“Variants” looks to “Kickstart” Season 3

For two years, the folks at Zeus Comics on Lemmon have produced a very amusing, Dallas-centric and incredibly gay web series — a fictionalized look at life in a comic book store — called The Variants, which just ended its second season in February. It’s been a labor of love, which is another way of saying they don’t make any money off it.

Well, they want some to keep it going.

“We’ve done as much as we can out of pocket,” said series co-creator and writer Ken Lowery. “But to move forward and give this show the production values it needs, we’re going to need a little help.”

If you’d like to see Season 3 of the series, you can help them reach the (pretty modest) fundraising goal of $8,000. They’re all signed up on Kickstarter, the site that helps filmmakers fund their projects; gay Texas filmmaker Yen Tan reached his fundraising goal after a feature in Dallas Voice last year. We can do the same for The Variants.

And there are some perks. Season 3 will include new cast members, plus the series will move from a monthly to a weekly release schedule. That’s better than Mad Men averages.

To donate, just click here. We can put ’em over the top.

UPDATE: Zeus owner and Variants star Richard Neal promises, if we bring back a Season 3, they will offer up the series’ first gay kiss.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

‘The Variants’ season 1 on DVD

You could make a case that what The Office is to corporate America, The Variants is to quirky small business on the fringe of society: gay-run comic book store. (OK, maybe The Office is just the corporate version of Clerks, but you get the comparison.) The folks at Zeus Comics who created this webseries make fun of themselves, their customers and their own queer nerdiness, but it never gets mean-spirited.

The Variants began last summer as an experiment, but generated enough traffic that it’s already back for season 2 (the next episode, airing Wednesday, features Celeste Martinez). Until then, it’s a hoot to see all the local people and places in the season 1 DVD, now available.

The DVD contains lots of cool extras — audio commentary, a blooper reel, a slideshow or art and rants from misanthrope clerk Barry — but the best things about the DVD? Watching the entire series play out at once like one long feature … and not having to worry about bandwidth problems interrupting your stream.

— A.W.J.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 1, 2011.

—  Michael Stephens