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Creators and Evil Twin Comics co-founders Fred Van Lente and Ryan Dunlavey have unveiled a new historical comic series, which they’re taking to Kickstarter to publish. The Comic Book History of Animation is a five-issue series that explores the origins and evolution of animation, primarily in America but also internationally, from the early days of J. Stuart Blackton and Thomas Edison to the prominence of computer animation in today’s film and television.

The Comic Book History of Animation
The Comic Book History of Animation

Per the project’s Kickstarter page, the series will start out in black & white, slowly transitioning to color as color animation became more prevalent. As shown on the cover above, historical figures will appear as animals that either represent certain attributes about the person or are indicative of the person’s most famous creations. A seven-page preview of the first issue features Edison as a squid, “because they’re aggressive multitaskers,” and the British Blackton as a bulldog.

The Kickstarter campaign for The Comic Book History of Animation has a goal of $9,999, to cover production costs and wages for both Van Lente and Dunlavey. As of this writing, only a few hours into the campaign, the project is already over a fifth of the way to its goal. A $20 pledge to the project gets backers all five issues of the series in DRM-free digital format, to be fulfilled as the issues are completed by the creators. Pledging $40 gets backers not just the digital issues, but also a Kickstarter-exclusive hardcover collection of the series. Higher tier rewards include behind-the-scenes process information, prints, and commissioned art from Dunlavey.

Van Lente and Dunlavey have created a niche for themselves in crafting comics that are simultaneously informational and humorous. Their first series, Action Philosophers, took the complex ideas of thinkers from Socrates to Nietzsche and made them both accessible and entertaining, and follow-ups like Action Presidents and Comic Book Comics (later republished by IDW as The Comic Book History of Comics) have followed suit.

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Head over to Kickstarter to see more information about The Comic Book History of Animation, including the aforementioned seven-page preview of the series. The campaign launched today and runs until Thursday, March 26th.

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