Kickstarter: DOPE by Trina Robbins

(This is the first in an occasional series of write-ups on crowdfunding campaigns I’d like to see reach their funding goal.)

Drew Ford, who recently ran a Kickstarter campaign to republish Red Range, is back with a campaign to republish Trina Robbins’s comic-book adaptation of Sax Rohmer’s Dope.

Robbins is an absolute luminary of comics. She was part of SF fandom back in the ’50s, and she was one of the earliest female artists to be involved in the underground comix movement. She co-produced It Ain’t Me, Babe, the first comic to be made entirely by women, and was later involved in Wimmen’s Comix. She was also the first woman to draw a Wonder Woman comic.

Her adaptation of Dope was originally serialised in Eclipse Magazine starting in 1981, and has never been collected. From the Kickstarter page:

The story centers around a talented young actress, who becomes fatally ensnared in London’s mysterious and glittery drug culture of the early 20th century. Dope was both the first novel to speak openly about the world’s international drug trade, and the first story to center around the death of a celebrity by drug overdose. Robbin’s comic book adaptation was first published in 1981, serialized within the pages of Eclipse Magazine (and later, Eclipse Monthly). The story started out in a black and white magazine, and finished up in color comic book. Since its initial publication, it has never been collected in any form. With the success of this Kickstarter campaign, we will produce the first ever complete collection of Dope, in glorious black and white, on glossy 105 lb paper, at 8.25″ x 11″, the way it was first intended by the creator.

Ford’s Red Range campaign had a bit of a rough time getting funded, although the last few days thankfully saw a lot of contributions that pushed it almost $5000 over its goal. I was a little surprised to see how shaky its course went, considering it involved people like Joe Lansdale, Sam Glanzman and Steve Bissette, and offered sketch rewards from artists like Rufus Dayglo, Russ Braun, Tim Truman, Stan Sakai and a veritable truckload of other remarkable artists. From the outside, it seemed like a combination of not enough media coverage and perhaps too many reward combinations that might have confused potential backers.

I’d like Dope’s course to be smoother, and it seems like it’s well on its way, having reached 37% funding in its first five days.

Dope still has a few too many rewards offered, in my opinion, but this time they’re cleanly presented, and the page is much less confusing as a whole than last time. I haven’t tracked media coverage for this one, but hopefully Robbins’s involvement will help on that front.

If you’re interested in this project, I encourage you to contribute, and to share it on whichever platform you think will help. Click here to visit the campaign page.