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. This week’s round-up includes ukelele lessons, an interactive invisible ink comic, and three more exciting independent comics projects, including Rosemary Valero-O’Connell’s Don’t Go Without Me.

Let’s get going!

1. Don’t Go Without Me

Don't Go Without Me

Goal: Approx $35,497
Ends: Wed, October 2 2019 10:00 AM EST
Creators: Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, published by ShortBox
Best Value Tier: Approx $12 USD for a digital copy
‘Don’t Go Without Me’ and ‘Con Temor, Con Ternura’ are brand new, never-before-published comics; we originally released ‘What Is Left’ as a mini-comic in 2017 (now out of print), where it went on to be nominated for 2 Eisner awards. We wanted to make this incredible story available again, while having Rosemary create more of her beautifully elegiac comics in one big, satisfying volume.

Rosemary Valero-O’Connell is a rising star in comics — her most recent work includes illustrating Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me with Mariko Tamaki, and her work What is Left (included in Don’t Go Without Me) has previously been nominated for two Eisners. Published by Zainab Akhtar’s ShortBox imprint, Don’t Go Without Me collects the otherwise out-of-print What is Left and two new stories by Valero-O’Connell, all stunningly illustrated. Approximately $12 USD will get you a digital copy, while approximately $35 USD plus shipping will get you both the large-size print and digital versions.

You can back the campaign here.

2. All Stitched Up

All Stitched Up

Goal: $1,323 USD
Ends: Fri, September 13 2019 12:59 PM EST
Creators: Marie Enger and Karnessa (Illustrators), Yuriy Plisenko (Writer)
Best Value Tier: Approx $10 USD for two PDFs
Behind every scar is a story – but have you ever had one that predated your memory? You’ve never known yourself without it, yet you’re unsure how it got there. What if the only story you could tell is how it keeps reopening every spring? What if it would continue to do so until you found out where it came from? What if that was impossible? Then you better get handy with that needle and get working. We hear you can even use dental floss for that.

It’s spooky season! Curl up this fall with an eerie tale full of body horror, revenge, and the mystery of a wound that never seems to heal. All Stitched Up includes two stories by creators Marie Enger, Karnessa, and Yuriy Plisenko, beautifully illustrated with haunting reds. Approximately $10 USD will net you PDFs of All Stitched Up and a bonus comic Midnight by Plisenko and Karnessa. If you happen to be attending SPX, approximately $16 USD will net you both PDFs, a patch designed by Enger, and a physical copy of All Stitched Up for pick up at SPX itself.

You can back the campaign here.

3. The Lost Falcon: an interactive journey through the desert

The Lost Falcon

Goal: $2,000 USD
Ends: Wed, October 2 2019 10:07 AM EST.
Creators: Estrella Vega
Best Value Tier: $25 USD plus shipping for a physical copy
The “Lost Falcon” is a story inspired from Egyptian mythology. It follows a young nomad who goes on a journey so the sun can rise again. In order to uncover the mysteries in the book, the reader needs a heat source (like a hair dryer, heat pad, warm hands) to make the thermal ink disappear and reveal the image underneath.

I loved invisible ink activity books as a kid, and Miami-based artist Estrella Vega is bringing the idea to comics with an interactive fantasy story that uses heat-sensitive ink to help bring the story to life. Black silhouettes throughout obscure elements of some panels, giving readers the opportunity to unravel mysteries along with the book’s protagonist. There’s also a point-and-click digital version (and a digital version with no silhouettes) available for $10 USD. If you’re interested, you can get a physical copy for $20 USD plus shipping until 9/7 using the Early Bird Special tier.

You can back the campaign here.

4. Ukulele Spells: Coda – Magical instructional ukulele comics

Ukelele Spells

Goal: $3,000 USD
Ends: Fri, October 4 2019 3:01 PM EST.
Creators: Rachel Weiss, published by POMEpress
Best Value Tier: $15 USD plus shipping for physical and digital copies
The goal of this Kickstarter is to fund and promote Ukulele Spells: Coda — a magical comic that teaches you to play the ukulele through spellcasting. As part of Kickstarter’s Small Press Spotlight, we’re publishing a deluxe-edition reprint of POMEpress’s bestselling Ukulele Spells, which includes the original Ukulele Spells comics, along with a handful of fun extras and enchanting new lessons.

POMEpress is bringing back Ukelele Spells in a new, expanded deluxe edition. Written and drawn by Rachel Weiss, this is a delightfully unique concept for a comic — Weiss teaches you all about the ukelele and provides pages for you to write your own musical spells once you’ve completed the lessons! There’s a $7 USD digital-only tier, as well as a $10 USD early bird tier (limited slots available). Even if you prefer the digital version, Ukelele Spells: Coda would make a wonderful gift for any aspiring musician. Why not grab the combination tier, print a few pages of blank sheet music, and pay the joy of music and comics forward?

You can back the campaign here.

5. Alex Priest: Issue Five | The Finale | Break Kickstarter

Goal: $5,000 USD
Ends: Sun, September 8 2019 9:34 PM EST
Creators: Jordaan Arledge (Writer), Scott Malin (Illustrator), Natalie Cooper (Editor), Davis Rush (Letterer)
Best Value Tier: $5 USD for a PDF
Recent evidence suggests vampires have learned to use magic, meaning they’re more than just a nightly threat. For the first time since their inception, DEAD LLC and LC & B will have to join forces. Which means, for the first time since their bitter break up, Alexandra Priest and Janelle Garcia will have to face one another – or risk an apocalypse. No pressure.

After nearly three years, the first arc of Jordaan Arledge’s award-winning Alex Priest is coming to an end — and by supporting it on Kickstarter, you have the chance to decide which character will be meeting their end along with it! Alex Priest is an action-packed monster hunting tale with a bit of a bureaucratic twist that makes monster hunting a respectable blue-collar gig. For binge readers, $10 USD to either the Heroes or Villains tier — which one you choose will determine who lives or dies — will net you all five issues of the comic.

You can back the campaign here.

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

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