Fund Me Friday: Lucy Bellwood’s inner demons, Sistah Shark and more

Plus Amy Chu, Felipe Smith and Nicholas Gurewitch!

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.

Sistah Shark #1 The Hunter and the Hunted

Creators involved: Christopher Caravalho
Deadline: Aug. 1
Goal: $6,000

What to know: Caravalho founded Mana Comics in 2014, and has since published several comics featuring superheroes from Hawaii — including Mana Double Feature, which featured Sistah Shark. Now he’s hoping to bring another solo adventure for her to life.

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Stephan Franck puts a stake in a third volume of his vampire heist series ‘Silver’

The animator returns to Kickstarter to fund a third volume of his graphic novel series that pits conmen versus vampires.

When he’s not helping to make animated hits like The Iron Giant and Despicable Me, Stephan Franck turns to his first love, comics. The son of two comic retailers, Franck started his own company, Dark Planet Comics, to publish Silver, a pulp-inspired heist story involving vampires.

Franck has used Kickstarter to crowd fund two volumes of the series already, and now a new campaign has launched for the third volume. I spoke with Franck about the project, the campaign and the appeal of working on comics.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Elizabeth Beier on ‘Bisexual Trials and Errors’

Elizabeth Beier only started working in comics a few years ago, but the graphic designer has made a name for herself self-publishing two issues of the comic Bisexual Trials and Errors, and comics like We Belong and I Like Your Headband. The winner of the 2016 Queer Press Grant from Prism and a Moth StorySLAM winner, this fall Northwest Press is publishing Beier’s first full length book, The Big Book of Bisexual Trials and Errors.

The spine of the collection is Beier’s own autobiographical story of starting to date after a six year relationship and being intimidated and finding her way through the entertaining confusion. Those comics, along with the flow charts and infographics that Beier enjoys crafting, manage to be funny and relatable in a way that transcends age and orientation. But the book is also much more that. Beier mentioned that she loves to draw faces, but she’s also interested in voice, and that interest in authenticity, in specificity, in capturing individuals and their stories is at the heart of her work. This is a coming of age story about a twenty-something woman, but it’s also about a woman situating herself in and coming to understand her community.

The book will be coming out this fall from Northwest Press, and the book is currently up as part of Kickstarter Gold, which highlights new projects by creators who have used the crowdfunding site in the past “making new works inspired by their past projects, so backers can discover extra-amazing ideas.” In 2013 Northwest published Anything That Loves, a comics anthology of comics story that took place in “the world outside of gay and straight boxes,” as editor and publisher Zan Christensen put it. The book was a critical and commercial success and Northwest will be publishing Beier’s book as a companion to and a continuation of that conversation. The campaign, which can be found here, runs through July 27.

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Smash Pages Q&A: Transience and forgotten memories

Do you remember yesterday? I often barely remember where I parked but I more or less know what I do day to day. In Transience, Leo Johnson and Ricardo Mo have assembled a collection of stories that build a world wrecked from amnesia.

In a unique science fiction premise, they’ve imagined a world where a series of biological attacks have left cities and towns around the world without the ability to form new memories. Each morning, people wake up with the previous day lost to them. Each story is set in a different city around the world where years have passed since the attack.

The creative teams tackling these stories often come from the location of their story, and make up an international team of collaborators that helped form this world.

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Fund Me Friday: ‘A Perfect Circle,’ Elizabeth Beier and more

Plus: ‘Blocked: Stories from the World of Online Dating,’ Chris Samnee, Craig Rousseau and the Killer Bees!

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.

A Perfect Circle minicomic

Creators involved: Writer Eric Esquivel and artist Ryan Quackenbush
Deadline: July 22
Goal: $150 (Funded!)

What to know: Esquivel shared where the story idea for this eight-page minicomic came from on Tumblr. “I got dumped at the tail end of October last year. It was, as these things often are, horrible,” he wrote. “To cope with my confusion, I did what I always do: wrote a comic about it. Specifically: a comic book about a guy who–after realizing that the last three decades of his life have been essentially a repeat of the same sad story over, and over, and over again– embarks on an epic journey to find a supernatural means with which to obliterate his personality, and start fresh.”

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Help ‘shine a light in all this darkness’ by resurrecting Pepe the Frog

Matt Furie attempts to #SavePepe with a new crowdfunded comic about the stoned frog who was hijacked by white supremacists.

The Associated Press reports that Pepe the Frog, like all good comic book characters, is returning from the grave.

Pepe’s redemption will come via Kickstarter, where creator Matt Furie and his brother Jason are attempting to raise money “to positively resurrect Pepe through the creation of a brand new comic in the spirit of the original Boy’s Club.” Per the AP story, Matt’s attorney, Kimberly Motley, is exploring possible litigation against those profiting off Pepe’s image without Furie’s permission.

Pepe the Frog debuted in 2006 as part of the Boy’s Club ensemble, appearing on MySpace and in comics published by Buenaventura Press. Later his chill nature became the subject of many memes. In 2015, the white supremacists in the far right “alt.right” movement co-opted Pepe for their own white nationalism campaigns, leading to the Anti-Defamation League branding him as a hate symbol in 2016. Furie killed Pepe off on Free Comic Book Day earlier this year. Since then, the ADL has worked with Matt Furie to help #SavePepe.

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Kickstarter ‘Gold’ brings back 7 comic projects

‘Black,’ ‘Plume,’ ‘The Secret Loves of Geek Girls” and more get remixed as they return to the crowdfunding site for another go.

Kickstarter is giving new life to several of their past campaigns, including seven of them from the comics category.

“Kickstarter Gold” brings back projects by creators who were “specially selected for their creativity, ingenuity and past success on Kickstarter,” the site reads. “We’re spotlighting them because they do excellent work — and because creators who repeatedly use Kickstarter to support and sustain creative ventures are an integral part of our community’s ecosystem.”

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Fund Me Friday: ‘Comics for Choice,’ Niobi and more

Help bring comics to life by checking out campaigns for ‘Niobe: She is Life,’ the ‘Comics for Choice’ anthology, ‘As the Crow Flies’ 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.

Niobe: She is Life hardcover & She is Death #1

Creators involved: Sebastian Jones, Amandla Stenberg, Ashley Woods, Sheldon Mitchell and Darrell May, plus a host of cover artists
Deadline: June 25
Goal: $21,500 (Funded!)

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Comics Lowdown: The woman behind Wonder Woman

Plus: ‘Revolutionary Girl Utena’ returns, Red Planet opens in Albuquerque, Melanie Gillman, Alex Segura, Harley Quinn and more.

The Wonder Woman movie has lots of people looking at the history of the character and how she has evolved over the years. The Fresh Toast has a great interview with Trina Robbins, the first woman to draw Wonder Woman and a pioneering underground comics artist and comics historian as well. She’s a delightful person who has had a fascinating life, and this interview is a great way to start off your week.

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