Saturday, May 26, 2012

Kickstart This Art - May Edition

The Internet can be a dark cave overflowing with trolls spouting hateful bile under the mask of anonymity, but it can also be a wonderful place filled with (sometimes) hilarious cat videos, inventive remixes (and remixes of remixes), and Tumblr accounts rife with the animated gifs of yesteryear. My "Kickstart This Art" column is meant to celebrate one of the cooler things the Internet has to offer those of us who want to not only discover, but ultimately be a part of something innovative and deserving. That's right, I'm talking about Kickstarter. This feature will highlight some of the awesome, at least in my opinion, art-related Kickstarter projects that are currently running and competing for your money. I'm hoping this will become a monthly thing I do, but we all know how dependable and consistent I am. So here goes nothing.

Screen Printing: On the Cheap Book ($10,000 Goal)

The Pitch: A few artist-type folks from Minneapolis want to self-publish a book about screen printing and they need your help. The book will be titled Screen Printing: On the Cheap and promises to be a comprehensive look at how to screen print (on the cheap) at home, something all of us aspiring artist-type folks want to do I imagine.

Why I Love The Idea: If you visit Posterocalypse to read my poster-related rants and reviews, then there's a good chance you like posters. More specifically, there's a good chance you like movie posters. Even more specifically, the odds are quite good that you're a fan of screen printed movie posters. See what I did there? Let's be honest, most of us don't have easy access to a professional screen printing studio and probably won't in the near future, but damn, how cool would it be if you could create your own screen prints at home and give them to your friends on their birthdays (in place of real gifts)? I've got really high hopes for this book.

Bottom Line: I'm for anything that makes screen printing more accessible and less intimidating.

GATHER. A Graphic Novel ($9,000 Goal)

The Pitch: Artist Anton Peck wants to create and publish a graphic novel about a human-like robot and his furry companion on an interplanetary journey in search of answers and adventure. Sounds interesting, right?

Why I Love The Idea: You only need to watch a minute or two of the above video to see how kickass Anton's art is. His story and creature design seem to be one part Atomic Robo, one part A Boy and his Dog (minus all the sexual stuff...I'm guessing), and two parts beautiful ink, paint and digital artistry. Not enough for you? Don't worry, there's more. Besides boasting what looks to be a really gorgeous story, the Gather Kickstarter project is offering some pretty impressive rewards to its backers, coolest of which, at least in my opinion, is that Anton will actually make you a character in the story!

Bottom Line: You can't go wrong with a story about a robot, his creature companion and their surely strange road trip.

Phil Tippett's "MAD GOD" ($40,000 Goal)

The Pitch: Phil Tippett, the visual effects wizard who's worked on a handful of small no-name independent films, including Star Wars (Episodes IV, V, and VI), Dragonslayer, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Robocop, Jurassic Park, and Starship Trooper, is planning to finish an animated short he originally started in 1990. The short in question is titled Mad God. He needs our help to make this a reality, and by "help" I mean money.

Why I Love The Idea: A darkly insane animated film set in a darkly insane animated world following a darkly (and probably) insane animated character wearing what looks to be a rather intense looking gas mask. What's not to love? I'm a huge fan of anything apocalyptic in theme, except maybe a real-life apocalypse (that would be bad), and if seeing is believing, then Mad God appears to fit the bill perfectly. When I initially read the description of what the movie was attempting to accomplish, I was a bit skeptical, but then I watched the video and wow, this short looks like it's going to be absolutely beautiful!

Bottom Line: If you have any love for animation, especially for something mature and experimental, then this is a no brainer.

'Sullivan's Sluggers' Graphic Novel ($6,000 Goal)

The Pitch: Writer Mark Andrew Smith and artist James Stokoe have created a story about a minor league baseball team trying to survive against a town of flesh eating monsters. This comic will only be available to Kickstarter people who choose to support the project.

Why I Love The Idea: Why do I love this idea? Did you even read the pitch?! Baseball teams and flesh eating monsters, that's an absolute no brainer in my opinion! The other reason I'm so into this project? Four words (though one of the words is more of a hyphenated phrase, so it might actually be considered five): James Stokoe's mind-blowing artwork! Seriously, if you haven't already watched the video, do yourself a favor and take a look at what James is capable of. Some of Stokoe's work reminds me of the uber-detailed stuff that Geoff Darrow is known for, but there's also a sense of chaos and a punkish vibe that totally works in the (always popular) minor league versus monster setting. Oh yeah, and the writer is a fellow UCSB Film Studies alumni! Hell yeah!

Bottom Line: Minor league baseball. Monsters. Amazing artwork. That is all, and that's more than enough!

Well, that wraps up my first of hopefully many "Kickstart This Art" columns. What did you think?

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