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.
Creators involved: Craig Hurd-McKenney, Gervasio, Aon
Deadline: Oct. 4
What to know: This is the followup to Hurd-McKenney’s previous graphic novel, Some Strange Disturbances, which is published through his Headless Shakespeare Press. This second volume is a 100-page, black-and-white graphic novel that “explores contemporary LGBTQ issues using Victorian England as a backdrop,” the Kickstarter page reads. “Featuring three characters who are crafty, testy and human, Some Strange Disturbances situates itself among Victorian horror legends like Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe and others.”
The project is illustrated by Gervasio & Carlos Aon, with a cover by Tyler Smith Owings, graphic design by Keeli McCarthy and editorial assistance by Shon Bacon.
What’s the deal? $10 will get you a digital copy, while $20 gets you a physical copy. For $35 you can get physical copies of both volumes. Other reward tiers offer special prints by Katie Skelly, Dame Darcy and others, plus there’s a “Friends of Dorothy’s Library” tier that lets you buy a copy of this and some other Headless Shakespeare titles to donate to an LGBTQ library.
Creators involved: Vito Delsante, Vasco Georgiev
Deadline: Oct. 2
What to know: This is a classic “boy meets girl” love story, according to the Kickstarter page … or, more precisely, an “androgynous alien from a planet where silence is golden meets girl” story. The story (and title, you might have noticed) is inspired by the music of Prince, although the project page is very clear that Prince and his likeness do not appear in the comic. Delsante, who has funded a number of comics through Kickstarter, including Stray, has teamed up with artist Georgiev, who has worked on Dynamite’s Xena title previously.
What’s the deal? $5 for a PDF copy, $7 for the real thing. Higher tiers will get you a bookmark that looks like a concert ticket, a tour T-shirt and a concert poster.
Creators involved: Jason McNamara, Tony Talbert
Deadline: Oct. 10
What to know: This is the follow-up to last year’s Sucker, which McNamara also kickstarted. I spoke to him at the time about the book, which is about the hunt for the last vampire by a pharmaceutical company that wants his blood.
This volume further explores the lives of Bruce Jacobs, a.k.a. the last vampire, and Clyde Benton, the man hired to bring him in. McNamara and Talbot, his longtime collaborator, have teamed up with inker John Heebink, colorist Paul Little and background artist Peter Secosh.
What’s the deal? $5 for the PDF, $12 for a physical copy. Other tiers offer the first volume, as well as lithographs, postcards, signed editions and more. You can also become a vampire hunter, custom drawn by the team, for $500.
DEATH TRAP graphic novel
Creators involved: Matt Miner, Christopher Peterson
Deadline: Oct. 2
What to know: “Death Trap is the story of a young woman named Ollie who grew up in the Strongin Circus crime family, surrounded by sideshow freaks and weird clowns and a huge albino dancing bear named Wojtek. Her Dad’s killed by a rival crime family at Davenport Amusements, and ends up haunting his old Mercury Cougar muscle car. So Ollie and her dad’s ghost team up for some sweet, sweet, revenge.” I don’t think I need to say anything else to sell this, right? You’re either in or out based on that.
The grindhouse-style four-issue miniseres features Josh Jensen on colors and Matt Krotzer on letters.
What’s the deal? $10 gets you the first issue with an exclusive-to-Kickstarter cover. $16 gets you all four issues as PDFs, while $20 will get you a trade paperback. There’s also tiers that let you name a character in the book, as well as an option to appear as a bobblehead in the comic. Not kidding.
Creators involved: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Zainab Akhtar’s Shortbox
Deadline: Oct. 2
Goal: $35,261 (which has been met)
What to know: Valero-O’Connell, who took home several Ignatz Awards this weekend, creates two new stories for this volume, which also includes a previously released minicomic. Each story is 30+ pages in length, with the full book clocking in at over 110+ pages. Shortbox is looking to fund a 10,000 copy printing of this. “We’d love to capitalise on our growth and really push this book: a big print run like this would allow us to make Don’t Go without Me a fixture of our catalogue for the next few years, push for book distribution, get in bookstores and libraries, take the book to festivals and conventions, send out review copies, explore foreign rights, and simply have enough stock to fulfill demand.”
What’s the deal? £9 (which is about $11 in the U.S.) gets you a digital copy, while £21 (about $26) gets you the physical book. There’s also a lifetime subscription option to everything Shortbox will ever publish, available for £1,000.