“Zoo” began as a series of drawings and ideas. Around 2013, it evolved into a (successful!) comic book Kickstarter campaign. This led to the publication of the first issue of a homegrown comic – followed by a second issue. Carrie Goldsworthy, Ben Jerred, and I celebrated with a big event before moving onto new projects. In 2016, I wrote and released a short story version on Google Play.
In August 2012, my brother and I decided to turn a story that I wrote into a comic book. I had read somewhere that creative projects stand to gain more momentum the more people get involved, so I asked Graphic Design students I knew at Bryant & Stratton to help.
Ben and I had decided to turn our project into a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter, and we built a pay schedule around the prospect of successful funding. One student, Carrie Goldsworthy, joined our team, and we arranged a deal. What fun, and what a success.
Carrie served as lead artist on our first issue, which is called “Zoo: The Recruit.” Ben carried out coloring and text on Issue 1. And Bill Deforest served as creative consultant/art director on many aspects of the project. Together, we built a social presence online with a) a real-time developments blog, which is still active, b) a facebook page, and (also through facebook) c) a collaboration portal.
Ben and I continued to develop a second issue . Issues were made available for purchase at an online store. There were 36 issues planned.
Next, I imagined a promotional event that could simultaneously increase our own exposure while continuing the tradition of involving artists, designers and comic book enthusiasts – all at Bryant & Stratton’s North campus. I spoke with Heather and we established November 20 as the date for a “Zoo Comics Convention.” The premise is that we can show what we have accomplished and what we are developing to potential Bryant & Stratton students with similar interests. I tracked some of the interest in this event through a facebook event announcement and page.
Then, Bill arranged to have an editor friend of his from DC Comics, Suzanne Gaffney, attend and speak at “ZooCon 2013.” While Ben and I have had several strategic planning meetings about the possible design of this event, we agreed that a keynote address from a professional editor from one of the best-known comics publishers on earth makes for a remarkable centerpiece.
The story of Zoo is science fiction, and centers on the idea of a secret space program, and themes such as animal experimentation, alternative fuels, and robotics/artificial intelligence.
Online Video Game Demo
Perhaps THE coolest thing to come out of this enterprise is my brother, Ben’s, online video game. You can check it out here.