You ever do the thing where you think you’ve started your coffee maker up and you go in the kitchen to pour yourself a cup only to realize that there is nothing there? That’s not how I like to begin my morning people. Still, here we are all the same. I’ve chosen a series of stories today that fit that kind of feeling that only August has. It’s still hot as bones out but you can already tell the sun is setting a few minutes earlier than it did two weeks ago. As a child, it filled me with a touch of melancholy. I wanted to capture those final lazy days of summer with these three crowdfunding projects that I hope you will enjoy.
I’m personally very excited for this collection of comics from non-binary cartoonists. The first all non-binary anthology, this work will feature 21 stories about finding your way and creating your space. The forest is a space to explore the unknown, to lay claim to a new adventure, and find yourself. That’s the theme of this 250+ page anthology.
Across time and cultures, humanity has spun tales about the forest: tales of caution, adventure, rites of passage, and discovery. Some of those stories persist as the folklore and fairy tales that delight our imaginations today, and the forest remains a symbol for facing the unknown and emerging transformed. — Heartwood Kickstarter
This Kickstarter comes to us from Joamette Gil and Power and Magic Press. Power and Magic Press is an independent comics publisher located in Portland, Oregon. Gil is the leading force behind P&M Press and is dedicated to publishing stories from Queer and POC creators. The stories in this anthology are geared towards young adults, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them. There are over two dozen creators including the work of Eli Baum and Viv Tanner who’ve designed the gorgeous cover. You can check out a full list of the contributing cartoonists over on the Kickstarter. I’ve also included some of the interior pages below. Feast your eyes.
The anthology will be printed in black and white with color cover. There are so many rewards it makes me very excited. There are digital packages which include past P&M Press anthologies in addition to Heartwood. For $15 you can get yourself the DRM-free version of Heartwood. Additional rewards include a bookplate, enamel pin, paper commissions, prints and more. I think it is worth pointing out that Gil has provided possible backers with a gracious accounting of exactly where the money is going. The funds raised will primarily be going to paying creators, printing, and shipping. Gil is hoping to raise $48,500 to help offset the costs of creating, publishing and shipping this anthology. Funding for this project will continue through August 31, 2018.
The story of Pass Me By is giving me some significant feelings. The tragicomic is envisioned as a five-book series that follows the story of a retired man named Ed. Ed has been recently diagnosed with dementia and with his memories fleeting, we see his struggle to keep some kind of normalcy. This story comes to us from Canadian writers and visual artists Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen. There is a striking juxtaposition the creators maintain throughout the five-book series that will lay bare to readers the man Ed once was and the man he became. We see this play out in conversations with Ed’s friend, Rory.
Readers will follow Ed as he comes of age during the 1970s, playing guitar in a glam rock band. The five-book series is already planned out, and this Kickstarter is dedicated to raising funds to print a short run of the first book in the series. Here’s a synopsis of book one from the creators:
In the first book in the series, Pass Me By: Gone Fishin’ we are introduced to Ed as a retired man spending his time fishing and ordering the same dishes at the local diner with his close friend Rory. Rocked by a recent dementia diagnosis, Ed attempts to keep a semblance of a normal life. As his health worsens and daily routines become increasingly difficult, his panic begins to grow. Forgetting what he orders every day at the diner, disoriented by a grocery list, lost in familiar spaces, Ed’s memories become a faded photograph of a past with the potential to disappear forever.
As the Kickstarter says, this series will explore the stories we choose to leave behind. I find that to be an utterly compelling dynamic. Each of us likely holds some amount of pain for a path not chosen, either because of circumstances, timing, society (the list goes on). Ed’s exploration of his past in light of his new diagnosis offers us a chance to look at life through a different lens. The creators of this work also say, “We are working to produce a story that we don’t see being told, to challenge conventions of traditional storytelling. […] Taking our own experiences with small-town life, dementia, relationships, gender, sexuality, and the Canadian landscape to break traditional narratives.”
They’ve included a good deal of thoughtful commentary on not only the work itself but also their motivations for creating it. So if you want to read more about their thought process behind their narrative and creative decisions, check out their Kickstarter. The book will be printed as a two-tone risograph 120 page perfect bound book. The team has their print shop set-up and have included a timeline for production. Rewards are signed physical copies of the book, interior sketches by Kyle Simmers and a limited edition Riso print poster for those interested in contributing a little more. Pass Me By is hoping to raise $3,847 to help fun the first run of their book. Funding for this project will continue through August 26.
Being from the suburbs of Chicago, I’m not going to NOT talk about this collection okay? Deal with it. This collection is five anthologies in one. That’s more than 200 pages of work around five different themes from 44 creators. Northside Comic Artists is a collective of artists in Chicago. They were founded in 2015 by artist Edward Witt; the collective is now over 100 comic artists strong.
The anthologies included in this volume are:
- Identity (Oct 2015)
- The Middle of the Night (June 2016)
- The Other Side (February 2017)
- Misadventure (November 2017)
- Memories (New)
The changing nature and wonder of memory are explored in the newest anthology, Memories. A full list of contributors is available, but notable names include, Daniel Anderson, David Schuttenhelm, Jesse Reuther, Kelly Leigh Miller, and Kitty Curran. For $5.00 you can get yourself the digital version of Northside Comics latest anthology and for a mere $10 you can get yourself all five anthologies. If you prefer the printed version that will run around $25. The creators behind this Kickstarter have broken out the reward tiers into general and premium rewards, The general rewards include floppy editions of past anthologies and enamel pins. The premium rewards offer backers a chance to get their hands on one-of-a-kind artwork and sketches from the contributors.
This isn’t Northside Comics first Kickstarter rodeo, so they are pretty confident they know what to expect. The book is laid out and they have a printer on standby. This crowdfunding project is hoping to raise enough money to print 500 copies of the book. For a complete breakdown of costs, head over to their Kickstarter page. The team is hoping to raise $5,500 by August 9, so head on over there now folks.
Well, I did it. I made it through the first three hours of my Tuesday morning. Where’s my prize?
Andrea Ayres writes about comics and representation in pop-culture.