iPlates II

.

Remember a couple years ago when I reviewed the first volume of iPlates? Of course you don’t. So here’s a link. But to sum up, it was mostly very good and you should read it. Now, after a successful Kickstarter, Volume II is out and available for your ingestion. And ingest you should.

Although I would recommend [re]reading volume one before reading two. (It took me three quarters of the book to fully remember everyone and get back in the emotional swing of things. But that’s on me. I’ll have to reread them. They’re worth it. And I’ll need to reread them again before three, in order to stay on top of the still-open plot points.)

What’s great about these adaptations is how they veer away from the story-as-in-the-scriptures in order to develop characters and situations, then suddenly they plop you right back into a verse you know. Volume two is, after all, 150 pages covering two chapters in Mosiah, resulting in a pace both frenetic and steady as the characters run to and fro creating new story, while arriving at each next verse right on time.

This volume lacks interstitial art, which I miss, but a higher quantity of pop-culture references (ranging from Princess Bride to Sound of Music), some nice parallelism (the good sister does bad; the bad sister does good—each while trying to do right as they understand it), and the first time I’ve ever leapt for joy at the phrase “A POLITICIAN!”

In short, the book lives up to its claims of providing “witty dialogue” and “dramatic plot turns” within the framework of the story as we know it.

My only regret is that the Kickstarter didn’t quite get high enough to result in color printing. Although I like the black-and-white, the preponderance of night scenes in this volume makes it sometimes hard to tell who is who. And I know my kids would prefer color, them being young that way. But regardless, this volume, like the last, is a success. Let’s wish for many more to come.

Theric (and Monsters & Mormons) at SLC Comic Con Fan X

.

I’ll be in Salt lake City this weekend for Fan Experience. I’ll be giving an updated version of my Mormons and comics discussion from the first SLC Comic Con which will, among other changes, mention Nathan Shumate’s Cheap Caffeine, incorporate information from a couple AML presentations (James Goldberg on The Garden of Enid, Stephen Carter on Book of Mormon comics), and the Kickstarter campaigns for iPlates and From the Dust. Mike Homer will give his presentation on representations of Mormons and Utah in comics over time. (240 seats)

Fifteen minutes before that rerun, a panel of Monsters & Mormons participants will be publicly talking about their work and what’s become of it. I’m a bit confused over the final makeup of the panel (this story is personally embarrassing, but that’s a story for another day), but expect at least seven people you definitely want to hear from. (220 seats)

Then fifteen minutes after the comics rerun, I’ll be on a Sherlock Holmes panel which I really really hope has no Mormon tie-ins. (400 seats)

Based on the numbers here, I think I should be able to take 10.75 days off teaching and still reach the same number of people. Sweet.

(pdf)

Equal-time Doctrine

.

As the iPlates Kickstarter draws to a close, that other Book of Mormon comic is getting into the action.

Compared to iPlates, Michael Mercer’s From the Dust is as equal in ambition as it is different in intention and execution. Michael’s also set a waaaay more ambitious goal. Will it work? I don’t know. I do think the Kickstarter model makes more sense for them than their previous model, and I do think From the Dust is likely to be popular with a larger group of people; however, I also suspect Mercer’s built-in network is smaller and less familiar with the Kickstarter model. So gathering in almost ten thousand more dollars strikes me as an iffy proposition.

Best of luck, though! I’ve pledged my $25. I would love to own the books.

iPlates Kickstarter

.

Although we miss many worthy projects, Kickstarter has become a funding home for many Mormon artists, including some explicitly Mormon projects. Such as Stephen Carter and Jett Atwood’s iPlates.

I’ve written about the first volume before, and I anticipate this volume to improve on the first. (I have no good proof this will be the case; I’m just extrapolating from a trend.) The story will be 128 pages based on Mosiah 12-13.

And: if the project is successful, they’ll start right away on their next project. Volume three will star Abish.

willitcome

Sharing the new crop of Book of Mormon comics with my kids From the Dust

.

[EDIT: Since this post was written, the outlinks have changed. Instead of clicking on anything headed to From the Dust‘s site, click here instead. Alas, most of the information I linked to is no longer available. So it goes. For more info, see the artist’s comment below or contact him through the new site.]

.

One perk of being “the” recognized expert in Mormon comics is that every once in a while, people come to me and share what they’re working on. These past couple weeks, I’ve gotten all sorts of free swag in the mail from creators. The Book of Mormon stuff I’ll share with you now.

Today I’m writing about From the Dust; yesterday was iPlates (read). I read both for Family Home Evening last Monday (correction: I guess it was TWO Mondays ago now) with my three boys, aged three to nine.

From the Dust creator Michael Mercer was extremely generous in the package he sent. He sent a fullsized poster, themed playing cards, bookmarks, character cards—all sorts of stuff—and issue #0.

Unlike iPlates which is sold in an oversized book, From the Dust is printed and shaped and sized like a traditional comic book. You know, like Superman or Richie Rich or something. He sent it in a bag with a board just like the collector’s edition any #0 is presumed to be. If this were 1993 I imagine every Mormon teen with a sense for investment would be buying several copies to hoard for future resell.

No question #0 is a handsome comic book with its white cover. Open it up and the letter to “First Fan” includes a printed signature and wax seal (the Seal of Baruch). But not just that—Mercer has signed it again with an actual pen, and numbered it (my copy is 234/250). This is the sort of personal touch that I have to believe will endear early readers to him.

Assuming, of course, the work is worthy of such endearment. Continue reading “Sharing the new crop of Book of Mormon comics with my kids From the Dust”

Sharing the new crop of Book of Mormon comics with my kids iPlates

.

One perk of being “the” recognized expert in Mormon comics is that every once in a while, people come to me and share what they’re working on. These past couple weeks, I’ve gotten all sorts of free swag in the mail from creators. The Book of Mormon stuff I’ll share with you now.

Today I’m writing about iPlates, tomorrow will be From the Dust (this link will go live tomorrow morning). I read both for Family Home Evening  last Monday with my three boys, aged three to nine.

iPlates is the ???ly named Book of Mormon adaptation that first appeared in Sunstone. The first story featured Ammon arriving in the land of Ishmael, and the tale never quite gels. But the script is by Sunstone editor Stephen Carter and the drawings are by Sunstone‘s most visible cartoonist Jett Atwood and they gave themselves another shot.

I’m glad they did. The Ammon story was too indebted to manga (it even, in a rather clever move, read right to left from the back of the magazine) with those cheezy face changings, etc. You should never judge a serial comic by its first appearance, however. The nature of working with the same material over and over again means things will be refined, both writing and drawing. To illustrate, consider the following: Continue reading “Sharing the new crop of Book of Mormon comics with my kids iPlates”