The team behind ComicScene, led by publisher Tony Foster, are into the home stretch with their crowdfunder to raise funds to support the first four books of the what they are planning as a definitive History of Comics.
ComicScene – The History of Comics will capture 100 years from 1930 to 2030 – comic history not even written yet – and the plan is that each book will focus on one year in particular, with references to comic history all the way back to the 16th century.
Each book will feature the cultural backdrop of the year covered and feature articles written by specialist comic journalists, academics, comic fans, comic creators and include unique perspectives on comic history and the art produced.
Four books will be sent three times a year for people to “Binge Read”, with a Pledge Option that offers a unique slipcase to keep them in, again only available on Kickstarter and to subscribers.
Everyone purchasing the books will also become part of a wider Comic Club, which brings with it a numbered membership card with more comic benefits to you beyond the books themselves.
This version of the book is likely to only be available through its Kickstarter and by subscription only, although it’s stated that the initial four 64-page book in the series has a retail price of £9.99 ($14.99 US). The move away from the news stand, where ComicScene was previously sold, is a reflection of the current market; but the crowdfunder has attracted more than enough funding to go ahead, raising £7,941, in excess of a £5,280 goal.
“We are limiting the first print run of the History of Comics to 3000 copies per issue worldwide and up to 2000 slipcases,” Tony Foster notes. “Everyone signing up to four issues or more via the Kickstarter get a ComicScene Comic Club Membership card and exclusive web access to additional material and special offers. You also get a stretch goal extra.”
Given the material planned for the comic, including commissioned work and the cost of licensing imagery for a book-a-zine style project, as opposed to a magazine promoting publisher’s new projects, I was concerned that the budget for the four issues was quite low, also taking into account print costs. But Tony has informed me there will be additional funding from other sources as well as Kickstarter backers, so hopefully all bases are covered.
Creating a “Part Work” is also quite a challenge, but Tony also seems more than ready for the work ahead.
• ComicScene is online at comicscene.org
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.