It’s a new world, isn’t it, this twenty-first century? Facebook. Twitter. Linkedin. Blogs. This Pinterest thing that I’m not really understanding.
And comic books, that very twentieth of centuries method of visual storytelling that we all still love so much, well, it’s a new world for that kind of art form, too. Your computer, your tablet, your smart phone (my new iPhone – huzzah!) have seen to that. But as much as comic books are adapting to new ways of transmission, so too are comic book creators adjusting to new ways of creating.
Case in point: Kickstarter and the advent of today’s Retrovirus.
Yeah. Go ahead. Call the CDC. They’ll even tell you it’s so.
Earlier this year, writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray, along with artist Norberto Fernandez, started up a little fundraiser on Kickstarter – a crowd funding website mainly used for creative pursuits. They had a goal of raising $11,600 from people like you and me in order to finish creating, marketing and publishing a cool graphic novel called Retrovirus.
It’s not like Palmiotti, Gray and Fernandez needed to go this digital cap-in-hand route. They’re all acclaimed names in the comic book industry and have regularly done work for the largest publishers in DC Comics and Marvel Comics as well as for smaller press publishers. But Kickstarter allowed them entire control over Retrovirus – from the original flicker in their co-operative imaginations to the actual release date of the hardcover book. Everything was on their whim – and the inherent promissory notes of 416 individual backers that collectively raised over $16,000 for the three creators.
It’s fascinating stuff, this Kickstarter, an avenue that more and more writers and artists are exploring these days. It’s the twenty-first century, after all. You can check out the Retrovirus Kickstarter page (fully funded!) to see the inner workings of crowd funding in action. And what was started in the spring of this year has finally come to fruition today.
Retrovirus tells the story of Zoe, a brilliant virologist, offered a job at a research facility in the Antarctic. Her employer, she discovers, has unearthed a perfectly preserved Neanderthal. She’s also discovered her employers many other dark secrets – and Zoe races against time to stop a global pandemic! Think Jurassic Park and The Andromeda Strain. Retrovirus is a fast-paced science fiction/horror story, fascinatingly set in a world that is very much our own.
So go ahead. Call the CDC. Or, you know, your local comic book shop. Better yet, make the run to the shop yourself. Here’s one Retrovirus you’ll actually be glad to have contracted!
Every Wednesday, JP makes the after-work run to his local downtown comic book shop. Comics arrive on Wednesdays you see and JP, fearful that the latest issue will sell out, rushes out to purchase his copy. This regular, weekly column will highlight a particularly interesting release, written in short order, of course, because JP has to get his – before someone else does!