Every morning I wake up, open the bedroom door and look at my cat. He is usually sitting on the floor a few feet in front of me, giving me the stink eye. I do not care. My only mission is to obtain coffee and ingest it as quickly as humanly possibly. I check my email and remind myself that I need to get off the 10,000 lists I’m on. Who knows? Maybe this month I will. March is hopeful in that way. It’s a month brimming with the possibility of change and growth. With that said, let’s begin this month on the right foot with some nifty comics currently seeking funding.
Skeleton Bay Detective Agency reminds me a little of the 1992 PBS TV series Ghostwriter. It was a show about a group of friends in Brooklyn who work together to solve crimes with the help of a ghost who talks to them through a computer. Skeleton Bay has a similar feel, it’s a group of friends in high school who team up to help investigate the strange occurrences in their town. Think modern-day Scooby Doo.
Here’s a great synopsis from the comic’s website:
Jake Allen, along with the sharpest investigative minds that Skeleton Bay High School has to offer, dedicate their lives to investigation of any and all manner of spooky going-ons in their sleepy little town.
Despite no one believing them.
Or any actual evidence of ghosts.
But that all changes when, during a routine investigation, the gang stumbles upon Jake’s Grandpa Max; a man presumed dead for years. In fact, Max’s soul was torn out of his body, turned into a ghost, and imprisoned all those years ago. The kids free him, but in doing so let loose a hoard of ghouls on their sleepy little New England town. Now, it’s up to the kids to fight these evils, recapture the ghosts, get Grandpa Max’s body back, and save the day!
The series started off as a webcomic by writer Cam Petti, artist Taylor Carlisle and colorist’s Brittany Peer and Sigi Ironmonger. The comic is a light-hearted look at what it means to be young, imaginative and filled with the love of play. Growing up can be scary. Challenges spring up which can appear insurmountable to face, especially alone. This comic is about confronting the challenges of growing up and doing so with the support and help of friends at your side.
Now that the webcomic has been up and running for a while, the team behind Skeleton Bay Detective Agency are hoping to raise some funds to publish an 80-page graphic novel which collects issues one, two and three into one book. The team has finished issue one but are hoping to raise enough money to complete the professional coloring of issues two and three. They are looking to raise a total of $7,200 to help cover the costs of completing the graphic novel as paying for publishing and printing. There are a few rewards available including a t-shirt and some reward tiers offer a signed copy of the book and doodle by Taylor Carlisle.
What I like about this series is its focus on fun and inclusion. We can all benefit from little reminders to take life and ourselves less seriously. This all ages comic hopes to be a tool to introduce younger folks to the world of comics and provide seasoned comics readers with fun, light-hearted adventures. Funding for this project will end on March 12, 2018 so get moving if you want to see more adventures from Jake and the gang.
Kugali, founded in 2016, is a digital platform that helps promote and publish African creators and storytellers. The team at Kugali is raising funds for their proposed anthology which collects six stories from 15 different creators across 200 pages. The anthology features creators from all across the African continent and diaspora including: Etubi Onucheyo (Mumu Juju), Gbenle Maverick (Oro), Juni Ba (Kayin &Abeni) and The Coker Coop (Under the Jovian Sun).
Beyond the stunning cover art and gorgeous interior layout, are stories from new and established comics creators about the past, present and future. This anthology gives us a chance to view the work and perspective of creators we don’t normally get to hear from.
The team at Kugali wrote a bit about why they are creating this anthology, their words are quoted below:
In Africa there have been stories passed down for generations. These magical tales filled our hearts and opened our minds to endless possibilities. These fantastic stories still exist within the oral tradition. However, in order to share our stories with the world we need think of new ways to showcase our culture. Kugali showcases the best African stories by Africans using comics, art and animation. These are stories that respect the history of Africa, embrace the present and imagine a future.
Sometimes, I’ll come across a crowdfunding project which appears hastily thrown together, this project would be the exact opposite of that. Every component of this Kickstarter has been carefully planned. From stunning prints, to Mumu Juju pidgin flashcards based on the comic by Etubi Onucheyo, to 3D printed Kugali masks–I am honestly a little stunned at the scope of what the team at Kugali has put together to help raise funds for this anthology.
Funding for this project will continue through March 28, 2018. The team is hoping to raise $13, 793 to help cover the costs of printing and publishing. They have provided a complete breakdown and have even included a contingency fund to help cover any unforeseen problems with the production and publication of this anthology. Pending a successful Kickstarter, the team is hoping to have the anthology shipped out by June 2018.
Creator Jason Yungbluth is back at it again and we are all here to reap the fruits of his considerable labor. The webcomic Weapon Brown was created in 2013 and because Yungbluth’s comedic timing is considerably better than my own, I’ll let him tell you about it:
Weapon Brown is an action parody, a lampoon of the post-apocalyptic genre which utilizes a cast made up entirely of characters borrowed from the most famous newspaper comic strips of all time. For legal reasons I cannot tell you that Weapon Brown stars bad ass, grown-up versions of Charlie Brown, Calvin & Hobbes, Orphan Annie, Huey Freeman and a hundred other pieces of lawsuit bait, but it does. (Oh shit. Now I REALLY need that money!)
Weapon Brown: Aftershock contains stories not originally included in the 416-page graphic novel. Aftershock will run at 48-pages and will feature three stories which give us some more background into the history of hard-boiled Chuck and his mutt Snoop.
Here’s a synopsis from his Kickstarter page:
A mysterious wasteland prophet wanders into a dusty trading post, bringing news of a world reborn. But the townsfolk are more interested in hearing his stories of the legendary Weapon Brown, the one-armed army-of-one. Around the campfire they listen to his tales, but one of them knows more about Weapon Brown than he is letting on.
From computer desktop wallpapers, to magnets, to custom drawings and Christmas tree ornaments, I guarantee you that there’s something quirky enough to satiate your sick and twisted needs.
This Kickstarter is funding to help print and publish additional copies of the original 416-page graphic novel as well as the epilogue Aftershock, slated for release in Fall 2018. Yungbluth is hoping to raise $19, 5000 by March 21, 2018.
And so begins another Monday.
Until next week, I tip my proverbial hat in your direction.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics and representation in pop-culture.