Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as 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’s a good thing to do, now more than ever.
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Creators involved: Malachi Ward
What to know: For several years now Ward (Ancestor, Expansion) has been serializing a comic called Burnt But Not Consumed via Patreon, which is about aliens, alternate dimensions and the Bay Area.
Burned But Not Consumed is the story of Seth, a reclusive programmer, encountering an alien claiming she needs Seth’s help to save her civilization. Like a lot of my previous work, it is a mix of interpersonal drama and surreal science fiction, and the plot takes a couple weird turns that I’m really excited for people to read. Eventually I plan for the book to be collected in print, and your support in making that possible is immeasurable.
The main function of this Patreon will be to serialize Burned But Not Consumed, and to provide a venue where I can refine my writing on process and inspiration. A special contribution tier includes access to a blog where I’ll write about comics, film, music and books that relate to both this story, other works I’m creating, or storytelling in general.
What’s the deal? $3 per month gets you access to new pages as Ward posts them, while $4 adds access to his process blog. For $12 a month, you also get physical copies of his recent work, like minicomics and prints.
Creators involved: Various creators who would have attended this year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival
What to know: This year’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival was, unfortunately, canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The festival organizers, however, have done their best to replicate some of the experiences of TCAF online, including this collection.
At the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, we try to celebrate and showcase great cartooning from all around the world. Part of the thrill of the festival is to walk down the aisles of our exhibition and discover new works that you’ll love. After this year’s festival was cancelled, we wanted to replicate part of that experience and have created the TCAF 2020 Digital Showcase!
The collection includes a story by Karen Shangguan and Laura Cañas, as well as more than 400 pages of comic and art samples from a variety of creators and publishers.
What’s the deal? It’s free to download from Gumroad.
What to know: This story originated from Gail Simone’s Comics School, which she ran on Twitter during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The story is set on a fictional world inspired by pre-colonial Africa and “Afropunk aesthetics,” and is about a child named Cass who is tasked with going from village to village to punish wrong doers “by flaying their bones and burying them.” Cass, as an apprentice to a bone herder named Anallelli Yosi, rebels against the practice.
The Bone Herder is an Afropunk/Afrofuturistic fantasy horror comic that puts black characters at the center of the story. Often people of color are left out of fantasy worlds or forced into stereotypical roles. I’m not alone in my desire to see settings that extend beyond the familiarity of typical western stories. This project originated from Gail Simone’s Comic School, which gave me the confidence to go forward with my idea.
What’s the deal? $15 gets you a PDF of the comic, while $25 gets you a print copy.
Creators involved: Simon Roy, Damon Gentry
What to know: Roy is known for his work on Prophet and more recently Protector, while Gentry is known for Sabertooth Swordsman and Vinegar Teeth. They have collaborated together on a comic called Black Spot, and they’ve posted the first part of it for free on Patreon.
In the spirit of online communitarianism, Damon Gentry and I have decided to make the first story of our ongoing sci-fi series free for all to enjoy, including some of the pages that have until now been reserved for the print edition of this book! I know a story about corporate duplicity, the mismanagement of resources, etc, is a bit on the nose right now, but if you like this story, there’s a big heap of other stories just like it behind the paywall!
What’s the deal? While you can read this one for free, Roy has a Patreon filled with other sf comics, and he’s sharing more there all the time. $3/month will get you access.
Creators involved: Rich Tommaso
What to know: Tommaso is the creator of comics like Dry County, Dark Corridor, She Wolf and Spy Seal, which he is continuing here in Black Phoenix, a comics magazine that features several different stories and is only available through his Patreon. He’s currently up to issue #4.
Welcome to my new comics magazine, BLACK PHOENIX. Here at this Patreon page you will get to see a magazine unfold, cover to cover. It will feature: each volume’s cover, long-running and short-form comics, single page illustrations, fake movie, toy, and beer ads. Contents pages, indicia pages, check lists, articles, interviews, cut-out subscription ads, and of course, a back cover illustration–basically, everything that would normally go into an illustrated magazine of this sort. Here you’ll read installments of ZIPPER DICK FRYER, a strange, sci-fi epic by the talented cartoonist, VALIS. And a medieval monster-apocalypse tale called, THE OGRE by the cartoonist known as ELMEER. A hard-boiled, traditional, western drama, GALOOT! by famed cartoonist, RIFIFI. And, the second volume of my spy adventure series, SPY SEAL : FLIGHT OF THE GOLDEN BELLS. Those andmany more will be featured here. New and unpublished comics material from the illustrious cartoonists mentioned above, who, incidentally, are all one in the same. Now, an entire issue will take me more than just a month to complete–it will be like an issue every 4 months. But, every week you can expect to see about 2-4 pages of material.
What’s the deal? $1/month gets you access, while $3/month gets you extras like discarded art and watercolor sketches. $5/month gets you articles on comics and a glimpse at pages before they are colored.
Creators involved: Kyle Starks
What to know: Starks has brought us all kinds of crazy fun in comics form, from Ricky Thunder to Sexcastle to Assassin Nation to Rock Candy Mountain. His latest is Karate Prom, “the story of a pair of teens who meet at a martial arts tournament and decide to go to prom together, only to be targeted by a vengeful ex-boyfriend and his cronies.”
Nuff said? Nuff said.
What’s the deal? The 36-page comic is available to download for whatever amount you’d like on Gumroad.