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Interview: Paul Jenkins, Fairy Quests and Kickstarter

Paul Jenkins to his new book Fairy Quest and its Kickstarter campaign.


Paul Jenkins is the prolific comic book writer who has worked on major comic book projects Wolverine: The Origin and The Sentry as well as top tier video game franchises such as God of War.  Now, Jenkins is working on a new project, Fairy Quest, with Humberto Ramos.  Unlike past comic projects, Fairy Quest is entirely creator-owned and is being published with the help of the crowdfunding website Kickstarter.  The Outhouse spoke with Jenkins about Fairy Quest and why he chose to self-publish the volume instead of using conventional means.

The Outhouse: Let's get the obvious question out of the way first: what's the basic premise of Fairy Quest and why should readers want to read it?

fq1Paul Jenkins: Fairy Quest is set in the world of Fablewood, where all of the stories that have ever been told live together. So the romance stories are in one area, the horror stories, kids' stories, etc. Fairy Quest is set in the world of children's stories, which is a difficult place to live. All of the characters must tell their tales properly or risk having their minds erased and being reset by the nefarious Mister Grimm and his Think Police. In this environment, Red Riding Hood and the wolf become friends and try to escape to a mysterious place called Realworld.

OH: Which fairy tale characters appear in Fairy Quest?  In what ways do they differ from their traditional depictions in the Grimm fairy tales?

PJ: All of them are in it, pretty much. But the story revolves around Red and Mister Woof. Our versions are very different: in a way, we're showing how it is "behind the scenes."

OH: How did you and Humberto Ramos first come up with the Fablewood saga?  How long have you two been developing this project?

PJ: This has been in the works for four years! It came from a fusion of two ideas: Humberto came to me with the idea for the Red and Woof story, and I brought in the concept of Fablewood.

OH: As a longtime fan of Ramos' art, I'd just like to say that the pages I've seen of Fairy Quest are absolutely spectacular.  What does Ramos' art bring to Fairy Quest and what has it been like working with him?

PJ: Well, Humberto and I have been great friends since our time on Spectacular. He is one of my best friends in all the world so obviously working him is like working with my brother, except we don't fight. And as I have said many times, this is really the book Humberto was born to draw!

fq2OH: It seems like there's been a resurgence in fairy tale themed stories in pop culture lately.  Why do fairy tales have such staying power in today's world? 

PJ: Wow, I am not sure. For us, don't forget, we began this in 2008. So back then Fairy Tales were not so prominent. It seems they finally caught up to us!

OH: How long do you foresee the Fablewood Saga running for?  Will future volumes also be released in hardcover or do you ever plan in transitioning into a different format?

PJ: We'll go hardcover right now. We feel it better expresses the type of high quality book we want people to read and keep forever. And believe me, after the 4-issue Fairy Quest is finished we will then go onto more Fablewood stories. We can do this until we are old!

OH: Both you and Humberto Ramos are established creators with resumes a mile long.  What made you decide to crowd-fund Fairy Quest through Kickstarter instead of approaching a publisher and asking them to publish the series?

PJ: We've made this clear on our pledge page: Humberto and I believe in the power of crowd funding and the community aspects reflected in places like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. We get to fully control the quality of the book, and it remains a very personal work that we will always be able to guide directly, instead of through another publisher. We consider the backers of the project to be our publishing partners.

OH: What role do you think Kickstarter has in the future of the comic book industry? 

PJ: That requires a very long answer. But in a nutshell, I think Kickstarter is a perfect way to help publishers fund the printing, and perhaps even the editorial. Then, the book can be sold through many different channels. It is here to stay, and growing all the time.

fq3OH: After the Kickstarter campaign is finished, how will fans be able to get their hands on the book?  

PJ:
We'll probably have it always available at shows, and we'll also sell it directly. We may solicit the book in the direct market if retailers want to carry it.

OH: What sort of challenges have you faced during the Kickstarter campaign?  What would you do differently if you could start the campaign over again?

PJ: God... I learned so much this time around. It has been pretty difficult but very worthwhile. We are pretty decent at creating the book but we suck compared to some of the folks who have done amazing pages. Initially, we were very confused about how the site worked. Our pledge rewards were probably not well thought out but we adjusted and got better. I think our latest update was the best, and people have responded really well. I think our campaign for issue #2, which is currently being drawn, will be much better!

If you're interested in supporting Fairy Quest, click here for the book's Kickstarter campaign.  Pledges are still needed!




Written or Contributed by: Outhouse Staff
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About the Author - Christian Hoffer


Christian Hoffer is the exasperated Abbott to the Outhouse's Costello. When he's not yelling at the Newsroom for upsetting readers or complaining to his wife about why the Internet is stupid, he sits in his dingy business office trying to find new ways to make the site earn money. Hoffer is also the only person in history stupid enough to moderate two comic book forums at once.

 


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