June 23, 2014

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Little Nemo Tribute Kickstarter is a Sleeper Hit

Small press publisher Locust Moon Press, the folks behind the Locust Moon Comics Festival (and also a cool comics shop) have debuted a project that's both ambitious and outstanding on Kickstarter today. It's a tribute to Windsor McCoy, and not only is it going to be printed in the original newsprint size of 16 x 21, it features some of the best people working in comics right now. Without even seeing the entire roster of creators, it's easily one of the most star-studded tributes I've ever seen, whether on Kickstarter or otherwise.

From the Press Release:
Philadelphia publishing company Locust Moon Comics has announced a crowdfunding campaign to finance the printing of their hotly anticipated  Winsor McCay tribute project LITTLE NEMO: DREAM ANOTHER DREAM. Featuring an almost impossibly star-studded lineup of over one hundred cartoonists and illustrators including Mike Allred, Bill Sienkiewicz, Paul Pope, Peter Bagge, J.H. Williams III, John Cassaday, J.G. Jones, Craig Thompson, Yuko Shimizu, Dean Haspiel, Paolo Rivera, Scott Morse, Denis Kitchen and Carla Speed McNeil, this oversized hardcover anthology is among the most eagerly awaited publications of 2014.  
Described by Mr. Allred as the “book of the decade,” and J.G. Jones as “the most stunningly ambitious comic project I've ever seen,” this unique publication will feature original strips that revisit the characters and universe of McCay's seminal turn-of-the-century Sunday newspaper strip, which remains an unmatched comic creation and one of the most inventive and visually stunning works of American art.  
What began as a fledgling tribute project from a small press publisher quickly took on a life of its own, snowballing into a cause and crusade among comic creators and illustrators, who were excited to pay tribute to one of the true forefathers and founders of their medium. 
To be printed at the full 16”x21” broadsheet size of the original Little Nemo newspaper strips, this collection will celebrate McCay's endless legacy, chart his influence on generations of modern cartoonists, and most of all shine a light back on an artist who has given his art form so much, and whose work should be more widely known.
The creator list is amazing, as the names above are just a small portion of the total. There's also Panel Patter favorites Rafer Roberts, Box Brown, Farel Dalrymple, Nate Powell, Roger Langridge, and Jim Rugg, along with Charles Vess and Cliff Chiang, just to drop some other names.

It's an amazing gathering, and clocks in at 144 pages in hardcover. Locust Moon is looking for $50,000 to fund this one, which is on the high side, but it's definitely doable, especially given the vast number of fans this is going to potentially appeal to, from students of comics history to long-time followers of folks like Allred and Russell to those who value art books.

The structure of the Kickstarter begins with a $5 behind the scenes PDF, followed by an $8 behind the scenes PDF just dedicated to Bill Sienkiewicz. $30 gets you a not-in-the-book print, but if you want the book itself, you're going to need to shell out $100 at the low end. This is not a project for the normal comics fan, which is a shame. It would have been great to see this put closer to cost of an Absolute edition, but I also understand that the production costs and artists involved may not have made that feasible.

I've had the pleasure to see some of these in person, and I cannot begin to describe to you how gorgeous these are. You can tell the artists involved put their A-game together for this one. If you like comic art and can afford to make the $100 plunge, this is a Kickstarter you'll have nightmares about if you miss.