Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on Clover Press’ recent Kickstarter campaign launches for Sam Kieth’s 2021 THE MAXX Calendar and Aron Wiesenfeld’s art book, Travelers. What can you share with us about Clover Press’ decision to utilize Kickstarter for these and other projects?
Robbie Robbins: COVID has changed the norm of the way we live, eat, shop, mingle, and communicate. Book and comic stores were hit particularly hard when asked to shut their doors for the safety of their customers and communities. Readers had to adjust their purchasing habits to online shopping. We still distribute our books traditionally with Diamond Distributors, and the overall market is looking better as stores figure ways to open back up. But during these past few months, we’ve enjoyed connecting with our readers on Kickstarter. We are able to offer them something unique. Exclusive Kickstarter collectibles including, prints, signed editions, postcards, variant covers, and slipcases. Each campaign we do, we learn something new and grow our backer base.
BD: Why do you feel that these projects were a perfect for Clover Press, and what defines a Clover Press title?
RR: We define Clover as a “Progressive, Eclectic, Boutique” publisher. The books we choose come down to one of us being passionate about the project. We have published prose novels, a collection of Robert E. Howard horror stories in Rattle of the Bones, and a reprint of the 1921 book, The Royal Book of Oz, which was not written by L. Frank Baum; although he was credited as the writer, in fact, it was written by Ruth Plumly Thompson. Our edition has her acknowledged as the author. We have published traditional comic books, The Grievling and The Possessed, both by Steve Niles. I’m working on a beautiful art book with Timothy Truman. And we recently teamed up with Yoe Books and published Voting Is Your Superpower, a 104-page book collecting comics from the 1950s and 1960s that informed citizens on the importance of voting, how to register, and the mishaps of not voting. A book that has a strong, clear message for today just as it did when originally created.
BD: Are there any specific backer rewards for THE MAXX Calendar campaign that you would like to highlight?
RR: THE MAXX Kickstarter has an option of 2 covers to choose from. Both are unpublished works by Sam Kieth, but the B cover (the Snake cover) is only available on Kickstarter. The set of 6 postcards are also only available on the Kickstarter campaign.
BD: Are there any other upcoming projects headed our way in 2021 that you’re able to share with our readers?
RR: Well, yes, and no. I can share an art book we’re doing with Sam Kieth. I’m scanning his original sketchbooks he made while creating The Maxx. I really enjoy seeing the process and behind the scene of how comics books are made. Kieth’s sketchbooks are filled with ideas, notes, sketches, and scribbles… all part of his process of creating the world of Maxx. Clover and IDW co-founder Ted Adams has written an amazing graphic novel adaptation of The Great Gatsby with art by Jorge Coelho. We’re working on an art book collecting art from an underground comic artist and their take on…. Oops. That one I’ll have to keep under wrap for now.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about Clover Press and support their crowdfunding campaigns?
RR: To learn more about Clover Press, readers can sign up for our newsletter at www.CloverPress.us. We are on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well.
And for Kickstarter, log on to www.CloverKickstarter.com. This will take you to our latest campaign.