Review All Monsters | Pop Culture Hound and Comics Bulletin

There were a couple of reviews last week that I want to point out, but first let me thank Joseph Mallozzi and my pal Jay Mac, who gave shout outs to the Kickstarter from their blogs as we wrapped up.

Chris Thompson and Taylor Lilley of the Pop Culture Hound podcast talked about the book and made me cheer, especially when Taylor said that he’s not a kaiju fan, but was won over by the story anyway. Both gentlemen talk about the cast’s diversity and how they felt like that worked organically as part of the story without our calling extra attention to it, which was exactly how we hoped it would be. The Kill All Monsters discussion begins around the 25:00 mark, but be sure to stay tuned for Chris’ fantastic interview with Gabriel Hardman about his new comic, Kinski at Monkeybrain. It’s a wonderful podcast and I’ll be tuning in for future episodes.

Nick Hanover at Comics Bulletin wrote a great review too. He says that starting the story in the middle of a long fight is “a bold move, sure, but May’s got fight scripting down pat and with a partner like Copland, he knows he can trust the action.” He also notices that “May wants you to feel for the humans who have to deal with these creatures, since this is a story not about a first attack, but about a world after monster defeat.”

Thanks to Chris, Taylor, and Nick for reading and sharing thoughts on the book!

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More reviews and fan art of Kill All Monsters

Well, the Kickstarter is all done. Or, the pledging part is anyway. Now’s the part where Jason and I go to work fulfilling rewards, which we’re thrilled to do. People chipped in $11,910, which is 476% of our goal. Absolutely amazing, so one last massive THANK YOU to everyone who pledged and helped spread the word.

Got a couple of more Kill All Monsters-related bits this week, starting with the awesome Skullbot drawing above by Vincent Kukua. Vincent is a talented production artist at Image Comics and you can check out more of his stuff on his DeviantArt page. Thanks, Vincent!

Next, a couple of cool sites mentioned us last week. Lonnie Nadler from Bloody Disgusting gave the Kickstarter a nice push and Greg Burgas at the Comics Should Be Good! blog wrote an amazing, really insightful review. He picks up on a lot of stuff I wasn’t sure if people would get (the significance of the date when the giant monsters first appeared, for instance). Here’s a taste of what he thought, but check out the whole review:

Kill All Monsters is an interesting comic, because it starts out as one thing and slowly changes into something better, and that’s always nice to see. It’s as if May thought “What if I made a comic with giant monsters fighting giant robots?” and once the “That’s AWESOME!” factor wore off, he realized he had to come up with something else. I’m sure he had it plotted out further than just the robots fighting the monsters, but for the first several pages, he just has Copland drawing that, and while it’s quite keen, you always need something more than that. So May settles into an interesting story that borrows liberally from plenty of sources, but still manages to be a compelling read.

Finally, I thought I’d point out that if you like art featuring giant monsters and robots, we’ve got a Pinterest gallery dedicated to that. I need to link to it from KillAllMonsters.com, so this is as much a reminder for me to do that as it is for you to go look at it. There’s some really cool stuff on there.

Last week for the Kill All Monsters Kickstarter

The Kickstarter ends on Friday, but whatever the final total is, it’s already far exceeded my and Jason’s hopes for it. Everyone’s been so supportive and encouraging, we’ll never be able to express our gratitude appropriately.

Same goes for those who’ve helped spread the word. I’ve got a couple of more links to share from the past week.

Matthew Meylikhov wrote a great Kickstarter Spotlight about us for Multiversity Comics, calling Kill All Monsters “essentially what all Godzilla books should be, but few are, focusing neither on one option [robots punch monsters!] or the other [humans talk about feelings!] and instead celebrating both, mixing it up in a style that flows seamlessly.” It’s a fun review and Meylikhov is a funny writer. You should check it out.

Meanwhile, Rick Hansen wrote up his reflections on C2E2 for Comic Impact and mentions picking up Kill All Monsters. He let us know on Facebook that he liked it so much he went ahead and chipped in a little Kickstarter money too.

Thanks so much to both Matt and Rick. Jason and I love hearing that people are enjoying the book. If you’ve written about Kill All Monsters and I haven’t shared it here, please don’t be shy about forwarding your links. I’d love to see and post about them.

Back from C2E2

C2E2 was amazing. It was great to hang out with Jason in person for the the first time in a few years. It never feels like it’s been that long, because a) we talk quite a bit online, and b) that’s just the kind of friendship we have. It’s a similar deal with artist/RPG-creator Grant Gould. I’ve been going to conventions and rooming with Grant for almost a decade now and he’s as nice as he is talented. It’s always great to visit with him and catch up.

Also got caught up with a lot of other folks, met some new friends, and got to put faces to names of some other online pals. I’m fearful of starting a list for fear of leaving anyone out, but C2E2 is always like a big family reunion for me and this year was no different.

Kill All Monsters did extremely well at the show. We almost sold out of our supply, but still have several for SpringCon next month. I’m a little concerned about selling out early at SpringCon, but we’ll see how that goes.

To clarify: these were a small run of print-on-demand copies that we printed just to have at conventions a little ahead of the official, retail edition. The official version will be printed on an offset press in large quantities for shipment to stores and Kickstarter backers. In terms of content, the two editions are identical and neither are marked to make one more special than the other. The only difference will be a slight upgrade in print quality on the offset version. The POD version looks great, but the offset version should look even better. The only advantage to the POD is getting to hold it in your hands a little sooner.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of this. We’re not trying to pull a fast one on anyone and want everyone to have access to exactly what they want as quickly as we can get it to them.

We talked to a couple of retailers at C2E2 and were pleased to hear that it’s not just our local shops that are ordering the book. We also had a lot of readers stop by to tell us that either they’d already backed us on Kickstarter or had heard about KAM online. Even people who didn’t buy a copy right then were very complimentary and it was just a really pleasant experience meeting so many comics fans. I’m usually running around covering panels and talking to publishers and creators during C2E2, so it was a change getting to sit still and just meet readers for three days. I enjoyed the heck out of it.

More love for Kill All Monsters

A couple of the biggest supporters of Kill All Monsters are James Biggie and Frankie B. Washington, creators of the amazing, kaiju-themed webcomic Robot God Akamatsu. You may remember the awesome print James created for us (which is one of the Kickstarter reward levels, just sayin’) and be forgiven for thinking that he’s the artist on RGA. As talented a visual artist as he is though, James actually writes the webcomic and Frankie draws it. And now Frankie’s done his own, stunning version of what an RGA/KAM crossover (A-KAM-atsu!) would look like. Check out RGA and also be sure to like their Facebook page, a one-stop shop for keeping up with giant monsters and robots news.

Since I mentioned the Kickstarter, the quick update is that as I’m writing this we just passed $6,000.  That’s so far beyond my initial hopes for the campaign that I can’t even remember them. A few people have been nice enough to mention the Kickstarter, including Tom Spurgeon at The Comics Reporter, the folks behind the Outré anthology, and Crimson Engine, so thanks to all of those people.

There’ve also been some more reviews, starting with my Robot 6 compadre Corey Blake talking about KAM in our What Are You Reading? feature. “After the novelty buzz of the concept wears off,” he writes, “you’re actually left with a world and people that you want to spend time with and learn more about. There’s some mystery, some intrigue, some questioned motives, some social commentary, all lightly peppered throughout to keep the story chugging along even while the oversized slugfest takes a break.”

My pal Siskoid at the indispensable Siskoid’s Blog of Geekery also had an advance look at KAM and praises the team’s diversity (something very important to me) as well as Jason’s loose style. “The material (robots) might have called for very technical drawings, but Copland’s work has a sketchiness to it that trades technical accuracy for energy, which I think is really the way to go.” Jason had been wanting to loosen up his style for a while and debated about whether or not Kill All Monsters was the time to do that, but I totally agree with him and Siskoid about its being perfect for this series. It gives everything a grittiness that makes the world real.

The last review was from David Goodman at Geekadelphia. He wasn’t familiar with KAM until he heard about it on Twitter, so it’s fun to hear from someone who’s coming at it totally new. “Yes, a few pages in I had distinct visions of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and wasn’t sure what I had gotten into. But once I really got into the tale May and Copland were telling, you realize that Kill All Monsters is science fiction storytelling at it’s best. You have robots the size of buildings beating the snot out of giant monsters in what’s left of Paris, while at the same time you get to experience a very human story of survival. Add in a conspiracy theory or two, some tensions among the pilots and dynamic art that is just a joy to look at and you have a prime example of why webcomics are so great.”

Thanks to Corey, Siskoid, and David for the very nice comments!

Finally, a couple of interviews: Russ Burlingame from ComicBook.Com interviewed Jason about the comic, Kickstarter, Jason’s influences…lots of stuff. It’s a great, comprehensive interview and I even learned some new things about Jason myself.

And I got to talk to my friend and colleague Tim O’Shea for his “Talking Comics with Tim” column at Robot 6. Everyone at Robot 6 feels weird when we talk about Kill All Monsters – and no one more than me – so it’s especially nice of Tim to go for it anyway. Check it out; Tim always asks fun and interesting  questions.

Kill All Monsters at C2E2

Jason and I will be at C2E2 this year and we’d love it if you’d come see us if you’re there too. The table’s in Jason’s name (M6 in Artist Alley), but I’ll be there all weekend too. We’ll have some print-on-demand copies of Kill All Monsters, Volume 1: Ruins of Paris to sell and I’m sure some other things for you to look at, but mostly we’d just like to meet you and say “hi.”

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