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Are you an 80’s baby with a nostalgic lust for action and adventure? Do love of B-movies? Do you still hold dear you Randy Savage action figure and Garbage Pail cards? Well….sounds like you are the perfect candidate for membership in the Strange Kids Club.
I got ahold of mastermind and Editor-in-Chief Ronald Scott III. His enthusiasm for his club is infectious and it’s easy to see why he’s garnered so many fans. I got to talk about the club, the Kickstarter, and all the weird tidbits in between.
Issue#5 cover artwork by Jonatan Cantero
Sheilah Villari: After reading the 4th issue of the Strange Kids Club magazine I can see this is absolutely a love letter to the 80s and has deep nostalgia for sci-fi of that era. Where was the spark of inspiration for SKC?
Rondal Scott: To be honest, when I created Strange Kids Club it was a completely selfish endeavor. Basically, I was using Blogger to collect bits of nostalgia (images and other blog posts) that I came across for inspiration… sort of like Tumblr before Tumblr was a thing. Eventually, I came to realize that there was a real audience for this stuff—kids like me who grew up during the 80s and 90s—who shared my fondness of old school video games, rare collectibles and out-of-print cartoons from that time period. Inspired by other sites like X-Entertainment (now Dinosaur Dracula) and I-Mockery, I decided to turn SKC into more of a community-based blog where others could share their childhood memories as well.
Image via Strange Kids Club
The magazine actually didn’t come about until a few years ago. We had featured so many amazing indie artists on the website and I wanted to do something to further that relationship while broadening the fictional ‘world’ of our mascot, Strange Kid. Each issue is essentially given a different theme (toys, tv shows, sci-fi, etc.) that includes one comic centered around Strange Kid. The comics are by various up-and-coming artists, an interview with a veteran artist that fits the theme, and multiples articles that both parody and document nostalgia. In the case of our upcoming issue (#5) that theme happens to be science fiction and fantasy.
SV: How did you assemble this ragtag group of creators? Is there collaboration between the site creators and the anthology creators?
RS: The first few issues were probably the truest collaboration between writers from the site and artists that we interviewed. There’s something exciting about getting people together, whether in the same physical space or across countries, and letting them cut loose creatively. Issue #4 was great because we had four different artists working on the same story and while they were free to interpret their ‘section’ in whatever style they wanted we still had to maintain some consistency so everything made sense at the end. It was a lot of work, but also of fun!
My over-arching goal has always been to elevate truly independent artists while utilizing their talent to help add to the mythology of SKC’s fictional universe and in that regard I feel like we’ve been pretty successful.
Star Iguana: Space Pirate illustrated by Ralph Niese
SV: You’ve chosen Kickstarter again to help with the funding. What keeps bringing you back?
RS: Kickstarter gives us a great opportunity to expand our community. While we have some fantastic SKC members who support and share every project we release, I know there are a lot more ‘strange kids’ roaming around out there who probably haven’t heard about us before. KS allows us to reach some of those individuals while also letting us reward all our supporters for doing what they already do—supporting us and each other!
SV: What motivates you to keep SKC’s heart beating?
RS: Hahaha. It’s definitely not the money. Honestly, whenever I feel down or question why I keep this crazy train running, its the community aspect that always lifts me back up. I feel like I’ve known some of these people for years even though we’ve never met in person and it’s always a thrill to geek out with them, whether it’s raving about Madballs and Metroid or ranting about Hollywood’s latest remake monstrosity.
We Are Pirates illustrated by Michael Anderson
SV: What’s the hardest thing about overseeing the kingdom of SKC? What would you like to see in it’s future?
RS: The hardest thing is just finding the time, really. I’d love to be doing this sort of thing full-time, but the truth is that there’s no money in it… actually, I should say that I can’t make any money at it. I’m a terrible businessman and I probably wouldn’t make a very good ‘boss’ either. Sure, we release products and these magazines, but I don’t really make anything off of them. It’s more about the creative process for me and knowing that I’m partially responsible for putting some cool out into the world.
As for the future? I’d love to see SKC become a publishing hub for more original content whether that’s comics, animation or whatever. The SKC Magazine is a good start in that direction, but the rest of that stuff is still a pipe dream at this point.
SV: What’s next for you and/or SKC?
RS: We’ve always got something cooking in the SKC oven! Once the KS wraps up I’ll be putting the finishing touches on Issue #5 and hope to have that out in another month or two. In September we’ll have a special screen-print for sale in collaboration with artist Matthew Skiff and later this Fall we’ve got a special pillow line launching at HorrorDecor.net. It’s all very hush-hush right now, but trust me… it’ll be awesome!
Image via Kickstarter
Check issue for of the magazine for free here. If you dig it give a little scratch to the Kickstarter and help keep the strange dream alive. There’s still time to grab some awesome perks. And be sure to follow SKC on Twitter and Facebook too.
Rondal and his crew have certainly made a believer out of me. He’s brought me back to a world I can relive and revel in the memories of what I used to hold so dearly as a tyke.
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