Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Cat & Mouse #1 Kickstarter is live!

Yep, you read that correctly. Cat & Mouse #1 has a kickstarter running…and I’m asking you to go check it out. Wait…you thought C&M #1 was published in 1989 by EFGraphics…and then in 1990 by Malibu’s Aircel. It was.

C&M #1 Vol 2

This is for Volume 2! A whole NEW thing. The link is:

A brief history for those interested: When I was at the University of Southern Mississippi in the middle 80s, I met Steven Butler, who became a lifelong friend. Steven was a super-talented artist and he and I swapped notes of rejection from assorted comic companies. He was trying to get work as an artist, me as a writer. So we decided to work together and do our own thing.

One of Steven’s roommates was the equally talented Mitch Byrd, and Steven recruited him (My other pals, Barry Gregory and Thomas Fortenberry were involved on the writing side). In trying to figure out what projects to do, Mitch had a four page piece he had penciled and Steven had inked. It was a crime/cop thing that featured a shadowy figure shoot at cat burglars as they leaped out of a window. I took that and used it as a springboard to come up with the story for the first issue of C&M, with some serious input from both Steven and Mitch. If you’ve read it, you know that I included a character by the name of Demon, a character who’d been with me in one form or another, since about 6th grade.

Cat & Mouse #1 Vol 1

Cat & Mouse ran for 18 issues once it found a home at Malibu. Mitch and I did a four issue Miss Fury mini-series after, but then we both went on to different projects (Mitch landed some nice work with DC comics, and I became an editor at Malibu).

C&M just kinda went away.

Until today. Actually, until about two years ago with another supremely talented artist asked me about it. Enter: Dean Zachary.

But because it’d been so many years, it didn’t make sense to me to just bring back the same characters from before (there’s some other stuff, too)…so the characters from Volume 2 are completely new characters with completely new backgrounds, etc. The spirit and mood and tone will all remain—and we’ll even get to see some of the supporting cast from volume 1, but there are a lot of new faces involved—which makes it very exciting.

Volume 1 began mostly about fighting corruption in the justice system. Volume 2 will deal with the very serious theme of human trafficking. It will remain a “General Audiences” book, but the theme will be a little heavier.

SO…yes, this is me asking. Please go check out the link and consider pledging—I really think you’ll like what you read. But if you can’t pledge, please consider sharing it to those in your social network—tell them you know me and you think they should plop down a few dollars to help us get #2 made!

Thanks!

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Cat & Mouse #1 kickstarter slated for May 1

I’m super-excited to announce to you that May 1 is our target launch date for the kickstarter campaign for Cat & Mouse #1. I know we’ve been teasing it for a while, but we’re finally there.

I won’t talk long here, but don’t be surprised if over the course of the next few weeks, you see images with our announcement. I can tell you this, though: the campaign will feature the comic, of course, and it will have a KICKSTARTER ONLY wraparound cover! Unlike some other comic campaigns I’ve seen, this is the ONLY way you’ll be able to get the comic with this cover. Oh, you’ll still be able to get the comic, just not the KS wraparound version.

Also, I’ve managed to put together a couple of complete sets of volume 1—all 18 issues. I’ve culled back issue boxes and even ordered a handful of them from Mile High to complete a few sets. Full sets are pretty tough to come by…so there will be a few available.

Also, I’ve got about 10 copies left of the very first edition of Cat & Mouse #1. A lot of folks don’t realize that before Malibu’s Aircel picked us up, C&M #1 was printed—on newsprint and in COLOR!—by EFGraphics. EFG also printed Jazz Age Chronicles by Ted Slampyak…but EFG went belly up before they could print C&M #2. Those copies of C&M #1 will be available as a limited pledge reward.

I’ve also been hounding some of my artist pals to do some art for us and I think you’ll be happy at what you see! I won’t mention all of them now, but I’ll mention that the first one to raise his hand and say he’d help is the hot new artist Timothy Lim. You’ve seen his work on Thump: the First Bundred Days, and My Hero Magademia. This will be your chance to get a one of a kind original work from him!

So, mark your calendars!

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Week three of Tiny Kickstarter

Last week got away from me and I let it slip by without a blog. Argh. We’re on week 3 of the Tiny Kickstarter is nearly gone leaving us with one week left. A whole bunch of you have pledged your support—and I am incredibly grateful for that. For those of you who haven’t pledged and intend to—stop waiting and get it done now.

JenniGregoryArtforTiny

JenniGregoryArtforTiny

Once it is all said and done, Tiny will be 52 pages of story and art printed in two installments. We’re over halfway done with it all, the first installment is finished! Check out this cool “snow” panel from the second issue! Wow!

For you fans of original art, there are still two pieces available from two fantastic artists (attached to this blog!): both Jim Hall and Jenni Gregory have contributed original art to help us get funds. They are fantastic pieces! Grab one now before they are all gone!

So, we’ve been honored to be featured on some pretty cool podcasts. You should go give them a listen because they were nice enough to have us on.

The Riley and Kimmy show:
http://rileyandkimmyshow.blogspot.com/2016/05/podcast-881-roland-mann-megacon.html

WeBeGeeks:
http://webegeekspc.com/wbg-ep-171-tiny-deonna-herrold-roland-mann/

The Derek Diamond Experience:

http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/0/e/5/0e5e5d731d118afc/DDE_105_RolandDeonna.mp3?c_id=11856588&expiration=1466068318&hwt=05b51415d196dab9bc8da5fc7a02c290

JimHallArtforTiny

JimHallArtforTiny

The Worst Comic Podcast Ever (this is the name of the podcast, not anything judgmental from me!)

https://worstcomicpodcastever.com/2016/06/03/wcpe-episode-101-for-june-1-2016-pcc-recap-dcs-rebirth-caps-retcon-and-a-tiny-review/

We’ve got an upcoming session on Wayne’s Comics Podcast, and a live—yes, LIVE—session on Her Dork World/His Dork world. That will be June 23 at midnight! It’ll be just a few days before the Tiny Kickstarter campaign ends, so I’m sure we’ll be giving it a push. You can point your web browsers to vocnation.com on Thursday night to give it a listen. There will be a number you can call in and chat with us, too, ask us some hard questions.

I’ll be attending two comic shows in July. I’ll be in Paragould Arkansas July 9 and 10 for the Friendly Neighborhood Comic Expo (here: https://www.friendlyneighborhoodcomicexpo.com/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/Friendlyneighborhoodcomicexpo/). I’m hoping that many of my friends and family in the Clay County area will come out to see what I do that’s NOT newspaper writing/editing.

Then, from July 21-24, I’ll be attending San Diego Comic Con for the first time since 1999! I hear it’s changed a lot, but I’m hoping to see many old friends and make new ones…maybe even pitch a comic or two!

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Tiny Kickstarter Update and Megacon Report

Like last week, I’ve got two things to cover in this blog. Yes, I considered two separate blog entries, but figured you don’t want your notifications dinging with Ramblin’ updates so I’m combining them!

Roland and Deonna at Megacon with Tiny#1

Roland and Deonna at Megacon with Tiny#1

First up, a Megacon report. This year, the convention moved to Memorial Day weekend and extended the show to four days. I’m not convinced a fourth day was necessary, but Saturday didn’t see quite as overwhelming as it has in the past. Oh, it was still busy, just not claustrophobically so.

Booth/table numbering on the convention floor needs addressing, as there was no easy way for fans/attendees to find artist spots. The vendor area was clearly marked with aisle numbers, but those numbers did not correlate at all into artist alley.

I was fortunate to be beside my good pals Barry and Jenni Gregory who do some pretty awesome comic books! Additionally, it was fantastic to have sensational artist Deonna Herrold at the table helping me promote Tiny.

And that’s where I have the first of the two bits of good news I have to report. We sold completely out of all the copies of Tiny #1 we had! We were winding down to literally the last few minutes and had ONE copy left. So, I jumped in front of the table and started telling folks that and asking them to consider buying it so I could say we sold out! Mollie Tee sprang into action and made it happen for us! We captured the moment with a picture! (also, the link goes to her instagram photo, so show her some love since she showed US love!) THANK YOU Mollie Tee! Because of you, we can honestly say we sold out of Tiny #1 at MegaCon. I’ve never sold out of a new issue of anything like that before—not in 25+ years of conning! I’ve sold “bunches,” but never “out!”

The second bit of good news is that the Tiny Kickstarter is off to a great start! We were completely funded in a little less than four days—quite exciting for us. That doesn’t take you off the hook from supporting us. Yes, I EXPECT you to go over and support us. At this point in time there’s not a question of “making is,” your pledge is essentially pre-ordering the comics! Basically, you’ve just got to decide if you’re going to get the comics for yourself…or for someone else! So, what are you waiting for? Help us keep the momentum going—go do it!

 

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Introducing Tiny

Tiny, scared and alone.

Tiny, scared and alone.

I’m very excited to tell you about a new comic project and to give you a peek at what’s to come. But first, let me tell you how it came about.

Comic projects for me have always come about in different ways. Sometimes it’s that I have an idea and I look for a collaborator, but more often than not, it’s that I meet an artist and then the project comes together as a result of a friendship or conversations, etc.

Many of you are aware of my daughter Brittany’s acting—many of you have rallied and given her likes and shares when I’ve asked…and thank you for that…but it’s actually her acting that got Tiny off the ground.

Tiny and the troll mom

Tiny and the troll mom

Brittany had been to Disney a few times to audition for one of the performance roles. It’s an interesting process that I won’t go in to now, but she ended up meeting and befriending Deonna Herrold, who was there for the same reason. I don’t remember exactly how it all came about, but Brittany said she’d talked to her and that Deonna had “an interest” in drawing comics.

Now, because of my time in comics, I’ve heard that…a lot. I’ve also heard people tell me they have an interest in “being a writer.” So when I hear that, I generally just shrug. I’ve got an interest in being an astronaut, too.

But Brittany continued talking with her and eventually showed me a piece of Deonna’s art. I was pretty floored, and after seeing more, I had Brittany ask her how serious she was in her “interest.”

Turns out, she was VERY serious!

One of Tiny's rescuers!

One of Tiny’s rescuers!

The first time I met Deonna, she showed me a sketchbook chock full of art and it was clear to see the Disney influence on her work. So I did what I often do when talking with artists and asked her what sort of story she’d like to draw. She had a lot of interests (what creator doesn’t, right?), but she was very interested in fairy tales. And so because I always want my artist collaborators to enjoy the story they’re working on, and not knowing a whole lot of fairy tales, I did some research.

There are some really strange fairy tales out there, let me just leave it at that.

So I pieced together three that I thought would be fun to do and visually interesting to draw (as an artist) and see (as the reader) and pitched them to her. She selected what is now Tiny.

Baby Tiny

Baby Tiny

But here’s the cool thing—and this demonstrates just how serious Deonna is—the first issue—a full 26 pages—is DONE! This time next week we’ll be launching our kickstarter to get the 2nd issue completed. As you can see from the art samples here, Deonna’s got the chops! We’ll be counting on all of you to help!

So what is Tiny? It’s our version of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story: Tiny must survive the trials of being Tiny and staying alive, all the while trying to find out who she really is.

Stay tuned for more info!

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Kickstarter reflection (or, part 4)

Did you miss me? I missed me. As I tell my students and writers conference attendees, there’s no real good reason for not writing. And while I don’t really consider this blog my “writing,” it is part of my writing process, something which helps keep my creative juices going.

Well, that…and reading. Reading a lot.

But it seems one thing or another has kept me from writing here. One of those things, I think, was wrapping up the Kickstarter segments. For pure transparency, I was a bit bummed we didn’t make it…and then afterwards, Joe had to move on to other projects, which effectively kills Citizens as is. That said, I DO have good news on other projects fronts, and I hope to be talking about two of them very soon!

But even though I finished the posts, I wanted to actually reflect a little on the campaign.

One of the telling things about running a Kickstarter campaign is that it becomes very clear where the “support” comes from. While you can get anonymous donors (I had a couple), most support and then get on board to help the campaigners get the word out. The supporters of Citizens did just that. There were some who I felt went above and beyond trying to help me and Joe make our goal—I saw multiple posts from them telling people to go check it out. Of course, I’m incredibly thankful for those people!

I think the biggest surprise to me from the entire thing was the overwhelming lack of support from the Christian community. Most of you here know that about me. I don’t blog a lot about my faith…I try to live it more than talk about it—though sometimes I do. Of course, you know too, that I fail a lot on “being” a Christian. I guess that’s just part of my path. But after my “religious conversion,” I tried to immerse myself in the “Christian creative community.” As a new believer, I wanted to be a part of it. I bought books, comics, movies, and music that I didn’t know existed. Most of it really bad, but I wanted to support it so that I could see it improve. Sad to learn it’s a one way street.

Will I do another kickstarter? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I will. In fact, I’m already thinking of them. One KEY factor is that the art is going to have to be mostly done so that the delivery date is closer. That, and I’m going to push harder for earlier pledges. So if you pledged to Citizens, I’ll be coming to you again asking you to support the next one. If the project looks interesting to you, I’ll ask that you pledge early–because it helps generate heat on the KS campaign.

Okay…now back to writing…and grading. Lots of grading.

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Kickstarter part 3, Wizard World Ft. Lauderdale

I’ve just come off of two back to back Wizard World Comic Cons (Nashville and Ft. Lauderdale) and am still battling some sort of Con Crud. Ugh. No fevers, just sore throat and coughing. Seems to be far worse in the a.m.

Wizard World Comic Con in Ft. Lauderdale was fun…but seemed to be light on attendees; not much foot traffic. Not sure if there was something else competing for folks or not. The Wizard crew was as efficient as ever and I got to chat with some cool folks including attempting to start some “charge for autograph” trouble with Neal Adams…but he didn’t take the bait! Haha Shared my spot (and hotel room) with the talented Joe Badon and had a blast doing so! Also got to meet Joel Adams in the flesh–I worked with him VERY briefly back during my Marvel/Ultraverse days.

But figured I’d get back to the Kickstarter thread and finish it up. The nervous feeling never went away, not during the entire process. I always felt like I wasn’t doing enough, even though I was emailing folks, posting updates to social media, getting on podcasts, etc. But that’s exactly what I did after finishing up the video—hit “launch” and I began to send out emails and contact bloggers and podcasters to see if they were interested in featuring the book.

Now that the campaign is over, I think I probably started contacting the bloggers and podcasters too late. I think the emails were fine because most of those were very personal and I didn’t really want to suddenly become a spammer with “I’m ABOUT to launch” one…followed by the “I’ve launched so please go support.” I dunno, maybe I should have. KS tells you that the most successful campaigns are those that reach 30% or greater during the first few days. We only reached about 20%.

No one pledged for the original art from Kyle Hotz or Joie Simmons, either, which surprised me. I think, though, that maybe not HAVING the art hurt. When I try one again, I’ll be sure to try to get the art.

In the end, we quoted too high a print run and for too many prints. Very few folks actually pledged to get the prints—which is news to be as I thought those would be popular, particularly based on what seems to be popular at the comic shows. I probably should have build the campaign around a much smaller print run (100 vs 500) and knocked out the prints…or reduced them.

I’m not done with Kickstarter, though, as I think it is a good tool for creators. Not sure what project will be next, but I’m actually kind of anxious for it. Citizens won’t be immediately relaunched as Joe has personal projects to attend to…so not sure what the future holds for the book. I really wanted it to be a full length graphic novel and not a shorter work…but that might not be in the works for it.

Okay, this is a little shorter than normal because I’m headed back to bed (writing this in the pm hours). Thanks for reading, y’all!

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