Thursday, 19 July 2012

Exhibitors - Steve Collier and Japan Comic Aid

Steve Collier writes, "My name is Steve and I founded and run Japan Comic Aid which is a non-profit project creating original comic books which are sold with ALL profits going towards the people and communities of Japan affected by the Great Eastern Earthquake in Japan last year which destroyed millions of lives and wiped whole towns and communities from the face of the Earth. I'm also a writer having already produced two books for the project- The Mystery Boys and Kaiju Steel both of which will be continuing series the first two issues being produced for JCA. The Mystery Boys has almost sold out on it's first print run which is exciting considering we are a relatively unknown startup. Nowhereville is the third book released by the excellent Ken Bastard while three other books are in the works at the moment.

I could not have been happier with the results and The Mystery Boys and Kaiju Steel have been a joy to write and collaborate on with my amazing artists, Andy Clift and Lee Killeen. So much so infact that they will be continuing series with issue 2 of each book in production now. They are full of adventure, action, giant monsters, ancient forest spirits, mystical swords and stunning artwork. (See website and shop for more details- link below). Nowhereville is one of the most impressive pieces of work I have seen in many years!

We have grown significantly in the space of a year going from a Twitter account and email address to having books published with a foreword from Stan Lee (the creator of Spider-man, X-men, Thor, The Hulk etc.), variant covers in the works from Tonci Zonjic (Eisner award nominated for 'Who is Jake Ellis?') and Dan Didio (Co- publisher at DC Comics) buying our books at Kapow! Comic Con  in London -a surreal moment as we signed them for him!

We have a lot of talent on board but to keep the ball rolling we are always looking for more talent to join us. We need bigger 'names' to come aboard to push the project over the edge where we can truly make a difference.

We are an Aylesbury based startup. I live and work a day job in Aylesbury and Dead Universe Comics publishes our books. We have our sights on a global reach however and with an international network of contacts and creators, we are stepping ever closer to achieving that.

The whole project started via social media. I started a Twitter account with an email address and sent countless emails to everyone I could find who were artists, writers and those in the comic book business. We are just over a year old now and the first time  I met the artists in person for the books I write was in May. We launched on May 5th with a Free Comic Book Day Event in Friar's Square shopping centre in Aylesbury hosted by Dead Universe Comics which bought in unprecedented amounts of people to the centre. We then took our project to Kapow! Comic Con in London where we were met with some great feedback and new fans. Social media has continued to be our friend with people coming on board and finding us via our Twitter and Facebook pages. It's how we managed to get some of the people that ordinarily I would have given up hope trying to contact.

We need to keep it going though. All of our titles are available from Dead Universe Comics including The Mystery Boys, Kaiju Steel and Nowhereville and online from our official Facebook page.

We also run a project on Rockethub (like Kickstarter) where we are attempting to raise at least $1000 in 60 days. We need this financial support to make sure that we, as creators, can continue doing this, getting out there to conventions, paying for promo material and printing. We would really appreciate any donations and there are some great incentives to do so including the chance to grab every single comic we have out along with variant covers, a one off art print and a personalised certificate of support. If people would like to support this amazing project then please go here:  This is a chance for philanthropists, businessmen and comic book fans to invest in an amazing project that can really make a difference to the people of NE Japan who have lost everything as well as championing original creative talent and ambition. We realise that times are hard and you can only give what you can and we truly appreciate every donation. 

We plan to be around as long as we can to help with a disaster that will take a decade and billions of Yen to clear up. The scar won't heal for generations to come."



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