We get a lot of requests to mention Kickstarters here at the Beat, and rather than slight this one or that one, I hardly mention any. Only the worthiest. But I do HEAR about a lot of kickstarters as they get tweeted and promoted about the web.
Here’s one that only crossed my radar only recently (probably my fault more than anything, since it got written up in HuffPo, WaPo, Mother Jones and other places no one reads) but it doesn’t seem to need much help. Tom Tomorrow, the veteran (no offense) political cartoonist is Kickstarting a compendium of the last 25 years of his comic, “This Modern World” and it’s doing very well: it just passed the $250,000 mark and has a few days to go to kick it up a bit more.
This is far from the biggest comics Kickstarter ever—I guess that’s the $1.25 million raised by Rich Burlew for Order of the Stick—but it’s a nice healthy number.
The project itself sounds awesome a two-volume slipcased edition of more than 1000 pages of comics that trace the history of the last 2 years really:
This giant two-volume set will feature every cartoon I’ve ever done: my weekly strip, work I did for magazines, one-offs, rarities, illustrations, you name it. There’s some early, non-TMW work that hasn’t been seen by anyone in decades, if ever—including experiments with collage, single panel gag cartoons, and even an attempt at a syndicated daily comic strip from the 1980s. I’m including some of the interviews I’ve done over the years, and to put things in context I’ve gone through and added extensive annotation to many of the cartoons. I have several pages on the Pearl Jam collaboration, including photos and art that have never been made public before. And of course, there are the cartoons themselves—a contemporary satirical history of everything we’ve been through over the past 25 years, through the eyes of an acerbic penguin with weird sunglasses.
Tomorrow (the pen name of Dan Perkins) is a true alt-comix legend, having survived from the alt-weekly print days, transitioning to the web world, jumping on the subscription model for cartoonists with his “Sparky’s List” newsletter, winning a Herblock Prize and getting short listed for the Pulitzer along the way. And now, crowdfunding. And for 25 years he’s skewered hypocrisy, trendiness and stupidity, covered a bunch of elections and kept a watchful eye on things that truly matter. He’s a survivor.
So yeah, no wonder this project is doing so well. There’s still time to get your own copy—$70 gets you the book but there are many levels and extras above this, including some Pearl Jam related stuff (although most of that seems to be gone.) The format itself is reminiscent of the slipcased Calvin and HObbes and Far Side collections that Andrews McMell put out a while ago — “Ultimate comic strips” as one might put it. Obviously there was a demand for a book offering a similar treatment to a significant alt-weekly cartoonist, and luckily crowdfunding has allowed this to come to pass.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.