Fund Me Friday | Iron Circus kickstarts ‘Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: North America’

Plus: ‘The O.Z.’ and ‘The Baboon’ return, Cary Nord and more.

Crowdfunding continues to serve as a viable method for creators to fund their creative endeavors, as comic-related projects flourish on sites like Kickstarter and Patreon. The internet also allows creators to sell their creations direct to fans, through sites like Gumroad, Big Cartel 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.

Iron Circus Comics launched their latest project, Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales: North America, earlier this week, and they’ve already blown well past their $20,000 goal by almost $100,000. And they’ve still got 14 days to go! That’s all in a day’s work for the publisher, who are up to 30 successful campaigns, and, according to publisher Spike Trotman, they aren’t stopping anytime soon.

“I’ve grown an audience that’s interested in what I do and everything that I publish,” she told Forbes. “At this point my audience kind of knows my tastes and knows my inclinations and even if it doesn’t fit like a glove, it’s something they can get behind.”

The 100+ page anthology will include comics “inspired by original North American folktales,” as told by Indigenous creators like Elijah Forbes, Jordaan Arledge, Mekala Nava, Rhael McGregor and many more. The project is edited and organized by Kate Ashwin, Kel McDonald and Alina Pete, who curated the contributors list and also provided the cover (which can be seen at the top of this post).

“Kel asked me to join the Cautionary Fables team for the North American edition in order to be a cultural consultant as well as a co-editor,” Pete told The Beat. “Basically, I’m here to lend my knowledge about the protocol surrounding traditional Indigenous stories to make sure that we’re doing everything ‘the right way.’ All Indigenous stories belong to the nations who tell them, not to any individual storyteller, so part of the work we asked our writers to do was to practice proper protocol, and ask for permission from their own nations to tell the stories in this anthology.”

This is the fifth volume in the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series, and the first volume to be published by Iron Circus Comics.

The rewards:

  • $8 for a digital copy of the book
  • $20 for a print copy + digital copy
  • Other levels offer this new anthology along with other volumes in the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales series.

Stretch goals: Like other Iron Circus projects, the stretch goal here is an increase in page rates for the artists, with an increase of $5 to the rate for every $5,000 raised.

Deadline: The campaign ends Sept. 10. Here’s the campaign link.

THE O.Z. #1-2

Last year David Pepose, Ruben Rojas, Whitney Cogar and DC Hopkins teamed up for a crowdfunding campaign for the first issue of The O.Z., a comic that turns the classic world introduced in L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz into a war zone, as different factions vie for power after Dorothy kills the Wicked Witch of the West and heads home.

I spoke with Pepose about the series last year when he launched his first Kickstarter for it.

“Our story picks up a generation later with Dorothy’s granddaughter and namesake, a disillusioned Iraq war veteran trying to put the pieces of her life back together as she cares for her ailing grandmother,” he told me. “But when our new Dorothy is swept up by a tornado and dropped into this magical battlefield, she’s going to have to confront her past as a soldier — not to mention navigating her grandmother’s former friends — if she ever hopes to bring peace to the Occupied Zone… or as the locals call it, The O.Z.”

The first issue was a success, leading to a new Kickstarter campaign for issue #2 — which is also a success, as it has raised $20K+ more than their initial goal.

“We are incredibly thrilled for The O.Z. to make its long-awaited return to Kickstarter,” Pepose said in a statement. “Thanks to the overwhelming support of more than 1,200 backers in our last campaign, we’re excited to pull the curtain back and lead our Yellow Brick Road Warriors through even more of our dangerous and sweeping fantasy world. If you’re a fan of L. Frank Baum’s iconic Wizard of Oz mythology, you’ll love our action-packed twist with The O.Z.”  

Here’s a look at some art from the second issue:

The rewards:

  • $10 gets you a digital copy of The O.Z. #2, as well as the first issues of a couple of Pepose’s other works. $20 will get you the first and second issue digitally.
  • $20 gets you a print copy of issue #2, while $40 gets you the first and second issues (along with all the digital rewards).
  • Higher tiers offer variant covers, trade paperbacks of books like Scout’s Honor and Spencer & Locke, art commissions and more.

Stretch goals: The campaign has reached its first stretch goal, which gives all backers an assortment of digital comics from various creators. If it hits $30K, they have a pretty nice-looking set of painted O.Z. cards from artist Rachel Perciphone for those who pledged more than $100.

Deadline: The campaign ends Sept. 15. Here’s the link.

The Baboon: Skull of a King

Jamie Jones and Bow Tie Press are back with another issue of The Baboon, his third to fund through Kickstarter starring the pulp hero. The 32-page comic is a standalone one-shot, with the subtitle “Skull of a King.”

“Freelance adventurer and all around good guy, Barton Marlow JR. AKA THE BABOON has been contacted once again by the Briefer Museum of Natural Oddities to find, and bring back, the fabled Gem Encrusted Skull of the great King _____. But he is not the only adventurer looking for the ancient artifact,” the description reads. “And when the old foe shows his face Jamie, the Baboon’s trusty ward, looks to switch teams. But, personal problems are quickly shelved as problems go bad to worse when the king’s tomb reveals an ancient curse! How will the Masked Myth make his way out of this one? You’ll have to read to find out.”

You can watch Jones draw the comic on Twitch.

The rewards:

  • A very affordable $3 gets you a digital copy. The print comic is $6.
  • Other tier offer previous Baboon adventures or an original drawing.

Deadline: The campaign, which is already fully funded, ends on Sept. 16. Here’s the link to back the Baboon.

Quick hits

Here are a few more links to end with this time …

  • Let’s start with a link to this article on BookRiot about crowdfunding comics. They spoke with Steve Tanner and Gustaffo Vargas abotu their experiences with Kickstarter.
  • Next, Screen Rant reported on some thoughts that artist Liam Sharp recently shared on Twitter about crowdfunding; Sharp recently kickstarted an art book, and he’s been sharing some really cool art for an Arthurian story that we might hopefully see one day on Kickstarter.
  • Finally, Cary Nord, artist of Conan and X-Men, among other titles, has a Kickstarter up for Fol’Klor, a new comic he’s writing and drawing. The campaign ends Sept. 23.

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