Gutter Magic is a self-published comic that found a home at IDW in early 2016, culminating in a four-issue run about the aftermath of a World War II won with magic. You can read our review of the first issue here or check out a seven-page preview of the series here.
After the series wrapped, it was clear that such a well-crafted and meticulously thought out world had more stories to tell about those on the fringes of the main story. Thankfully, the creative team, including Rich Douek and Brett Barkley are back with an anthology series they’re hoping to Kickstart in the Gutter Magic universe.
Not only have they recruited new talent to assist them in bringing more to the world of Gutter Magic, but Douek has written three short stories that delve deeper into old and new characters alike. Along with a digital-only first run, they’re offering Kickstarter exclusives in the form of pinups from some seriously talented artists, plenty of behind-the-scenes process goodies, and more! You can even pick up the entire Gutter Magic series if you haven’t read it yet!
We spoke to Rich about his latest project and what makes Kickstarter the right place for it. See what he had to say about it and be sure to make your pledges! You won’t want to miss out on this unique fantasy series and the quirky characters that inhabit it.
As soon as Gutter Magic wrapped up its miniseries run, I wanted to know more about so many of the characters! What was the motivation behind revisiting this series and expanding upon the universe created?
Even though I’m a little biased as it’s creator, I really love the universe, and feel like I can keep revisiting it for years to come – there are just so many stories I want to tell there. Part of what made that possible was Brett and Jules bringing so much life to the world in the artwork.
When we were creating the book, I told Brett one of the things I wanted was for the city to seem alive with adventure, like there were tons of other stories going on besides the one we were following – he totally delivered, and now it’s time to explore some of those stories!
How did you find and choose the artists for this project? How did you come to the decision to include pinups specifically?
Well, I knew I wanted Brett back, for starters! We had talked about doing more when the series ended, and I know he’s excited to dive back into the world. As for Eryk, I’ve been a huge fan of his for a couple of years now, from his work at Boom! and DC, to his awesome new series at Black Mask with Mags Visaggio, Quantum Teens are Go! – I’ve been wanting to work with him for a while, and a short story seemed like a great opportunity, because the guy is in big demand!
As far as the Pinups go, I’ve met so, so many talented and friendly artists over the years that I’ve wanted to work with, but it’s so hard to line up schedules that I started to look for ways to get people involved that wouldn’t be too much of a drain on their time. Pinups seemed like a natural fit. When I started reaching out, I was completely humbled by how many people were happy and excited to contribute. It feels really amazing to have the support of so many talented folks.
It was also great to see so many riffs on Brett’s character designs. The fact that they hold up over such a wide range of styles is, for me, a testament to how strongly they’re designed and how much work he put into them.
Can you explain what made Kickstarter the right choice for this project? Have you ever run a Kickstarter campaign before and what preparation did you do?
Kickstarter was a great fit for this because what I wanted to do with this project isn’t necessarily a model that works well with a traditional publisher. It’s a bunch of short stories, so it reads more like an anthology than a traditional series or ongoing.
Gutter Magic also has a really great community of fans, and it seemed like a great opportunity to get everyone working together to make more of a book they loved.
As a digital-only run, will the Kickstarter rewards be made available to people who missed out on pledging during the campaign? Are there any Kickstarter-exclusive rewards?
We’ll look into more traditional publishing routes once the campaign is over, whether that’s making it available on sites like ComiXology or just selling it direct remains to be seen.
But I can tell you that backers will get first access to the book way before it shows up anywhere else, and there are plenty of rewards available only through the Kickstarter, like the scripts, audio commentary, and creator related rewards like professional script reviews, and mentoring or Comics Experience courses for aspiring creators.
If the Kickstarter campaign goes well, is there potential to see even more from the world of Gutter Magic in the future?
Oh yes. If this campaign is successful, we have plans to keep going with more mini-anthologies like this one, and if we have a string of successful ones, when we have enough content we’ll look into putting together a really nice print edition or hardcover collection. And then there’s always our plans for a proper volume 2, continuing Cinder’s story directly… but let’s save that for another time 🙂