Crowdfunded ‘Moose Kid Comics’ delivers free comics to sick kids (Wired UK)

Moose Kid Comics
Moose Kid ComicsJamie Smart

Comics are back en vogue, and the impact can be felt everywhere from the printed page to the cinema screen. Yet while the likes of The Avengers set box office records with feats of superheroism, both comics as a medium and the people who love them can do good in the real world too.

That’s something comi creator Jamie Smart is well on the way to proving at any rate, with a fundraiser to provide stacks of comics to children’s hospitals already smashing targets. His JustGiving campaign was seeking £2,000 to deliver 500 copies of Moose Kid Comics to care units across the UK — a figure that selfless backers, who won’t be receiving anything themselves, crushed on day one.

“That was fantastic, so for the remaining 29 days of the campaign we needed to work out stretch goals,” Smart tells WIRED. “The thing is, that initial amount was just to send one bundle of comics to each hospital. So now we’re raising more money than that, we can potentially send comics out regularly, throughout the year. And with an average of 13,000 children passing through EACH hospital every year, that’s a far better system, meaning we can get more comics to more kids.”

Smart is a champion of British kids’ comics, regularly creating stories for The Beano and The Phoenix, as well as his own creator-owned titles for slightly older readers (ideally with slightly twisted senses of humour). Moose Kid Comics is aimed squarely at an all-ages readership though, with dozens of original, contemporary characters meant to tickle modern kids’ funnybones. More than that, it has a mission.

“I set up Moose Kid Comics as a free online children’s comic with a few intentions. One was to showcase all the brilliant artists working in children’s comics, the other was to help children’s comics rise back up into popular culture,” Smart explains. “Lastly it seemed to me that comics had a larger role to play in society, and they weren’t necessarily doing that.”

That lead directly to the creation of the fundraiser. Smart adds, “Comics are supposed to entertain and inspire, and where better to do that than in hospitals, wards, hostels, anywhere children are having a rough time and would appreciate cheering up. These are the places comics can really come into their own and help society as a whole.”

Currently, issues of Moose Kid Comics can be read online or downloaded to read in either PDF or CBZ formats, but the fundraiser will allow for large-format print editions with “full colour, oversized pages and really nice quality paper” — in other words, tough enough to be endlessly re-read by kids in hospitals while hopefully bringing a smile to their faces.

It isn’t only Smart’s passion project either. “Each issue of Moose Kid features about 40 artists, each contributing their own characters, telling their own stories — it’s very much intended to be a playground to let talented sorts do what they want to do,” Smart says.

“I think the comic really shows that, the pages are vibrant and fun and not restrained by any of the rules or limitations that a publisher might set. So I’m eternally grateful to every creator involved so far, for donating their time (no one gets paid with Moose Kid, it’s totally non-profit), and for supporting the fundraising campaign. Then, next year, when printed copies start winging their way to all the hospitals, we need to start work on the next issue. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going.”

The fundraiser also sees Smart and his comic co-creators teaming with the charity Readathon, which will distribute the final comics to where they’re needed most. “I was recommended to them by the author Philip Reeve when I was first suggesting the idea of a fundraiser,” Smart says. “They’re a wonderful charity who send books into children’s hospitals, as well as arrange author readings and fundraisers. When I asked if they’d take comics too they were really excited by the idea, so they’ll be distributing most of our printed copies around the hospitals. I’m also compiling a list of children’s wards not on their list, to send out to myself.”

The JustGiving campaign runs until 30 December, and progress — as well as updates on the comics themselves — can be followed on the Moose Kid Comics Twitter.

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10 December 2015 | 5:45 pm – Source:


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