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Island comic book artist raising money to create new anthology of horror stories

Nevin Arnold independently publishes his own and other Vancouver Island artists’ stories
A Chemainus-based comic book artist and publisher is raising funds to publish the next instalment of his Monsterella series. (Image courtesy Nevin Arnold)

A local comic book artist is getting ready to release the second issue of his horror-inspired graphic novel series, which features art and stories from comic enthusiasts all over Vancouver Island.

Nevin Arnold, a Chemainus-based comic book artist and editor, is trying to raise money through a crowd-funded Kickstarter campaign to help him release the second installment of Monsterella Origins, a prequel to his original Monsterella series.

Monsterella is a sci-fi horror story about a warden of a prison planet “where all of the worst of the worst criminals and monsters and stuff were kept.” The series has been a hit, and his crowdfunding has been a success, raising more than 300 per cent of his goal in 24 hours.

Arnold has been publishing his own work and that of other artists for more than a decade under his publishing company Hangman Comics, and he’s been crowd-funding his work for five years. The first issue of Monsterella Origins sold between 800 and 1,000 copies solely through online distribution and local comic shops.

“I remember someone telling me they were working on their own book and trying to find a publisher. And then all of a sudden, one day, they had done a Kickstarter, and they raised something like $25,000. They just made a bunch of money, and they got their comic book out there,” he said. “They’re just doing it themselves and making more money than they probably would have through a publisher. I was just amazed, so I knew that I had to give it a try.”

Along with his illustrations and story, Arnold invites other artists to collaborate with him and have their stories published in each issue as an anthology, instead of a single story.

Among the list of Arnold’s team of Monsterella contributors are Sun Khamunaki, a cover artist who has illustrated for DC’s Wonder Woman and Batman, and Dan McKinnon who has worked on U.S. versions of Godzilla.

Arnold has been publishing his own comics since 2013, starting with his Calavera the Undead series, and he’s been a comic book enthusiast since he was around eight years old, after flipping through a Batman comic at a corner store.

“I was always drawing, but it wasn’t until I saw that comic book rack that I was like, ‘oh, I can tell stories with pictures.’ That was just the coolest. So after that, I just bought every comic book that I could get my hands on,” he said.

Once he’s finished his current project, Arnold plans to revive his decade-old Calavera the Undead series, and hopes to have his latest Monsterella issue available for purchase in October.

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Bailey Seymour

About the Author: Bailey Seymour

After graduating from SAIT and stint with the Calgary Herald, I ended up at the Nanaimo News Bulletin/Ladysmith Chronicle in March 2023
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