What a perfect word to describe who we are. As artists and as an earnest little publishing operation — I think you have to have some misguided, naive sense of belief in yourself to succeed. Maybe?
And what is success? Money? Or just being able, somehow, through hard work to be able to keep doing what you love?
Well, we certainly don’t have money. All the same we’ve been very fortunate. We work hard — every day, all of our energy, all of our time, and whatever little amount of money we do have — it all gets subsumed by this vehicle.
I am tired. I am emotional. I am drained.
But I love it. I love the artists we work with — I love them so fucking much. They give me purpose. To rise everyday, to work hard every night. To continue whatever it is I am doing with this life. To learn from them, to laugh with them. To just be.
And that’s a kind of success. For me, I just want to keep doing this with them forever and ever. I hope I am able to do so.
Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, for us to continue that type of success, we need a minimum amount of capital. For the time being, that means having our current Kickstarter reach its goal. We have 2 days… and we need your help.
What are our Collections?
To keep our label running, we’ve moved to offering small seasonal, finely curated book bundles. We offer these at a deep discount and include a lot of extras. We call these bundles Collections.
Yes, our Collections are a way to raise funds, to keep the lights on — but they are also a way for us to highlight the authors we love. Alone, their works could be lost in the sea of releases coming and going. But by placing them in our collections, sometimes alongside authors with a larger following, they’re in a tiny peer group giving them higher visibility, and allowing for new audiences to discover them together.
So even if we get to a point of greater stability, we will continue to run our collections. The reason being is that raising capital alone is not the point of our collections. The other piece is raising awareness of not only our authors, their titles, but also of this industry — to show the necessity of this vibrant creative community and the works coming out of it to the larger world.
What does the future hold?
I’d like to take a second to pull back the curtain — to show you what we have coming down the pike for with our next couple of collections. Please keep in mind that some of these covers are not final.
Fall Collection ‘16 Altcomics Magazine #4, Perfect Hair by Tommi Parrish, Secure Connect by Carta Monir, Sprawling Heart by Sab Meynert, and a new mini by Vincent Stall
Winter Collection ‘16 Altcomics Magazine #5, Extended Play by Jake Terrell, Mirror Mirror 2 edited by Julia Gfrörer & Sean T. Collins, Sound of Snow Falling by Maggie Umber, Yours by Sarah Ferrick
Spring Collection '17 Altcomics Magazine #6, Architecture of an Atom by Juliacks, Life in the Fun Zone by Leif Goldberg, Retreat by Jaakko Pallasvuo, and a new mini by Brie Moreno
As you can see, we have a very exciting slate lined up. And there is so much more we have planned. But to make it there, we first need to succeed with our current collection. If you value the type of work we are doing, the authors we publish, we need your help — please show your support by becoming a backer and talking about the work we are doing on social media.
Warmeris a collection of comics about climate change for the fearful & hopeful, brilliantly curated by Madeleine Witt & Andrew White. I’ve read through the collection and it is so good. It’s especially good reading right now, with current events, but also all the time since climate change is going on with & without politics. Here are some excerpts from it, by Alyssa Berg, with Catalina Jaramillo; Maggie Umber, with Raighne Hogan; Nick Soucek; Warren Craghead; and also a page from my piece. If you’d like to read it/ help others get a chance to read it, please support the project on Kickstarter:
I think far too often, when people want to reference art comics, Fort Thunder feels like the only reference point. And I think that is a failure. Much of the type of work that we are putting out now, is this raw, new thing — work for now. I guess, what I mean is that it would be nice to see new work, that is exciting and good, reach out and be seen prior to it getting vetted by whatever gatekeepers.
On July 8th the fifth Altcomics event was held at Boneshaker Books. Poets Brett Elizabeth Jenkins and Maitreyi Ray opened up the evening. Following their readings, Raighne Hogan’s impromptu performance consisted of his answering audience inquires in a stream of consciousness style. Joseph Nixon’s live sculpture was accompanied by a conversation from Raighne and audience input. Zak Sally read a chapter from FOLRATH Part One. Will Dinski shared a selection of an upcoming graphic novel about a religious cult. I enjoyed the entire night immensely <3 <3 <3
I’d like to take a
moment to talk about my publisher, 2dcloud.
You might know them as
the force behind Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (in cooperation with Uncivilized Books) and my
upcoming graphic memoir, Turning Japanese. I’d like to tell you a little more about
I was introduced to 2dcloud
when they invited me to submit to Little
Heart, an anthology created to support gay marriage. When they sent me my
contributor copies, I was blown away by the talent they’d rounded up and the
production values of the book. This was no ordinary micropublisher. And once I
got to know them, I was impressed by the values and commitment of the people
who run it: Raighne Hogan and Justin Skarhus.
For example, the press
was started when Raighne and his (amazing artist) wife Maggie wanted to support
their cartoonist friend whose work was too cutting edge for publishers at the
time. They used their honeymoon money to publish a gorgeous book, and the
sacrifices they’ve made since then have not slowed down at all.
More importantly, the
work they put out is unlike any other. At one point a few years ago, I was
feeling down about the state of comics, sad that much of the work I came across
all looked and felt the same. And then Raighne put a copy of Strong Eye Contact by Christopher Adams
in my hands, and everything changed. I’d never seen anything like it. It
inspired me to be bolder with my work, to stretch my boundaries, and it gave me
new faith in the industry and medium.
The work 2dcloud
publishes is experimental without being pretentious, entertaining without
compromising taste, and oh so exciting. 2dcloud are true pioneers. It is so
important that they continue existing, putting voices in the mix that might not
otherwise find homes.
So here’s why I’m
writing this: Right now, 2dcloud is trying to grow. They’ve hooked up with
Consortium to distribute their books, which is a huge coup for everyone
involved (especially their authors!). But working with a distributor has its challenges,
particularly in the money department. You can read about the nuts and bolts in
their blog post, which you should check out if you’re curious at all about how
publishing works: https://medium.com/@2dCloud/can-indie-publishers-afford-to-grow-4e509d702333#.y8wo6886a
To try to keep the
costs under control, they have sacrificed so much more than their honeymoon
money. I won’t go into the details as they’re a bit personal, but what’s
important is that now is a crucial time in their existence. They’ve turned to
Kickstarter as a preorder tool, to keep the business afloat while they wait for
the distribution money to start coming in.
If you agree that 2dcloud
is important, please consider contributing to their Winter Collection
Kickstarter (and their Spring Kickstarter, which will include Turning Japanese!). In return you’ll get
some beautiful, sexy, thoughtful, envelope-pushing comics by diverse cartoonists.
Books that might not otherwise have existed if it weren’t for the sacrifice by
these generous, forward-thinking people.