A new Kickstarter project has been making the rounds lately. What is it, exactly? I’ll let the creators explain:
MINI COMICS INCLUDED is a collaboration started by comic creators Tim Seeley,Steve Seeley, and Michael Moreci. Remember the fun you had with comics, toys, and cartoons as kids? That’s what we’re bringing back! Imagination! Excitement! Heart! We grew up on Kirby and He-Man, Toth and G.I. Joe and are now putting that exuberance and wonder into this unique project.
So the idea seems to be minicomics without the toys (although there actually are some toys available as incentives, albeit expensive, indie-art-type toys and nothing mass produced, as far as I can tell). Tim Seeley, you may recall, is the creator behind the popular comic Hack/Slash as well as writing some of the new Mattel-produced minicomics for Masters of the Universe Classics.
I think this is a really cool idea. I enjoyed minicomics as a kid, although whenever I read one now, they’re pretty consistently terrible (except for a few of the earliest MOTU minicomics). But I have mixed feelings on this project.
Some of them, like Prime-8s and The Omega Family, seem to capture the spirit of those 1980s properties and minicomics. Seeley’s pre-existing Colt Noble and the Megalords - a parody of 1980s toy-based cartoons that came out as a one-shot from Image three years ago – seems shoehorned in. And I’m really not sure what to make of Literary Commandos, but it seems a bit too high-concept for toy companies in the ’80s.
It just seems like the approach is off sometimes. Here’s Moreci’s hypothetical pitch for an OMFG minicomic:
Oh, and there’s those amazing OMFG toys (I’m looking at two of them on my desk right now). The plot…geez, these toys are so weird. Okay, let’s try this. So the OMFG line of toys were a popular line in the ‘80s, like Garbage Pail Kids. Their popularity diminished and they were forgotten for years and years. But then, in step with the nostalgic wave, someone digs up the OMFG toys and primes them for a comeback. But the toys—who, of course, are real and exist in the world—are old and all messed up.
This seems like a very similar approach to what DC Comics has been doing with Masters of the Universe – make something once thought of being primarily for kids more mature, grim ‘n gritty, Dark Knight Returns-ish. Why not just do it straight but fun, like the 1980s Marvel titles (some produced under the Star Comics banner) like Madballs, Muppet Babies, ALF, or Ren and Stimpy? I know it’s just a first draft of a hypothetical pitch, but I just think it’s the wrong direction right off the bat. But maybe I’m just an old fuddy-duddy and readers would prefer Moreci’s approach.
Anyway, I pledged at the $15 level, and will report back here with what I think if/when they get funded and come out.