So I just got finished moving, only four miles away but moving is always a particular kind of abysmal Hell from which there is no exit from no matter the distance. If I ever purchase another shoe I want each of you to find me and yell at me. Anyway, this week we’ve got an array of crowdfunding projects from a socially awkward Victorian inventor, to three friends who have their live’s changed after meeting Bruce Lee, to a comics anthology about bodily ailments.
And away we go…
Attending University in England afforded me the luxury of becoming versed in the beauty of a rolling hill, also quaint town names like Milford Green. The comic Milford Green is about a fictional Southern England town whose serene landscape is disrupted one fateful evening in the summer of 1897. Inventor Alfie Fairfield was sitting in a quiet repose until he saw a flying vehicle dart across the sky. The awkward inventor then begins on his quest to investigate what he saw in that summer sky and ends up finding out a whole lot more than he bargained for.
According to the writer and creator of this one-shot comic, Samuel George London, Milford Green is a Victorian-alien adventure story. I’ll be honest, I don’t think we have enough Victorian alien-adventure stories so I’m pretty stoked by this project.
London says he had the idea while walking through the real-England town of Hampshire one day. He imagined a flying object darting across the sky and says he couldn’t get the image out of his head. He wrote the comic shortly thereafter. London hopes to raise enough money in his Kickstarter to help publish and pay the artist for the creation of this comic.
The artwork for this comic comes to us from Mikael Hankonen (Year in Hereafter). Hankonen’s artistic style lends itself beautifully to the setting and story of Milford Green. If you ask me, her character and scenery work are gorgeous. Here’s a peak:
If funded, the comic will be published and printed in a 48-page saddle bound style with the opportunity for an upgraded binding as a stretch goal. London is hoping to raise $4,159 to help cover costs and artist payment. Backers can choose from a few rewards like a t-shirt or poster, but the team is still finalizing the look and style of them. This project will be funding through March 4, 2018.
In this graphic novel set in San Francisco 1964, Los Angeles based cartoonist Jeremy Arambulo (Rogue Soup & Bug), takes us on a journey to re-imagine the circumstances leading up to the famed private match between martial artist legends Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man.
Arambulo describes the setting for the story below:
This fictional story re-imagines the circumstances leading to this mysterious and controversial fight, centering around the relationship between three friends: martial arts prodigy Jack Wong (inspired by Wong Jack Man), his volatile roommate Frank Yuen, and dancer/actress Nancy Wing.
Their lives are immediately affected after witnessing a martial arts demonstration by the charismatic Bruce Lee at a local theater. Tensions between the four main characters eventually lead to Jack challenging Bruce to a “friendly match of skills”. After the fight, Jack, Bruce, Nancy, and Frank are forced to reckon with the ramifications.
What’s beautiful about this graphic novel is the amount of research and care Arambulo put into creating it. Arabulo spent four years researching and writing his 224-page graphic novel. It’s a novel that explores masculinity, in particular what it means to be an Asian-American male. It’s the kind of story Arambulo says he wishes he had growing up.
Growing up as a nerdy Asian kid in New York, I was always fascinated with the intense level of self-confidence, skill, and charisma it took for Bruce Lee to rise to prominence during his time in the 1960’s-70s. Since then, I spent a lifetime desperate to see myself in any form of media.
If it isn’t already obvious, as Arabulo notes above, representation matters. This particular piece of work is exactly what the comics community needs more of and I’m so excited to see this project develop.
There are some neat rewards including color commissions, prints and a personal thank-you from the creator himself. The backer tiers range from $5 to $110. This crowdfunding project is hoping to raise enough funds to print the 238-page graphic novel. You can back this project until March 9, 2018.
CORPUS: A Comic Anthology of Bodily Ailments
Most of us grow up not talking about illness. We are taught that to do so is to complain, to be self-indulgent, to seek pity–all of which have a pejorative connotation. So from a fairly young age, most of us don’t talk about when we aren’t feeling good, this is true for our mental and physical health. We often fear the judgement and blame cast on us by others for being ill. The full color comic anthology CORPUS wants to put all that shame and fear aside for an open and honest look at bodily ailments.
Ailments, we all have them but we don’t discuss them. This creates a culture of silence which makes it difficult for people to ask for or get help when we needed. Nadia Shammas is the creator and editor of CORPUS which will contain 40 stories about what it is to be human. The collected stories range from peanut allergies, to losing an eye, to depression and the stigma of chronic illness.
Of the anthology, Shammas says:
Everyone’s been sick at some point, some for short periods, some for their entire lives. We are all united by the fact that we navigate the world with our bodies, and it deeply affects the way we exist. Everyone has a story. Stories have the power to spark empathy. These stories of illness connect us, remove the fear of the disabled and the unknown. After all, health is a funny thing like that. Most don’t really think about their own health until it’s compromised.
My own experience as a Type 1 Diabetic made me reflect on the lack of narratives about visible or invisible disabilities. Despite the fact that everyone has encountered illness there are very few stories about the experience in our popular narrative. It is my hope that with this project, we can begin the overdue conversation about health, healthcare, and empathy.
No one should suffer in silence or alone. We don’t always need to pretend we are doing good. Breaking down the barriers we have in place structurally and societally is important damn work. We are a collection of decaying cells whose bodies are capable of amazing things. It is okay to talk about not being well and to discuss the struggle of what it is to be a human, to fall apart, to be put back together again (or not). It’s something I’m 100% here for.
With over 40 stories and the desire to you know, pay the people creating them (imagine that) CORPUS is hoping to raise $25,000 to help cover the costs of contributors and publishing. The proposed roster of creators is impressive, here’s a brief taste:
- Cody Sousa (CROAK) / Ben D’Amico
- Brian Level (LAZARUS)
- Cameron DeOrdio (JOSIE AND THE PUSSYCATS) / Eli Neugeboren
- Mady G (INVADER ZIM)
- Shing Yin Khor (THE AMERICAN DREAM)
- Querelle P / Dante Luiz
- Ian Mondrick (CURIO) / Elodie Chen (WAYWARD SISTERS)
I’m excited folks, I’m excited for the conversations CORPUS will start. There are special edition Kickstarter prints, enamel pins, postcards and commissions available as backer rewards. I highly recommend heading over to the CORPUS page and reading more about this anthology.
Thanks to my colleagues who sent in some of the suggestions for this week’s crowdfunding watch. As always, if you would like to be featured or know something cool floating in the ether, get in touch with me.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics, video games, and representation in pop-culture.