It’s a rainy day here in Northern California but it’s okay because I’ve got my coffee and that’s pretty much satisfied my Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Today I want to explore a few crowdfunding projects that came across my eyeballs over the weekend. The first is a love triangle involving jazz and the beginning of the Universe, the second is an experimental comics anthology and finally, a comic about an evil radio DJ and bounty hunter with a monkey sidekick just trying to save us all from a hellish existence in the Wasteland.
The Big Bang, the start of our Universe, of Earth and everything in it–a gunshot that could kill your love. Could you stop expansion of the Universe to save your beloved? The game is billed as a noir adventure involving puzzles, generative art and tactile interactions. What does that mean? Well, it’s easier to show you:
The game is being built by a small, but experienced, team of people with help from Melbourne based Surprise Attack games. The team includes Evan Anthony and Jeremy Abel, both have a long history of animation, illustration and motion graphic design.
What thrills me about this game is its blend of storytelling and generative systems. Players can plant seeds, transform landscapes, create or destroy stars, or even improvise a jazz duet. The game involves a wonderful cast of characters including Miss Mass, No Man, Golden Boy and Siren Sapien.
Here’s a description of the characters from the Kickstarter page:
Play as No Man, a watch peddler stuck in a deterministic hell, as he gets caught up in lust and crime. Explore our universe. Witness the history of mankind. Discover a way to destroy creation. Find comfort from a glass of gin. Search for an escape from it all.
Along the way you’ll meet Miss Mass, an alluring jazz singer who attracts all who come close. You’ll track down Golden Boy, a narcissistic artist who loves to create and destroy. You might even encounter Siren Sapien, a formless femme fatale, dangerous and perceptive.
The game has a teaser you can check out by following this link. I cannot tell you how beautiful I find this or how lovely the user experience and interface is for level selection, so once again, I’ll settle for showing you:
The rewards for Genesis Noir are carefully curated, one even includes a resin sculpture of the player character, No Man. More than anything, I find this game excites and tickles my imagination. It’s an homage to exploration and the beauty and danger of love and creating.
The team is hoping to raise $40,000 and are about a quarter of the way towards that goal. Funding for this Kickstarter will continue through February 16, 2018, with an estimated delivery of December 2019.
Sliced Quarterly aims to tell stories in new and imaginative ways, think of it as a kind of playground to explore comic narrative. This comic anthology collects the digital issues #5-#8 which have been published over the course of the year into one full color 140-page trade paperback format.
Here’s how Ken Reynolds, the editor of Sliced Quarterly, describes the collection:
Sliced Quarterly is a playground for creators to experiment with the comic book narrative. We aim to showcase simple, authentic, literary stories told in extraordinary ways. Creators are invited to test the traditional norms of the medium, and in so doing, elevate how they connect and communicate with the reader. Each issue displays the value of sequential narrative art in its ability to be insightful, emotive and provocative.
For a sneak peak at what’s inside, take a look below:
Reynolds is asking $3,327 to help publish the anthology and the rewards, while not many in number the rewards are all quite personal. There are a number of limited edition bookplates, art commissions, and the editor himself will even letter a comic for you. The anthology is ready for print so as soon as funding is complete, Reynolds plans to send it off to the printers. Funding for this project will end on February 16, 2018, and is about half-way towards its funding goal.
From Behemoth Comics and Inkwell nominated Bong Dazo (Deadpool, Star Wars: KOTR), comes a story about a pandemic, fights over fuel and Radio DJ who wreak havoc on the surviving citizens in the Wasteland. Their protection and future depends on a bounty hunter and his monkey. Garrett Krebs, an American film and comic book writer, is the creator of Neptune Radio working with Dazo to bring the story to life.
Issue one will run 28-pages at full color with art work and covers from Dazo and writing from Krebs. Here’s a synopsis from the Kickstarter:
Issue One finds Fox, former intergalactic baseball star with the Centurion Comets, weeks after returning home to find the wasteland in despair The various gangs have taken control of the regions from “The Lost” up to North Cities. Having lost contact with his only remaining family, Trixx, Fox teams up with his best friend Buster to take on odd-jobs and bounties to afford a living outside of Neptune City’s walls.
The duo’s provided some sample interior pages to give people a taste of what they can expect from the comic:
There’s also some great cover options being created exclusively for the Kickstarter:
Standard Cover below is from Ricardo Silva, the artist of Grimm: Fairy Tales and other independent comics. Includes color from Lukasz Juskewicz.
Cover A is the first Variant Cover option and features art from Neptune Radios very own, Bong Dazo. Also includes color from Lukasz Juskewicz.
Cover B is the second Variant Cover option and features a classic advertisement layout. Remember, this one is ONLY available here on the Kickstarter and will not be reprinted!
Now if you know me, you know I’m all about that merchandise. Okay, I’m about more than just that but Neptune Radio has some pretty awesome rewards for backers.
From Lunar Cola to an actual cassette tape with 12 songs from the world of Neptune Radio, I reckon there’s something to tickle mostly everyone’s fancy. I suppose I enjoy seeing backer rewards like this because it demonstrates the effort and thought put into building up this world as something tangible people can invest in. I appreciate the little things that help bring these different experiences to life.
The team will be Kickstarting this project through February 16, 2018, and is hoping to raise $4,000 to help complete and publish the first issue of Neptune Radio.
I would be truly remiss if I didn’t bring attention to Da Share Z0ne‘s tabletop card game on Kickstarter. If you are unfamiliar with the content peddled by this Twitter shi*t posting savant then this game’s probably a good a way as any to acquaint yourself. It’s a card game meant for 2-8 players but I guarantee you it’s probably unlike any card game you’ve played before. The point of the game is to get to the Devil’s Level, aka 6/6/6, aka the ‘ultimate state of chill’. Player’s use effect cards to steal one another’s work of throw them off course by blowing stuff up.
Not Safe For Work and definitely 18+ the game also features contributions from other enjoyable humans who have made me laugh during these trying times including: Dril, Sarah Dyer and Oliver Leach (to name a few).
Well, signing off until next week. Ta-ta-for-now.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics, video games, and representation in pop-culture.