Some great news: Dash Shaw and his producing and creative partners for their in-development animated feature film The Ruined Cast have hit the fundraising goal they set for themselves on Kickstarter with several days remaining before the deadline! There's still time to contribute: "Exceeding our goal will allow us to go even deeper into the dark pre-production and production phases — create even more backgrounds, maybe even cast and record all of the dialogue for the film. We will put any funds raised to good and thrifty use." Plus you'll get in on the pledge incentives, which include postcards, prints, or being drawn into the movie.
• Interview: The L.A. Times Hero Complex blog's Noelene Clark talks to Carol Tyler about her L.A. Times Book Prize-nominated You'll Never Know, Book 2: Collateral Damage: "I had to read a lot of war books and Army accounts and talk to veterans and talk to Marines and everybody about what this thing is. Because it’s kind of aside from our culture. It’s not the dominant thing in our culture, so unless you know somebody in the Army that’s been there, it’s not something you’re going to come across. It’s a very nuanced, very difficult thing. It’s often stereotyped. So I was surprised to find the great humanity, the great story inside war service, whether you’re a World War II veteran or any other wars."
• Interview: At the L.A. Times Hero Complex blog, Noelene Clark also talks to Dash Shaw: "I started making comics really early. My dad had comics lying around the house. I’ve always made comics. I feel like I know a lot about comic history because it’s been my primary interest my whole life, from Marvel and superhero comics to Japanese comics to Franco-Belgian comics. I kind of have this psycho interest in comics from all over, so I feel very much like a cartooonist, and I feel really proud to be on the same shelf as all of that other stuff…."
• Laura Park has been busy drawing spot illos for an 826 Chicago project (like Joey & Johnny Ramone buying $20 worth of Brussels sprouts, above) and rescuing cats with fellow cartoonist Julia Wertz — it's all documented on her Flickr page
• Review: At Comix Cube Kevin Czap praises Steven Weissman's "Barack Hussein Obama" (seen here on our website and in Mome Vol. 21): "It actually reminds me of Wally Gropius in terms of the structure, which is not surprising given its appearance in MOME. One can only hope that the whole thing will get collected, at which point I predict it to be one of my favorite comics ever." (Via The Comics Reporter)
• Review: We almost missed this cartoon review by Casey Scieszka and Steven Weinberg at Unshelved Book Club: "…The Last Musketeer… is the epitome of everything we love about Jason: stunning color palette, insane and absurd plot, humor that sneaks up on you, his signature anthropomorphized animals, and surprisingly serious themes of authority, humanity, death, love, jealousy…"
• Profile: At Examiner.com, Gillian Gaar talks to editor/EMP curator Jacob McMurray about Taking Punk to the Masses: From Nowhere to Nevermind: "The book, as its title suggests, views Nirvana’s success as the culmination of the alternative rock scene that blossomed in America during the 1980s. 'That’s the bigger context in the exhibition as well,' McMurray explains. 'It is the story of Nirvana, but it's couched within what was happening throughout the Northwest, and throughout the US, from the rise of punk rock on. It’s the idea that there needs to be a sort of infrastructure in place for a band like Nirvana to even exist; that without all of these advances that had been happening in the underground by a dozen different bands, Nirvana would have never happened.'"
• Interview:Comic Book Resources' Chris Mautner talks to Gilbert Hernandez about Love from the Shadows and the other "Fritz B-Movie" books: "The Fritz series frees me of any obligation to be a do-gooder cartoonist, something most regular L&R readers probably don't want to hear. I felt straight jacketed with 'Palomar' and the like after a while, really. I have a lot more going on in my imagination than I'm expected to utilize." Further reading: at CBR's Robot 6 blog, Sean T. Collins comments on the interview
• Feature: At the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures blog, Best American Comics series co-editors Jessica Abel & Matt Madden spotlight two stories from Mome Vol. 13 as 2010 Notable Comics: Abel picks Dash Shaw's "Satellite CMYK" — "Dash Shaw just keeps popping up in our 'can’t miss' pile. [...] Beyond being a good story, the formal element of using color (and black and white) as a storytelling tool is very unusual and makes this work a standout." — and Madden picks Josh Simmons's "Jesus Christ": "The storytelling is fluid and dynamic, and Simmons’s ability to convey the enormity of the monster is bracing. Simmons deliberately mixes elements from different mythologies to defy any obvious reading. In the end, all we have before us is this escstatic Kali-Godzilla-Centaur with a halo of fire and a title to provoke us."
You can help Dash Shaw make his animated feature film The Ruined Cast and receive some great pledge gifts (including having your likeness drawn as an "extra" and having a private movie screening with co-producer/filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell if you're a richie-pants) by contributing funds via Kickstarter. Why does Dash need to raise money this way? So he can raise more money. He explains:
"We’re raising the resources to get the project in its best shape to present to production financiers. We’re making a movie that's difficult to compare to another, so the burden of proof is on us to illustrate it first. This takes funding for materials, production space and labor. We’ll be able to acquire the equipment and supplies to start creating elements of the film. As the teaser suggests, the movie will be painstakingly animated by hand — it requires paints for backgrounds, lots and lots of paper, lots of pens, scanners, and cameras to capture 'live' paintings. Your contributions will allow us to lay the groundwork to bring this to life."
Co-producer Howard Gertler says "Whether or not you can contribute, Dash, John, [co-producer] Biljana [Labovic] and I would love for you just to get to know the project better — it's only the beginning of the journey for a visionary film that's been a joy and honor to be working on." The video teaser and much more information can be seen on the Kickstarter page.