I like to have people over because it gives me an excuse to bake. The downside of it is that I normally find myself riddled with nerves. Did I bake too much? Should I have used the mini-bundt pan? Once people arrive, I usually spend the evening picking the cashews out of the mixed nuts while worrying that people are judging me for it. I feel bad about it but not bad enough to stop. I love cashews, the world’s most pointless nut. What I’m basically saying is this: invite me to your social gatherings. Welcome to this April edition of Crowdfunding Watch! Shall we begin?

The War for Kaleb: A Superhero Story About Anxiety

Jason Pittman began his web series, The War for Kaleb, to help him process his anxiety and show others what it is like to live with what often feel like two opposing forces inside of you. There’s the rational, the reasoning, the logical side. There’s the side that understands, theoretically at least, what anxiety is and how it influences your decisions and behaviors. Then there’s the other side, the anxiety itself. It doesn’t matter what you know or what you’ve learned. When it’s triggered, it is exceptionally difficult to reason with it. It often feels as if its primary purpose is to consume you and everything good in your life. Pittman decided to depict the world of anxiety by creating two alter egos for the comic’s protagonist, Kaleb (seen below).

IMG via Jason Pittman on Kickstarter

In The War for Kaleb, we see Kaleb fall in love with Addey. His new relationship brings a host of questions about his anxiety and the medication he has relied on to handle it. Kaleb now wonders if his medication is clouding his judgement and emotions.

Here’s a better explanation of how these characters work within the comic from Pittman:

The protagonist Kaleb is followed by super heroes that are not real, one light, one dark. When he has his episodes, the two heroes battle for control of his mind and well being, destroying everything around him, while the rest of the world goes on as if nothing is happening, giving a sense of what it feels like to have anxiety, and what it really is.

Jason Pittman via Kickstarter

The War for Kaleb is a work of fiction which allows Pittman more creative flexibility but also helps people imagine themselves in Kaleb’s shoes. For Pittman, writing this comic became a way for him to channel his anxiety and emotions. Here’s what else he has to say about the series:

The idea came about while I was in a difficult spot in my life.  Because of this my anxiety began to grow stronger and stronger, until I started creating comic book scenes in my head of situations I felt like acting out from.  Most of these scenes made it into the book as it is today.  The struggle took its toll not only on myself but the people that cared about me.  The War for Kaleb became a way for me to work through some of this.

What I like about this series is that it allows us to explore our internal world and how we all wrestle with the light and the dark. You can read the first issue here to get a better sense of the story and what you’ll be funding should you choose to support this project.

This project is hoping to raise $8,500 to help over the cost of printing a 1500 copy run with 104 pages in an offset, softcover, perfect-bound format. Rewards include shirts, pins, an art-bundle and a few others. If you want to read more about why Pittman has created this comic or more about his process, he has a post about it over on the blog The Mighty. Funding for this project will continue through April 22.

Lady Hollywood #1

Lady Hollywood #1 Regular Cover by Russel Mark Olson

From independent comics publisher Cult Empire Comics, comes a story about a private detective just trying to scrape by in Los Angeles, her name is Kate Holloway. Lady Hollywood has a noir vibe, but it’s set in modern day. It ticks all the noir boxes: mobsters, seedy underbellies, and a bunch of folks trying to figure out how to make a quick buck.

Here’s a synopsis from the series creators George Lennox and Russell Mark Olson:

Lady Hollywood is the tale of one woman’s fight to survive the tough realm of gangsters, corruption and the seedy world of Los Angeles. Set in modern day L.A. Private Detective Kate Holloway runs her Hollywood Detective Agency with her business partner tough Vietnam veteran Randy Whalen Jr. Mixed up in the honey trap side of the business Whalen is introduced to a big pay day only it comes with a lot of heat.

Lady Hollywood is Cult Empire Comics first foray away from horror comics. They’ve provided a sneak peak of pages 1-3, which I’ve lifted like the damned dirty thief I am from their Kickstarter page (takes long drag from imaginary cigarette):

The team at Cult Empire Comics is hoping to raise $1,404 to cover the costs of printing and provide a small seed to fund Lady Hollywood Issue #2 (already in production). Backer rewards include your usual fare: signed copies, the entire Cult Empire Comics collection and for 175GBP you can get yourself drawn into the comic as a villain. Funding for this project continues through May 2.

Macbeth: The Red King – Historical Fiction Graphic Novel 

Loud Horn: *This is not an adaptation of the Shakespeare classic of the same name. I repeat, this is not an adaptation.* 

This is not the Macbeth you read in high school. This is the story of the real-life Scottish king depicted in graphic novel format. Here’s something you all don’t know about me, for the first twenty years of my life I wanted to be a history teacher. I only deviated from that course when I realized students would smell my fear of them and eat me alive… but I digress. This historical look at Macbeth comes to us from creators Shaun Manning and Anna Wieszczyk (Interesting Drug).

Interior from Macbeth: The Red King

Most of us only know Macbeth through the lens of Shakespeare so here’s a synopsis of where and how this graphic novel differs:

Macbeth: The Red King tells an entirely new story of the real-life Scottish monarch, revealing a benevolent ruler who seized on his legitimate claim to the throne. Drawing from historical sources, this engaging graphic novel by Shaun Manning and Anna Wieszczyk is visually stunning companion to Shakespeare’s legendary drama. See Macbeth vanquish the incompetent Duncan, nurture a difficult relationship with his stepson Lulach, and make pilgrimage to Rome while his noble wife minds the restless kingdom — and witness his last stand against the insurgent prince Malcolm.

The Red King Himself (Via Lucha Comics Twitter)

This graphic novel will be published by Lucah Comics, an independent comics press based in London and Ontario. The graphic novel is already completed, so the team is hoping to raise $5,313 to cover the cost of publication.

Unfortunately, there are no images of the kinds of rewards available but there are some descriptions. Rewards include audio and script commentary from creators, past published works from Shaun Manning and Anna Wieszczyk, and editor feedback on a comic script you might be working on. Funding for this project will continue through April 19.

To anyone reading this out there in the ‘verse, I raise my coffee mug to you. Thanks for checking-in and tune in next week. Same time. Same channel.