IDW Publishes Diamond Island

Our Graphic Novel has Been Released by IDW

Our first graphic novel, Diamond Island, was released by Idea and Design Works (IDW) in March. IDW is a premier American publisher of graphic novels and comics books. We are extremely happy to be joining their list of published works. For those that don’t know, Diamond Island is a 220 page graphic novel about a young man who journeys to find success. It has a strong closing moral and may be perfect if your a parent looking for good, clean reading material for your child.

Richie Rockstein

You can visit our website to learn more about Diamond Island.

The book is currently available for purchase on Amazon and multiple online locations. Grab a copy today!

Banned Books Week image

Banned Books Week: Comic Books and Graphic Novels Take Front Seat

Comic books tagged with terms “political, racist, violent”

On September 21, Banned Books Week began.

Our graphic novel definitely did not make the list.

Banned Books Week imageBanned Books Week is a ‘holiday’ “…co-sponsored by the American Library Association, American Booksellers Association, plus a raft of business and professional groups, and it’s endorsed by the Library of Congress’ Center for the Book.” (Article) The week-long awareness campaign, which began September 21, is dedicated to celebrating the freedom to read books that have been banned or challenged in the past. Books that were challenged over the years include classics such as “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Challenged books are often cited by parents as racist, violent, politically charged, religious, inappropriate and more. In 2013, parents attached those tags to several comic books and graphic novels.

Two of the 10 most challenged list were notable comics:

Cartoonist Jeff Smith, who received ten Eisner Awards and eleven Harvey Awards for his work “Bone,” was surprised by the attacks on his comic book series:Bone by Jeff Smith

“I’ll be honest, I had two simultaneous reactions when I heard Bone was in the top 10, first, that I was being attacked and I didn’t know why. Then a thought like: hey, this isn’t the worst thing that can happen. A lot of my heroes are on this list. Mark Twain, Melville, Bradbury, Steinbeck, Vonnegut; authors whose work is about something – that do the kind of writing I aspire to.”

Charles Brownstein, executive director of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, spoke out about why comics are attacked more often than other types of books.

“They’re uniquely vulnerable to challenges because of the medium’s visual nature and because comics still carry a stigma of being low—value speech. Some challenges are brought against comics because a single page or panel can be taken out of context, while others come under attack because of the mistaken notion that all comics are for children…”

Although a renewed focus is being placed on comic books and graphic novels because of the negative attention they are getting, this is not the first time such books have been challenged. In the past, parents tried to ban Art Spiegelman’s “Maus,” a graphic novel memoir of his fathers experience going through the Holocaust.

The renewed interest in comic books and graphic novels will certainly bring about more challenges, and hopefully, equilibrium can be maintained.

Do you believe banning books is a good practice? Does viewpoint take precedence over freedom? Let me know in a comment below.

Richie and kickstarter logo

Our Kickstarter Campaign: Get Involved, Get the Book

The Diamond Island Kickstarter Campaign

Live for the first time!

Update: The campaign was unsuccessful, however, IDW published the first edition of Diamond Island!
Now live! Our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a special first edition printing of Diamond Island Here

Richie and kickstarter logoBy pledging to our campaign, you will be helping us print the first edition of Diamond Island. We appreciate our backers and offer fantastic rewards at all reward levels. For example, a $25 pledge towards our funding goal will entitle you to a limited copy of Diamond Island and a special, custom designed bookmark. For $36 you will get the $25 reward PLUS the Diamond Island soundtrack (sample here).  On top of everything, you will be supporting our dream of bringing Diamond Island to communities around the globe.

Want your name printed in Diamond Island’s acknowledgements? Learn more by visiting our page:Become a patron now!

Diamond Island: Our Graphic Novel

Our Graphic Novel Is Now Complete

On July 23, Diamond Island’s back cover was finalized. Our decade-long creation process had ended.

Update: IDW published the first edition!

Richie Rockstein pointing

Now it’s time for the next step.

We hope to release a special first-edition of Diamond Island as a full color 8-1/2 x 11 hardcover edition. To do this, we’ve turned to Kickstarter, an acclaimed and trusted crowdfunding website that helps independent projects and dreams become reality. Our campaign offers an amazing give-and-get reward system (which you can read about here), and all backers are reciprocated for their pledges. For example, a pledge of $25 will entitle you to a copy of a special edition hardcover copy of the Diamond Island graphic novel and a Diamond Island bookmark!

Learn more about helping us print our graphic novel and the rewards on Diamond Island’s website.

Have you ever used Kickstarter?  Let me now what you supported in a comment below!