To Back, Or Not To Back
I really like comics… But I also have a serious problem with them (it’s me, not the comics).
Sooooo… I will wait until I have the entire set of a comic, before I read any of it. Yes, I am aware that this is like the dumbest thing. I know this, my husband definitely knows this (and hates it). It’s the collector mentality in me; I don’t want to read them until my collection is complete *insert maniacal laugh here*. Luckily, I tend to prefer comic series that are on the shorter side. I find that indie comic series tend to be a lot shorter, which makes them easier to collect, and honestly, I think they have better stories too.
My favorite comic series is Buffy the Vampire Slayer published by Dark Horse. I loved the show, like a lot, and I love the comics too. I think it is great that they were able to create a continuation of the series through this medium. I have collected full sets of seasons 8 & 9, and I am working on season 10 now. I also have books and one-shots from the series, not to mention full sets of the Angel & Faith spin-off. Clearly, I have an obsession.
And yes, that is a Hermione lamp in the picture.
My Buffy comics are not all that I have either. I have 4 boxes filled to the brim with other indie series. From The Amory Wars to Wytches, I have almost an entire alphabets worth of comics. I have monthly subscriptions at Coliseum of Comics, and ever year for my birthday, I buy comics or manga from Things From Another World (they have amazing comic grab bags).
In between those are the comics I back on Kickstarter. What I like most about collecting comics this way, is that most of them are one-shots, anthologies, or full books. With these, I don’t have to worry about getting the full collection, so I get to read and enjoy them a lot sooner. Plus, I usually back these at a pretty high level, because of all the neat stuff they come with. In my Tuesday spotlight I featured Chester 5000: Isabelle and George; I backed that at the everything level. I had read the whole comic already, but I had a chance to get book one and two, signed and hardbound, for my personal collection, along with a bunch of other goodies. It was pretty hard to pass up.
As for No Holds Bard, I backed that at a high level as well. Let me just say, that it was totally worth it. Besides, there was no way I was going pass up a comic featuring Shakespeare as a masked, crime-fighting hero.
No Holds Bard presents Absurd Pomp, is the story of a hero and his sidekick, working together to solve the crime of Queen Elizabeth’s abduction. Our hero, The Bard, is none other than William Shakespeare in disguise. His sidekick, The Page, is just that, a page. If I were to describe this, I would say it is very much 1960’s TV Batman meets a Shakespearean comedy.
The entire thing is written in iambic pentameter (well mostly), which was Shakespeare’s signature style for his plays and sonnets. Like a play, the comic is broken up into acts, each drawn by a different artist:
- Act I- Erica Henderson
- Act II- Logan Faerber
- Act III- Cara McGee
- Act IV- James Callahan
- Act V- Aaron Conley & Jean-Francois Beaulieu
- The cover- Dave kloc
The back of the book also includes Pin-ups by: Bobby Rubio, Ashlyn Anstee, and Sina Grace.
I absolutely loved seeing how each artist chose to portray the heroic duo.
Reading work by Shakespeare can sometimes be very daunting. The language is old school and more difficult to understand, so it can often be a real pain in the ass to get through. Even though this comic is written in a similar style, Eric Gladstone does a great job leaving the difficulty of Shakespearean works at the door, while still maintaining that super Shakespearean feel. The story is funny and out there. The villain of the story is another famous figure (no spoilers), who the bard defeats with bacon grease and a bear. Don’t ask, you just have to read it for yourself.
The Campaign- December 2015
The No Holds Bard campaign began December 4, 2015 and concluded on January 9, 2016. The goal of the campaign was $10,000 and they managed to rake in just over 14.5k to fund the project.
Unlike Kickstarter campaigns for games, it is rare for there to be any stretch goals for a comic campaign. They generally require less to finance, and unlike games, there aren’t usually any pieces that need upgrading. However, this doesn’t seem to stop these campaigns from offering a large amount of awesome perks and swag.
I backed this project at the $80 Finery Combo level. This level included:
- A t-shirt featuring the cover art
- A lithograph of either the cover art, or one of the three pin-ups
- A custom Domino mask
- My name in the back of the book
- Hard copy of the comic
- Digital copy of the comic
- The Dynamic Duo Companion EP
- A PDF of a printable activity book
- And ringtones
The quality of everything received was just fantastic. The comic came bagged and boarded, which was a huge plus. I generally bag and board stuff myself, but it’s always nice when I don’t have to. The shirt is 100% preshrunk cotton and it fits perfectly. The mask is beautiful and hand crafted by the talented hands at Chicago Costume. For the lithograph, I ended up going with the Bobby Rubio print, and it came out great. I can’t wait to get it framed and hung up. I’m still trying to figure out where to put my stickers. I have some from a different campaign, that I still don’t have a home for. I wish I had a picture of the activity book; it was really well done and a lot of fun to complete and color. All of the digital perks turned out great too. I am especially fond of the wallpapers and the companion EP.
Overall, I am incredibly impressed with everything I received from backing this campaign. The comic is funny, witty, and just plain cool. I’m excited to see if they make a sequel. They allude to it in the back of the comic, so we shall see what happens. If you’d like to learn more about the creator, the artists and the story, you can check out the website here. You can even grab your owned signed copy there as well.
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