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)

What to know: The latest Kickstarter project from crowdfunding veteran C. Spike Trotman is an anthology of “death-positivity” stories.

“None of us can agree on what happens after the end comes, or about how much we should think about it beforehand, or even what death should mean to the living. But who says there’s anything wrong with that? Not us,” the Kickstarter page reads. “This Iron Circus Comics anthology features a line-up of cartoonists, both new and notable, relating their favorite stories, myths, hopes and suspicions about death, dying and even The Great Beyond.”

With an introduction by Caitlin Doughty, the anthology features the work of Raina Telgemeier, Casey Gilly, Shae Beagle, Oliver Northwood , James Maddox, Jeremy Lawson, Holly Adkins and many more.

What’s the deal? It’s pretty simple, as Iron Circus is only offering two tiers of rewards: $10 gets you a digital copy, and $20 a print copy. The project has raised well above its funding goal this far, and Iron Circus plans to publish the book in September 2020.

NED, Lord of the Pit; a comedy of terrors

Creators involved: Jim Calafiore
Deadline: Sept. 6
Goal: $38,000

What to know: Calafiore is the artist on Leaving Megalopolis, with writer Gail Simone, which they crowdfunded about seven years ago. This time around, Calafiore is writing and drawing Ned, Lord of the Pit, a humorous look at an ordinary guy who becomes a ruler in Hell.

“It’s a funny (to us) and frightening (especially to him) story of an average guy discovering the world is so much stranger than he thought, and his family (himself included) are way more connected to the darker, scarier side of reality than he knew or would ever ever want,” the Kickstarter page reads. “The darker side, it turns out, doesn’t want him either. ”

What’s the deal? For $10, you can get a digital copy, while the physical book costs $25. Higher tiers offer bookplates, sketches and even your own character, as drawn by Calafiore.

American Cult: A Comics Anthology

Creators involved: Robyn Chapman + many talented creators
Deadline: Sept. 6
Goal: $13,000

What to know: Chapman has been running crowdfunding campaigns for her comics for years now and heads up the minicomics publisher Paper Rocket. This anthology focuses on cults — everyone from the Branch Davidians to the Oneida Colony.

“When we see cults covered in the media, their stories are often packaged into titillating  and entertaining scandals,” the Kickstarter page reads. “American Cult will be different. In this anthology you’ll find sincere and fact-based comics journalism that endeavors to understand these groups, their members and their appeal. It’s important to me that these stories humanize the people involved but also call out abuse where it happened.”

Contributors include Box Brown, Emi Gennis, J.T. Yost, Andrew Greenstone, Jesse Lambert, Rosa Colón Guerra, Ben Passmore, Mike Dawson and more.

What’s the deal? $10 gets you a digital copy, while $25 gets a print edition. There are also several “author bundles” that get you not only American Cult, but also books from some of its contributors.

Help Wanted Volume One

Creators involved: Payton Francis
Deadline: Sept. 14
Goal: $4,700

What to know: Help Wanted is a webcomic currently available on Tapas, and this project is intended to fund its first print collection. This LGBT romantic dramedy is about a woman who takes a job as caretaker at an apartment building in Minneapolis which, it turns out, is inhabited by supernatural tenants.

 This first printed volume of Help Wanted will include the first six chapters of the story (190 pages), plus a bonus chapter and some extras.

What’s the deal? A $10 pledge will get you a digital copy, while $25 gets you the print version. There are also stickers, postcards and other items available at higher tiers.

Anasazi – A Sci-Fantasy Graphic Novel

Creators involved: Mike Mccubbins and Matt Bryan
Deadline: Aug. 31
Goal: $10,000

What to know: Anasazi is “a nearly wordless 212 page, 8″ x 8.5″ full-color cloth-bound graphic novel.” The “nearly wordless” part caught my eye; according to the Kickstarter page, “There is no English dialogue or exposition in Anasazi. Instead each chapter heading contains an alien language glyph along with a non-English word or phrase meaning and its literal English translation. These glyphs then appear as dialogue throughout the story.”

As for the story itself, it’s about two tribes that are separated by a river. “A forbidden crossing of this boundary leads to a bloody massacre, and two orphaned Anasazi children, Ebere and Xenia, are taken in by the Malecite.  But divisions within the tribe sow bitter conflict and a mythical and monstrous enemy looms on the horizon.”

What’s the deal? $10 for the PDF, $25 for the book … with a bookmark. They’re also offering postcards, posters and original art at higher tiers.

GoFundMe for retailer Bill Wahl

Who is involved?: Comics retailer Bill Wahl, owner of Comix Connection in Pennsylvania
Deadline: N/A
Goal: $70,000

What to know: Bill Wahl is the co-owner and co-founder of the Comix Connection, a pair of comic shops in Pennsylvania.

According to the GoFundMe page,”Bill, an uninsured single father of two, suffered complete renal failure last year and underwent several procedures on both kidneys, including a nephrostomy, a stent and two separate lithotripsies. Bill has spent the last 9 months with no follow up visits because he can’t afford them. He continues to sporadically pass blood and other detritus. He has been paying the urologist, anesthetist and other charges as best he can — but it is impossible to keep up.”

His friend Brian Keene set up the page to collect funds for Wahl to help cover his expenses.

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