April 22, 2014

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Cram Yourself with Good Comics at the end of the Study Group Kickstarter

A little over two years ago, I wrote about a new collective of artists who were opening a webcomics portal called Study Group.

Unlike some projects of a similar nature, this one kept on going, even without the benefit of being on RSS (something I really hope they'd change by now, to be honest). Led by Zack Soto and Milo George, Study Group has grown over time and several of the things first serialized there have gone on to a print publication. In addition, Study Group Magazine is two issues into its run so far, with no signs of stopping.

Study Group the website is, I think, a great success, and I'm pleased to see that their Kickstarter is already over its goal with a few days left. The crowd funding is being used to effectively create pre-orders for It Will All Hurt 2 from Farel Dalrymple, Haunted from Sam Alden, the third Study Group Magazine issue (in 3D, no less!), and now Titan 2 from Francois Vigneault and Secret Voice 2 from Zack Soto.

The project has funded, but I wanted to give it a final signal boost to give it a bit more attention, let my readers know about in case they hadn't already seen it (I know I miss good projects all the time), and ensure they get the final stretch goal to make this feature a total of five books instead of just three.

While I am not always active on the website, I have been reading the print editions coming out from it, and I can tell you they are stellar. I reviewed It Will All Hurt 1 and came away extremely impressed with the nature of Dalrymple's storytelling and the quality of his art. I expect the second issue to be just as good, if not better.

I've already read the first two issues of Study Group Magazine, with plans to review the second issue soon. It's a great combination of art and commentary, leaning heavily on the experimental side of things. The articles and comics blend together seamlessly, treating the medium with respect and care and yet also allowing for irreverence in the material contained within at the same time.

If I hadn't been planning to back the Kickstarter, I would have definitely picked up Sam Alden's Haunted, which looked gorgeous. It has full and rich linework and colors that jump out at the reader. It took a lot of willpower not to double dip. If you need further validation of Alden's quality, keep in mind he's a Retrofit Alumni, being a part of this year's group. Long-time Panel Patter readers know of Box Brown's curating quality, as his small press's titles are always finding a place on my end of year lists.

In terms of reward, this is yet another strongly tiered project. After the usual thank-you levels, you can get stickers for $6, Titan #2 for $8, It Will All Hurt 2 for $12, Secret Voice 2 for $12, $15 for Study Group Mag 3D, and $18 for Haunted. There's also a digital tier (YAY!) for $12.

From there, you have a series of combo packs, ranging from groupings of books to retailer incentives to signed editions. There really are a great number of options for anyone with extra funding who wants to have a larger reward.

Study Group are a great bunch of people who I've had the pleasure to meet on a few occasions now. They not only know how to put together a model that is successful, they do it with great comics, too, that run the gamut from the rawest of alternative comix to absolutely gorgeous watercolor work by Dalrymple. Whether it's on the web or in print, it's comics of the highest quality. If you'd like to see that for yourself in either a hard copy or a digital form you can read on your favorite device, take a look and then add a few more dollars on the pile.

You can back the Study Group Kickstarter here.