Welcome to this week’s installment of The Beat’s Comics Crowdfunding Round-Up! This week we’ve got five high-quality projects from well-known creators, the fifth volume of a zine on speculative biology, and a book that offers insight into the beginning of the healthy food industry—um, apparently, a cult is behind it? Let’s get right into it!

Almost Real: A Speculative Biology Zine (Vol. 5 • Mythology)

Almost Real: A Speculative Biology Zine (Vol. 5 • Mythology)

Creators: Laura WilsonKory BingIben KruttMar SpraggeShirley JacksonCrabdominalPainBree PaulsenOctober Seagrave, E. “Papermonkey” Jokinen, GenystarCySophie Morse | SOPHARIUMGEN H. | PAPAYAYALonnie GarciaJay Eaton (editor), and Hye Mardikian (editor)
Goal: $18,000
End Date: June 16, 2022
Goodies: Volume 5’s DRM-Free PDF, 70-page softcover zine, 11×17″ Tarrasque insert poster by Mar Spragge and Puzzled Jay Productions, Zoop campaign-exclusive Griffin enamel pin, Zoop campaign-exclusive Volume 5 iron-on woven patch, and all five volumes of the Almost Real zine

Legends new and old come to life in Almost Real’s fifth mythological volume, powered by our contributors’ speculative imaginations.

Welcome to the world of speculative biology! It’s pretty damn fun. If you have ever thought, “Hey, how does Star Trek come up with all those alien designs?” (Answer: For a long time, all aliens in the Star Trek Universe were created from disparate body parts and organs of known Earth species.) Then, speculative biology is for you! 

The zine is exploring the theme of mythology for its fifth volume. With 12 new stories from the zine’s 15 contributors (including Skin Deep creator Kory Bing), backers can expect to read “unique spins on familiar legends,” in which they’ll hunt for cryptids, learn the mythos of alien worlds, as well as be introduced “to some brand new mythos to sink your speculative teeth into.”

Become a backer here.

KISHA: Demon Eater Volume 1

Kisha Demon Eater

Creators: Gian Carlo Bernal (artist) and Newton Lilavois (writer)
Goal: $8,000
End Date: May 27, 2022
Goodies: Limited edition variant covers, digital edition with bonus content, and physical book

Sixteen-year-old Kisha is sent to live in a small town with dark secrets, but Kisha has a few secrets of her own.

Once upon a time… Kisha, the daughter of African demon king Kishi, devours her demon brothers to earn her father’s love. Are you sold yet? (Me too.) Anyway… Kishi’s an arse, and apparently, nothing his daughter does is enough to earn his approval. However, centuries later, a sixteen-year-old Louisiana native Kisha Malveaux awakens Demon Kisha and becomes possessed. But will the two need each other to survive?

Plus, I am a fan of color pop art, and Demon Eater Kisha abides.

Become a backer here. 


The Source Family Scrapbook

Creators: Isis Aquarian, Charlie Kitchings, and Jodi Wille
Goal: $50,000
End Date: June 8, 2022
Goodies: Clothbound and gold embossed hardcover book, Kickstarter exclusive art print, tea towel, apron, t-shirt, or tote bag, Source Family virtual event, Source Family dinner party

THE SOURCE FAMILY SCRAPBOOK provides an intimate view into the world of California’s most iconic utopian commune, The Source Family.

Although the Source Family founded one of America’s first health food and vegetarian restaurants, Source, and left its mark on Southern California, the occult commune led by the controversial Father Yad is still shrouded in mystery. The Scapbook provides a 200-page immersive look into the public and private world of The Brotherhood of the Source.

The Scrapbook consists of unpublished photographs, newspaper clippings, letters, manifestos, album art, and flyers assembled by family historian Isis Aquarian from 1972 to 1977. It documents the group’s rise and fall, wild musical and social experimentations, and exodus to Hawaii and San Francisco as the group began to unravel. According to the project description, the pages “provide a revelatory, firsthand view into the widely misunderstood phenomenon of new religious movements and cults of the 1960s and 70s.”

Become a backer here. 

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe: Books 1-3

The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan Poe: Books 1-3

Creators: Dwight L. MacPherson (creator/writer), Rebecca MacPherson (editor), John and Colleen Darnell (forward authors), Steve Legge (artist), Emmanuel Ordaz (colorist), Ryan Caskey (cover artist), Pete Steiner (publishing manager), and Monika Maccagni (paint artist)
Goal: $3,000
End Date: May 31, 2022
Goodies: Digital and print edition of Volume Three, limited edition print by Monika Maccagni and Emmanuel Ordaz, signed edition, sketch card, a bundle of all three volumes, Hocus Pocus Cauldron Collection, limited-edition button, and limited edition bookmark

An award-winning fantasy adventure epic hailed as The Lord of the Rings meets Alice in Wonderland, starring Edgar Allan Poe.

MacPherson is married to Rebecca MacPherson, which is a great name and reason enough to back this Kickstarter, especially because she is a GLAAD Award-winning, NAACP Award-nominated producer and editor of this project. If that is not reason enough for you, then The Imaginary Voyages of Edgar Allan was nominated for a Harvey Award and Eagle Award in 2008, and Book One won the Saturday ‘Visiter’ Award from the Poe Society of Baltimore in 2021. Now, after 16 years, the final volume of the story is knock, knock, knocking on backers’ doors.

If the campaign reaches its $5,000 stretch goal, it will be able to donate “5% of all proceeds of this campaign will be sent to World Central Kitchen, which has boots on the ground in Ukraine, providing food for the people impacted by war.”

Become a backer here. 

Cult Heroes Vol. 1 Bloody Trade Edition

Cult Heroes Vol. 1 Bloody Trade Edition

Creators: Raymond Estrada
Goal: $4,500
End Date: May 23, 2022
Goodies: Digital edition that comes with digital wallpaper, physical edition, variant covers, art print, trading cards, stickers, bookmark, and original art

A Heroically Horrific Comic Book Series About Killing Your Heroes.

Cult Heroes bills itself as a new stylistic take on bombastic superhero encounters for mature readers. Estrada is a 2019 graduate of The Joe Kubert School of Cartooning and Graphic Design, and is the sole creator of the series, which he describes as a superheroic horror story about:

The Skies are crowded with people in capes. A mysterious disfigured self-proclaimed “Hero” a Cult Hero! Sets on a murderous path alongside Razor Blade MaryThe Holy Mother of Blades“ to make room up above. Their bloody pile of caped crusaders leads to an aimless young gifted Jamie, daughter of a long-retired hero next to face his bloody penance. This is Cult Heroes. No Heroes. Just Villains.

The 128-page OGN of Cult Heroes is expected to be fulfilled between August and September 2022.

Become a backer here.

Here are some already-funded projects worth checking out:

And don’t forget to check out last week’s campaigns:

And finally, here are some projects that haven’t launched yet, but that look to be worth keeping an eye on:

Miss any of our previous Comics Crowdfunding Round-Ups? Check out the archive here!