Every review site has its favorites. Artists and writers that we keep going back to, keep promoting. Claire is one of those here at What’cha Reading. When I met her at Asbury Park Comic Con in 2012, where I bought her self published “Valves”, I knew she’d have a career ahead of her, I wasn’t wrong.
She has a unique style and a great storytelling sensibility, one that showed very clearly in the project she and another What’cha Reading favorite Eric Grissom put out in 2013. Animals has seen multiple stories now and you really should check it out when you can.
In 2014 she launched her first kickstarter “Down With The Ship”, a collection of short stories, and achieved her funding goal in no time flat (we’re talking like an hour after launch!) And then later in 2014 she put out a project with Erica Schultz, yet another What’cha Reading favorite, (whose comic M3 has seen high critical and fan praise) called The Unauthorized Biography of Winston Churchill (a highly fictionalized account of a portion of his life) which is hysterical.
And now her latest Kickstarter has gone live, THE LONG YEAR and BLACK EYES, and Claire was cool enough to take a few minutes and tell us about her newest collection, and some other cool stuff she’s in the midst of.
The teaser image you tweeted gives the titles “The Long Year” a collection of comics, and “Black Eyes” can you give us a quick and dirty rundown of what we’re going to see?
The Long year is a collection of all my mini comics I made in 2014. The stories are varied from short sci-fi comics to longer stranger comics. My shorts are the comics I’m most proud of, they give me chance to explore and try new ideas.
Black Eyes is a 3 issue mini series following the main character Kane as he defeats a forest spirit and becomes a monster himself. I wanted to play with the idea of aging in the book and visually seeing a character change. I was watching some anime and martial arts movies at the time and it definitely seeped into the comic.
Your first kickstarter was very successful (Congratulations! It’s a great book!), can you tell us a little about how it went and how the fulfillment process worked out?
My first Kickstarter went great! I think? Well for me it did! I remember the night before I was about to kick it off and I sat in the kitchen with my face smashed against the table talking to my mom. I remember telling her “What if it fails? I’ll feel like such a fool!” and “What if people only like my comics because they are free”.
So I was worried. But after an hour I got all the money I needed and didn’t need to worry any more! But then I started freaking out because I knew it was going to be a lot of work. I did all the work myself. I had about 300 books in my bedroom and I had to sign them all. Every time I had a day off I would walk to the post office with a backpack full of books.
It was a lot of work but it was really amazing to see how happy people were to have my stories in print. So that’s why I’m doing another one. People have been begging me for the past few months to put out more print editions. So I finally locked everything down and now it time to launch.
What other projects do you have going on these days?
These days I’m working on a lot…a lot…so many comics! I’m currently on the tail end of my first full color graphic novel. It’s a little less than 100 pages I’ve been working on it since February. I wish I was farther along but the day job and working on other projects has made progress a little slower. But I’m really excited about showing the people the pages.
Just about a month ago I finished a mini comic called the Library written by Hansel Moreno, last year we worked on a short sic-fi story that appeared in the book Out of the Blue. I’m about 3 pages away from completing Erica Schultz and my 2nd book. I know she has been leaking out some images on twitter.
Also Eric Grissom wrote a short for my new series that is about my character the Forgotten King. I’m about to start doing layouts this week. I’m also working on a pitch and a few covers…ya know just staying busy.
Any upcoming appearances you’d like to tell us about?
I’ll be doing a comic signing at East Side Mags in Montclair Nj on May 30th with Erica Schultz and my next big show with be SPX in September. I’m excited about doing a store signing down the street from where I went to college and hanging out with Erica is always a hoot!
And finally, what are you reading these days?
I just painted a mural (with Faye Rogers and Ginette Montoya) a few weeks ago at Escape Pod Comics and they hooked me up with some awesome books. Right now I’m reading Copra by Micheal Fiffe, Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann and Kerascoct, and Cerebus by Dave Sim. I also stayed up super late the other night reading Roots by Tara O’Conner, I’ve never read such an honest story, it’s truly an amazing piece of work.
Mural @ Escape Pod Comics
Well there you have it, a talented artist and storyteller, I’m sure her newest volume of work will be just a wonderful as her previous work.
The Kickstarter goes live Tuesday May 5th at midnight we will share it all over social media, want to hear it from Clair personally follow her on Twitter @CKConnellyDraws or go to her claireconnellycomics.com to read her full comics and her Tumblr thinkillustration.tumblr.com for updates on her projects.
Edit May 6, 2015:
The Kickstarter went live at midnight on May 5th and it was great to see the immediate response Claire received. By my loose calculations she saw 45% of her goal in only one hour. That is impressive.
Want in? Go Here…