Comics Experience alum Frank Gogol set out to reach readers with stories about struggle and hope. What he wasn’t expecting, after over a year of hard work and collaboration, was to see his Kickstarter campaign fully funded in just 10 hours.

Now, he’s ready to launch GRIEF: an anthology that started in an Introduction to Comic Book Writing course, and evolved into an 84-page collaborative effort.

Available through Kickstarter through May 4, 2017, GRIEF features a collection of short comics that reflect on the stages of the grieving process. Each story is scripted by Frank, and features art, color, and lettering by a team of talented contributors, including fellow Creators Workshop members Emily Elmer (colorist, “Different”), and Sean Rinehart (anthology letterer).

Frank says no one was more surprised than he was at the Kickstarter campaign’s overwhelming support. “I expected an uphill, 30-day battle,” he admits.

Instead, he quickly exceeded his funding goal, prompting him to offer the book at a lower price point. A one-dollar donation is now all it takes to get a high-resolution digital copy of the collection. Frank explains, “This isn’t about making a profit for me. I just want to make comics and I want to get them in front of as many people as I can.”

Frank’s desire to connect with readers was a motivating force behind the entire project, which he discusses poignantly on the campaign page. When encountering tragedy in his own life, he writes, “I looked to stories to help me understand and comprehend what was happening to me.”

The pieces in GRIEF represent diverse styles and genres, illustrated by an international team of artists. Input from the Comics Experience community also played a role in the project’s development.

“The truth is, I probably would not have been able to make it this far without Comics Experience or the Creators Workshop.

“Taking the Intro to Comic Book Writing course last year really gave me the push to move from passively wanting to create comics to actively creating comics, and that has so much to do with the way Andy has structured the course. Starting small, taking a project step-by-step, and walking away with a polished script that’s ready to be drawn were all crucial aspects of getting the ball rolling for me, and once it was in motion, stopping wasn’t an option. That first script from the course ended up being the first story I wrote for GRIEF, too.

“And after the Intro course ended, the Creators Workshop was instrumental in keeping that momentum up. Interacting with the other writers (and artists and pros) really helped me to write better scripts. And that’s to say nothing of the tremendously supportive nature of the forums. Everyone wants everyone else to succeed. The Creators Workshop is an environment designed for creators to thrive in.”

Comics Experience is proud to have had a part in the creation of this project. To learn more or to order, visit the GRIEF Kickstarter page before the campaign ends on May 4, 2017. Contributions of just one dollar will earn donors a digital copy, and higher-level rewards include pinup art, annotated scripts, commissioned pieces, and other bonus content.

After May 4, readers can learn about the project on the Kickstarter or Facebook pages, and follow creator Frank Gogol on Twitter or Instagram.

In addition to Frank, Emily, and Sean, the creative contributors to GRIEF include Luca Bulgheroni, Nenad Cviticanin, Ryan Foust, Kim Holm, Dani Martins, Esther Pimentel, Jey Soliva, and Bethany Varni.

Congratulations to the creative team! Visit the Kickstarter page here to reserve your copy by May 4.

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If you want to make comics, write, draw, letter, and color comics, or improve as a comics creator, you’ll find like-minded friends and colleagues in our online workshops and courses. We hope to see you there!

Posted by Nicole Boose
nicole@ComicsExperience.com