The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Lifestyles

August 17, 2013

Kicking the limits: Kickstarter enables comic artists to publish book exactly how they want it

JOPLIN, Mo. — A back room in Jeremy Haun's studio is filled with cardboard boxes, some of them full, some of them empty. The full ones are loaded with copies of a hardcover book Haun co-authored with three others. Called "Bad Karma," the volumes are beautiful: Spot-gloss white hardcovers that features the title's art in bold cobalt blue, filled with 200 pages of full-color comic art -- there's even a foldout in the center.

The empty boxes are pretty plain, except for a hand-stamped red picture of a kraken -- the same kraken on Haun's T-shirt. It's the emblem of the Kraken Corporation, a shady entity that features prominently in "Bad Karma."

Haun worked on the stories "Chaos Agent" and "The Ninth Life of Solomon Gunn," two of the stories in "Bad Karma." He spent many hours inking the characters, working on concepts and writing stories with collaborators.

Now, Haun spends his time moving the books from one box to another. "Bad Karma" is the finished product of a Kickstarter campaign, and Haun is in the process of fulfilling it.

He and others spend a few weeknights and every Friday packing boxes and special rewards such as T-shirts, sketches, prints, coasters and more, depending on the level of support a backer gave. He hopes to be done shipping all the orders by October.

Haun would probably rather be drawing more stories instead of packing boxes. But because "Bad Karma" was backed by fans, he's proud to fold and stamp boxes, organize "signing parties," pack freebies and ship orders.

"That's the beauty of Kickstarter. People are voting with their wallets," Haun said. "This wouldn't have happened without the support of fans."

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