|"Flight" poster by Kibuishi|
Kazu Kibuishi is one of those passionate individuals. A Southern California resident who works in the animation industry as a story and 3D artist, Kibuishi decided to gather up some of his friends to produce an anthology slated for release later this year called "Flight." CBR News caught up with Kibuishi to learn more about this independent anthology.
"'Flight' began as a tiny little project that Catia Chien suggested just a little while after the Alternative Press Expo last year," Kibuishi told CBR News Thursday afternoon. "We had such a great time at the convention that we felt we should put together a book full of short stories to sell at our table the next year. I thought it was a great idea, and I had been planning for a few years to do some sort of comics magazine or anthology that I wanted to call 'Flight Patterns' full of Moebius and Miyazaki-influenced material. The two ideas sort of converged, I shortened the title to 'Flight,' asked a few friends to contribute, and began putting together some material."
|"Hugo Earheart" by Jake Parker|
"Everyone on this book was asked by either me or another contributor to join the project. I'm fortunate enough to have some really talented friends, who are also some of the nicest people in the world, and I asked them first, or rather, made them feel guilty if they didn't contribute. Once we had several artists onboard, it took literally only five or six more e-mails to sign on the entire current list of contributors. I first asked Joel Carroll to join the project during a casual e-mail exchange, and he asked Jake Parker, who was really excited to do the project, seeing as he had a similar project in mind for some time. Next, I asked Enrico Casarosa, then the Pants Press Gang, Kean Soo, Neil B, and Derek Kirk Kim joined soon afterward. It all sort of snowballed from there. The current contributors also include the French comics artist Bengal, Bill Mudron, Catia Chien, Clio Chiang, Chris Appelhans, Dylan Meconis, Erika Moen, Hope Larson, Jen Wang, Khang Le, Phil Craven, Rad Sechrist, and Vera Brosgol. You can find a list of links to their Web sites on the 'Flight homepage.
Creators involved didn't have to come up with a story that related to the name of the project, in factm Kibuishi gave his creators no limitations for themes they could explore in the book.
|"Hugo Earheart" Page 1|
For Kibuishi, producing "Flight" comes from a need for a creative outlet outside his regular job. This is a project of passion and making money came secondary to creative wishes.
"I had a lot of faith in the contributors to create some comics that people would really, really want to see," said Kibuishi. "It also didn't really matter to me if we made money or not. I just wanted to do it, even if it cost me an arm and a leg to do so. In some ways, this project also stems from my frustration of working on large projects at my day job that don't go anywhere. I pour so much into these projects that end up on a shelf somewhere.
|"Copper - Maiden Voyage" Page 1 by Kazu Kibuishi|
The original plan was to self-publish "Flight" and have it ready for release at this month's Alternative Press Expo, but as everyone got into the project they realized that wasn't going to be possible. So, with the delay in the project, Kibuishi decided they'd approach some publishing houses about bringing "Flight" to life. Once a publisher is found, final publication plans will be made for a mid-to-late 2004 release. The final book will be over 200 pages.
"…['Flight'] contains some of the best comics work I've seen in recent memory (and I'm being very objective here, folks!). We've been flying by the seat of our pants from the very beginning, so I guess it wouldn't be fitting if we didn't land the same way. The experience of working on this material with these people has already been more than worth the time and effort on my part. I loved every moment of it.
|Page 1 of an untitled story by Vera Brosgol|
"The biggest thing I learned on this project is that being organized and staying ahead of schedule can really pay off. Can't say it'll pay off financially yet, but it definitely pays off on the stress meter and 'inspiring the others to work' meter. I started the work on my comic really early and presented every step of the process as I went, and I think this helped everyone feel that the crazy guy driving the bus was actually going to get them to their destination! I really hope that by having done this, along with several other contributors who were more open to critiques, we were able to inspire the other contributors to work harder and to do the best work they possibly could. Seeing the work of some of the others definitely inspired me."