Interviews and features:
How to Crowdfund a Graphic Novel (without Losing Your Mind and Alienating People)
by Alison Lang – July 1, 2014 in Broken Pencil #64
“Montreal comic artist Salgood Sam (aka Max Douglas) is no stranger to the crowdfunding game. In 2012, he launched an lndiegogo to help complete the first print edition of his webcomic, Dream Life: A Late Coming of Agea project eight years in the making. Although the money was raised and the book nearly completed, Douglas had to put the project and launch on hold to deal with health issues. In 2014, he launched another Kickstarter to fund the printing and distribution costs of the book and launch a small tour, ultimately raising over $7,500 ($4,000 over his original goal.) In the world of crowdfunding, where even some of the smartest creators stumble and fail, the success of the Dream Life Kickstarter is commendable. (We review the book on page 53.) However, Douglas is the first to admit that this process wasn’t easy, and we asked him to share some pointers he learned along the way…”
“Salgood Sam has a remarkable style that has always set him apart from the rest of the pack, and Dream Life is no different. The book is simply beautiful from an art standpoint, accompanying a story that is surreal, touching, and intimate. This book has taken many years to create, and it would be a shame if it didn’t have the chance to be read.“
Kickstarting Dream Life, a solo comic from
Salgood Sam of “Sea of Red” and “Therefore Repent!”
Crowdwatch listing on Publishers Weekly
Crowdwatch: Inkstuds Live; P. Craig Russell’s Final Guide; Monster Tenants
“After nearly a decade, Canadian-based cartoonist and self-publisher Salgood Sam is close to finishing part one of his webcomic, Dream Life | a late coming of age, and is collecting the entire first half into a 162-page printed graphic novel, to be debuted at this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival in May. After successfully reaching it’s initial goal, the project is aiming for it’s first stretch goal of $5,000, which will expand the print-run and extend the tour to promote the book.”
Bleeding Cool guest blogging post
“Dream Life: A Late Coming Of Age – Salgood Sam’s Labour Of Love”
Short interview on The Two Page Spread
“As often as I can, I will try to bring you short interviews with people who are creating comics and doing everything they can to show their work to the world. Today I spoke with Salgood Sam about his book Dream Life, currently funding on Kickstarter.”
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
by Sam Agro for his blog MOVING PICTURES
Podcasts and radio
December 5, 2014: Comics Alternative Interviews:
“The Two Guys w/ PhDs talk with Max “Salgood Sam” Douglas about his recent book, Dream Life, as well as other matters.“
March 14, 2014: 24 Panels per second – “SuperKickstarter: Dream Life”
Growing up graphic: CINQ A SIX | Dec 22, 2012 | 10:36 © CBC 2012
Radio: An appearance on Montreal CBC show to do some local color run after Graphic Chicken Soup for the Graphic Soul, by David Gutnick. Thanks to David and Maria Turner, my boss at carte blache both for putting my name in for that. I’m on with an old acquaintance, Simon Bossé, in a piece called Growing up graphic. Our parents get all the blame.
Podcast: May 06, 2014: Stuff Like That
“Episode #22 – Dream Life“
William Owen – Goodreads
There is a suggestion at the start of this book that the reader should take the story slow. That isn’t something I normally do, or something I take the time to do often enough. It was advice that echoed something Alan Moore said once about his reading speed – which he claimed and I can imagine is considerable – that some writers and some works demanded slowing down. He called out Pynchon in particular, which having just read Vineland I agreed with.
I think that suggestion is wholly valid here. I don’t think there is another work Max has done as rich and immersive as Dream Life. The pages feel like flowing sand, liquid and solid at the same time, a story whose elemental properties manifest at the point of phase transition. Trying to read this quickly would be like trying to run in the ocean. When i go to the beach I want swim a while, but nearly as much I want to lay in bed at the end of the day and still be able to feel the movement of the water as if I were still out there floating on my back in the waves.
Its always a terrific thing when you can find a work of art, or a text, or a story or a film that can give you experience, that is there all around you at the end of the day.
Asher Klassen – Goodreads
Salgood Sam has packed the pages of this relatively short read with intricate, glowing detail, meticulously crafted settings, and enchantingly rendered characters. Take his advice, as given in the first pages of the volume: read slowly. Drink in every bit of every page and store the details away for later. You’ll need them. I’m going to let this one percolate for a couple days, and then take another walk through it, see what I can find.
Digital comics news, previews and reviews!
When people ask why I like digital comics, I would like to point them in this direction. There is no way I would see a comic like this in my local comic shop (if I had one) and there I would be missing out. Dream Life is also proof of the concept of sequential art to standalone. I could not see something like this being produced in any other type of medium.
The characters are excellent, you get a real connection with each one – their joys and sadness as well as their lives they have and, perhaps, wish they have. Have no illusions – this is not a simple read, 161 pages and there is so much going on. I’m glad I found the time with peace and quiet to sit and read this in such a manner.
Salgood Sam has crafted and epic story here which crosses a vast geographical area. It makes you smile, it makes you sad and most of all it makes you think. The art is amazing – from the wide scenery shots to the close up expressions of people, animals and others. There is so much to see and appreciate from panel to panel and I feel the images burning into my brain. For those who want something more from their digital comics, I would point you in this direction. Find a quiet place and find yourself immersed into Dream Life
Joel W. Vaughan in July 1, 2014
This latest work by the legendary Montreal-based artist Salgood Sam has been called “neo-realist,” but it might be more accurately referred to as “honest.” It follows the seemingly unrelated lives of five young adults in contemporary Canada, detailing everything from call-centres to drug-smugglers. It’s a stellar graphic novel, but requires volume two for any satisfactory conclusion.
Salgood Sam’s illustrative style hearkens back to his time working for Marvel, though he takes full advantage of the freedom granted through crowdfunded publishing in establishing his own artistic voice. He paints a recognizable portrait of Canada – mostly B.C. and Toronto – that is at once local and industrial, gritty and pedestrian. A reader couldn’t ask for more. The penciling, inking, and shading is all top notch, as has come to be expected from such a prolific illustrator.
Salgood’s narrative voice suits itself to the graphic novel form, relying on dialogue to push forward a plot that rarely falls into exposition. The style occasionally feels disjointed, especially when one meandering conversation shifts into another, but it performs well otherwise. What results is a stream of dialogue that sustains its own interest without the author poking his head in to tell us why we should care. Dream Life is well crafted.
If the text has one drawback, it would be its abrupt conclusion. A Late Coming of Age takes pains to invest its reader in the tenuous connections between its many characters, but when it is finally successful, the story cuts in preparation for volume two. Still, if a novel’s main problem is its reader’s desire to continue reading, that’s probably not such a bad thing.
“Revolver One is a collection of ten short graphic fictions and poems…
…Like much post-modern fiction, the stories in Revolver One call attention to their very artifice: reflections within reflections ask the reader to make comment on what it means to observe. Douglas conveys this apathy so well the text is all but superfluous and, at times, it becomes an impediment to the visual narrative.
Though muted and limited in palette, the art demonstrates a level of skill many comic artists can only aspire to. Perspectives are juxtaposed Escher-like adding to the alter-reality quality of each individual story as well as the collection generally. Revolver One feels like a cohesive whole.”
by Larry Cruz
“Dream Life is one of those weird comics … It’s more like an orchestral piece, only you allow the artwork, rather than the music, to buffet you through the emotional highs and lows of each movement.”
On the opposite end is Max Douglas. Another Montrealer (still in residence, though he lived in Toronto for 27 years), he’s better known by his brush name Salgood Sam, an established presence both in indie comics circles and with the masses for his work with DC and Marvel. He founded Montreal’s thriving comix jams and is one of that scene’s fiercest supporters, having for years published a monthly zine that prints work by the many unpublished artists who attend the events.
This elegant mini is his latest original work, comprising 10 stories thematically linked by an oppressive dread. Some are written by Douglas, others by his girlfriend, A.J. Duric, and one by new-media artist John O’Brien. This last story, “The Rise and Fall of it All,” is the best piece in the book; it hounds the trail of an unemployed man who slouches through a ghostly and hostile Chicago, his blunt ruminations howling at pace with the wind around him. The story works because of the plainness of its narrative and Douglas’ dislocated, occasionally poetic illustrations.
Where Napalm is tripped by its artist’s inexperience, Revolver has the opposite failings: overambitious panels that twist the eye with chaotic angles and shadows, and prose that reaches for profundity but fumbles with its sloppy diction. Douglas assaults the reader with technique — mixing conte and ink and Photoshop in a spastic jam. The figures that populate these manic environs often look oddly inhuman, their bodies too rigid, their faces empty; as though Douglas were absorbed in arranging their features just so, losing the spontaneity that brings a drawing to life. The book’s most animate story is actually one of its simplest: “Misplaced” leashes the histrionics, recreating a surreal dreamworld with only Douglas’ quietly controlled stabs of black ink and his clever page designs.
In fact, the layouts in Revolver are consistently thrilling, playing with the frames, the gutter, the entire page. They pull the reader on swoops that S down a page, or simulate the vertigo of a big city by distending the horizon or dangling skyscrapers from above. Here is a pro exalting in his craft. That he sometimes seems drunk on his own inventiveness is the danger all artists face, once they find their voice.
By Alan David Doane
4.5/5 : “RevolveR 1 is a compact package … packed with 52 pages of stories, sketches and a thoughtful text piece that closes out the issue. I was intrigued from the cover alone, a black and gold image of a cityscape that wraps around to the back cover, where someone is seen drowning in the immensity of it all.”
“Douglas’s drawings of buildings are magnificent things, and thankfully much on display throughout the issue, although not to the detriment of the storytelling. The cartoonist clearly has spent a lot of time in a city environment and has been hugely successful in translating what the weight of all that architecture feels like when pressing down on the people below — heavy, imposing, all-dominating and yet strangely liberating in its majesty. The two-page spread that occupies pages 8-9, of a character entering a diner on the first floor of a large building, is the most impressive drawing in the issue, and one of the most well-realized images I’ve seen in a comic this year.”
“Throughout this issue, you can feel Max Douglas’s joy in experimenting with line, tone and page design, in a way that is simpatico with other big names of the small press like Tomer Hanuka or Farel Dalrymple. This is the kind of comics I unashamedly love, dense work by a creator following his vision and sharing the journey with his readers. The paper stock, cover design and overall production values show Douglas cares deeply about his work and how it is presented, and it’s work worth caring about. RevolveR 1 is one of the best titles to debut this year, and it could very well change how you think about comics.”
By John Martz
from his blog
“All the mini stories are told from the perspective of lonely characters reflecting on their place in the world. … Max is clearly someone who is passionate about what he does, and is one of those people who tries to blur the lines between comics and literature … The artwork is wonderful and has a lively loose feel to it that makes it easy to miss how well planned and creative the layout of the panels are. Revolver is a refreshing change of pace from the usual batch of men in tights and frogs with boners.”
Sequential tectonic shift
First impressions of Revolver Book one
by Sherwin Tjia
Salgood’s drifting vision has an incredible sense of space and freedom. Your eye moves across the page continuously, an angel floating through worlds. Usually the dynamic movement of the images themselves direct your vision, like little signposts that bounce you around the worlds Sam has created. The narratives sometimes unmoor themselves from everyday reality, moving into poetic or existentialist territory, but never loses its grounding in very concrete images. Revolver plays with how we perceive things, and where we anchor ourselves. This is reflected in the way panels bleed into other panels, if there are panels at all. It suggests that sometimes the dream world or the worlds we create in our narratives appear realer than our actual lives, that the membrane between the world we live and the worlds we see ourselves living in is very thin.