Fund Me Monday: More ‘Disturbances,’ vampires and a Prince tribute

Check out new projects from Shortbox, Craig Hurd-McKenney, Jason McNamara 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. This column offers a look at recent crowdfunding comics projects that might be of interest to fans.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t start out this time by calling out a recent controversy surrounding Kickstarter, where the company has been accused of firing two employees who were part of efforts to start a union at the online crowdfunding company. I mention it in the interest of public knowledge rather than as any sort of indictment against anyone who use the forum to raise money (Particularly those I mention this week, most of whom started their projects before this even came to a head). Kickstarter is certainly not the only company to be called into question about their labor issues, and their response to the allegations of union busting can be read over at Gizmodo. There’s also a form being circulated on social media asking creators who have used Kickstarter to support the employees attempting to unionize.

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Today only: Back this Kickstarter comic about a dog and his magic towel

Shaun Manning and Esther Pimentel crowdfund ‘Baxter and the Magic Towel’ in a one-day campaign.

I’m planning to do another round-up of crowdfunding comics projects this weekend, but by the time I get to it, this one might be over. So here you go: Shaun Manning and Esther Pimentel have teamed up for a one-shot about a dog and his magic towel. It’s called Baxter and the Magic Towel.

“Written and (to the degree necessary) lettered by Shaun Manning and illustrated by Esther Pimentel, this is a light, fun story about a super-family chasing their dog around town while Baxter tries to evade them using his own ultra-canine abilities,” their Kickstarter page says.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Matt Kindt, Brian Hurtt + Marie Enger

The denizens of St. Louis-based HEK Studios team up on a new anthology, which is up for funding on Kickstarter.

The depth and breadth of what you can do in comics and with comics — and I’m talking story-wise, design-wise and format-wise here — is virtually limitless. Sometimes it takes a particular project and a particular set of creators to remind us of this, and The HEK Treasury serves as just such a reminder.

The HEK Treasury is a creative project by the members of HEK Studios — Matt Kindt, Brian Hurtt and Marie Enger. The three of them have a large assortment of credits within comics — Black Badge, The Sixth Gun, Dept. H, Super-Spy, Fhtagn and Loathing, Shadow Roads, Nosferatu! and many more. The Missouri-based creators formed HEK Studios in 2015 and have purchased a vintage Route 66 garage that they’re converting into “the first full-time exclusive comic book studio in St. Louis.”

In addition to their own projects with various publishers, they’ve decided to team up on a large prestige format hardcover (8 ¾  x 11 5/8 ). This deluxe collection will feature “all new epic, experimental science fiction, fantasy and genre short stories. The HEK Treasury will showcase each creator as they unleash new ideas, using experimental art and storytelling techniques.” The project went live on Kickstarter earlier this week, and the campaign runs for 30 days. If funded, the book will be delivered to backers in the fall.

I spoke with the three of them about The HEK Treasury, HEK Studios and what they hope to accomplish together with this project.

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Fund me Monday: Domino Books, Jay Stephens and more

Find out about crowdfunding projects by Austin English, Vera Greentea, Charlie Stickney and Black Eye Books.

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, IndieGoGo and others. Here’s a look at a few recent campaigns that caught our eyes.

New Comics + Distribution by DOMINO

Who is involved? Domino Books, a small press publisher run by Austin English
Deadline: July 31
Goal: $6,000

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Fund Me Sunday: ‘Pink Lemonade,’ ‘Shots Fired’ and more

Find out about crowdfunding projects by Nick Cagnetti, Ominous Press, Doug Gray and … The Intergalactic Postal Service?

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.

Pink lemonade #1

Who is involved? Nick Cagnetti and It’s Alive! Press
Deadline: July 27
Goal: $2,000

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Smash Pages Q&A: Jason McNamara on ‘The Cicada’

The writer of “The Rattler” and “Sucker” returns to Kickstarter for a new project about small town horror.

Jason McNamara is the writer behind Sucker, The Rattler and other graphic novels that fall into, or at least somewhere close to, the horror genre. Using Kickstarter, he has brought his character-driven visions to life over the last few years, establishing himself as a “go to” creator for chills on the comic book page.

His latest project is The Cicada, a five-issue comic series he’s kickstarting in conjunction with Evoluzione Publishing. The first issue introduces the town of Braddock, Texas, where a serial killer returns every 13 years to target children. But this killer may have met their match in teenage prodigy Emma Dale.

I spoke to McNamara about the project, working with a publisher and what else he has planned as part of his new venture, Polite Strangers.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Maggie Umber

The co-founder of 2d Cloud discusses their latest Kickstarter, their 2019 lineup, her latest project and more.

Maggie Umber is the acclaimed cartoonist behind the books 270˚, Sound of Snow Falling, Time Capsule and other comics. She is also one of the founders of 2d Cloud, which in the past decade has established itself as one of the most important comics publishers in North America.

Umber wrote a blog post recently about the state of 2D Cloud and her own health, and about how the company plans to move forward. The company has just launched Artist Book Boxes at the Center of the Universe, a Kickstarter for the company’s 2019 lineup. We spoke recently about her new book, what kinds of books 2d Cloud will be publishing this year and why they just couldn’t walk away from the company.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Kel McDonald

The cartoonist discusses her latest project, now up on Kickstarter, as well as the urban fantasy genre, ‘The Stone King’ and more.

Kel McDonald has been making comics for years. I read her webcomic Sorcery 101 years ago, but she’s also made comics series like Misfits of Avalon, written Buffy the Vampire Slayer comics and contributed to Dark Horse Presents. Late last year Comixology Originals released The Stone King, a comics series that McDonald made with artist Tyler Crook. Her work is always interesting because she clearly loves fantasy, but she wants to do interesting things with the genre, telling different kinds of stories in really exciting ways.

In recent years she’s been making the series The City Between, composed of different books with different characters and genres set in the same world. Right now she’s kickstarting the third book in the series, The Dead Deception. I’ve been reading McDonald’s work for years and she was kind enough to answer a few questions about urban fantasy, werewolves, her future plans for the series, and how Kickstarter has changed over the years for the better.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Keith Lansdale and Jok

The creators of ‘Red Range:Pirates of Fireworld’ discuss the sequel to a 1999 graphic novel by Joe R. Lansdale and Sam Glanzman.

The miniseries Red Range: Pirates of Fireworld, currently being kickstarted for a summer release, is a sequel to the graphic novel Red Range. Originally published in 1999, the book by Joe R. Lansdale and Sam Glanzman was reprinted with new colors recently. The first volume was a dark western tale, which ended with the hero and the boy he rescued falling into the hollow earth, a place filled with dinosaurs and other creatures.

The final page of the book teased a sequel, but nothing ever came of it – until now. Written by Keith Lansdale and drawn by Jok, who colored the reprinted edition, they’re picking up where the original left off in this miniseries. Lansdale has written comics including Crawling Sky, Vampirella: Feary Tales, The X-Files: Case Files and Creepy. Jok has drawn many comics over the years including Strangeways, The Hill, Freud’s Covenant, Mixtape and many others.

I reached out to ask the two a few questions about the book.

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