Skybound Entertainment has teamed up with J.L. Westover to bring the author's fan-favorite webcomic Mr. Lovenstein to print on Kickstarter in a new edition titled Mr. Lovenstein Presents: Failure, which will not only deliver a physical collection of the hilarious series but will also include sweet bonuses and exclusive stretch goals. Those include things like a Death of Gabe exclusive comic, a Last Place Trophy, and even a hand-drawn comic, and you can check out everything and back the campaign right here. ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Westover all about the series, the Kickstarter, what he's working on next, and even some tabletop.
There's a fun sarcastic edge to Mr. Lovenstein, perfectly suited to the overall theme of Failure, and the series makes a point to showcase how we all fail sometimes and have a laugh about it.
"Failure fascinates me. We love to succeed and absolutely hate to fail. Yet, it’s oddly comforting to see others fail. It's a nice reminder that everyone fails and that’s okay," Westover said. "Not only that, but it can be pretty damn funny too. I think life would be pretty boring without it. Not every failure is funny, though, so I made sure to keep things lighthearted. I’m not laughing at others misfortune. I’m laughing at myself when I do things like forget someone’s name three seconds after I meet them."
As mentioned above, the campaign will feature some cool bonuses for backers, and you can directly credit the Kickstarter campaign for that amazing trophy.
"Kickstarter campaigns are exciting! There is so much that can happen during a campaign that you can’t do otherwise," Westover said. "We get to take the failure theme and have as much fun as possible with it. We made failure-themed stickers, greeting cards, posters, and even a trophy with “LAST PLACE” etched right into it. This campaign is the ultimate celebration of failure."
Now, those who are familiar with the comic are probably also familiar with the delightful Walkin' Buds Club, so I had to ask if we were getting a shirt. Sadly we are not, at least not yet, but fans of the duo have a lot to look forward to in the future.
"Boy I’d love to, but those bird buds are too pure and wholesome for this campaign," Westover said. "They’re basically the opposite of failure. Fret not! I’ve already picked the theme for my next book and let’s just say you’ll be seeing a lot more of the Walkin’ Buds Club when the time comes."
Looking back on his earlier work and his work now, Westover still incorporates a witty edge into his work, but there's a more lighthearted touch to it all.
"I started Mr. Lovenstein when I was relatively young so as I’ve matured, so have my comics. I’ve learned you can find humor in almost anything," Westover said "A lot of my early work was sort of mean-spirited, and now it’s more silly and good-natured. I still explore the darker side of things, but with a softer touch."
In addition to the Walkin' Buds, the series features several other recurring characters, including the turtle and the frog, Gabe, and a host of others, and Westover broke down how they were created and what they bring. to the series.
"It’s funny you say that because I never really thought about it. I drew the turtle first, and my broken brain thought it made perfect sense to pair him with a frog," Westover said. "Turtles and frogs love to hang out, right? In a broader sense, I think I like to pair expressive characters (frog) with stoic characters (turtle). Gabe, on the other hand, is the perfect foil to every other living soul on Earth."
In addition to their work in comics, Skybound is also home to some stellar board games, so if eh could bring his cast of characters into their own board game, I wanted to know what that would look like.
"I made a ton of my own board games when I was a kid that were all basically Candyland," Westover said. "Roll a die, move your guy. I’d love to make the complete opposite of Candyland. It would be a brutal, arduous slog from start to finish. There will be no mercy. It will break you. I think that’d be a lot of fun."
I mean, the trophy is already made, so I feel like the game has to come next, right?