By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Visit the website here.
There’s a new crowdfunding platform called Zoop which is specifically tailored for comic book creators to get their works published in a timely manner. This alternative is now live and one of the first books to be featured is Slow City Blues, an Indiana Jones-style action adventure with Who Framed Roger Rabbit-esque insanity to boot! This series will run for five issues and features the talents of Samuel Haine (creator), Shawn Moll (Black Panther), John Livesay (The Flash) and David Baron (JLA) with many cover artists contributing. This title has been years in the making and many fans, myself included, is excited to see this hit the stretch!
The people behind this platform plan to start with a curated site featuring notable creators with “original” ideas they want to get published. Sometimes the big names aren’t interested for one reason or another. I’m glad the independent scene have options. It used to be with the big two–Kickstarter and Indiegogo–but sometimes these entities don’t step in when problems arise and the fans are mad. They also take a considerable cut and the creators don’t earn the money they deserve. I’m more hesitant these days because of this fact and most have delivered despite personal health or other issues preventing delivery. Tech goods are a different beast altogether as sometimes these ideas and those people disappear, taking away the money of those supporters and there’s little recourse.
Zoop’s plans to open their platform to everyone in the comic book and publishing world. I’ve spoken to a few of them during comic conventions who told me their problems with Kickstarter and am sad. Thankfully small press operations exist, but they don’t have the online presence needed to help these creators to spread the news. This service’s goal for fans is to give them direct access to what readers love in a timely manner.
From their press release:
Want to support a campaign by getting more than one item? Get ‘em all! Need multiple of a single item? Let’s do it! Tired of having to buy something during a campaign, and have to wait for the “after-campaign” campaign to buy something else you wanted? No more of that! Let’s make it easier on everyone! This new site may well be what they want.
Founded by Jordan Plosky (founder of ComicBlitz, (acquired by Cinedigm)) and Eric Moss (former head of Business Development at IDW Publishing and Project Manager of the #1 comics crowdfunding campaign of all time), with Kickstarter’s former comics outreach lead Camilla Zhang serving as Advisor, Zoop redefines crowdfunding for the fandom community (comics, collectibles, games, more) by introducing a streamlined and intuitive interface with features like a la carte rewards and comics-friendly formatting. Zoop is a concierge service for creators, handling everything campaign-related from start to finish, including campaign setup and management, pledge management, production, fulfillment, marketing and more, so creators can focus more on creating and less on the business side of things. No other crowdfunding platform offers these services.
“Comics are the fastest growing crowdfunding category today, and COVID’s impact on the industry highlighted the need for a new solution for creators,” said Jordan Plosky, Co-founder and CEO. “Zoop was created to solve these and more pain points by bringing crowdfunding, e-commerce, production, fulfillment, and distribution together under a single, simple platform.”
Other notable projects to set to launch include:
Scarlett Couture – The Munich File, Vol 1 & 2 (June)
Des Taylor (Superman, Doctor Who, pop-art and pin-up artist)
Wealthy. Beautiful. Deadly. Scarlett Carver, the heir to the billion-dollar fashion empire Chase Couture, is at the top of her game as a fashion-forward front for covert investigations worldwide. She and her CIG (Covert Investigations Group) team retrieve an encrypted SD card that may contain evidence of those behind a Las Vegas terrorist attack. Little does her team know, forces are in play to kill anyone who has come into contact with the files. Now more than ever, Scarlett has to start thinking about who she can really trust.
Ron Marz (Green Lantern, Superman), Andy Lanning (the latest Guardians of the Galaxy) and Rick Leonardi (Spider-Man 2099)
Resolution tells the tale of Xaan Maddox, a legendary member of the outer-space corps of heroes known as The Resolute. Now retired, Xaan Maddox has withdrawn to a remote world in solitude. But former comrades arrive and attempt to recruit her to again don the exo-suit of a Resolute Blade, so they can bring to justice an alien warlord who was Xaan’s arch-nemesis. What follows forces Xaan to confront her own past, and places the entire universe in deadly peril. Resolution is an epic new tale by masters of cosmic storytelling, presented as a large-format hardcover.
Heads Will Roll (July)
Bart Sears (Justice League, Captain America, Turok, Conan, Blade) likes to draw heads – usually severed heads lying at the feet of some monstrous barbarian warrior or god-like anti-hero – but he’s also drawn countless headshots of heroes, villains, damsels and creatures pulled from all forms of literature, including pulp fiction, cult classics and the darkest folklore. Heads Will Roll is a comic art book that will have a head for everyone and contains over 140 beautifully rendered character headshots drawn by this master illustrator.