Fund Me Monday: Liberty Brigade, blacklight comics and more

Support projects by Jim Rugg, Ethan Aldridge, Wes Craig and more.

As crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter, Patreon and IndieGoGo. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Etsy and of course their own websites. If you’re looking to buy something from or support a creator directly, you’ve come to the right place. And that’ a good thing to do, now more than ever.

Send any suggestions of your own to jkparkin@yahoo.com.

The Liberty Brigade

Creators involved: Michael Finn, Mark Waid, Ron Frenz, Barry Kitson, Joe Rubinstein, Mick Gray and more
Platform: IndieGoGo

What to know: The Liberty Brigade is a 100-page graphic novel that uses public domain superheroes from the 1940s and 1950s. It’s the first work by Finn, who represents comics creators, and he’s recruited a pretty stellar list of talent for it.

The story takes place in the middle of World War II.  Hitler, advised by Misery, the Claw and others, has hatched a plan to assassinate President Roosevelt using the combined power of some of the biggest villains of the past, including the Clown, Mastermind, the Rat, the Scarlet Skull and the saboteur, Frost.  The only thing standing in Hitler’s way is The Liberty Brigade, a team comprised of the Blue Flame, Cat-Man, Kitten, the Mad Hatter, the Green Turtle and three brand new heroes:  Mr. Freedom, the Bill of Rights and the National Anthem. 

The first 80 pages make up the main story, with the last 20+ being origin stories for the various characters represented here, with art by George Perez, Alan Davis, Mark Buckingham, John Totleben,  Rick Veitch, Barry Kitson, Jim Calafiore, Chris Weston, Ken Lashley, Ron Wilson, Mark Morales, Al Milgrom and many more. So yeah — it’s a really impressive line-up. They’re also offering a source book.

What’s the deal? For $20, you can get the main volume, the source book and a special #0 issue. For $40, you get softcover editions of the three books. Higher tiers offer a hardcover, as well as a special Jim Steranko variant edition.

Fluorescent Blacklight Outlaw Comic Book

Creators involved: Jim Rugg
Platform: Kickstarter

What to know: Inspired by a blacklight screen print her made back in 2014, Street Angel creator Jim Rugg thought he’s see if he could create a blacklight comic book with fluorescent ink. The comic is titled Octobriana 1976 and is about “a badass Russian superhero/devil-woman who fights Soviet oppression and robot Stalin.”

Octobriana comes from the book Octobriana and the Russian Underground (1971) by Petr Sadecky. It’s about a subversive group of artists and writers in Kiev in the 1960s who create a western-style superhero character as an act of dissent. They made outlaw comics called samizdat (publish-it-yourself <– reminds me of zines in the US or dojinshi in Japan) that starred Octobriana. Sadecky smuggled this material out of the USSR for his book. Since then, Octobriana has appeared in several comic books across many decades and countries. She seemed like a perfect character for American underground comix – a show of solidarity with their Russian countercultural kin. 

What’s the deal? For $5 you can get a digital copy, while $20 gets you the physical copy … which I would think would be the thing to have here. Other tiers offer some of Rugg’s other work, as well as, naturally, blacklight screen prints.

NEW 2020 Rise of the Kung-Fu Dragon Master Vol 1

Creators involved: Chris Mancini, Fernando Pinto, Starburn Industries Press
Platform: Kickstarter

What to know: This project reunites the team that created the fun Long Ago and Far Away, also by Starburn Industries Press. That one was a “genre hopper,” where a comic store employee was drawn into fantasy adventure with elves and the like. This one sounds like it’ll be crossing genre boundaries as well.

Rick, a small time crook in Los Angeles, becomes an unlikely hero in the mystical battle between good and evil which has been fought since the days of Ancient China. And Rick is an angry, unfocused fight club member who is barely equipped to deal with…well…anything. Fans of action and comedy who like Shang-Chi, Army of Darkness, Big Trouble in Little China and even ’80s buddy comedies should all find something to like here.

What’s the deal? $10 gets you the digital copy, while $20 gets you a signed physical copy.

Troll-Apple Pancakes

Creators involved: Ethan M. Aldridge
Platform: Gumroad

What to know: I featured Aldridge’s earlier comic, the beautifully done The Goblin, a few months back in this column, and now he’s got a new comic: Troll-Apple Pancakes. I haven’t bought it yet, but I plan to rectify that soon.

A fairy tale painted in vivid watercolors, it’s the story of a troll child sent on an epic quest to fetch the key ingredient to their favorite snack; troll-apple pancakes! Can they keep from nibbling before they return? 

What’s the deal? It’s a 20 page comic, in full color, and you can pay whatever price you think is fair.

KAYA and the golden child

Creators involved: Wes Craig
Platform: Paypal direct to the creator

What to know: Wes Craig is the co-creator of the Image Comics title Deadly Class, which maybe you read or watched on SyFy. He’s doing a new fantasy comic next year called Kaya, and he’s offering the first chapter right now as a “pay what you want” PDF preview.

What’s the deal? Like the man says, it’s pay what you want, directly to him via PayPal at blackhandcomics@gmail.com.

Eggman Comics Mini Collections Volume 6

Creators involved: Gabrielle Ng
Platform: etsy

What to know: This collection would have debuted at TCAF if it hadn’t been canceled this year. These are cute little comics featuring — you guessed it — eggs, doing various cute, egg-related things. You can learn more on the Eggman website.

I started Eggman Comics in 2014 and all the comics had no places to go but in the virtual world. Years after, I’ve decided to turn them into books so that people can read them in math class.

Eggman Comics Mini Collections Volume 6 features some of the comics that I created in 2019-2020. These are great books for all ages, so pick one up today or collect all 6 volumes!

What’s the deal? Volume 6 is available as a PDF for $2.22. You can also find earlier volumes here.

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