Thursday, March 5, 2015

Untold Tales of Untold Tales

I've backed a few projects on Kickstarter over the past five years, and still believe the idea of crowdfunding to be sound and worthwhile.

However, that faith can be shaken.

For example, I backed Untold Tales of the Comic Industry back in 2011. I spent a measly five bucks to get my name on the backers list on the project website, and of course to support the project itself. (Hey, big spender!)

From the Kickstarter page:
This documentary takes a look at the comic industry from the inside out, guided by writers, illustrators, editors, distributors, Hollywood storytellers, and global fans of the art form. You'll see the genesis of our shared love of comics, and explore the inspirations that keep creators running. You'll learn what these creators love about the industry today, and what they hope to see improved for the industry's survival tomorrow. No topic is off the table: economics, fan culture, the industry's need to open its ranks to include a wider range of race and gender - it's all discussed. This film isn't a tell-all in the scandalous sense, but it IS full of honest stories and opinions offered up by the people behind the pages. 

Cool! I've wanted to see a doc like this ever since I got my VHS copy of Comic Book Confidential. The comic book biz does a great job of preaching to the choir about the amazingly talented individuals that have entertained millions over the past 70 years. But if you ask The Man On The Street about Jack Kirby? Blank stare. Sure, maybe Frank Miller or Robert Kirkman, possibly Todd McFarlane, are known to the periphery of geekdom. But the vast majority are unknown to 98% of the general public (and 98% of those folks have seen 300, Walking Dead and/or Spawn on the big and small screen, nevermind the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

The King
So Untold Tales should've been another welcome effort to raise awareness of the men and women behind the curtain, and to give them some much deserved publicity.


A few facts about Untold Tales:
Successful Kickstarter campaign: completed on Sept 15, 2011 and exceeded the stated goal of $18,000 reaching $19,048 from 259 backers

Last update on Kickstarter: Jun 25, 2014 (on February 7, 2014, the organizers announced the project would morph to a series format instead of feature documentary)
Last Facebook post: March 13, 2013
Last blogpost on website: August 8, 2011

I contacted, via Twitter and Facebook, Brandon Jerwa and Ali Mohsenian, two of the principals involved in Untold Tales but have not yet received a response. A shame really. I sincerely hope 259 people haven't donated $73.54 (on average) to be told "uh sorry, we moved onto other things" by the folks involved.

I want to see this project come (back) to life. Perhaps someone else can pick up the torch and run with it to completion. Kevin Smith? Chris Hardwick? Ken Burns? (hey, why not? He's already done wondrous things with the other two original American artforms, baseball and jazz).

I'd love to hear an update from someone currently involved with the project. I think it's worthwhile and maybe even important.

And I never even got my name on the website. Someone owes me $5.

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