Welcome back to The Beat‘s weekly crowdfunding comics round-up! Each week we’ll spotlight comics projects we think would be a great investment, whether it’s a one-shot story or a sprawling anthology. There’s plenty to love in this week’s collection, including a brand new edition of the Eisner-winning ELEMENTS anthology series and a pawsitively intriguing cat-centered fantasy tale (a day late for International Cat Day, but since when has a cat cared about being on time?).

Let’s get going!

1. ELEMENTS: Earth


Goal: $35000 USD
Ends: Monday, September 9 2019 4:00 PM EST
Creators: Anthology
Best Value Tier: $20 for PDFs of both volumes of ELEMENTS
I began this journey in 2015 by creating ELEMENTS: Fire, and along the way Shing Yin Khor joined and the book was born. By 2018, Fire became an award-winning success that took home both an Ignatz for “Outstanding Anthology” and the Eisner award for “Best Anthology.” Now in 2019 ELEMENTS: Earth will be the second book from Ascend Comics, a new comics publishing company which I co-founded with Der-shing Helmer.

The Ignatz and Eisner-award winning ELEMENTS anthology series created by Taneka Stotts returns with ELEMENT: Earth, collecting twenty stories by two dozen creators of color, including Shing Yin Khor, Rii Abrego, and Tess Stone. Illustrated in black-and-white with gorgeous Pantone spot coloring, this collection is sure to be a visual treat. If you missed out on ELEMENTS: Fire, the $20 tier is your best bet — there’s no reason not to get both books!

You can back the campaign here.

2. The Scourge of Ninepoint: Issue #2

The Scourge of Ninepoint Issue #2

Goal: Approx $5649 USD
Ends: Thursday, August 15 2019 8:30 PM CDT
Creators: Bones McKay (Writer), Ursula Gray (Art)
Best Value Tier: Approx $4 USD for two PDFs
The Ninepoint Empire has suppressed the calicos for centuries. The kittezens rest in peace knowing that this “calico scourge” is disposed of. At least, that’s what they thought.
Marble, a rare male calico, manages to escape his fate when he is adopted by a family of raccoons. As he grows he comes to learn about the world he escaped from. Meanwhile, the true scourge encroaches on the life of peace Ninepoint and beyond is accustomed to.

Okay, this one may be a little tough if you don’t even want to see fantasy cats engaging in dangerous adventures, but Ursula Gray’s illustration work on The Scourge of Ninepoint is absolutely stunning. Plus $4 USD for two issues is a deal that’s tough to beat! Co-creators Bones McKay and Ursula Gray have run several successful Kickstarters in the past, including for the first volume of Scourge of Ninepoint. If you have a little extra to spend, approximately $75 USD plus shipping will get you the PDFs, a t-shirt, pin, and print edition, and … an illustration of your pet as a knight.

You can back the campaign here.

3. YOU DIED: An Anthology of the Afterlife

YOU DIED: An Anthology of the Afterlife

Goal: $20,000 USD
Ends: Wednesday, August 21 2019 6:00 PM EST
Creators: Iron Circus Comics
Best Value Tier: $10 USD for a PDF copy
Death is, truly, the one thing we all have in common. But that doesn’t make it easy to talk about. None of us can agree on what happens after the end comes, or about how much we should think about it beforehand, or even what death should mean to the living. But who says there’s anything wrong with that? Not us.

Iron Circus returns with an anthology to die for — literally — in YOU DIED: An Anthology of the Afterlife. This anthology collects two dozen stories by creators like Casey Gilly and Raina Telgemeier, Sally Cantirino and Jordan Alsaga, and S Case. You can’t beat an Iron Circus anthology for quality comics at a great price. $10 for more than 200 pages? Go ahead and smash that “back this project” button.

You can back the campaign here.

4. NPC Tea Issue 7

NPC Tea Issue 7

Goal: $1824 USD
Ends: Friday, August 23 2019 2:00 PM EST
Creators: Sarah Millman (Milmo)
Best Value Tier: $10 USD for seven PDFs
NPC Tea follows an ex-fire summon, an elf and a human as they attempt to save a failing tea shop in modern day Cardiff. Soon they find out that a lack of customers and caddies upon caddies of rotting tea are the least of their worries, when a type of banned magic rears it’s ugly head and threatens to destroy the entire city. Bryn, Oz and Hannah must unite if they are to save their business – and ultimately the city itself.

Milmo’s five page preview of NPC Tea will quickly get you hooked. Her writing is quick and playful, and her art wonderfully emotive. This is the seventh issue of an eight issue series, and the fifth to be Kickstarted by Milmo. She offers a $10 USD tier with all seven previous issues of the series for folks who want to dive in and binge the whole thing.

You can back the campaign here.

5. Sad Comics, Good Pins

Sad Comics, Good Pins

Goal: $1800 USD
Ends: Wednesday, August 28 2019 3:00 PM EST
Creators: Hannako
Best Value Tier: $10 USD plus shipping for a PDF and enamel pin
Seven Years is a humorous and painful autobiographical comic about toxic relationships, coming to terms with your trauma, and learning how to move on. It started as a brief mini-comic to explore the longest relationship I’d ever had, only to spiral into a way to visually communicate what that experience felt like and continues to feel like to this day.

You need to buy this comic. I followed Seven Years as Hannako posted it on Twitter, and it is a truly exceptional work that will punch you right in the gut. Plus, Hannako’s pins rule. $10 USD plus shipping is a steal for her work, but this is one of the cases where I would insist, if you can, on shelling out for a higher tier: $50 USD plus shipping will get you a limited edition “Slowko” pin, which is probably exactly what you think it is. It’s amazing.

You can back the campaign here.

The following campaigns from previous round-ups are still running: