Kickstarter has done a lot to provide a chance for comics talent to break through the glass ceiling separating the established comics professionals and those who want to be. This week’s iFanboy Upstart is a hard-working webcomic artist that used Kickstarter to fund the continuation of her webcomic and get it into comic stores nationwide.
Michigan-based artist K. Lynn Smith pays the bills as a graphic designer and freelance photographer, but her true passion — and talent — seems to be in creating comics. Smith is the writer/artist behind the webcomic series Plume, a swaggering Western/Fantasy series following a second-generation archeologist named Vesper Grey and a ghostly guardian of sorts named Corrick. The story follows Vesper as she tracks down ancient artifacts that were stolen from her father, trying to get them out of bad hands and back in their family collection. Smith’s strength — in addition to her raw cartooning skill — is her ability to infuse humor and personality in the Western series making it more than just a “genre” affair.
Launched online in 2011, Smith’s Plume raised over $9,000 that year in its first Kickstarter and earned the attention of Devil’s Due, which took Plume under its wing for publishing and editorial affairs, leaving Smith to focus on the creation of the actual comic. In October 2012, Devil’s Due shepherded a second Kickstarter for Plume to fund a print edition, earning roughly $29,000 — $6,000 over its stated goal. Smith just finished the fifth chapter (133 pages!) of Plume in June, and it currently catching up with commissions before launching a new installment. Devil’s Due has published in print five issues, with word of a collected edition down the road at some point.
Although Smith has only ever done published work on her own series Plume, I could see Smith doing a lot in the industry — with her own work and possibly collaborating with others. What do you think?