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 a brand new edition of an OZ classic with The Royal Book of Oz, some queer Victorian horror, and an amazing zine about a Korean-American woman’s exploration of identity.
Let’s get going!
Goal: $7,000 USD
Ends: Mon, October 7 2019 3:00 AM EST
Creators: Eunsoo Namkung Jeong
Best Value Tier: A$10 USD for 7 PDF zines
Hello, I’m Eunsoo Jeong, a Los Angeles based artist and creator of Koreangry, a comic/zine series based on my daily struggles as a Korean-American immigrant woman and artist searching for identity in today’s political climate.
Artist Eunsoo Jeong’s Koreangry is an exceptional piece of art, a series of comics zines created from photos Jeong takes of a hand-crafted 3D model of the titular character. The subtleties and details Jeong captures in her work is amazing, and her sample pages feature succinct and straightforward writing with an undercurrent of sharp wit that speaks to the personal nature of her work. This is an extremely cool use of comics as a medium and well worth the $10 for a full digital set of Jeong’s zines.
2. Electricity Is Her Element
Goal: $3,000 USD
Ends: Thu, October 3 2019 7:00 PM EST
Creators: Kat Crow
Best Value Tier: $5 USD for a digital copy
Electricity is Her Element is about four dragons that inhabit the storms of Jupiter, and their plans to summon the elements to restore Chaos to our solar system. The story is inspired by astrophysics, mythology, elemental magick, and vintage sci-fi stories.
Kat Crow’s Prisma pen drawn Electricity Is Her Element is a stunningly illustrated sci-fi tale featuring absolutely breathtaking color work. There’s a timelessness to Crow’s artwork, and the fine details like her distinctive hand-lettering make the world of Electricity Is Her Element instantly engrossing. $5 USD will net you a PDF, but you can own another original Crow creation for $30 which will net you a physical copy of the book and a gorgeous enamel pin.
3. Living The Crowdfunded Life—A Diskette Press Zine
Goal: Approx $758 USD
Ends: Sun, October 6 2019 9:00 PM EST.
Creators: Alex Zandra Van Chestein, published by Diskette Press
Best Value Tier: Approx $6 USD plus shipping for a digital copy
This project is a pile of thoughts on surviving and thriving thanks to the support of hundreds of people, the great majority of whom are marginalized. It’s feelsy and messy and chock-full of ruminations and sad stuff but also really positive and hopeful stuff! Or at least, it’s going to be; I haven’t finished making it yet. But I’m gonna!
As a longtime fan of Alex Zandra Van Chestein’s often gender-rific light novels, I was thrilled to discover the Canadian game dev and author is teaming up with Carta Monir’s Diskette Press to produce a comics zine about her experiences as a primarily-crowdfunded creator. Van Chestein’s art is light and lovely, and her works are always filled with feeling — she has a kind spirit and gleeful sense of humor that permeates all of her books. I’m absolutely going to be backing this one and you should too.
4. SOME STRANGE DISTURBANCES: The Lunchroom Under the Arch
Goal: $6,000 USD
Ends: Fri, October 4 2019 3:00 PM EST.
Creators: Craig Hurd-McKenney (Writer), Gervasio & Carlos Aon (Illustrators), Tyler Smith Owings (Cover), Keeli McCarthy (Graphic Design), Shon Bacon (Editorial Assistance)
Best Value Tier: $20 USD for two PDFs
The world of SOME STRANGE DISTURBANCES explores contemporary LGBTQ issues using Victorian England as a backdrop. Featuring three characters who are crafty, testy, and human, SOME STRANGE DISTURBANCES situates itself amongst Victorian horror legends like Mary Shelley, Edgar Allen Poe and others.
I’m primarily recommending this one on the strength of the very first sample page — there’s something simple but unsettlingly weird about the indistinct spectre illustrators Gervasio and Carlos Aon create. I’m obsessed with the wispy lines of their art; the black and white illustrations of SOME STRANGE DISTURBANCES are instantly evocative, and writer Craig Hurd-McKenney gives their artwork plenty of room to breathe. This one won’t be delivered til February 2020, but why not back now and look forward to a second Halloween in a few months? The Lunchroom Under the Arch is the second volume in the series. The $20 tier will get you PDFs of both volumes to help you catch up.
5. The Royal Book Of Oz
Goal: $15,000 USD
Ends: Fri, September 27 2019 5:00 PM EST
Creators: Ruth Plumly Thompson (Writer), Sara Richard (Illustrator), published by Clover Press
Best Value Tier: $15 USD for a PDF
The Royal Book Of Oz is the 15th book in the Oz series. It is also the first book in the series written by Ruth Plumly Thompson. Released in 1921, the book was originally credited as the last to be written by series creator, L. Frank Baum. Baum died in 1919, but the manuscript for Royal Book of Oz was said to have been completed before then. It wasn’t until years later that the truth behind this book’s origins were revealed.
Okay, maybe this isn’t technically a comic, but The Royal Book Of Oz has such a fascinating story behind it that I simply couldn’t resist. This new edition from Clover Press features beautiful illustrations from Eisner-winning artist Sara Richard to complement writer Ruth Plumly Thompson’s 1921 manuscript. If you’re a fan of the Oz books, $30 USD plus shipping will net you a magnificent cloth-bound hardcover, and if you’re just a fan of Richard’s art, there’s a $22 USD plus shipping tier for two very cute Ozian enamel pins.
The following campaigns from previous round-ups are still running: