Don't look now, but Kip and Gary are getting ready to bust out of the data center. The lovably geeky data center techs, who have become familiar to Data Center Knowledge readers through our cartoon caption contests, may soon have their own book.
Kip and Gary are the creations of Diane Alber, a Phoenix-based artist who works full-time in the data center industry. Alber says she created the duo to illustrate the many humorous elements of life in the data center, based on her own experience and many anecdotes from colleagues and customers.
“People can relate to Kip and Gary because lots of the situations came from my friends in the industry,” said Alber.
After gradually building an audience for Kip and Gary through her blog and social media (and yes, DCK), Alber is ready to take her creations to the next level - a comic book. To fund the initial printing, Alber is turning to Kickstarter, the popular crowdfunding community that allows artists and developers to raise money for apps, games, companies and even films.
“There's really no data center comic book out there, and I think there should be,” says Alber. “I think people would enjoy it. It's going to be really nice. I want it to be a nice book and ideal for a gift.”
Alber is planning a hardcover book that would be perfect for a data center lobby, where visitors can enjoy some light data center humor while they wait to start their visit. The book will include background on Kip and Gary and a look at how the cartoons are created. Alber said she has been contemplating a book for some time.
"I finally have a great collection of cartoons," she said. "We'll have 70-plus comics in the book. I'm actually showing the process of how the characters are created."
One little-known fact: Kip's name originated with an acronym ("Knowledge Is Power") and he was originally a solo act. "It got hard without Kip having someone to banter with, so Gary came along," said Alber. "You don't really know who's the boss of who."
Alber has a fine art degree from Arizona State University, but her path soon led to the data center. "It isn't easy to make a living as an artist," she said. "I stumbled upon this career by accident. I was bartending in Tempe, and all my customers worked in data centers. I really enjoy this industry. It's awesome!"
Alber has visited data centers around the country, and saw the comic potential in the world of servers and racks. "When I saw an opportunity to combine my art with all that I learned in the data center, I couldn't help but do it," she said.
To take her dream to the next level, Alber needs your help. She's looking to refine the details of her Kickstarter campaign before setting a launch date - which kicks off a 30-day timeline to raise the funds needed for the initial printing. Head over to the Kip & Gary web site to review the details, provide feedback and become a sponsor! Here's Diane in a short video with more details: