Digital Potpourri 7/17

Here’s a TeleRead headline that caught my eye: “Kickstarter becomes fourth biggest publisher of graphic novels“. In March, I briefly explained that Kickstarter is a crowdsourcing website that start-ups use to get funding for products before they’re made. Those products can be anything, but most seem to fall under the geek/tech umbrella that includes video games, board games, webcomics (Penny Arcade is running one right now) and, yes, comic books. That Kickstarter has become the fourth biggest publisher of graphic novels is significant because their sales are directly related to consumer interest. People are pledging money to a product that does not yet exist. They are purchasing a concept. If you consider that there is no real risk involved for the creator or for Kickstarter, because they’ve already covered their overhead before the product has even begun production, the pure genius that is Kickstarter is revealed. I digress… what I’m trying to point out to you is that the popularity of sequential art is on an upwards trajectory, and that Kickstarter is a great barometer to gauge it.

I’ve been a comic geek since the mid-80’s when my dad brought me a Captain America comic upon returning from a business trip. I was immediately hooked, and after the 30th read-through, my mind was blown when it was pointed out I could probably obtain other comics as well! Hey, I never claimed to be a rocket surgeon. Long story short, I have way too many comics now. Story-telling through sequential art speaks to me, even as an adult. Comics, graphic novels, and story books are often thought of as a children’s medium, which makes sense if you think about it, but I think what we’re learning from these Kickstarter campaigns is that it doesn’t have to stop at childhood, or even early childhood. There are a lot of great sequential art books for readers of all ages, and I personally feel no library is complete without a substantial collection of graphic novels.

Here are some links to a couple of promising Kickstarter comic projects. Check them out!
Curiosities: An Illustrated History of Ancestral Oddity
The Silver Cord — A Techno-Epic Graphic Novel
Now I will shamelessly plug Lerner’s Graphic Universe imprint, which has a wide variety of graphic novels for kids of all ages. Many of the titles have an educational slant, and all of them are high quality. I am nearly finished with The Girl Who Owned a City, and I dig it. Browse our titles here.

Other internet shenanigans for this week:

Maker Camp is a great way to keep kids occupied (and learning!) during the summer.