedy with Tony Cliff and the Houghton Brothers!

How do you design awesome action sequences? What’s the secret to writing scenes that make the audience roar with laughter? I know I couldn’t answer these questions on my own, so I’m grateful to be joined by the perfect roundtable for the job: Tony Cliff, author of the soon-to-be-released Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant, and Chris and Shane Houghton of Bongo’s Simpsons Comics, Adventure Time comics, and Reed Gunther! Together we explore why understanding character is so crucial to comedy, and why understanding movement is so crucial to action.

We’ve also got another round of book recommendations with Erin Helmrich of the Ann Arbor District Library!

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):

Comics Are Great! 76 – Bringing the Gods to Life with George O’Connor

What better medium than comics to capture the majesty and mayhem of Greek Mythology? Especially in the hands of celebrated cartoonist George O’Connor, creator of The Olympians series from First Second books. Together we talk about kid logic, how an author must get to the heart of their characters, and how the poetry of a visual medium like comics can be utilized to express larger-than-life (yet true-to-life) ideas.

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):

Comics Are Great! 75 – Editing Graphic Novels with Calista Brill

I’m excited to talk with Calista Brill, Senior Editor at First Second Books, about the entire process of developing and publishing a graphic novel. What does a good pitch look like? What qualities are editors looking for in a graphic novel proposal? Once the book is acquired, what happens then? How does the editor/author partnership work?

It’s a really fun and instructive conversation with one of the people responsible for the terrific changes happening in the comics publishing landscape.

We’re also joined by Sharon Iverson of the Ann Arbor District Library for another round of book talks!

Links mentioned in this episode:

Comics Are Great! 74 – Every Moment is the Moment of Truth with Thien Pham

This time we discover that Sumo wrestling can be a metaphor for the creative life thanks to the work of Thien Pham, author of Sumo from First Second Books. Together we explore how the philosophy of “every moment is the moment of truth” applies to just diving in and making comics, and how a methodology might distract one from the task at hand or drain some of the life out of one’s work.

We also get a scoop on Thien’s new webcomic, Please, Don’t Give Up!

We’re joined at the end by Erin Helmrich of the Ann Arbor District Library for another round of book recommendations.

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):

Comics Are Great! 73 – Finding Your Knitting with Kris Straub

Stick to your knitting. Specialize. Find your niche. Operate in your wheelhouse. And a zillion other clichés that get thrown around. It’s been accepted as common wisdom that one should find the one thing they have some talent in and pursue that to the end. And even if this is true (though we’re not saying it is), how does one even go about finding the precise knitting to which they should be sticking?

We’re fortunate to be joined this time by Kris Straub, the author behind Starslip, Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow, the Webcomics Weekly podcast, and more for a discussion on finding the proper venue for your work once you’ve tackled that tricky business of finding your voice.

And Erin Helmrich of the Ann Arbor District Library returns for another round of great book talks!

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):

Comics Are Great! 72 – Living Well On Less with C. Spike Trotman and Laurianne Uy

The hard fact of it is, few people make a ton of money at this comics jazz. And while we’ve talked about creating various streams of income in past shows, we’ve yet to talk about how to get more out of less of our financial resources!

We’re joined this episode by C. Spike Trotman, author of Poorcraft: The Funnybook Fundamentals of Living Well on Less, for a talk on facing the inevitable cruelties of managing one’s finances. We also have in-studio guests Laurianne Uy and Dave Carter who provide some tips and tools to help you make a budget and stick to it!

And Sharon Iverson of the Ann Arbor District Library returns for another round of great book talks!

Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting them!):

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