Thursday, February 6, 2014

Digital Comics Watch: Nothing Fits Kickstarter and ComiXology updates!

Above: Nothing Fits, a webcomic by Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone. Copyright Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone 2014.

Crowd-funding platform Kickstarter has recently extended its global reach to include New Zealand, an exciting prospect for New Zealanders seeking assistance for their creative projects, especially the comics community. In 2012, Auckland based cartoonists Li Chen raised over $66,000US to print two collected volumes of her webcomic, Extra Ordinary Comics. More than doubling her target goal, Chen's project was the forth most successful comics project in Kickstarter history. Made possible with the assistance of a US based host (to comply with Kickstarter's eligibility requirements at the time), it teased the possibility for NZ based cartoonists to tap into the vast global comics audience to support and publish their work.

Now that the international Kickstarter boarders have extended to include New Zealand, one of the first local projects to seize this opportunity is Nothing Fits, a webcomic by Christchurch-based art students, Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone.

Nothing Fits features "a group of unlikely heroes: a girl, a clone and an undead mummy attempt(ing) to make sense of the strange world they've been thrown into". All captured in McCrone's very appealing ink, watercolour & gouache illustrations - with a hint of illustrators like Quentin Blake and Tove Jansson in its style. They are seeking to raise $5000NZ to cover the printing costs for the complete graphic novel (over 100 pages). As of this writing they have raised $1416NZ, with 24 days to go.

Above: Nothing Fits, Page 101, by Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone. Copyright Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone 2014.

For more details on Nothing Fits, I talked to writer/creator Mary Tamblyn:

AK: How did the comic originally come about? I understand you and Alex met at school?

Mary Tamblyn: We did meet at school, we met in Year 12 Painting, but we really got to know each other in Year 13, especially at the end, when we both knew we'd be doing the same thing at University. I already had the characters and the setting, I'd been thinking about it for about 8-10 years before I asked Alex if she wanted to make it into a comic. Then it kinda just went from there.

AK: Can you give me a brief overview of the story and characters?

MT: The story is told through six point-of-views, with three main groups. The group that can loosely be called the 'protagonists', which consists of Charlie: a woman who has been transported to a strange world, Algae: a gangly clone, who isn't really sure about anything and has a mysterious life coach that only he can see, and Mummy: the undead mummy of a young boy, who isn't entirely sure why he's been brought back, but he's happy that he's back. The group of 'antagonists', and that's antagonists in the loosest of terms, is made up of Solemn: whose unclear motives are even a bit unclear for himself, and Mez: a clone who wants to define herself as an individual. There are also the perspectives from the royalty of this land, and the issues surrounding those, but those story-lines interlock with the protagonists and the antagonists a lot. The third group... well, that'd be spoilers~ The story itself though, follows the interaction between this odd set of characters, who are trying to work out what is really happening, along with the reader.

AK: If your Kickstarter is successful, what are your publishing plans for Nothing Fits going forward?

MT: Well, once we are funded we can afford to print 200 copies. Those will be taken up mainly by backers, probably, but hopefully they'll be some left to sell at conventions? If not we will eventually do another print run if there is demand for it. We were always going to do sequels, but this initial story took so long, and it's not really fair on Alex to keep on working on my story, when she has her own projects she wants to work on. Eventually I'm going to have novel-like sequels to continue the story, because I really like the characters and setting. Alex said she would stay on as a plot consultant, because she is a good friend and I'm very good at getting carried away with things. We balance each other out creatively like that. SO YEAH. HOPEFULLY, all goes to plan.

I'm starting another comic project with a different friend soon too - can't stop doing comics. But Nothing Fits in its comic form, is complete.

Above: Nothing Fits, Page 108, by Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone. Copyright Mary Tamblyn & Alex McCrone 2014.

To help fund Nothing Fits, visit the Kickstarter page HERE and offer your support! You can also read the webcomic for free HERE.

Above: Moth City Preludes #1: The Reservoir by Tim Gibson. Copyright Tim Gibson 2014.

Over at digital comics platform ComiXology, two NZ creators are releasing comics today. Tim Gibson's Moth City prequel, The Reservoir, a western which explores the back-story of Governor McCaw. It's designed specifically to be read on digital devices, and is only $2.99US, available HERE.

Above: Blastosaurus #2, cover by Richard Fairgray. Copyright Richard Fairgray & Terry Jones 2014.

The second issue of Richard Fairgray's Blastosaurus is also now available on ComiXology, featuring Blasto's first showdown with the deadly Raptors, and a visit to the museum! 30 pages of downloadable content for only $1.99US, available HERE.

More news on local webcomics soon, as I get to part 2 of the Mighty NZ Digital Comics Update!

- AK!

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