Classic Comics No. 1. The Three Musketeers, 1941. Cover art by Malcolm Kildale
For almost 30 years Classic Comics brought the hi-spots of literature to our nations youth via the comic book. First published in 1941 the series changed hands a few times, beginning as Classic Comics and ending as Classics Illustrated in 1969.
Classic Comics No. 26: Frankenstein December, 1945. Cover art by Robert Webb and Ann Brewster
Over 150 issues were published before the demise of the series. Each issue featured author profiles and an ad for the next issue.
Classic Comics No. 18. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Cover art by Allen Simon
Classics Illustrated No. 23, Oliver Twist. July, 1945. Cover by Arnold Hicks
Classic Comics No. 4. The Last of the Mohicans, 1942. Cover art by Ray Ramsey
Collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
It started innocently enough. In May, 2012 Comic artist John Campbell took to the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to fund a book based on his internet comic. It was to be called sad pictures of children.
His goal: $8000
Amount he raised: $51,615
Campbell published 2000 copies of the book and all seemed well. Another Kickstarter victory for the book set.
Then on Feburary 27th, 2014 in an update to backers titled “It’s Over” Campbell goes on an epic rant that culminates in the burning of multiple copies of the book. Campbell even shares a video of the destruction.
I shipped about 75% of kickstarter rewards to backers. I will not be shipping any more. I will not be issuing any refunds. For every message I receive about this book through e-mail, social media or any other means, I will burn another book.
If you would like a refund, please contact a fan of my work directly for your money. This is where the money would come from anyway. I am cutting out the middle man.
You could try to obtain refunds through kickstarter or paypal, through your bank or credit card company. You could try to harass me or inconvenience me or tell other people negative things about me or this kickstarter in the hope that this will affect me negatively. Be aware that each attempt to contact me about this book will individually result in the burning of a book until the books are gone.
Campbell adds that he “will not be responsible for the manufacture of any more unnecessary physical objects. The natural world is being destroyed by unnecessary production.”
Story at DNAinfo Chicago: Kickstarter Fail: Artist Raises $51K to Publish Books, Burns Them in Alley. All photos via DNAinfo/Alisa Hauser
Jules Feiffer is a Pulitzer-Prize winning editorial cartoonist who has written over 35 books, plays and screenplays. His long running syndicated strip Feiffer appears in newspapers around the country and in 2004 he was inducted into the Comic Hall Fame.
Here’s a selection of his editorial cartoons that lean bookish:
These and other editorial cartoons are available through R.Michelson Galleries.