The PopCult Bookshelf

10888548_770988572980842_4775077546143159168_nOne of the most pleasant surprises in the comics industry in 2014 was the rise of the Charlton Neo movement. Starting as a Facebook group, then evolving into one comic book, and now a series of new titles, Charlton Neo is the most fun thing happening in comics right now. The Charlton Arrow made my top five list last year.

The mainstays of the movement, Fester Faceplant, Mort Todd, Paul Kupperberg and Roger McKenzie, are all industry veterans who have donated a lot of time to the effort. Now, with critical acclaim and a bevy of exciting new projects on the horizon, they are turning to a new crowd-funding platform to help boost Charlton Neo projects to the next level.

Earlier this week, Mort Todd posted the following on the Charlton Arrow Facebook page:

Become a patron of the Comic Arts! Donate and get free Charlton Arrows (print and digital), other comics, art prints and T-shirts with the goal of actually paying our creators!

What a year it’s been! From the fevered brain of Fester Faceplant (aka Mark), The Charlton Arrow has festered (pun!) from a Facebook Charlton fan page to a full-fledged funny book series. The love of Charlton has brought many well-known creators to its pages as well as some fantastic new talent culled from this FB page! It couldn’t have happened without all you guys, your contributions and support. In one year, we put out three issues of the Arrow (and yes, some may still be waiting for the third, but not for long) and we have three more titles coming up to bat: Charlton Arrow #4, Charlton Wild Frontier and Paul Kupperberg’s Secret Romances.

As gratifying as the year has been, it’s also had some personal tumult. A family situation had me away for months while still producing comics in very spare time, and anyone remember when my stock of Arrows got flooded and I had to do another run out of pocket? Ugh! I sure do!

We’ve been doing the books at a loss for the fun of it, but there’s gotta be a better way! Roger clued me into the Patreon website, which I’ve jumped into with both flat feet first! It’s like Kickstarter, but instead of singular projects seeking a goal, this site has monthly donations with rewards to the patrons. There are some web comic creators pulling in a few thousand a month for their creations, so I figure a semi-legit outfit like ours ought be good for something!

The primary goal, beyond getting more of our comics out there, is to be able to give our creators an actual page rate for their work! Can you imagine? Until now, all our creators, even the most famous ones, have received zilch for their hard work. I know the titles we produce have more potential than a lot of comics out there and this is a way to raise some capital for us to go mainstream.

The Charlton Arrow, bringing fun back to comics

The Charlton Arrow, bringing fun back to comics

A couple of days later, they sweetened the pot with the following announcement from Mort Todd:

We’re starting a new weekly web comic site called Pix-C (C as in Charlton), launching next month. There’ll be strips by Roger, Paul and me posted each week, with some incredible artists to be announced soon! Some of the strips will be Charlton-related, some all new, but every one will be all fun! How do you gain entry, you ask? Pledge at least $1 a month to our Patreon campaign and you’ll get full access to exclusive content each week! Hither on to now!

This is a great and inexpensive way to support a terrific new comic book project. Even the smallest donations get access to a cool web comic site, and at higher levels you can keep up with the latest Charlton Neo offerings in print form. It’s an exciting way to support non-corporate comic books. I’m getting in on it. I suggest that any of my readers who like well-made, fun comic books do the same.