Lonnie Allen had been thinking about the idea for years, but decided to make it a reality one night after having a few drinks with his girlfriend. "She had heard me mention it more than once before and she was kind of like, 'You have all these ideas all the time, you should just do it.'" So he did, finding funding in just two weeks.St. Mark's Coffeehouse for community drawing night Denver Drink & Draw.
"My vision for it is to be a reflection of all the different kinds of comics that the Denver comic scene offers," says Allen. "There are a lot of people doing cool stuff -- some traditional, some experimental and avant-garde. I expect my imaginary reader is gonna dig on some of them and just not like or not get what's going on in some of the others. And that's fine."
Allen wants the paper come out in print rather than online in part because of nostalgia, but mostly out of his love for the medium. "For almost all my life I've been hearing about how print is dead, and I just think that's ridiculous," he explains. "I've worked in the print industry for years of it shrinking, but I just don't ever see people discarding something that they can physically hold in their hands. I just really love print."
And so do other people, as seen by the Kickstarter project's success. Rewards on the site include everything from a personalized social media profile picture drawn by one of the paper's artists (which include Westword's Noah Van Sciver) to copies of the newspaper, original art, and Drink & Draw pint glasses.
With over a week still to go, the Kickstarter is still accepting donations, which Allen says will go toward printing the newspaper, providing the rewards, and hopefully getting enough to compensate the artists for their work.
More than anything, Allen explains that he just wants to get free comics in the hands of people who might not otherwise read them. Says Allen, "The most important thing, more than making a profit, will be to get people to read these cool comics that we're making."