I’m whatever the opposite of the life of a party is. When I have people over at my house, I don’t call them parties, I call them gatherings. I like to lower expectations so people do not anticipate having too good of a time. Like, maybe you’ll have a decent time? That’s all I can offer you. I apologize in advance, here’s some cheese.

Anyway, this morning’s crowdfunding watch is brought to you by a graphic novel about ice hockey, optimistic Science Fiction (say what?) and a collection of stories about tabletop games and geekery.

Let’s get straight to the biscuits.

Kicking Ice : A Graphic Novel About Women’s Hockey

Sporting events have always terrified me, well sports in general really. I have horrible eye-hand coordination. I like to blame it on my semi-lazy eye but really I’m just afraid at flying objects barreling toward my brain house. Kicking Ice doesn’t care about my excuses and I appreciate that because what this graphic novel is about is the importance of inclusivity, equality and empowerment in sports.

When creator Stephanie Phillips isn’t writing articles for the sports news website SB Nation, she is finishing her PhD in rhetoric and composition or reading comics. Phillips has been reading comics since 1990 and has teamed up with Ominous Press to write and publish an all-ages graphic novel about girls playing ice hokey.

Drawn by Lee Moder (DC, Marvel, Image), colored by Marissa Louise (Marvel, DC) and lettered by Troy Peteri (Top Cow, Image) the graphic novel is being produced in partnership with the National Women’s Hockey League with a portion of sales going to support the NWHL.

Here’s a synopsis of the story:

Kicking Ice tells the story of two young female hockey players, Bella and Skye, who dream of playing professional hockey in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). Bella and Skye are the only girls on their co-ed hockey team and learn to overcome bullying from some of their male opponents. In particular, a rival player named Derek likes to tease Bella and Skye by telling them that girls will never be as good at hockey as boys. Of course, Bella and Skye prove that kicking ice isn’t just for boys.

I’m pleased as punch with the concept and message behind this graphic novel, it’s one that transcends sports. Learning how to work together as children (or at any age) to overcome teasing and bullying is a great message no matter what your interests are.

Here’s a look at some of the characters:

Stephanie and the rest of the team are nearly to their Kickstarter goal of $17,000. There are numerous hockey themed (naturally) backer rewards available including a custom hockey jersey with the backer name and number.

Funding for this project will end on March 8, 2018.

Life of the Party: Roll for Initiative Vol. 2

The success of the first volume of Life of the Party begat the current volume currently seeking funding. Creator Travis Hanson is an Eisner nominated illustrator who just so happens to love cartooning and tabletop gaming. He’s combined the two in this fun, humorous collection. The book will feature work from Hanson’s webcomic in a 90 page soft cover book, with a UV spot cover.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/488571414/life-of-the-party-role-for-initiative?ref=home_new_and_noteworthy

While the team has already reached their original funding goal, they have some really neat extras and stretch goals which will make the second volume a fun-filled experience. For example, the book will now be available in hardcover with numerous add-ons (for example: new artwork, cards, longer book).

Here’s a peak at some of the comics you’ll find in the book:

Funding for this project will end on February 17, 2018. The team is raising money to help cover the costs of printing, publishing and shipping.

After the Gold Rush #1-#4 -An Optimistic Sci-fi

I personally don’t remember what being optimistic about the future looks like. Was there a time when we didn’t feel as if we are barreling toward our own demise? If there is I don’t remember it! Optimism feels very hard to come by and that’s why I like the idea behind the series After the Gold Rush.

Miles Greb is a Seattle based writer who loves science and space. After the Gold Rush is about a  scientist named Scout who returns to her home planet Earth to find it overtaken by nature.

Art by Barry Blankenship

Here’s a more detailed overview of what the comic is about:

Scout, the last scientist, as she returns to Earth to find it in a state of wilderness. She grew up on one of Saturn’s moons, Titan, learning to  become a biologist and a chemist. However, something went wrong and she has been in cyro-sleep for some time. Eventually, she lands on her ancestral home of Earth and instead of the Star Trek like utopia she was expecting…she encounters a lush and natural Earth.

Why a comic, why this comic? Well, as Greb explains on their Kickstarter too often skepticism is conflated with cynicism. For Greb–a self-proclaimed lover of the series Star Trek by Gene Roddenberry and the vision of the future it presents–skepticism is about uncovering the beauty of logic, reason and truth.

Here’s some preview pages for your weary Monday eyes, there are more available on the project’s Kickstarter page:

A look at the creative team behind the project:

Miles GrebCreator & Writer
Elli PuukangasPencils & Inks
Mikael H. – Colorist
Andrew Pierce – Editor
Jamie Me – Lettering
Barry Blankenship – Cover Artist & Logo Design
Isaac La Russa – Lead Artist & Concept Artist
Meescha D –  Artist

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/919052445/after-the-gold-rush-1-4-an-optimistic-scifi?ref=home_almost_there

The crowdfunding rewards for this project are pretty nifty: there are posters, stickers, prints and t-shirts available. Funding levels range from $6 all the way to $1500. The rewards are beautifully designed and crafted (at least in my opinion) so hopefully you’ll be able to find something to your liking.

The team is hoping to raise $5,000 by February 28, 2018.


Well, my dear readers, it is time I work off the energy this coffee has granted me this morning by running around my apartment for the next 15 hours.

Until next week!

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