Fund Me Monday: ‘You Died,’ ‘American Cult’ and more

Find out about crowdfunding projects by Iron Circus Comics, Jim Calafiore, Robyn Chapman and more.

As crowdfunding continues to be a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors and connect directly with fans, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

YOU DIED: An Anthology of the Afterlife

Creators involved: Spike Trotman of Iron Circus Comics + a host of other creators
Deadline: Wednesday, Aug. 21
Goal: $20,000 (funded)

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Image announces ‘Bog Bodies’ OGN by Shalvey, Fullerton

The original graphic novel arrives next March.

At WorldCon in Dublin, Ireland this weekend, Image Comics announced a new original graphic novel, Bog Bodies, by writer Declan Shalvey and artist Gavin Fullerton.

Described as “a cold, poignant story of crime, survival and regret,” Shalvey and Fullerton are joined by colorist Rebecca Nalty, letterer Clayton Cowles and editor Heather Antos on Bog Bodies.

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Oni Press announces Katie O’Neill’s ‘Dewdrop’ for early 2020

The creator of ‘The Tea Dragon Society’ returns with a new graphic novel aimed at younger readers.

The creator of the award-winning The Tea Dragon Society will return with a new graphic novel, Dewdrop, in 2020.

Katie O’Neill announced the young reader’s project during the Oni Press panel at Comic-Con International this past weekend.

“I’m so happy to be creating a book for younger readers, especially one with themes of mindfulness and self-fulfillment,” Katie O’Neill said. “I hope the ideas in Dewdrop will sew seeds that may stay with children in some small way, and eventually grow when they need them most. It’s also a real honor to help with starting kids reading in any way I can, so I am very excited for them to meet Dewdrop and his friends!”

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Not at SDCC? Fantagraphics has a consolation prize

Fantagraphics has some solace for those of us who can’t be at Comic-Con this year: Their annual 20% off sale. The Smash Pages crew picks some of their faves if you’re in the mood to buy some comics.

While Fantagraphics goes to Comic-Con every year, they also have a little something for those of us who can’t be there: Their annual Comic-Con weekend sale. Any books you buy through the Fantagraphics Store are 20% off with the promo code SDCC. As they say in the ad, “It’s all the excitement of Comic-Con, without the sweaty cosplayers!”

OK, that was hyperbole, but there are some pretty good deals here, whether you’re interested in something new or catching up with a classic. Here are some of our top picks.

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Drawn + Quarterly announces new 2020 releases

At Comic-Con International, the Canadian publisher announced new books from Adrian Tomine, Lisa Hanawalt and more.

At Comic-Con International yesterday, Drawn & Quarterly announced several new graphic novels for 2020, including new work from Adrian Tomine, R. Sikoryak, Leslie Stein and Walter Scott, among others.

Check them out below.

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‘Jia and the Nian Monster’ explores Chinese lore

Mike Richardson and Megan Huang team up for a new original graphic novel.

When he’s not busy running Dark Horse, Mike Richardson is writing for them. In anticipation of this year’s Comic-Con International later this month, Dark Horse has announced the newest project from their founder, Jia and the Nian Monster.

Richardson is teaming up with artist Megan Huang on this new original graphic novel that’s based on an ancient Chinese legend.

“I’m pleased to work with artist Megan Huang to bring this Chinese legend to life for readers of all ages,” Richardson said. “I’ve always been interested in Chinese lore and hope to impart that interest on a new generation of readers.”

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Powell + Jensen team for ‘Two Dead’ this fall

New graphic novel from Gallery 13 explores crime and racism in the Deep South after World War II.

Van Jensen and Nate Powell will team up on a new graphic novel this fall for Simon & Shuster’s Gallery 13 imprint. Two Dead, according to Paste, is about “crime, conspiracy, racism and insanity in the post-World War II Deep South.”

“Van and I started collaborating on Two Dead before I began drawing the March trilogy, believe it or not, shifting focus over the years and evolving past its genre parameters,” Powell told Paste. “Finding the right approach for this story was in part thanks to those years re-imagining its format, scope, historical relationships, and how it speaks to the world of 2019. Along the way, each book I drew concurrently with Two Dead helped pave the way for its final form—Come Again allowed me to embrace the power of genre, just as March better equipped me to finding the personal focus within a larger historical context. I’m always eager to bring my home state to life through comics, and each book doubles as a love letter to Arkansas in all its contradictory beauty.”

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Celebrate International (Interstellar?) Dinosaur Month with ‘Alien Bones’

Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Chris Grine team up for a new graphic novel from 1First Comics.

Did other planets have dinosaurs? Chris “Doc” Wyatt and Chris Grine will explore that question in October in Alien Bones, a new graphic novel coming from 1First Comics.

Coinciding with International Dinosaur Month, Alien Bones features a boy and his paleontologist father exploring the galaxy and looking for the fossils of extinct alien dinosaurs. But when his dad disappears inside the ruins of an alien city, 10-year-old Liam teams up with his pet dinosaur and a robot to save him.

“The idea of Alien Bones came from wanting to thrill my son with an adventure out in the universe,” Wyatt said. “I can admit that astronomy can sometimes seem dry and boring in the classroom, so I wanted to find a way to encourage my kid to think about the cosmos as an exciting place to explore and discover. He was interested, at the time, in dinosaurs—a lot of kids go through a dinosaur phase, and my son was no different. So, I thought: ‘What about kids having adventures with dinosaurs in space?'”

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Smash Pages Q&A: Kelsey Wroten

The illustrator and cartoonist discusses her debut graphic novel, ‘Cannonball,’ from Uncivilized Books.

Kelsey Wroten is an illustrator and cartoonist who’s made an impact with her comics like Crimes and her illustrations, which seemed to have appeared almost everywhere in the past few years, from The New Yorker to Vice to Lucky Peach and elsewhere.

Her debut graphic novel is Cannonball, which was just released by Uncivilized Press. The book is the story of Caroline Bertram, a young writer who struggles with failure and goes on to have an even greater struggle with success. The book is more than simply a great character study, but throughout the book, Wroten is also illustrating in very different styles, the stories that Caroline is writing. In the final chapter of the book the story comes to a head not through text, but by utilizing the art as the real world and the world of her novel come crashing together in a striking way.

It’s a brilliant debut, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Wroten about writing complicated characters, structure, and color – as Avril Lavigne played in the background.

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