A few years ago in a tip of the hat to the large comic book supplements that people used to get with their newspapers. DC released a weekly run of comics known as ‘The Wednesday Comics’. These comics were released on pulp style paper and were the same scale and size as a broad sheet newspaper.
This was DC Comics way of not only selling more books, but also paying homage to how people used to consume comics and still do in some parts of the world. It was also a tip of the hat to ‘The Sunday Comics’, which was a full pull out comic book section that we in most broad sheet newspapers and featured many of the great pulp action hero strips as well as the more cute and comedic comics.
In a move to try and bring this back comics writer and life long fan Marc Goldner has been running a kickstarter campaign, which has proved to be pretty successful. Goldner has tapped into the public hunger for nostalgia and is taking steps to breathe new life into ‘The Sunday Comics’.
I was recently lucky enough to be able to do a Q&A with Marc about this exciting project, which you can read below.
SFP: How did you get into the world of publishing and comics?
Marc Goldner: It’s easier than you think! No, I’m kidding. This business is one of the hardest, most competitive industries in the game. When we (Rachel Korsen, Rob Gross, and myself) first ventured into this we looked at it as creatives. While Rachel has an art, animation and painting back- ground, Rob & myself are writers. We have been writing screenplays, teleplays, creating concepts for years now. When the time came where we fully realized the direction we wanted to go with a visual medium, The Sunday Comics was a natural evolution to everything we were doing at the moment. We spiced it up with bringing on several hundred other creators to the project but it’s honestly been a blast, just a lot of hard and fun work. If that didn’t entirely answer the question, re- ally it just comes down to having an idea, developing it, and calling up a printer. Okay, I’m making it sound a bit easier than it is, you need marketing, an audience, dedication, tireless days and nights fully devoted to the idea to make something successful. At the end of the day you have to love what you do otherwise you’ll look back and say “working these hours, I could be making $X” and that’s just not the reality of having fun with building a start up like Golden Bell from the ground up now.
SFP: From what have seen of your work. You seem to be inspired by classic newspaper comic strips and pulp style story telling. Could you maybe tell us about that and maybe talk about some of your favorite characters?
Marc Goldner: All three of us here have dozens of inspirations. It’s without a question that my personal introduction to the visual art form came from newspaper comics, but it soon branched off into comic books, television, film, video games, and so much more. With Rachel it was mostly Manga and Anime so that hinted flavor can be seen in a bunch of our projects. Rob says something quite often that I find really interesting, he says he loves to watch movies with me because while I may know what’s going to happen from a structural or writing standpoint, I’m equally in shock and awe at major films. Just tonight, I watched SKYFALL and literally jumped when we found out who *SPOILER* Moneypenny is, and even though I knew that the only reason they’re bring in a charac- ter named MMMMMalorie is because he’d be the new M, but it didn’t take away from the heart wrenching moment when my M died. I look at this scene right now saying this as a rebirth of a franchise. It’s out with the old, in with the new for Bond, a resurrection. The parallel of what we’re doing with The Sunday Comics here at Golden Bell is evident from that. While I’m a huge fan of my early childhood memories and classics like Garfield, Dennis The Mennace, Peanuts, Prince Valiant, Flash Gordon, and Little Nemo, it would be silly to say that I look at this venture as a mod- ern take on everything. This isn’t just classic stand alone strips, it’s bringing a serialized storytelling narrative to a medium where that is almost entirely absent. Looking how the Bond movies are now interconnecting is something that was unheard of in Bond movies. Just the other night my dad didn’t believe it (he’s a bit behind, as was I) but nonetheless, part of battle with this isn’t just bring- ing back a classic printing format like newspapers but it’s explaining to people that this isn’t just your standard Sunday papers anymore, this is something new with the same name that we know everyone is going to love. For those interested, some of my other major major major influences are shows like LOST, Heroes, 24, and hey in High School I’ll admit I watched The O.C. come on who didn’t? With movies, the big franchises like Bond, Harry Potter, Marvel, DC, and all that draw me in.
SFP: How did Golden Bell comics come about and what sort of comics do you guys specialize in?
Marc Goldner: As I mentioned earlier, Golden Bell was the culmination of everything we’d been working on. When Rachel, Rob and I were about a year before graduation, we’d already been collaborating on so much but we didn’t have a direction. A lot of events transpired in a very short amount of time that led us to realizing that we weren’t going to be getting jobs after college, we’d instead take a risk and devote years of our lives to making an entertainment company that will specialize in comics, animation, and one day film. We are quite a ways away from this but the progress I’ve seen us make in just the past year alone honestly is just mind boggling to me. We are specializing in everything from comic books to comic strips and every genre in between.
SFP: You have a campaign up and running at the moment for something called ‘Sunday Comics’ up on Kickstarter. Where did the idea come from and what can you tell us about Sunday Comics.
Marc Goldner: I guess after talking with so many people and tracing back the story it really did come from so many different directions. Between comics being my earliest form of introduction to loving art, a class project, and a desire to start a company, the synergies were in place and it just took a little push for me to realize what that path was. Since then, we’ve created a publication that will house over 300 creators from around the world and will be published monthly. We have top notch creators like Paul Dini from Batman: The Animated Series and LOST, Oscar Nominated ani- mator and Cannes Grand Prize Winner Bill Plympton, Eisner Award Winner Bill Sienkiewicz, Glenn McCoy storyboard artist for “Minions”, Director of the Netflix series “Dragons” John Sanford, Story- board artist of “Doctor Who” Mike Collins, and Director of “The Book of Life” Jorge Gutierrez, it’s truly an All-Star team. Rachel, Rob and I will be debuting the stories we’ve been creating for the last several years and we hope that people are going to enjoy them as much as we have so far!
SFP: What sort of perks do you have on the Kickstarter in order to encourage people to let loose with their wallets.
Marc Goldner: Always try to keep this part simple; we have original drawings, being drawn into a comic, prints, original art, paintings, and of course we have 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 month subscriptions!
SFP: Have noticed that you have a page advertising opportunities on the website. Does this mean you are open for story pitches and such?
Marc Goldner: We are consistently looking for new talent and I personally have an open door policy to anyone. Whether it’s a creator, someone in business, or just a fan wanting to chat, I take calls all day everyday and that’s why my number’s on www.GoldenBell.TV come on over, don’t be shy!
SFP: What sort of stories and characters would you be looking for in regards to Sunday Comics or Golden Ball Comics.
Marc Goldner: It’s literally a mixed bag like you’ve never seen before. I can confidently say that I believe we have some of the most diversified stories, content, and genres in our lineup that is going to blow people out of the water. We want this to be something that is a must read for people in a mainstream audience and that means there is a lot of work ahead for us to reintroduce comics back into the minds of people in popular culture. I’m confident that we can do it though, with every- thing ranging from Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Drama, Horror, and Humor are just a taste of what’s in store.
SFP: Where do people need to go to read about Golden Ball Comics and Sunday Comics?
Marc Goldner: With just a couple days left in our Kickstarter campaign the time to come check us out and support the project would be right here, right now, today, don’t wait for this opportunity! We know you’ll love, we’d say “or your money back” but I think we all know that’s just a marketing gimmick! Thanks again for having us on here with you today and be sure to check us out at…