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AICN COMICS Q&@: Ambush Bug goes deep with the talented crew behind 44FLOOD (Ben Templesmith, Menton3, Kasra Ghanbari, & Nick Idell) & finds out how you can support them on Kickstarter!!!

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Q’s by Ambush Bug!

@’s by 44FLOOD
(Ben Templesmith, Menton3, Kasra Ghanbari, & Nick Idell)!!!

Ambush Bug here with a nice lengthy interview with the talented gentlemen of 44FLOOD. One of the cooler things going to cons like C2E2 and SDCC is the people you meet. I had the pleasure of meeting Menton3 at a book signing I did a few years back. Since then, I’ve also met his business partner Kasra Ghanbari and interviewed the both of them about their excellent MONOCYTE miniseries last year. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting Ben Templesmith through interviews and at cons through the years and a nicer gent I’ll most likely never meet. Ben and Menton even attended my panel last year at NYCC discussing all things horror. Nick Idell, I know as well, since he is the owner of AlleyCat Comics in Chicago, the place where I am proud to have my pull list fulfilled each and every week. So when I heard that the four of these guys were getting together to form a graphic storytelling alliance like the comics world has never seen, I had to find out more. So check out this interview to find out more about 44FLOOD, TOME, and the Kickstarter campaign that will enable these guys to change the way you see comics for the better. Read on.

AMBUSH BUG (BUG): All right, so we will start the interview now then. So I am in the studio of 44FLOOD. Are you guys calling it that? The studio here? How are you guys labeling the studio space that you guys have here?

BEN TEMPLESMITH (BT): I am Ben Templesmith and this is technically my room, but yeah collectively the rooms that we share are 44FLOOD.

NICK IDELL (NI): So we have Templesmith Studios, M3 Studios, Kasra Studios, Nick Idell Studios, and it’s the 44FLOOD complex.

BUG: So let’s start at the beginning here. How did 44FLOOD come together?

MENTON3 (M3): I think generally speaking we all collect comic books and we all collect art books, like me and Ben usually have JUXTAPOZ Magazine on our desks and there’s kind of a gap there, you know? Like you look at my shelf of books and there’s art books and there’s comic books and you hear all this stuff in comics “Anthologies don’t sell” and all and for us art kind of takes the forefront and when we say art we mean writing and we mean poetry and music and photography, but art is very important to us and the basic construct of the idea is that the company that we are forming, we are going to attempt to make the books that we really want to buy. We are not necessarily trying to fill a gap, but for our own individual sakes we definitely sense a gap there. So I think that’s the fundamental way it came about. As far as us meeting I met Kasra two C2E2’s ago, I guess in 2009 and we kind of just got along like gangbusters immediately. We’ve pretty much been inseparable or at least I’ve been inseparable from him for several years now. He’s been a huge influence on what I do and how I go about creating art and I would like to think the same about him with me. We did MONOCYTE together, which we loved working with each other on, and then me and Ben met at a C2E2 about a year later really.

BT: Yeah, the next one I think. We shared a booth.

M3: Yeah, we shared a booth at that time with a bunch of other cool guys and we had a dinner that night and we really started to get along really well. When Ben moved into the studio… See artists tend to sometimes rip on each other and it gets really annoying and I think with me and Ben there’s a thing running through both of our art that we both share, but we never rip on each other. We really kind of inspire each other in different ways, but it’s very healthy and very cool. We are nothing like each other, but it complements.

BT: I’m sorry to say, we do both have beards.

M3: And we both have beards.

BUG: Actually everybody has a beard here. Is that a theme for 44FLOOD? You’ve got to have a beard?

M3: I don’t think so.

NI: It’s a level of maturity.

KASRA GHANBARI (KG): It’ll probably be next week when we finally have enough time to shave.

BUG: Okay. Sorry, I cut you off.

M3: So we got along really well and collaboration with me and Ben would just eventually unfold and I’m really excited about that. Me and Nick… I’ve known Nick for probably five years. Before I started making comics I went to a comic book store in Chicago that he worked at and we just really started to get along really, really well. I mean he knew me like right when I did my self-published book. He helped me put it on the shelf and get it around Chicago. Nick really just makes everybody laugh too. I mean you can’t really be around him for very long without at least laughing at how he looks. I’m kidding of course.

NI: Absolutely.

M3: But he’s an amazing guy and he has actually made his own comic store from scratch and so all of us really respect him as somebody that can actually get things done and so when we were forming this company, we needed somebody else to help us through all of the other and very important work. So the four of us together kind of came together to create something that we all feel like “Okay, this is your job. This is your job. This is my job.” We really felt like that would function and so far I mean the last few weeks it’s been going great. I don’t know if that answers the question or not.

BUG: Oh it does. So can you guys tell me what are your different roles here for 44FLOOD? Or is there a separation as far as what your roles are here?

NI: I build the furniture. If there’s anything that’s in a box from IKEA, these guys are really busy so I will put that together for them.

BT: You do a lot of other work, too.

NI: I don’t want go through titles…

M3: Well we do have some funny titles. At this point we are all equal partners, but I wanted to become Warlock. I’m pretty sure Kasra should be called “The Knows.”

NI: Me and Ben refer to Kasra as “Hot Chocolate.”

M3: These type of jokes don’t read well.

NI: I’m known as “The Earl of Sandwich.”

M3: That’s true and you know, Ben’s just “Squidface.”

BT: I’ll go with that.

BUG: So TOME is going to be coming out. When is that going to be available for everyone?

KG: We’re expecting it by the end of the year. We would really be surprised if it were any later than that, as we’ve sourced the printer, we’ve got a large portion of the artists already on board with some more coming very quickly, and we’re completely on schedule for the end of the year for people to have it actually shipped out to them.

BUG: And you guys have started a Kickstarter project and that’s been a program that a lot of people have been very successful at, at getting their projects off of the ground. What was it that prompted you guys to go about this with Kickstarter?

NI: I think the main reason was we sat down and we got a good deal of the money that we needed, but we just weren’t quite there and we thought the easy and helpful way would be using Kickstarter. I think a lot of people think that that’s a great way to contribute to a worthy cause, and I think we are going trying to utilize that.

BT: It’s almost like we know there’s a demand for what we want to do and it’s an ambitious project that’s brought together so many artists in a large fancy book, but collectively together we think we have the skills that we think we can get it out, but we are missing that one component of we are not gushing money in any way, we do need to fund this thing, but we know that there are people who can do it, so if we can connect them first to the project to get over that hump, then that’s probably where the success of crowd funding and crowd sourcing and Kickstarter will come in, hopefully. So that’s why we are doing Kickstarter. We’re not millionaires.

BUG: All right, well what have the reactions been so far? Has the Kickstarter project gone up yet? You guys have put up a Facebook page though, right? And the teaser.

M3: We have a Twitter and Facebook account. And we put out a teaser trailer basically of mine and Ben’s print that we are doing that will be an exclusive Kickstarter print from a death Tarot card and the theme of TOME…. TOME is an annual book and each year there will be a different theme. This year’s theme is vampirism and we thought death Tarot card, birth, etc. would be a perfect place to kind of tease that. So that’s gone live and we’ve gotten a great response from it so far. People generally seem excited. It’s actually very heartwarming and humbling. But we have a Twitter account, a Facebook account…

M3: As it turns out, creating a Kickstarter campaign is actually pretty hard, especially when we want to stay to the standards that we like. We didn’t want to make just some crappy video. We didn’t want to have some half details. We wanted to get everything together in a concise very easy to understand thing to let you know that we are working for these pledges. We are not asking for money for nothing. This is a book that we all really believe in and we really want to get it out into the world. We just want to live in a world where this book exists. So we’ve probably worked three weeks straight on the Kickstarter campaign.

KG: Yeah, Menton has been working extremely hard on the video. I don’t know how many hours you’ve put into that video, but it’s a lot. Early mornings, late nights, and it shows. I mean it’s an unbelievable video. I think it captures everything we stand for perfectly. I’m really proud of him and happy that he took that initiative and put all of that time and effort into it, because it’s critical for us to understand our perspective.

BT: Menton truly is Spielbergian in his editing and cinematic skills.

M3: Which is funny, because I have never done this before. I have know idea what I’m doing.

BT: He’s exactly like a guy… with his baseball cap walking down the street in Hollywood. He’s either a hobo or he’s someone really famous. He looks like a director.

M3: I’m a hobo.

BUG: Well this anthology that you guys are working on, you said it’s meant to be coming out once a year and the first theme is going to be vampires…

BT: Vampirism.

BUG: Vampirism, sorry.

BT: I’m just saying vampirism in the sense that that encapsulates a lot more that just strictly vampires in the fantastic and traditional sense, because vampirism is about feeding off other people and other things in a more detrimental way. So corporate vampirism… all sorts of weird stuff, deep stuff potentially.

M3: This is a really strong subject for me. I can really start sounding like a middle age lady who collects cats when I start talking about it, because I do think that there is a lot of esoteric fun that can be had in it. Like I said, there’s a real important part of this to me that I actually have a really intelligent friend, like one of the smartest people I know who actually believes in vampires and his idea about how they form and how they function in reality is vastly different than popular culture and I’ve always been fascinated with his version of it. The whole premise is we are coming to artists and we are saying “Okay, what if vampires were actually real? Paint it. Draw it. Write it. Not in a mythical poetic way, like talk about it in a way that you can believe. How would it actually exist?” That’s pretty fun to deal with on an artistic level.

BUG: Who is on this book so far? What have you guys seen so far coming in for it?

KG: Well we’ve got Ben and Menton in it, clearly, and then we’ve gone out and talked to some friends in the gallery scene, people that are well known on the east and west coasts and even internationally in the dark art, lowbrow, and fine art fields. I’m talking about artists like David Stoupakis, who we worked with on MONOCYTE, and Mathew E. Bone, who is an amazing gallery artist, as well as Chet Zar and Ashley Wood and Scott Radke. The participation is growing literally every day. It will end up being a mix of people that your audience knows and doesn’t know, but we think that will be part of the fun. A lot of these artists do large oil paintings and a show every year or two, and now they’re considering doing some narrative and sequential storytelling, and we just think that’s exciting as hell. So you will see some comic books guys that we love like Riley Rossmo for instance and the amazing Steve Niles, but then you will get these names where it’s like “Who is that?” We hope the reader’s experience will lead them to explore deeper into their work.

M3: Another thing I think is important to say about TOME is that as comic creators, we either create our own books or we create books for other people. You get a script and it’s a lot of fun, but we always know in the back or our head that if we just were able to go crazy on something, we would do better work. So what we are trying to do is facilitate a book where we are allowing artists to take a subject theme and just go crazy. Whatever they want to do. Whatever they want to write, whether it’s sequential art pages, paintings, poems… Whatever they want to do “Here’s your theme” and just “do what you want to do in this theme.” To me as a fan of Ashley Wood or a fan of Bill Sienkiewicz, I can’t wait to see what comes out of that. I would own that book in a minute. So it’s really about creating something that not only as artists we really want to do, but as somebody who wants to buy a book like that.

BUG: So no limitations or anything like that, that you guys have? All you have said is “Vampirism” and that’s it?

M3: That’s it.

BUG: Okay.

KG: That and also all the indirect ideas behind the book. The format is going to be quite large. When we talk to these artists, what we are heartened by is they understand fundamentally what we are going for and they immediately grab onto it. Even people like George Pratt, who was very active in the comic book field and has left and taught and done fine art…he hears this idea, and any misgivings or prior hesitation he has had, either to the medium or to publishing companies or editors or whatever, just disappeared like it was never even there, and they are like “Yes, what can I do?” Again, that’s one of the fundamental reasons that we’re doing this, the belief that if you design projects in a certain way and treat people the right way and incorporate them into the project meaningfully, than they will give you the very best that they can.

M3: I think that you are going to see some of the best work ever by some of these artists, and how exciting is that? To have a book with that kind of momentum behind it? We are really excited not only to offer that to people, but be a part of that. I don’t belong in the book artistically with all of these other guys, but at the same time it’s a real honor, you know?

BT: I feel the same way with some of the names we’ve got. It’s like “Shit.” It’s kind of blowing my mind, and it’s a great sort of link between the comic book world and the larger art world, sort of bringing them together, which is sort of what 44FLOOD is. It is about the gallery scene with Kasra and Menton, who is a fine art painter.

BUG: That’s what I wanted to ask. Are you guys going to do some kind of gallery show opening for the book when it does come out?

M3: I think that’s inevitable.

BUG: Just how you guys are all here in Chicago and it’s a centrally Chicago located…

M3: I think we will probably do some bigger stuff than that. As far as the Kickstarter campaign is concerned, we have a lot of surprises. There’s a lot we are going to get to roll out, and I don’t want to give away too many surprises with it, but that’s something we will be experimenting with quite heavily.

BUG: What else should the guys at Ain’t It Cool News want to know?

M3: One thing I would say is Ben was talking about the division between fine art and comics, and logistically the four of us do not see that separation. But again there’s no content that we really can go to for that empty void that we feel. I think Bill Sienkiewicz is one of the most prolific, amazing artists of our generation, and if the fine art people knew about him, they would eat him up. But he’s mainly looked at as “Oh, that guy who did THE NEW MUTANTS,” but he does phenomenal work and there are people who have bridged the gap, such as Ashley Wood, who is also phenomenal. But there’s a market for this we think or we would like to hope there is. And if there’s not a market for it, then we just want to know this book exists.

BT: You will also get people in the gallery scene, like really big accomplished artists who they kind of want to experiment with comics a bit, which is what Dave Stoupakis has done.

M3: And Chet Zar.

BT: Like you get these people who are curious about this whole other medium, which is a visual medium, which they are made for where they can actually tell a more rounded story than just one image.

M3: A lot of people talk bad about the words “graphic novel” and I actually like those words, but I mean what is the Sistine Chapel but a graphic novel all over the walls of an amazing building? Storytelling with pictures, that’s everywhere. I mean Leonardo Da Vinci told stories with an image. So narrative storytelling through imagery is as old as you can get, but we’ve kind of forced that into a particular place with comics. I love popular comics. I read them. I buy them. But they are of a particular subset and books like STRAY TOASTERS from Bill Sienkiewicz not a lot of people know about and it’s a phenomenal book. So somebody walks in off the street to a normal comic book store, what they are going to see is the normal stuff. They are not going to see STRAY TOASTERS. There’s a lot of people who would love STRAY TOASTERS, who don’t know that it exists and what we want to do with 44FLOOD is do the best we can in whatever way we can to push that ideal forward, that comics are art and art is comics and like Ben was saying, when you’ve got Chet Zar and Dave Stoupakis wanting to make comics, I would crap myself to see a Dave Stoupakis comic or a Chet Zar comic and it’s all about kind of bridging that gap and attempting to create something special in that way.

BUG: Nick, I know that in your store you put the independent books out front with the more mainstream stuff in the back.

NI: Absolutely. The Marvel people will always go to the Marvel section, but if they have to pass over all of the good indie stuff, something might catch their eye and they might pick it up. That’s what I hope will happen. Also it keeps the kid’s section away from the naughty stuff. (Laughs) Once again I’m a firm believer in everything that Menton said. I think that there’s too many watered down regular old comics out there and I think that’s because not only do some of the fans and almost all of the people that aren’t fans, but even the publishers think that comics are just comics and they can be so much more. And then you have a bunch of companies that are doing great stuff. A lot of indie companies are coming out with gold, especially this year. I mean there’s a lot of really awesome art, great writing…

BT: There’s things that in theory are very accessible to everyday people and they are kind of starting to cross that bridge of real art.

NI: But the unfortunate fact is that people just don’t know that it’s out there and that’s what you were talking about, because they only know of the world of comics that they’ve read since they were a kid.

BUG: I’ve always been a huge supporter of independent publishers at Ain’t It Cool News and I try to get the people who read that to check out these independent books. What’s your plan on trying to address both of the Marvel zombies and also people who just go into the galleries and look down on comic books, I guess.

M3: I am a Marvel zombie and I love Marvel books, but I also love many other books. There’s a plan in place, because we believe fundamentally that if you make something that you really love, it’s not rocket surgery, somebody else might love it too. So we are going to try to market this stuff in a way that everybody has access to it. As far as marketing it to particular Marvel readers, we are not sure that’s right. Maybe that will take hold and many it won’t, but it’s not about trying to feed the beast. We are not attempting to do an incestuous sell here. We are not going “Hey, you like X FACTOR, you’re going to love this.” We are going to go “Hey, this is what this is. Do you like it?” That to me is fundamentally very important, because there’s too many people out there trying to make a book that they know everyone will love. There’s enough people doing that. Why add to that pyre when you can try to do something completely different? Me and Kasra did MONOCYTE, Ben’s done WORMWOOD… These are books that are way outside of your normal comic book, but we feel that MONOCYTE was a success. I mean New York Times Bestseller WORMWOOD. So there is a market there. Whether they are Marvel zombies or not, I mean I’d love to think people who like Marvel would like it, but we wouldn’t be upset if they didn’t.

BT: WORMWOOD for quite a while was like a number one or definitely in the top ten comics on the PSP when they first released comics on that platform and it was competing with TRANSFORMERS and GI GOE and CAPTAIN AMERICA and all of that, but the people already knew what those things were, but WORM WOOD looked like this completely different animal, sort of like a twisted Tim Burton sort of thing. So it captured a different vibe. These were people that played video games anyways, but they didn’t necessarily read comics, and they were looking for something that looked cool and appealing. They already knew what CAPTAIN AMERICA was and you know TRANSFORMERS is TRANSFORMERS, but this thing was new and fresh and of something that they were kind of already interested in. So we want to do accessible material ultimately that appeals to people that don’t already read comics. That would be great. If it’s good art, it should be art for art’s sake. It should stand on its own two feet.

BUG: I saw in the video they show the collaboration between Menton and Ben with making that Death Tarot card. What was that like for the two of you guys working together? Did you hand it off?

M3: Well I originally came up with the concept and Ben was a little nervous about it, because I think that it’s hard for artists to trust another artist. I love Ben. He’s one of my best friends. I really love him. But we are both artists and artists are weird people, so it’s like “We are going to draw on the same thing?” But right out of the gate it started working immediately. I mean I’m very proud of what we did. I’m very proud of what he did and I’m proud of what I did and I love how the image doesn’t seem sectioned, how it’s literally one thing done by two different people. It’s two individual people doing one thing. I really love how that came out.

BT: He came up with the composition and obviously the original idea, so as an artist it’s very hard to… I like doing everything. I’m known for doing the whole thing, writing, doing all the art… I’m going to be lettering soon, so I gave up the whole composition process to Menton and that was kind of scary. So I’ve got only these rules to play with and no others. So it kind of makes you think and makes you work and makes you break out of your old shell as well. So it was really fun.

M3: I’m very proud of the art.

BUG: It looks fantastic.

KG: Witnessing it was a lot of fun, too. They had hesitancy for ten minutes here, twenty minutes there, thirty seconds here…and then it was boom. And that’s also been our experience with the formation of 44FLOOD and the conjoining of four totally different people. When we all first met, we thought we had a lot in common, then through engagement realized that we were genuinely different and individuated people, and then ended up back at a place where we actually had even more in common than we could have imagined. It’s pretty remarkable to experience.

BUG: So you guys all working in the same space, do any of you guys ever get stuck and need like encouragement, inspiration, or just companionship from one of the other guys just to help you guys along?

M3: I don’t ever get stuck, because we are together. This is is going to sound extremely strange, but I never really feel like, even when I’m in my room doing my own thing, I don’t really feel like I’m alone. I mean I know that at any point in time Ben is going to walk through to make coffee and I’ll be like “Hey, what do you think of this?” and he will push me further. Kasra will do the same thing and you know we are constantly walking through Ben’s room and we are like “What’s this? This is awesome.” So it’s really this forward momentum that we have in here. It’s actually really amazing. I mean the arguments that we have in here are pretty much zero, which is… Me and Ben are two artists… we are egomaniacal crazy bastards and we’ve never argued. We get along really well, and I think the energy that we put out in the studio is “Let’s do cool shit” and every now and then cool shit happens. But I never feel stuck.

BT: I’ve spent time in offices with publishers and the normal environment and we are just creative people. I think what people miss is there’s like a code in the language that creative people use, even if it’s just casual where we are just shooting the shit that’s sort of spoken, but not spoken. And we forget that not everyone is like that. So we can revitalize each other, even if we are bored and we’ve finished a piece and we want to go in the other room and be like “I’m done with that. How are you doing? What’s going on with you?” And it refreshes us, I think. It gives us new ideas and stuff and we also get to bitch and complain about various artistic things that no one else is really going to understand and that sounds really bad, but I mean in an artistic sense.

BUG: Sure.

NI: Everything around here is very risqué.

M3: I have taken my clothes off. I will say that.

BUG: Well it is quite warm up here. As far as say five years down the line, where do you see this company? Where do you see all of you guys?

NI: Producing beautiful books, and we want to craft books with creators that we respect. We want to be a part, however small, in creating a mechanism for them to be able to freely express themselves and to bring out parts of themselves that they haven’t been able to before for whatever reasons. We just want to continue to craft and make really beautiful, hopefully compelling, books.

M3: I mean even if the Kickstarter is an ultimate failure, we are not stopping. This is something that we’ve all really committed to and this is something we are going to do and if it’s a massive failure, then… I’d rather live on my feet trying this than die on my knees going “I wish this kind of stuff was in the world.” I’m not saying anything bad about the publishers, because I love a lot of the publishers. I’m just saying that what I want when I go to the store isn’t always there and we are just going to make that regardless of what happens, and very little is probably going to stop us.

BT: Just to add, I think at this point it’s a compulsion. So yeah, even if the Kickstarter fails we are committed to doing what we are going to do, because we have to. I’m going to be doing my books the way I want to do them anyway. I’ve always done that, so sink or swim what I’m looking for in the next few years is just building some great relationships, well respected relationships, putting out some beautiful books, some of my own, some from other people, because we have the capacity to partner with some fantastic people now and just put my stamp or our collective stamp on the world with our own little footprint. Because you can only rent for so long. Eventually you’re going to want to build your own house. So we’ll get a mortgage. (Laughs) Though that isn’t going very well in America lately, but I think you understand the sentiment.

M3: Can we talk to him a bit about LUST, Kasra?

BUG: Yeah, I wanted to ask, beyond TOME do you have other projects coming up?

KG: A lot.

M3: A lot of amazing projects. We can’t actually talk about a lot of them now, but some stuff that will blow your mind. What we are trying to do is create an environment. We are not going to try to get rich off of a publishing company, we are trying to make a vessel for creative people to make stuff and they keep what they make. I know it sounds a little crazy, but why not? We literally want to know as individual people that there’s something that functions like this in the world and there are some amazing books that we have in the pipeline, like stuff that blows my mind. I’ve read some of the stuff and it’s made me cry, like amazing stuff. The initial book right after TOME and along with TOME is going to be a very interesting collaboration between me, Steve Niles, and Ben and that’s about all I can say right now other than we are really excited about it. It’s called LUST, and what we have already done with it, we are all really excited about and Steve’s really kind of like the fifth member of 44FLOOD. I mean Steve is an amazing guy. He’s talented as hell, and he’s really wicked smart, and he’s kind of in the forefront of the creator-owned movement. And we’d like to be a part of that just as much as anybody else, but he’s really added a lot to what we are doing. So, we are really excited to work with him, but we do have some other things that I wish to God I could talk about, because I’m so excited about them. But you know we’ve got to confirm things, set things up, and as a new venture we don’t want to talk about a book really until it’s in our hands. We don’t really want to talk about an idea or something until it’s all the way fleshed out.

BUG: I wish some of the other companies did that. For a long time that’s what it was.

KG: We don’t have a past to catch up with.

BUG: One at a time, how about you guys go through and just tell people why they should check out the Kickstarter and donate and support you guys?

M3: To me art is something that we are slightly lacking in our modern day collective. We have groups of people who are very into galleries, and we have groups of people who are really into comics, but I'm talking about the impact of an actual painting or what an image can do. You know I’ve had experiences in my life where paintings and various things have saved my life. We have museums, but it’s all very stuffy and for me if you want to make comics and you want to make art, this is one place that’s going to be out there that is really trying to do something that’s different. We are not trying to become rich off of it. We are literally attempting to make as much art as we can that’s as meaningful to us as we can possibly make. We are literally pouring our hearts, life, blood, and tears into this. So the reason that I would pledge to the Kickstarter campaign is to promote that kind of ideology, to promote “at least there’s someone in the world that’s trying to give you art and they are not trying to become rich off of it. They are just trying to say something.” And that belongs to everybody, so it would be great if a lot of people contributed, because art belongs to everybody.

BT: I think the entire reason why I’m doing any of this, including the Kickstarter, which is where it becomes crucial, is the best thing you can do is empower an artist to be successful off their own talent. And a lot of the time the world’s geared to crush the little guy, and Kickstarter has been great for creative people to get their word out and get support for their endeavors, which are usually completely out of their means in any other way. So Kickstarter has really broken new ground with that, and it’s obviously become a bit of a big thing now. The whole reason we are doing 44FLOOD is to empower creative people in whatever form that may take and have them be the major beneficiary of their own creativity, which is a noble call and I think there should be more noble calls in the world. So supporting this book as the keystone for what we want to do is hopefully something that people can embrace.

KG: We really appreciate people coming and taking a look at the Kickstarter and hopefully coming back again and again as we update the content and disclose some of the things that we’re going to be doing. But we’d like them to support our Kickstarter because we really are of the mindset and approach of building a collective. Everyone involved with the Kickstarter is important. They are completely material. They have a voice. They have a vote. They make a difference. They are not apathetic. They don’t have to be a zombie. They see and feel things as individuals and then make a choice. We want to create content by people who care and engage the reader. And if that’s important to you, if you look at the Kickstarter campaign and the people involved and believe that is the intent, then support it. Reach out, feel something, decide, and take action.

BUG: Nick?

NI: Well you guys have fucking said everything! (Laughs) Basically, I mean we are doing it for all the right reasons and I know that’s what everybody says, but it’s tested and true. And it’s complete quality. Everybody that’s on board now and that we are talking about getting on board is just unbelievable, it’s going to blow people’s minds. It’s super exciting and this is just the first of many, many projects that I can’t believe that I’m a part of. I mean especially being a fan, it’s crazy being on the other side of the glass, but yeah I think people should watch the video and that says it all, honestly. I mean we worked really hard on that and it’s the truth straight up.

M3: We?

NI: Yeah, we! I do a thing once in a while here.

M3: You did build the furniture.

[Everyone Laughs]

BUG: Well guys, thank you so much. Best of luck with this project. I think it’s definitely something worthwhile and worth backing, so I can’t wait to get this up on the site and have people check it out.

44FLOOD vlog 1 from Ben Templesmith on Vimeo.

M3: May I ask you a question?

BUG: Sure.

Menton3: Would you donate to this Kickstarter?

BUG: I would.

M3: How much?

BUG: Let’s talk about that after I click “stop” on my recorder.

M3: Just print “yes.”

BUG: Yes.

M3: Thank you, man.

KG: Thank you so much.

BUG: The 44FLOOD Kickstarter Campaign is underway. I usually don’t post a lot for Kickstarter unless I completely support it. In this case, it’s a no brainer. 44FLOOD has some of the most talented artists in the biz doing something new and exciting. Find out more about the campaign here and support 44FLOOD!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/reviewer/co-editor of AICN Comics for over ten years. He has written comics such as MUSCLES & FIGHTS, MUSCLES & FRIGHTS, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS TINGLERS & WITCHFINDER GENERAL, THE DEATHSPORT GAMES, WONDERLAND ANNUAL 2010 & NANNY & HANK (soon to be made into a feature film from Uptown 6 Films). He is also a regular writer for FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND & has co-written their first ever comic book LUNA: ORDER OF THE WEREWOLF (to be released in October 2012 as an 100-pg original graphic novel). Mark's most comic book miniseries GRIMM FAIRY TALES PRESENTS THE JUNGLE BOOK from Zenescope Entertainment will be released March through August 2012 and GRIMM FAIRY TALES #76-80 beginning in August 2012!

Editing, compiling, imaging, coding, logos & cat-wrangling by Ambush Bug
Proofs, co-edits & common sense provided by Sleazy G

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