The toddler who lives above us enjoys stomping. They stomp here, they stomp there and sometimes, they jump. I’ve thought about being the neighbor who bangs on the ceiling with a mop or writing a note, but it’s probably too soon to become that neighbor. So instead I opt for escaping the apartment.

Speaking of escaping, that’s the theme of today’s crowdfunding watch! I’ve got three wonderful stories that will hopefully help us escape our reality and explore imagined ones. Glow, Tale of the Taira and Tales of Fractured Worlds all promise to take us to new and exciting places. So let’s go, shall we?

Glow #1-2

Listen, I know this one is already massively funded but I love the idea and look of this comic so much I’m including it anyway. Glow is a coming of age comic that takes place in a world that magic destroyed. This comic comes to us from Ray Chou and Vincenzo Ferriero, the creators of the Mythopoeia imprint, along with art by Anny Maulina (Raruurien) and Dia Jia. Lettering and inks are courtesy of Cristian Docolomansky Cerda.

Here’s an overview of the story:

Glow takes place in a world where magic catalyzed both industrial revolution and nuclear holocaust. Half a millennia ago, an ancient and powerful empire known as Nymera developed a means to channel and store magical energy into a sticky blue substance known as anima, storing them into massive Towers across the world. With the aid of the Towers, the Nymerans brought peace and paradise into the world. Until one day the Towers fell.

The story of Glow takes place two hundred years after that cataclysmic event, and follows the story of those who remain. Issue One introduced us to Caszy and Koken, siblings scavengers of the Wastes with extraordinary abilities. Issue Two continues the story as the witch Myra makes a compelling proposition.

Siblings, Caszy and Koken
Myra, the Witch demonstrating the use of the ancient language of Nymera to invoke magic

I am HELLA interested in this story but that’s not what sells Glow for me. What really gets me is the amount of world building that’s gone into it. As detailed on their Kickstarter page, the magic in this story is invoked through the use of the ancient language known as Nymeran. Nymeran does not use upper case of lower case letter distinction and are all one shape and size.

Creating a language of magic

To write this language, Glow has utilized the talents of Colm Doyle, an Estonian linguist and conlanger. Constructing a language is no joke people and it lends a beautiful gravitas to this comic and the story contained within it. Backers who contribute $8 or more for a digital edition will also receive a language guide for learning more about Nymeran, which is truly lovely.

A Tanvir Plushie

There are some really nifty rewards available, and I mean that from the bottom of my cold sleep-deprived heart. For $50 backers can get an adorable plushie (as seen above). A conservative $8 will get you issues one and two of Glow, the language guide and a Making Of digital download. Funding for this Kickstarter will end on March 8, 2018.

Tale of the Taira – Volume 1

This Kickstarter is hoping to give the medieval Japanese epic, Tale of the Heike, the graphic novel treatment. It’s the first graphic novel from writers Ben Flebbe and Dan Miles. The Tale of the Heike is often referred to as Japan’s Iliad. It centers on the conflict between two warring clans, the Heike and the Genji, both sworn to protect the Emperor in Kyoto. The story takes place during the late twelfth century. To say that this collection of stories is beloved is to woefully misunderstand its cultural importance.

To assemble this story into a graphic novel form is no small task, and to do so as one’s first foray into graphic novels will likely present an impressive series of challenges for the creative team. I’ll admit to being a bit of a skeptic but to help sway skeptics like me, the pair behind this Kickstarter have provided the first eight pages of the graphic novel free to download.

Here’s how Ben and Dan envision the series unfolding:

We hope to tell the full story of this epic, across 5 or 6 volumes. But this first volume, “Debts to Heaven and Earth” is designed to be self-contained. Like many anthologies of the Heian era, we’ve chosen the stories based on theme, not chronology. Each story on its own provides a different take on the theme of loyalty.  Each can be enjoyed on its own, but by putting them together, we aim to highlight the connections that give shape to a larger world. “Debts to Heaven and Earth” will be a trade paperback containing 88 pages of story, broken down into 3 main stories, interspersed with 3 shorter anecdotes.

Retired Emperor Go-Shirakawa, famed archer and poet Minamoto no Yorimasa, and Empress Dowager Kenreimon’in

Volume One is scheduled to contain the following stories: “The Death of Seno”, “Gio”, “The Exile of the Abbot Meiun”, and more.

The writers will be conducting a live question and answer session on Tuesday, which you can submit your questions by following this link. I’d certainly be interested in knowing how they are adapting the epic into a story for Western audiences, and what makes them believe they are the right people to tell this story. Given the cultural importance of this epic, I’d be curious to know if they are working with translators or what their process is, or hell even whether or not a Western-centric adaptation of this work is needed/necessary? I think these are important questions to ask, so I’ll certainly be tuning in to their live chat.

While the team has completed the first chapter and are preparing the second, they are hoping this Kickstarter will help them cover the costs to complete the full 66-pages of volume one. Funding for this project will continue through March 15, 2018.

Tales of Fractured Worlds 

From Fracture Press, creators of Tales of The Fractured Mind, an anthology about mental health, comes their second anthology about the state of our world told through the lens of Science Fiction.

Here’s a synopsis of what the anthology will contain from writer and Kickstarter creator, Roddy McCance:

Tales Of Fractured Worlds features stories about the environment, indigenous people, global warming, consumerism and globalization. We hope these stories ring true – art is the start of changing the world. Science fiction can tell the stories that people don’t want to face up to. Sometimes the world is so dark, we need an escape. However, what if that escape could change your mind on something, or show you a side of life that you might not have seen or understood before.

Cover by Rolands Kalnins

Roddy is hoping to raise enough funds through this Kickstarter to help pay the artists, cover printing costs and merchandising. Here’s a bit more about what Roddy hopes to accomplish with this anthology:

Tales Of Fractured Worlds is an anthology in the tradition of Wells, Huxley, Orwell and more. TOFW tells stories of worlds that could be and worlds that are just a step away from our own reality. Good Sci-fi is about creating worlds that seem so far from our own, yet share this one similarity or truth that we cant escape from. Science Fiction has always been a part of my life, from my early days watching and adoring the Transformers cartoon series. The universe has always been an obsession for me and marrying the grand nature of space with the daily struggle of humanity for good is what I want to do here.

This Kickstarter has almost met its goal of $4,200 and with less than a day to go to meet its funding goal, you should probably check it out before it’s too late!

Well, until next week. I bid you a happy Monday.