Around two years ago for the Fourth I went canoeing. I have not canoed since. I am not a person who canoes. I am a person, however, who loves making a good shortcake and putting a dollop of whipped deliciousness on it, so there are my plans for this upcoming Independence Day. These three crowdfunding projects have nothing to do with Independence Day but they do celebrate Independent creators and that’s as good as gold to me.

1. Spirits: The Soul Collector – Part 1

The creative minds of Colin Lawler and Joseph Grabowski are collecting the first 20 chapters of their Webtoons series Spirits into an all-ages fantasy book for readers. Spirits is the story of seers Will and Norah. Will, a 12 year old boy, is just learning how to handle is abilities with the more experienced Norah at his side. Both work together in an effort to rescue the soul of Will’s brother Kenny. Kenny’s soul has been captured by the ancient evil force Canis. That’s not a very nice to do Canis, but malevolent spirits be malevolent.

Norah and Will. Image and artwork by: Colin Lawler, Twitter

The full-color, softcover edition of Spirits will run at 176-pages. The duo is hoping to raise $7,000 to cover the cost of shipping and printing. Below you’ll find a few preview pages that were included on the team’s Kickstarter page. The story of Norah and Will will find them testing their abilities as both learn how to embrace and use the forces of life which surround them.

Interior from Spirits: The Soul Collector
Interior from Spirits: The Soul Collector

In terms of rewards available, you’ll find some gorgeous art prints, t-shirts and even the possibility to have yourself drawn into the comic itself. For $20.00, backers will receive a signed copy of the book and the author’s eternal gratitude. Let’s face it, you just can’t put a price on that. Funding for this project will continue through July 16.

2. 33: Issue #1

Cover of 33 by Jessica Lynn

Meet Lily Walters, (pictured above) she’s having a time of it. In her small college town Walters finds herself facing her depression, something she’s dealt with her entire life, and the disappearance of her boyfriend Scott. Oh and the murders, don’t forget the murders. Thankfully, Lily has Cora on her side. Cora’s her best friend and has been at Lily’s side since they met in high school. It’s a good thing too because since Scott disappeared, Lily’s been facing more hurdles than she knows how to handle. Between the murders and the disappearances, there’s a lot happening in this town and no one seems to have any idea as to why. The only connection appears to be Lily herself and the number 33.

33 is a planned six issue series which will dive into the macabre and mental health. The series comes to us from a group of young creators who have teamed up to bring us a fresh take on horror. It’s important to note that this project will not be raising money for a physical edition (unless they end up making leaps and bounds over their initial crowdfunding goal). This is only for a digital download of Issue #1.

Preview of page from Issue #1 via Kickstarter
Preview of page from Issue #1 via Kickstarter

Original pages, art prints, a bottle opener and buttons are available to backers as possible rewards. Writer Russell Smalley IV and Jessica Lynn provide the words and art for this series. Colors come to us from Elijah Johnson, with lettering by Toben Racicot. Lisa Treece is the series editor. This is the groups first crowdfunding project together, as such they’ve tried to give themselves ample time to complete the first issue (estimated delivery date of December 2018).

If there is one aspect of this project I wish I knew it was the breakdown of costs. The team is hoping to raise $2,200 but it is unclear where that money is going to be spent or how it will be used. Hopefully the creators update their project with this information!

3. D.S. al Fine: Issue #2

Why be a princess when you can be a bard? On the planet Liftenfield, Princess Charlotte has no interest in following the planned path her father has set out for her. Instead she abandons her throne to become a bard. By following her own path Charlotte may be able to do more good than she (or perhaps her father) has hoped for.

Charlotte gains the powers of the Music Goddess through the enchanted lyre she picks up and must quickly fix the political chaos that resulted from abandoning her kingdom. Along the way she encounters dragons, travels to other planets, and recruits a new group of friends to help save her kingdom.  — Synopsis via Kickstarter

For those unfamiliar, like myself until about ten minutes ago, D.S. al Fine is a notation in sheet music which instructs the musician to return to the segno mark and play fine the final barline. In lay terms, it means to repeat a section of music. I wonder what implication this has on Charlotte, she asked while stroking her chin inquisitively.

From Issue #1 of D.S. al Fine

The second issue of this five issue series will involve Charlotte and introduce us to a new character, an engineer named Anyshka. If you haven’t read issue one yet, many of the reward options will provide you with a digital and/or physical copy of issues #1 and #2. What warms my heart about this series is that its creator, Kelly Brajevich has composed music to accompany the comic. Brajevich notes in the Kickstarter that while not absolutely necessary to enjoy the comic, listening to the music along with reading enhances the experience. Issue #2 runs around 22 pages and will be printed in full-color.

D.S. al Fine Cover

There are some lovely and thoughtful rewards including the option for private music lessons. Honestly, I’m pretty tickled by this entire comic. It clearly comes from a place of passion, care and love (as most creative endeavors do). Brajevich is the writer behind D.S. al Fine and a comics scholar. Lee Milewski provides the artwork for the series. Issue 2 is edited by Evan WatermanChristopher Jamal Elston, and Alex Zepeda.

Brajevich would very much like to raise $2,100 to cover the costs of creating this comic, which includes paying the artists. Funding for this Kickstarter will continue through July 8.