After successfully funding his comic creation Molly Danger Book 1 on Kickstarter back in 2012, Jamal Igle is ready to do it again with Book 2 this April. Not only is he one of the best illustrators in the business, but he's also the Marketing Director for Action Lab Entertainment. Juggling so many hats as well as projects, it's amazing that he finds time to sleep. The artist extraordinaire was on hand at WonderCon this past weekend and was nice enough to sit down and answer a few of my burning questions before melting into a pool of exhaustion.
Cameron Hatheway: So the Kickstarter for Molly Danger Book 1 was funded back in 2012, and it was just announced that a Kickstarter for the second book will begin this month. What things did you learn from the first Kickstarter that you'll definitely be applying to this upcoming one?
Jamal Igle: Well one of the big differences is when I did Molly Danger Book 1, there weren't fulfillment services, none of that stuff existed. Shipping has been the big lesson. While I was producing Book 1, the shipping rates doubled. International rates doubled, so that ended up killing whatever money was left over. So one of the things that I've been going into not only working with the fulfillment service, possibly Amazon to do the fulfillment, but the monies raised will be strictly for production of the book, and shipping will be charged afterwards so there won't be any surprises. So once the books are in hand and they're ready to ship, then everybody get their stuff, they send their money in through PayPal or whatever, and they will get their books and whatever else.
CH: What's in store for Molly in this upcoming second volume?
JI: Basically Molly Danger Book 2 picks up 9 months after the end of Molly Danger Book 1. So the relationship between Molly and Austin has evolved a little bit. Molly's gotten a little bit more autonomy, unfortunately that creates a few problems for her. And Father's plans are coming to fruition, and the truth about who Molly is hinges on Book 2.
CH: Not only is Molly Danger such a badass, but Adrienne from Princeless is as well. Has Action Lab garnered enough of the much-deserved praised for treating their female heroes as equals and not damsels?
JI: You know what, honestly I feel that yes, we've gotten a lot of praise for it. I think we sort of cultivated the idea of being able to present particularly young female characters in a positive light. So you have Adrienne from Princeless, you have the girls from Nutmeg—the book that's coming out from James Wright and Jackie Crofts. We've got Aero Girl that's going to be debuting in June as well, so we've embraced the idea of kick-butt young girls going out and taking the world by the horns. I don't think we've corned the market, but we've sort of cultivated that idea.
CH: It's definitely something that you're known for.
JI: Right, exactly.
CH: You're also the Marketing Director for Action Lab, and it feels like I see you pop-up in my inbox every few days because of it. What's it like to be a creator as well as part of the team of a small publisher? Does it give you a different perspective on the industry, or nothing new?
JI: [Laughter] No no, there is a different perspective because now I'm doing a lot more retailer-focused events, and communicating with a lot of retailers, and a lot more press than I was as a creator. And it can be difficult sometimes because I'm re-learning time management as a result. I have to juggle both hats because I'm still freelancing and producing my own material, and still writing press releases and still contacting creators, and contacting press, and contacting retailers. We're a small team but we've managed to do a lot over the last few years, and we've got stuff coming up that's going to be announced towards the end of the year that's huge. I couldn't be happier being associated with Action Lab, so it's all positive.
CH: Last year you were busy working on The Terminator: Enemy of My Enemy from Dark Horse. Has working on the title gotten you excited for the upcoming Terminator: Genisys movie?
JI: [Laughter] More curious than excited. I know it's an altered timeline, where I guess the Terminator that John Connor sent back still comes back to 1984, but then he sends another Terminator back to 1975—
CH: There's too many Terminators!
JI: [Laughter] Too many Terminators! That's the next short from Cartoon Network; "Too Many Terminators."
CH: Besides Molly Danger, are there any other upcoming projects you're working on?
JI: We are rereleasing Venture, this miniseries that I did with Jay Faerber for Image, we're rereleasing it in June through Action Lab. And I also have my first DC work in quite a few years with Sensation Comics, a 30-page Wonder Woman story written by Josh Elder, that's coming out in June as well.