More love for Kill All Monsters

A couple of the biggest supporters of Kill All Monsters are James Biggie and Frankie B. Washington, creators of the amazing, kaiju-themed webcomic Robot God Akamatsu. You may remember the awesome print James created for us (which is one of the Kickstarter reward levels, just sayin’) and be forgiven for thinking that he’s the artist on RGA. As talented a visual artist as he is though, James actually writes the webcomic and Frankie draws it. And now Frankie’s done his own, stunning version of what an RGA/KAM crossover (A-KAM-atsu!) would look like. Check out RGA and also be sure to like their Facebook page, a one-stop shop for keeping up with giant monsters and robots news.

A few more people have been nice enough to mention the Kickstarter, including Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter, the folks behind the Outré anthology, and Crimson Engine, so thanks to all of those people.

There’ve also been some more reviews, starting with my Robot 6 compadre Corey Blake talking about KAM in our What Are You Reading? feature. “After the novelty buzz of the concept wears off,” he writes, “you’re actually left with a world and people that you want to spend time with and learn more about. There’s some mystery, some intrigue, some questioned motives, some social commentary, all lightly peppered throughout to keep the story chugging along even while the oversized slugfest takes a break.”

My pal Siskoid at the indispensable Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery also had an advance look at KAM and praises the team’s diversity (something very important to me) as well as Jason’s loose style. “The material (robots) might have called for very technical drawings, but Copland’s work has a sketchiness to it that trades technical accuracy for energy, which I think is really the way to go.” Jason had been wanting to loosen up his style for a while and debated about whether or not Kill All Monsters was the time to do that, but I totally agree with him and Siskoid about its being perfect for this series. It gives everything a grittiness that makes the world real.

The last review was from David Goodman at Geekadelphia. He wasn’t familiar with KAM until he heard about it on Twitter, so it’s fun to hear from someone who’s coming at it totally new. “Yes, a few pages in I had distinct visions of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and wasn’t sure what I had gotten into. But once I really got into the tale May and Copland were telling, you realize that Kill All Monsters is science fiction storytelling at it’s best. You have robots the size of buildings beating the snot out of giant monsters in what’s left of Paris, while at the same time you get to experience a very human story of survival. Add in a conspiracy theory or two, some tensions among the pilots and dynamic art that is just a joy to look at and you have a prime example of why webcomics are so great.”

Thanks to Corey, Siskoid, and David for the very nice comments!

Finally, a couple of interviews: Russ Burlingame from ComicBook.Com interviewed Jason about the comic, Kickstarter, Jason’s influences…lots of stuff. It’s a great, comprehensive interview and I even learned some new things about Jason myself.

And I got to talk to my friend and colleague Tim O’Shea for his “Talking Comics with Tim” column at Robot 6. Everyone at Robot 6 feels weird when we talk about Kill All Monsters – and no one more than me – so it’s especially nice of Tim to go for it anyway. Check it out; Tim always asks fun and interesting  questions.

Review (and Interview and Mention) All Monsters

A bunch of reviews have been coming in for the book. My pal Ken hadn’t read the entire first volume yet when he wrote this post for That F’ing Monkey about KAM‘s being in Previews, but he’s one of our biggest supporters and says about the part that’s appeared online: “The story is full of that fun team dynamic. For some reason it reminds me of the adventure groups in a good table top RPG. [...] Jason Copland’s art is beyond words. The organic design of the beasts is offset by the mechanical battle suits. His line work is so clean and precise that you’ll spend time just taking in all the details.”

Kris at Deeply Dapper also likes the book and calls it “only the bestest comic book ever.”

CT at Nerd Lunch has a super-nice review and writes, “While May has done a great job at setting that scope, fleshing out the characters, and delivering the dialog, Copland balances that with dynamic, two-tone art. It’s got a grittiness to it that is needed, but still clean enough to be able to tell what’s going on. The action scenes come across well and Copland is able to display the weight needed to show these are behemoths battling over the city.” He also draws a comparison to Thundarr the Barbarian, an influence I hadn’t consciously been thinking about, but absolutely affects the world. I loved that show so much as a kid and recently revisited it with my son, so there’s no doubt that that’s in there from a world-building perspective.

Comic Bastards has a nice, thoughtful review that’s complimentary while not completely so (which is perfectly fair). Some of the fights ran a little long for their taste and I get the feeling they would have liked some added emphasis on the monsters, but they seem to like the human characters and the robots and the way that the Kill Team’s machinery isn’t perfect. And of course the art. Overall, it’s a very positive review and I’m thrilled to get it. I do want to respond to the criticisms – not to defend against them, but just because acknowledging them in more detail will help solidify some of the lessons I learned from writing KAM – but this post is already long enough, so I’ll do that later.

And finally (for now), the Great and Powerful Cal at the Canadian Cave of Cool wrote a fantastic review that proves he and I were separated at birth by praising the things I’m most proud of about the story. He loves the art too of course, but it thrills my heart to read his appreciation of the world-building, the mystery, and how the story doesn’t explain every single thing.

While it’s not technically a review, SF Signal was nice enough to mention the Kill All Monsters Kickstarter in their Crowd Funding Roundup and call KAM a “kickass webcomic.” Ken also wrote another wonderful post about the Kickstarter for That F’ing Monkey.

As I’m writing this, the current Kickstarter total is closing in on $10,000, due to folks helping to spread the word like that. I’m in shock, to be perfectly honest. Thank you again so much to all of you who’ve shown support either through pledges or just by telling people. Jason and I are amazed and humbled.

And thank you to all the folks above who reviewed the book.

One last bit of KAM-related information: I noticed that the UK comics retailer Forbidden Planet has Kill All Monsters available for online order. I have no idea what that means exactly for our order numbers, but it’s a great sign.

Kickstart All Monsters!

Yesterday, Jason and I launched the Kickstarter campaign for the print edition of Kill All Monsters, Volume 1: Ruins of Paris. It was a crazy, wonderful day and beyond our wildest expectations the support came through and we reached our goal in about twelve-and-a-half hours. We cannot possibly express our gratitude toward all who’ve pledged so far, but we hope that the books, T-shirts, and prints at the various pledge levels will help a little.

We mainly used Twitter and Facebook to get the word out in Day 1, but we were helped a lot by Kickstarter’s making us a Staff Pick and I’m sure by getting mentioned on the MTV Geek blog. That was an amazing surprise and many thanks to Charles Webb for writing about us. I sent out press releases yesterday, so hopefully we’ll see some other sites covering it soon as well.

As awesome as that is, we can still use more help. The more we raise, the bigger our print run can be and the better shape we’ll be in as we head into production on Volume 2. We’d love for you to pledge if you can, but even if that’s not possible right now, we’d love it so much if you could just help us continue to spread the word. I really believe in this book. I think it’s a cool story, but if nothing else, Jason’s art is absolutely gorgeous. I want as many people to know about it as possible.

Thanks!

Kill All Monsters is available for pre-order!

That there is page 244 from the April issue of the Previews catalog. Looks like something exciting might be coming to comics stores in June.

I say “might be” because for that to happen, shops have to order it. As exciting as it is that Kill All Monsters, Volume 1 is in the catalog, that really doesn’t mean anything unless the stores order. Jason and I are doing our best to get the word out, but nothing tells a retailer that they should stock a comic like customers coming in and telling them they want it.

If you’d like your very own, printed copy of Kill All Monsters and aren’t able to make it to a convention to buy it from me or Jason directly, please consider pre-ordering it at your comic shop. If they’re like mine, you don’t even have to pay for it until it shows up. But it’ll help your shop to know there’s an interest. It might also help them to know that the item code is STK611039, so feel free to pass that along if it’s convenient.

As another way of spreading the word, I’ve got a PDF version of the entire book that I’d love to send to anyone who’ll promise to review it. Just email me at michaelmay at michaelmay dot us and I’ll make sure you get one.

Thanks, everyone!

Kill All Monsters at Emerald City (and other updates)

Jason is at Emerald City Comicon this weekend and he has Kill All Monsters! ashcans and prints (color and extremely limited edition black-and-white) with him. You can find him and KAM letterer (and awesome writer of his own stuff) Ed Brisson at table F-10 in Artist Alley.

As long as we’re on the subject: if you haven’t Liked the KAM Facebook page yet, you totally should. Whenever we hit a Likes milestone, Jason draws a random name and then draws a KAM picture for that person. The one above is the most recent.

It’s been a long time since we’ve updated you on the comic, so let’s do that, too. I’m currently writing the last chapter, but we’re already deep into plans for the return of KAM. I can’t say much yet about what that’ll be like, but I will say that there will be another print version before we relaunch the digital version. Not another ashcan, but that’s all I’ll say about it for now. We’re way excited.