AWAKENING TIMES Volume 14, Number 1

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AWAKENING TIMES
Volume 14, Number 1
Summer 2014
AwakenCmx@aol.com
http://www.awakeningcomics.com

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CONTENTS: A Word From The Publisher; Comicverse: Behind The Counter #1 Now Available; Steve Peters’ Patreon: Become a Patron For Awakening Comics; New Journal Strip on Tumblr

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Hi folks! It occurs to me that my last publication, Comicverse: Behind The Counter #1 is now about 1 year old, yet I’ve never announced its availability to the people on this email list (though I did mention the Kickstarter for it, which was successful, in case you weren’t following that). As I’ve said a few times before, I’ve become pretty bad at sending out this newsletter; the best way to keep up with my activities these days is on my Facebook page and on the Comicverse Facebook page. I know that some people don’t do Facebook—is there anyone out there who still relies on this newsletter for Awakening news? Replies are appreciated!

At any rate, I have some old news for you about that, along with a new special sale of that item for this month only. Also, a couple of NEW news items! See? I’m not completely hopeless!

—Steve

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (about a year late, ha!): COMICVERSE: BEHIND THE COUNTER #1

Kickstarter.jpg

Comicverse: Behind The Counter is a spinoff of The Comicverse, which is a sci-fi rom-com weekly webcomic about a comic book shop on a space station written by Bianca Alu-Marr and drawn by Steve Peters. Comicverse: Behind The Counter is a behind the scenes look at the Comicverse world illustrated by guest artists who all bring their own unique visual interpretations of the characters and settings.

Comicverse co-creator Steve Peters says: “I am enjoying my work on The Comicverse immensely, but I am also a writer. Since I am 100% committed to promoting The Comicverse, yet need to scratch that writery itch, I had the idea of working on a Comicverse spinoff series that I would write and draw, which I started working on in 2012. In the interest of fairness, I suggested to Bianca that she write some stories for other artists to illustrate, which could become a Comicverse spinoff of its own.”

Bianca says: “Neil Gaiman says about writing, ‘I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.’ I felt the same way while writing the stories in this compilation, and being able to collaborate with such talented and diverse artists, whose unique styles enhanced my words. It was pure joy and fun, with not a hint of work. And it helped that I loved to explore the stories on the cutting floor, or behind the scenes in the Comicverse world that may not have had a chance to shine. I hope you feel the same way, and check out Comicverse: Behind the Counter.”

The first artist is Steve’s cousin, Daniel Spontón, an Argentinian cartoonist. He draws pictures for a magazine called Genios in a “Where’s Waldo”-type style, and Steve had him do an image in that vein for a wraparound cover for his publication, Yes Fanzine #2. Daniel’s story for Behind The Counter is drawn in a different style, with lovely pen and ink work. It is a story within a story, in a comic book that Ying the dragon is reading to learn more about his own kind, called “The Dragon’s Pearl“.

The next artist is Zinc Comics creator Brian Payne. He illustrated a story called “Oh, No They Di-in’t” for us that he has described as Comicverse’s equivalent to the Cantina scene in Star Wars!

The third artist appearing in Comicverse: Behind The Counter is Dre Grigoropol, also known as Dretime, who Steve met at Philly Comix Jam in 2009, and their work has appeared together in several publications since then. She asked Bianca to write her a story about romance, so Bianca wrote a story called “Dark Is The New Sexy“, which features Devon the emo kid, who first appeared in The Comicverse #3.

The final contributor to Comicverse: Behind The Counter is Hans Rickheit, who did a lovely illustration of Ying reading comics.

Comicverse: Behind The Counter #1, published by Awakening Comics, September 2013.
Black and white, manga-size, 40 pages.

Special offer (September 2014 only): Buy Behind The Counter #1 and get a small piece of Comicverse art from a future issue for $7

Buy Behind The Counter #1 from the Awakening eBay page

Browse the Awakening Comics back catalog of available issues

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I have launched a Patreon page. Patreon lets fans support their favorite creators by becoming patrons. Unlike other fundraising services,such as Kickstarter, which raise for a single big event, Patreon is for creators who create a stream of smaller works. Instead of being project-based, it’s an ongoing donation.

Things have been very tight and my day job and I’m struggling to make ends meet, so Patreon has been a real boon for getting a little extra income to fund my creative efforts.

Patrons can pledge as low as $1 a month, and can stop their payments at any time.

Patrons receive rewards that vary depending on how much is donated per month. It’s been a huge help with reviving my musical projects, something I’ve wanted to do but haven’t found the time/motivation—some of my patrons are pledged to receive songs from the Awakening archives that I’ve never released before. This has impelled me to format old songs in mp3 format, which is important to me because they were recorded in an obsolete format (that I no longer can use), and have since been transferred to another format that is also obsolete. If I hadn’t started transferring them (thanks to Patreon) to mp3, a lot of this stuff could be lost forever! And it’s been a joy and inspiration to listen to this old material again, which I haven’t done in many years.

I’ve had an epic piece of music in mind for a while that will serve as a soundtrack for a future comic, and since I’ve promised some patrons monthly samples of the work-in-progress, it’s finally gotten me to work on the project, which as I said earlier I might not get around to otherwise.

Another reward a Google hangout with patrons, which I’m really looking forward to doing. I already have one patron who is subscribed for that, but she has yet to claim her reward!

Here’s the reward levels:

Pledge $1.00 or more per month:
Access to my Patreon activity stream

Pledge $3.00 or more per month:
Access to my Patreon activity stream
Music content from my archives (I recorded a LOT of stuff before putting out my two CDs).

Pledge $5.00 or more per month:
The above rewards, plus: Samples of new music as I gradually put together a new epic piece of music.

Pledge $10.00 or more per month:
The above rewards, plus: Join a monthly Google hangout where you can ask questions and watch me working on the newest Comicverse page.

Pledge $40.00 or more per month:
The above rewards, plus: A small piece of Comicverse art mailed to you every month.

Pledge $100.00 or more per month:
The above rewards, plus: A full page of Comicverse art mailed to you every month.

Here’s the link to my Patreon page.

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I’ve started a new semi-autobiographical diary comic called JOURNAL OF THE ROOK which features the ramblings of Esteban Moisset, a character that sometimes appears in The Comicverse and is based on me (my middle name is Moisset). I won’t be updating every day, but rather as time permits and when inspiration strikes.

You can see it here.

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Awakening Masterpieces #2

 

Cover

Awakening Masterpieces #2 features sketch cards drawn between 2006 and 2010 for Awakening Comics readers, and sketchbook art from 1996 to 2000, with preliminary work on covers and characters from Everwinds, The Everwinds Awakening War, Awakening Comics 1999 #1, and Chemistry.

Sketch card topics include Micronauts, Groo Cerebus, Sparky, Runner the fox, and numerous Marvel and DC superheroes.

Awakening Masterpieces #2. Summer 2010.
By Steve Peters.
32 pages, published by Awakening Comics.

 

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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Awakening Masterpieces #1

micro-logoCover

Some-other-dayAntron03-Rock-and-a-hard-place04-Battle-Cruiser00 BK's Men06-Hahaha

This is a reproduction of a comic about Micronauts toys that I drew in 1978, when I was about 10 or 11 years old.  It is in full color, is 48 pages; the current printing is square bound.

It is a very goofy comic, told from a child’s perspective; members of Micropolis Embassy, a Yahoo! Micronauts group, told me they enjoyed it very much.  Any Micronauts collector who had the toys back when they came out will probably get a kick out of this comic.  All your favorites in it: Space Glider, Force Commander, Biotron, Microtron, Galactic Defender, Galactic Warrior, Pharoid, Time Traveler, Baron Karza, Acroyear, Antron, Membros, Repto, Giant Acroyear, Astro Station, Battle Cruiser, Hornetroid, Gyrotron, Mobile Exploration Lab, and probably some others I can’t think of right now.

Fans of the Marvel Micronauts comic will notice I stole heavily from Bill Mantlo’s writing and Michael Golden’s art.  There are some original touches, too—I invented some new color schemes for some of the background characters, strangely foreshadowing the custom Micronauts I would create when I started collecting them again some 25 years later.  The “Shadow Soldiers” were Time Travelers whose heads I painted black in order to make them bad guys (probably inspired by the Lugomen from the Space Giants TV show).

Micronauts fans should also check out my comic Runner’s Paradox, which features the Kachinabots, characters inspired by Micronauts, as well as illustrations by Micronauts enthusiasts Michael Jaecks, Bryan Wilkinson, Will Jones, and Scott Elyard. I also offer a package deal of all the comics I’ve done that feature characters inspired by the Micronauts.

You can see more samples of the comic here.

Here’s eBay feedback I received for this item:

“An Absolute Must For All Micronaut Collectors. Thank You!”
Buyer: peacecat30

“Love the comic. Thank you.”
Buyer: puffedhell

“This is too cool. Thanks for making it available + the awesome original sketch!”
Buyer: resrvordog

“Comic was awesome! Service was fast and friendly. Highly Recommended!”
Buyer: scotbot

“Easy to deal with, thanks again!!!”
Buyer: wongkarwai

Awakening Masterpieces #1.
First Printing 2007 (Signed and numbered, 100 copies)
Second Printing Fall 2013, square bound.
By Steve Peters
48-Page full-color comic, Published by Awakening Comics

 

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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Comicverse: Behind The Counter #1

Image

Comicverse: Behind The Counter  is a spinoff of The Comicverse, which is a sci-fi rom-com weekly webcomic about a comic book shop on a space station written by Bianca Alu-Marr and drawn by Steve Peters. Comicverse: Behind The Counter is a behind the scenes look at the Comicverse world illustrated by guest artists who all bring their own unique visual interpretations of the characters and settings.

Comicverse co-creator Steve Peters says: “I am enjoying my work on The Comicverse immensely, but I am also a writer. Since I am 100% committed to promoting The Comicverse, yet need to scratch that writery itch, I had the idea of working on a Comicverse spinoff series that I would write and draw, which I started working on in 2012. In the interest of fairness, I suggested to Bianca that she write some stories for other artists to illustrate, which could become a Comicverse spinoff of its own.”

Bianca says: “Neil Gaiman says about writing, ‘I learned to write by writing. I tended to do anything as long as it felt like an adventure, and to stop when it felt like work, which meant that life did not feel like work.’ I felt the same way while writing the stories in this compilation, and being able to collaborate with such talented and diverse artists, whose unique styles enhanced my words. It was pure joy and fun, with not a hint of work. And it helped that I loved to explore the stories on the cutting floor, or behind the scenes in the Comicverse world that may not have had a chance to shine. I hope you feel the same way, and check out Comicverse: Behind the Counter.”

The first artist is Steve’s cousin, Daniel Spontón, an Argentinian cartoonist. He draws pictures for a magazine called Genios in a “Where’s Waldo”-type style, and Steve had him do an image in that vein for a wraparound cover for his publication, Yes Fanzine #2. Daniel’s story for Behind The Counter is drawn in a different style, with lovely pen and ink work. It is a story within a story, in a comic book that Ying the dragon is reading to learn more about his own kind, called “The Dragon’s Pearl“.

The next artist is Zinc Comics creator Brian Payne. He illustrated a story called “Oh, No They Di-in’t” for us that he has described as Comicverse’s equivalent to the Cantina scene in Star Wars!

The third artist appearing in Comicverse: Behind The Counter is Dre Grigoropol, also known as Dretime, who Steve met at Philly Comix Jam in 2009, and their work has appeared together in several publications since then. She asked Bianca to write her a story about romance, so Bianca wrote a story called “Dark Is The New Sexy“, which features Devon the emo kid, who first appeared in The Comicverse #3.

The final contributor to Comicverse: Behind The Counter is Hans Rickheit, who did a lovely illustration of Ying reading comics.

Comicverse: Behind The Counter #1, published by Awakening Comics, September 2013.
Black and white, manga-size, 40 pages.

[Awakening Home] [Awakening Catalog] [How To Order]

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AWAKENING TIMES Volume 13, Number 2

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AWAKENING TIMES
Volume 12, Number 2
Fall 2013
AwakenCmx@aol.com
www.awakeningcomics.com

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CONTENTS: New Comicverse Kickstarter for a spinoff series; Comicverse at SPX 2013

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Hello friends of Awakening!

We’ve started another Kickstarter (NOTE: This Kickstarter was fully funded and is now over), for a new spinoff comic called Comicverse: Behind The Counter. Maybe it’s a little too soon after running the last one, but we had several reasons for doing so at this specific time. We want to use this new series to promote other artists whose work we admire and enjoy, and give them paying work, and we could certainly use some help in making this possible! At the time of this writing, the Kickstarter is about halfway over and just 33% funded (it started slow, but the second half of the first week really picked up, but now things have really dropped off), so we could use some help in getting it back on track! I know there’s a lot of Awakeningites out there who are always willing to give their support.

—Steve Peters

As a writer, it’s always amazing to have people read my writing and respond positively to it. With Steve’s art along with our guest artists, it doubles and quadruples the impact of my mind control.. ahem, I mean writing. Anyhoo, having 33% minion strength… I mean contributors, is amazing and wonderful but isn’t quite enough to succeed. I would love to control an army of at least 100 people…hold on, Steve is punching me in the arm. Ok, let me restart. From the bottom of my heart, I ask for your help and would love for you to see and read our latest project that has me amazed and thrilled with the levels the artists took each story to. The beautiful elevated heights they soared to creates an awesome Comicverse skyline view of those other stories that never get to be told. Help us succeed and be able to fund other guest artists in the future as well!

-Bianca Alu-Marr

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Kickstarter

Here is the link for the Kickstarter for our brand new comic, Comicverse: Behind The Counter.

The artists we are spotlighting are Daniel Spontón, Brian Payne, Dre Grigoropol, and Hans Rickheit. We hope you’ll take a little time to check out their own websites and projects, as they all do interesting work.

Daniel Spontón

Daniel is Steve’s cousin; he lives in Córdoba, Argentina. He draws amazing crowd scenes with anthropomorphic cartoon animals for a local magazine called Genios. I commissioned him to do such a scene for the wraparound cover of Yes Fanzine #2, which is included as one of the pledge items. He illustrated a comic called Ogami about a samurai in feudal Japan; it was the inspiration for us asking him to do a story set in ancient China called “The Dragon’s Pearl”. It is the longest piece in this book, with a framing sequence drawn by Steve.

Brian Payne

We met Brian through Facebook. He has a clean, simple style of line art that is quite appealing. His Zinc Comics often have a mystical or spiritual bent, much like Awakening Comics. Brian did a 6-page piece called “Oh No, They Di-in’t”, which Bianca originally wrote for Steve. The ending had Rei and Aki moving in for a kiss, but Steve decided to put the story on a back burner because at the point the story was written, we hadn’t even gotten to their first date yet. When we asked Brian what he enjoyed drawing, he said “talking heads”, so we brought this one out to see if it was up his alley.

Dre Grigoropol

Steve met Dre at Philly Comix Jam, and they have worked on a few of the same projects and anthologies. They did a colorful jam on the back cover of Tails of Sparky #2, for example, which is one of the Kickstarter rewards. Dre is currently focusing on her comic Dee’s Dream, which is about a young woman who fronts a garage band who is dying to date the handsome leader of a more successful band. When asked what she wanted to illustrate a story about, Dre said “romance”, so Bianca wrote a 2-page story called “Dark Is The New Sexy” just for her, featuring Devon, the goth/emo kid who first appeared in The Comicverse #3.

Hans Rickheit

Steve also met Hans at Philly Comix Jam. Hans most recently created The Squirrel Machine, published by Fantagraphics. He is known for his characters Cochlea and Eustachia, who inhabit a surreal dreamscape that is at times somewhat disturbing. He drew a wonderful pinup of Ying reading comics for Comicverse: Behind The Counter.

Steve: “My cousin Daniel Spontón, sent me some videos to use for our Kickstarter. He mentioned that he hadn’t done any comic book art in a long time (due to his amazing illustration work). I hadn’t thought about this, and it made me happy to have been able to give him a paying job creating some comic work that he can really be proud of. Brian Payne said he enjoyed his project a great deal as well, and that it pushed him beyond his limits. Dre was quite thrilled and complimented to be paid for her efforts. Bianca and I are SO proud of the work they did, and that they gave this project their 100% or more. It’s great to give artists a paying gig, and we hope to do it again in the future. SUPPORT INDY CARTOONISTS!”

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Bianca and Steve will both be at the Awakening Comics table at this year’s SPX in Bethesda, Maryland. We’re very excited to announce that we’re launching Comicverse: Behind the Counter at SPX! This will be our first Comicverse launch at SPX, so it’s very special for us! Come by and get a copy, and have it signed by the both of us! We will also have a new limited run of our “Desire Is Overrated” print (this time in full color), and will be giving out 2013 Comicverse trading cards.

SPX 2013 – September 14-15

Where:
Bethesda North Marriott Hotel
& Conference Center
5701 Marinelli Road.
North Bethesda, MD 20852

The hotel is METRO accessible via the WHITE FLINT station on the RED LINE TRAIN.

When:
Open to the public Saturday and Sunday, September 14 and 15, 2013.

Hours:
Saturday, September 14: 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sunday, September 15: noon – 6:00 pm

Admission:
One day memberships: $10.00
Weekend memberships: $15.00

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Some relevant links:

Steve’s Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/Steve.Peters

The Comicverse blog (catch the weekly webcomic here):

http://thecomicverse.wordpress.com/

Comicverse on Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/TheComicverse

Comicverse: Behind The Counter Kickstarter fundraiser:

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A list of publications by Steve Peters

As Nowpet Press:
RABBIT HELL: THE MINI-COMIC #1 – Spring 1992
RABBIT HELL: THE MINI-COMIC #2 – 1992
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #1 – 1992
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #2 – Fall 1992
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #3 – December 1992
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #4 – February 1993
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #5 – April 1993
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #6 – June 1993
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #7 – September 1993
S.P.C.A. BENEFIT JAM – October 1993
SLOW WIND #1 – 1994
RABBIT HELL: THE NEXT GENERATION #1 – Spring 1995
NOWPET 2 IN 1 #1 – September 1995
NOWPET 2 IN 1 #2 – December 1995
RABBIT HELL: THE NEXT GENERATION #2 – Fall 1996
NOWPET PRESS AND KISS AND TELL UPC-ICE SPECIAL EDITION – September 1996

As Awakening Comics (Everwinds 1-4 were published by Slave Labor Graphics)
AWAKENING COMICS #1 – Summer 1997
EVERWINDS #1 – August 1997
EVERWINDS #2 – October 1997
AWAKENING COMICS #2 – November 1997
EVERWINDS #3 – December 1997
EVERWINDS #4 – March 1998
A. C. #3: THE EVERWINDS AWAKENING WAR – August 1998
AWAKENING COMICS #4 – November 1998
AWAKENING COMICS 1999 #1 – 1999
AWAKENING COMICS 2000 – 2000
PARADOX CD – Fall 2001
AWAKENING COMICS 2001 – December 2001
AWAKENING COMICS 2002 – 2002
SLOW WIND #2 – Summer 2004
CHEMISTRY – May 2005
CHEMISTRY CD – May 2005
THE ORIGIN OF SPARKY – Summer 2006
EVERWINDS: ‘SHROOMS – Fall 2006
SPARKY IN LOVE – Summer 2007
AWAKENING MASTERPIECES #1 – Fall 2007
RUNNER’S PARADOX – December 2007
AWAKENING COMICS #0 – Summer 2008
TAILS OF SPARKY #1 – Spring 2009
TAILS OF SPARKY #2 – Fall 2009
AWAKENING MASTERPIECES #2 – Summer 2010
THE COMICVERSE #1 – August 2011
RABBIT HELL DIGEST #2 (Third Printing) – August 2011
THE COMICVERSE #1 SPECIAL EDITION – September 2011
TAILS OF SPARKY #2.5 – Winter 2012
EVERWINDS #1 (Second Printing) – Winter 2012
YES FANZINE #1 – Spring 2012
THE COMICVERSE #2 – May 2012
TAILS OF SPARKY #3 – October 2012
YES FANZINE #2 – Spring 2013
THE COMICVERSE #3 – May 2013

A list of available comics and their prices can be found on the CATALOG page.

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AWAKENING TIMES Volume 13, Number 1

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AWAKENING TIMES
Volume 13, Number 1
Spring 2013
AwakenCmx@aol.com
http://www.awakeningcomics.com

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CONTENTS: New Comicverse Kickstarter; Comicverse wins award; Comicverse at SPACE

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Hello friends of Awakening!

I’ve been very lax in sending out the Awakening Times newsletter for the past year or two. A big part of this is that I’ve been relying more on my Facebook page and the Comicverse blog to get the word out on new projects. But let me assure you that things have been VERY busy here at Awakening!

The big news, first of all, is that I’ve just launched a new Kickstarter fundraiser drive to promote the latest issue of The Comicverse. It’s called “Comicverse #3: A Date, Two Dragons, and Fred Hembeck”! Bianca Alu-Marr and I are very proud of the way the new issue has turned out, and are thrilled to have Fred Hembeck on board as our first guest artist. We commissioned Fred to do a full-page story starring himself as one of the Comicverse aliens, giving a rambling monologue about Jack Kirby!

The Kickstarter will cover the cost of printing the issue, as well as Fred’s commission fee. We also wanted to give a shout-out to Fred in gratitude for his work for us by letting folks know that Fred is still very active selling drawings on eBay and doing commission work; you can get more infor at Hembeck.com

As for the Kickstarter, we have loads of great pledge items available, starting at just $2. Every little bit helps! All of the comics that I’ve published in the last year and a half and have neglected to mention here in the newsletter are available as well. For the best value, try the Awakening Comics catch-up package for $25. It has pretty much everything published since November 2011.

Here’s a preview of “Earth” the main story of The Comicverse #3, on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.407840499260895.99514.407074356004176&type=3

Here’s a link to the Kickstarter site:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/377375145/comicverse-3-a-date-two-dragons-and-fred-hembeck

—Steve Peters

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In other big news, The Comicverse has won 3rd place in the annual SPACE Prize’s webcomic category. Steve went SPACE, in Columbus, Ohio on April 13-14, to accept the plaque for the award.

Photos from SPACE (on Facebook):
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.546216185423325.1073741832.407074356004176&type=1

A ‘walkabout’ video giving a first-person perspective of SPACE (on YouTube):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TUhktiNVG_I

A preview of a 3-page SPACE jam comic featuring Ying from the Comicverse (on Facebook):
http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.543778089000468.1073741829.407074356004176&type=1

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Thanks to every one who has supported the Comicverse project, either in the past or with this current Kickstarter project!

Some relevant links:

Steve’s Facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/Steve.Peters

The Comicverse blog (catch the weekly webcomic here):
http://thecomicverse.wordpress.com/

Comicverse on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/TheComicverse

Comicverse #3: A Date, Two Dragons, and Fred Hembeck! Kickstarter fundraiser:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/377375145/comicverse-3-a-date-two-dragons-and-fred-hembeck

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