By Marc Goldner, Rachel Korsen, and Rob Gross
Recently funded on Kickstarter, The Sunday Comics project brings back the best part of the newspaper with a unique spin on the classic format. Completely funded within the first hour, the new publication will feature a host of various artists from all over world working on new stories.
1) Not your Parents' Sunday Comics
Inspired equally by Prince Valiant and Little Nemo in Slumberland as much as Peanuts and Garfield, Golden Bell's The Sunday Comics takes a modern approach to its selection of stories and pieces included within the publication. Mixing both traditional and funny strips the general populace at large is familiar with was only the first step, in the early 20th Century newspaper comics were lavishly drawn and the stories were often serialized week to week. The story arcs were not only serialized, but the style was influenced by very specific art styles that inspired Winsor McCay, where he had the creative allowance to draw the story out in full page color. While the arrival of film, television, and the Internet have certainly diminished the commercial desire for these comics, it does not mean that the medium as a whole has lost its wonder. The same can be said of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant. Running until 1971, Foster used the whole length of the page to tell a story of knights, kings and adventure. It spanned years of continuity and its epic scope and scale has been largely unmatched.
Additionally, it's also important to note that popular characters like Superman, Batman and even the Amazing Spider-man also had their day in the newspaper strips. While Spiderman differed from its trade comic run in its humor, both Superman and Batman were pretty serious in their melodrama and fits of action. Modern Sunday Strips have clouded the initial experimentation and genre defying storytelling from the early days, make no mistake, these new stories within The Sunday Comics are NOT the funnies we mostly associate with the Sunday Paper. Genres ranging from Science fiction, fantasy, crime noir are bolstered by samplings of slice-of-life drama and surrealist experiments with the comics medium. It's true, yes, that artists will pay respect to the likes of Jim Schulz, Bill Watterson, Hank Ketcham, and Jim Davis, but what the Sunday Comics is truly about is using a respected format to bring new stories to the forefront with a talented pool of creators from across the globe.
2) The Size
Second, the size! The Sunday Comics return to the newsprint canvas of their former original glory at 15" by 22", larger than all papers in print currently. The sizing of the paper recalls a time long gone by, with this size in mind multiple strips can fill the entire page, better yet full stories can be seen on one giant page! There's no restrictions that are imposed on the publication since it doesn't need to be inserted into any of the current editions of the newspapers still in syndication. Like the recently resurrected vinyl format, the new comics in the Sunday Comics exist to take advantage of the print medium, the wide spread and feel of newsprint in your hands. It unfurls and takes up the corner of your living room the way the old comics used to, making the new anthology partly an exercise in nostalgia, part fusing modern comics with a timeless format. The flexibility allows every single creator free reign to go wild with the size, adding value to every page. Moreover, this flexibility applies to readers as well. While it's not wholly recommended, readers can again take out their scissors and cut out their favorite, full color comics and pin them wherever they see fit, we're not going to lie, some make awesome posters! Not to cut out modernity entirely, there's also a PDF version available so Sunday Comics are available on the road.
3) From all around/over the world
Showcasing a variety of different artists and creators from different countries has chiefly been The Sunday Comics' mission from the start. Flipping the page and seeing Little Orphan Annie next to Dick Tracy translates to seeing work by Clinton Hobart, Disney Fine Artist, beside Paul Dini, lead writer of Batman the Animated series, side-by-side brings the Sunday Comics into the modern era. Getting to read and appreciate the workings of so many established creators is a visual treat, yet it's also an entirely new wonder to showcase an artist that is just entering the medium comics and visual storytelling. Whether it's locals from every outskirt in United States or the many artists from abroad, the Sunday Comics is the 21st answer to the newsprint comics industry. Not only merely invited, artists from every corner of the world are welcome to participate and tell their stories using a format normally reserved for a select few or none at all. There's a future for the Sunday Comics and it starts with making quality content that will surprise new and old readerships alike.
4) New Garfields
Last but not least, the original grumpy cat is getting a makeover worthy of the newest iteration of the beloved Sunday Comics. For the first time ever, Jim Davis and the rest of Paws Inc. are allowing other artists to do their own renditions and stories of Garfield in The Sunday Comics. This reinvigoration of a Sunday staple shows the new takes only being made in this new publication. Creators like Mark Mariano and Mark Jackson have submitted their own strips on Garfield, printed for the first time on US broadsheet newspaper. This method of experimentation and risk taking shows that there is indeed a future for well known properties like Garfield from artists willing to take the character in new directions.
5) Yooka Laylee and other licenses
For modern audiences today it helps to have licenses from current industries making waves. It's a new era and videogames are important to the future of media storytelling, especially following the advent of the Internet. Playtonic Games has given the license to Golden Bell's The Sunday Comics to create original tie-in strips to their games. Marc Goldner, Rachel Korsen, Rob Gross are proud to be creating new stories with the charming characters present in the game brought to gamers by the developers of Donkey Kong Country and Banjo & Kazooie.
Regardless of its recent past, recent times show that there's a home for all manner of stories and mediums once believed past their prime. The Sunday Comics are moving forward, while respecting its past, there's a new dawn approaching and it looks like a very bright future! Pledge today from one of over a dozen different reward tiers for you to choose from whether it's original art, comics, or behind the scenes. Thanks for reading and we'll see you in The Sunday Comics.