Interview with Kel McDonald about Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Africa Edition

I'm very pleased today to share an e-mail interview I conducted with Kel McDonald, the well-established webcomics creator of Sorcery 101 and other online projects. She also organized and edited Cautionary Tales and Fairytales, a book that I really enjoyed but didn't get a chance to review.

McDonald is back to Kickstarter to fund a second volume of stories with their basis in myth, this time focused on the legends of Africa. She's got rising star Faith Erin Hicks and Crogan's Vengeance creator Chris Schweiser along for the ride, along with a solid roster of other creators. I took some time to ask Kel about her past, the project itself, and her future plans.

If you like what you see, you can fund the Kickstarter here.

As a disclosure, I am a backer of the Kickstarter. Now let's get to the questions!

Panel Patter: In your own words, describe the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Africa Edition project for readers?

McDonald: Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Africa Edition is a kid friendly collection of African folk tales adapted into comics.

Panel Patter: What makes this project special, something folks should help Kickstart?

McDonald: This is going to not only fund the projects but also pay each artist for their time.

Panel Patter: For those who don't know you, tell them a little bit about your own creative history.

McDonald: I have spent most of my time in comics doing my webcomic Sorcery 101. I've since done some shorts for Dark Horse Presents. And two years ago I put together the first Cautionary Fables and Fairytales which is European stories.

Panel Patter: Can you talk a bit about the creators involved in this project? Who are they and what have they done before?

McDonald: Faith Erin Hicks has drawn the Last of Us comic and Friends with Boys most recently. Jose Pimenta has worked with me on a book From Scratch which is on my Sorcery 101 site and did A Friendly Game for SLG.  Mary Cagle has done colors for Amulet and has her own webcomic Kiwi Blitz. Shazzbaa drew the As We Were story on my Sorcery 101 site and has her own webcomic Runewriters. Kate Ashwin does a lovely webcomic Widdershins. Nicole Chartrand does a webcomic Feywinds.

Meredith McClaren drew Hopeless Savages and back up stories for the Adventure Time graphic novels. She also does a webcomic called Hinges. Jarret WIlliams does a fantastic pro wrestling comic for Oni called SuperPro KO. Nina Matsumoto regularly works on the Simpsons comics. Chris Schweiser is the creator of the Crogan's Adventure series.

Panel Patter: How do you pick people to work with on the anthology?

McDonald: I just pick artists I like. I emailed them and explained the whole project.

Panel Patter: This is not your first time working on an anthology. In fact, this a sequel of sorts. What inspires you to put these together?

McDonald: The first one I discovered that several of my friends were interested in doing a fairytale adaptation. They just wanted an excuse to put it aside other work. After finishing the first book successfully, I thought abut how to follow it up. The plan is to eventually have one book for each continent.

Panel Patter: I'm looking forward to the one for Antarctica, especially if it debuts during a hot summer! You've been extremely successful using Kickstarter. Not all projects fund, but I believe you have a perfect record so far. Why do you think you're so good at using Kickstarter?

McDonald: I did a webcomic for 8 years so I kinda have a built in fan base already.

Panel Patter: Any tips for someone looking to start their own Kickstarter soon?

McDonald: I think mostly you have to build your fan base and have a presences online before you go to Kickstarter. That will definitely help your success.

Panel Patter: Unlike some other Kickstarters, your project's stretch goals all involve paying the creators involved more. Why did you do that?

McDonald: Well because getting the word out about anthologies is a team effort. We are all pooling our fanbases so it only makes sense that everyone involved should get some extra after the goal is met.

Panel Patter: Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Africa Edition fully funds and get released. What's next for you?

McDonald: Next year I plan to fund a collection of my webcomic Sorcery 101. Then in 2015 I'll fund Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: Asia Edition.

Panel Patter. Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Kel! Good luck with your Kickstarter and webcomics work.

If you want to help fund Cautionary Fables and Fairytales: Africa Edition, click here. $5 gets you a PDF and $20 gets you a hard copy of the anthology.