Comic Artist Takes to Crowdsource Funding for Latest Project

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Tom Dell'Aringa's “Marooned – A Space Opera in the Wrong Key,” has kept readers on the edge of their virtual seats for five years, and now its author is working hard to offer a 280-page book funded by Kickstarter supporters as a final farewell.

Like all great stories, the long-running webcomic saga of a space man marooned on Mars is coming to an end. Tom Dell'Aringa's “Marooned – A Space Opera in the Wrong Key,” has kept readers on the edge of their virtual seats for five years, and now its author is working hard to offer a 280-page book funded by Kickstarter supporters as a final farewell.

Dell'Aringa, a West Dundee, Illinois, resident, has published his webcomic every Monday and Thursday at maroonedcomic.com. “It's a cross between the ‘Gilligan's Island’ and ‘Lost in Space’ TV shows,” Dell'Aringa said. His goal with his Kickstarter campaign, launched this week to raise the $5,250 printing cost, is to “give my dedicated readers a graphic novel that they can sit back, relax and enjoy reading. I want them to read ‘Marooned’ as it was intended to be read – from beginning to end. And I’d love for it to be discovered by new readers.”

Kickstarter is an online service that provides artists of all types the means to crowdsource funding to raise capital for their projects. This money is provided by supporters who then receive special incentives as their reward for supporting the project. Typically Kickstarter projects have 30 days to accomplish their goals. Some make it, some don’t. Within the first 24 hours of the campaign, Dell'Aringa had 46 project backers collectively pledging over $2,000; hopefully a good sign for success for “Marooned” and Dell’Aringa.

Via the characters of “Marooned,” Dell'Aringa's has taken readers on a journey to Mars complete with a host of characters ranging from human to alien to superhuman. The protagonist, Captain John, is a self-centered astronaut who is humbled in the end. His sarcastic sidekick robot adds lightheartedness to the story while more complex characters - such as Ril, an angry tween Martian who looks to John as a father figure, and Lian, a woman with superhuman powers - round out the drama.

Marooned began as a simple sketch of a spaceman Dell'Aringa doodled. As with many authors, there's a bit of himself in the main character. “I tried to bring my own experiences into Captain John, in order to make his experiences more meaningful," Dell'Aringa said. "It seemed to work because my readers seemed to really connect with him." An avid comic book reader, his influences have been “Peanuts” and “Calvin and Hobbes.” He's cooking up a new story but not revealing too much. "I've got a couple projects already in the works," he said. "This one will feel a little more current as far as influences go, and will have some sort of gaming aspect to it."

About Tom Dell'Aringa

Marooned is Dell'Aringa's first foray into webcomics, which began in 2008. Along the way, he was featured in local newspapers and interviewed on podcasts for placing third in a Webcomic Idol competition.

He began his art career in the late 1980s as a graphic artist and worked for many years as a web developer. Presently, he serves as principal interface designer for WMS Gaming, Inc. in Chicago. More info at:http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/tdellaringa/marooned-the-graphic-novel and http://www.maroonedcomic.com. Contact Dell'Aringa at pixelmech(at)gmail(dot)com or 847-844-0393.

About Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects -- everything from films, games, music, art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others. Since its launch on April 28, 2009, over $500 million has been pledged by more than 3 million people, funding more than 35,000 creative projects. http://www.kickstarter.com/

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