“OCCUPY COMICS: Art + Stories Inspired by Occupy Wall Street”
launches on Kickstarter with huge roster of comics pro talent

- Activism-inspired charity anthology intends to fundraise for protests while simultaneously creating art around the movement’s themes -

Occupy Comics
went live on Kickstarter today, launching a comics campaign to support the Occupy movement artistically and financially. The 30-day Kickstarter effort seeks to raise money for the Occupy Wall Street protesters by funding the creation of a hardbound, deluxe, collectible anthology book that compiles new art and stories by comics pros inspired by the movement. Beyond actual hard costs (which will be kept as low and transparent as possible) all funds raised through Kickstarter and all revenue generated by the book will be donated to support the movement.

This is the first project of its kind to bring together artists and writers inspired to create change by making art together and utilizing that art to financially support a social protest movement in an organized, sustainable way.

The starting roster of artists and writers includes:
(in alphabetical order)
Charlie Adlard (The Walking Dead)
Marc Andreyko (Manhunter)
Susie Cagle (Notes on Conflict, arrested at Occupy Oakland)
Kevin Colden (I Rule the Night, Grimm’s Fairy Tales)
Molly Crabapple (Dr. Sketchy’s)
Tyler Crook (Petrograd, B.P.R.D.)
J.M. DeMatteis (Justice League, Spider-Man, Imaginalis)
Joshua Dysart (Swamp Thing, The Unknown Soldier)
Zoetica Ebb (Biorequiem.com)
Joshua Hale Fialkov (I Vampire, Tumor)
Brea Grant (We Will Bury You, Suicide Girls)
Zane Grant (We Will Bury You, Suicide Girls)
Joe Keatinge (Hell Yeah, Glory, Brutal)
Ales Kot (upcoming projects w/ Image Comics & DC Ent)
George Krstic (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Megas XLR)
Joseph Michael Linsner (Dawn)
Patrick Meaney (Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods)
Mark L. Miller (Luna, Nanny & Hank)
Caleb Monroe (Batman: Fearless, Hunter’s Fortune)
B. Clay Moore (Hawaiian Dick, Superman Confidential)
Jerem Morrow (Drive-In Horrorshow, Kingdom Suicide)
Amancay Nahuelpan-Bustamante (Hijos de P)
Steve Niles (30 Days of Night, Batman: Gotham County Line)
Laurie Penny (Penny Red)
Matt Pizzolo (Godkiller)
Steve Rolston (Ghost Projekt, Queen & Country)
Riley Rossmo (Proof, Cowboy Ninja Viking)
Douglas Rushkoff (Testament, media theorist)
Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash, Witchblade)
Simon Spurrier (2000 AD, X-Men: Curse of the Mutants)
Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night, Fell)
Ronald Wimberly (MF GRIMM: Sentences)

[Description of the book from Kickstarter page]
This book is intended to be a time capsule of the passions and emotions driving the movement. We are comic book & graphic novel artists and writers who’ve been inspired by the movement and hope to tell the stories of the people who are out there putting themselves at risk for an idea. What is that idea? Most of the media will tell you the idea is a vague and befuddled mess, but movements don’t coalesce around vague, befuddled messes. We hope that through the medium of comics we can share some of the ideas and experiences driving this movement.

Organizer Matt Pizzolo has posted a blueprint of the fundraising strategy here
http://occupycomics.com/2011/10/11/the-blueprint/

“The idea occurred to me in the first weeks of Occupy Wall Street and it seemed like New York Comic Con would be a great opportunity to expose the protest movement to 100,000 idealistic young people,” explained Pizzolo. “But before NYCC happened, the media coverage turned from blackout to circus so exposure was no longer an issue. We decided it would be better to fundraise and help sustain the movement directly… even if that just means winter coats and port-a-potties.

“I was surprised how many comics creators jumped at the chance to participate when I first started mentioning it. The conversations being generated by Occupy Wall Street transcend politics… I think this is compelling material for comics because it’s about fairness and justice and integrity. It’s not about politics. Regular people are out there putting themselves at risk for an idea.

“Some folks question if the movement needs money, but it certainly needs basic necessities to last through winter. Also, it seems that both sides in DC and partisan media are seeking to impose a partisan paradigm on the movement… the best way to keep things indie is by having sustainable, truly grassroots funding.”

Logistical support for the project is being provided by Pizzolo’s indie film & comics studio Halo-8 Entertainment, though Occupy Comics is not officially a Halo-8 production and Halo-8 will receive no profits from it… in fact, ideally revenue won’t even flow through Halo-8.

“I’m hyper aware of the need to keep things transparent,” said Pizzolo. “Halo-8 is only lending support because it can, but ideally third-party accounts will send all revenue directly to the fund–and I’d love for an indie publisher to step in. I don’t want this getting muddy and the more checks & balances the better. The idea is to keep hard costs as low as physically possible and all other revenue goes directly to the protesters.”

Occupy Comics will debut as a rolling series of digital comics in early 2012, followed by limited edition paper comics, and then compiled into a hardbound, deluxe, collectible anthology book late in 2012.

To learn more, visit www.occupycomics.com

To support the project, visit
www.kickstarter.com/projects/1817933359/occupy-comics-art-stories-inspired-by-occupy-wall

FAQ from the Occupy Comics Kickstarter page:

What is OCCUPY COMICS and what makes it so special?

Unless you’re living under a rock, you’ve heard about the Occupy Wall Street movement that has spread across the country and around the world. We believe this is an incredibly unique movement that transcends the usual partisan gridlock and could have a profound affect on all our futures. Even if it dissolves completely, it has changed the conversation in the country and around the world in a way that deserves to be remembered.

Ok, but what’s this book?

This book is intended to be a time capsule of the passions and emotions driving the movement. We are comic book & graphic novel artists and writers who’ve been inspired by the movement and hope to tell the stories of the people who are out there putting themselves at risk for an idea. What is that idea? Most of the media will tell you the idea is a vague and befuddled mess, but movements don’t coalesce around vague, befuddled messes. We hope that through the medium of comics we can share some of the ideas and experiences driving this movement.

Does it actually support the protest movement?

YES! This isn’t *just* about art and time capsules, it’s also about direct action.

All of the writers, artists, business executives, and the publisher are being paid to produce this book… and they ALL are donating 100% of their revenue (not profits, but ALL monies they receive) to the occupiers. They want to support the movement through the winter by providing warm clothes, heaters and bathrooms if possible, and other amenities. For a more detailed breakdown on how the money will flow from pledges to production of the book to the protesters, visit www.occupycomics.com and check out the blueprint.

So what’s the plan exactly?

By funding this project on Kickstarter, we can pay all the creators and executives upfront. They’re pros so if they get paid, they deliver… but it will take a long time–months, at least.

However, the creators and executives will immediately be donating their payments to the protests… so even though the book won’t be done until mid to late 2012, the creators and executives will be able to donate to the protesters during Fall 2011–when the movement needs the $$ most.

Deliveries will start flowing in from the creators throughout 2012, so as they come in we’ll compile them into ongoing digital comics and limited edition print comics. Backers receive these as part of their pledges, but they will also be sold and all revenue from those sales will also flow to the protesters.

When all the art and stories are delivered, we will collect the entire opus into a limited edition anthology. Again, many of these anthologies will go direct to backers of the project and any revenue from sale of the anthology will flow to the protesters.

What if the Occupy Movement dissolves before all the money is spent?

Since the money is all being paid to the creators and executives and they are all agreeing to donate their payments to the Occupy protesters, they will have to make their own decisions of what to do with the money in the event the Occupy Movement dissolves before they can donate. Hopefully everyone will allocate their shares in a way that retains the spirit of the project, but we can’t guarantee that.

Why should I pledge for this project?

There are many reasons to pledge for this project. It’s the first project of its kind to bring together artists and writers inspired to create change by creating art together and utilizing that art to financially support a social protest movement. But maybe you don’t care about that… it’ll still be an awesome comic anthology by some of your favorite artists and writers. And even if you don’t care, maybe the Occupy movement will make history and you can take credit for supporting it decades from now. Who knows?

[about the video: music by Atari Teenage Riot ("Black Flags" instr.), protester portrait by Molly Crabapple, "We Are All In This Together" by Molly Crabapple & John Leavitt, "Occupy Comics" by Anna Wieszczyk featuring Soledad from Godkiller, video edited by Matt Pizzolo.]