October 20, 2014

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More Rockin' Reprints in Latest Nix Comics Kickstarter

Columbus, Ohio's favorite mixer of music, comics, and horror, Ken Eppstein, is back to work on reprinting two more projects with the help of a pre-order campaign via Kickstarter.

Eppstein, the publisher of Nix Comics, has been using Kickstarter to fund additional publications above and beyond his Nix Quarterly, Nix Western, and Nix Comics for Kids offerings. As with past Kickstarter pre-orders, the projects relate closely to Ken's love of rock n roll, horror, and comics. (For those who don't know, before going into comics publishing, Eppstein ran a music store.)

This time out, the headliner is a collection reptinting Darren Merinuk's Rockin' Bones series. I'm not familiar with it, so I'll go ahead and use Ken's description:
Darren is one of the premier punk, garage and surf artists in the world, who has done 100s of picture sleeves, album jackets and gig posters for bands all over the world.  His Rockin' Bones comics, rife with pin-up girls, monsters and greasy rock idols are inspired by inspired by Cramps records, b-movies and teenage humor mags, are a lost gem of the 90s B&W comic explosion. 
That's definitely in the same vibe as Ken's own comics writing work in Nix, making it a good companion piece. The art samples he's shared look amazing, too--right in that neo-EC Comics style where the creator understand how to use the tropes of the past and re-mix them for a modern audience. The pages on the Kickstarter campaign show tons of stuff going on in every panel, with an illustration style that's right out of the alt comix scene, from the more detailed side that doesn't go off into the raw territory that leaves me personally cold.

Art from Rockin' Bones 
The trade will be pocket sized and $120 pages. It includes a bit of new material as well from Merinuk as well as his perspective on working in comics.

The opening act is a gathering of Ken's now-defunct webcomic Pander Bear, in which Eppstein, along with artist Bob Ray Starker, expressed their frustration with having to do constant promotion in order to keep their various projects alive. It's something anyone who is involved in promotion can understand, even if you're not a comics creator, as the titular character, a man who dresses as a bear and promotes Nix Comics, goes about trying to shill while keeping a shred or two of dignity left.

Pander Bear is a book and record set, because, well, it's Ken here, and any time he can get music into the mix, he will. There's a two-sided 7 inch, which includes the sure-to-be-a-classic* "I Want You To Want Nix" which parodies a certain popular song while encouraging people to buy Nix instead of the crappy comics they're likely to pick up instead.





Set up as gag strips with a punchline, Pander Bear should be fun reading, if you are at all cynical. Lord knows I am, so I get the jokes immediately.

Art from Pander Bear
Assuming listening to the song didn't scare you away from Ken (or this site) for life, the reward tiers start at "pay what you want" for digital PDFs (and I am glad to see that Eppstein is using this strategy which has worked for other Kickstarters I've backed/followed and of course for Ryan Estrada's Whole Story outings) to a $25 combo for both books, which are also available individually.

Higher tiers include getting your very own Pander Bear, posters, original art, and a near-complete run of Nix Comics's line, including the Westerns and Quarterlies.

I've read Nix's publishing line for several years now, both the work where Ken is the main writer and his side projects such as this one where he's selecting other projects to bring back into the public eye. They're always of high quality and those who like music and comics will find Nix's material right up their alley.

This looks to be yet another chapter in the book of Nix, and well worth spending a few dollars on, if you are a horror-music-comics kinda person. Given you can "sample" for only $1, there's very little risk for what I predict will be a very high reward.

You can back the Nix Comics "Rockin' Bones vs. Pander Bear" Kickstater here.

*hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. Ahem.