Long weekends are the best weekends because they are made for reading. Well, for relaxing too. That’s why I’ve decided to devote this week’s Crowdfunding Watch to a few graphic novels hoping to gain your admiration and hard earned financial support. I won’t waste your time this Tuesday with my usual missives about life, even though I know this will deeply sadden you all. So without further ado, here are three crowdfunding projects worth learning about.

1. Secrets of the Stones

Secrets of the Stones cover

“Imagine suddenly finding yourself in a strange world, pursued by dragons, hunted by a jealous heiress, with no sense of who to turn to or trust.”

It’s a compelling plot and now a debut graphic novel from co-writers Sabrina Kidd and Katy Arrington about searching for and finding your place in the world. Fueled by their own lives, the two decided to craft their personal experiences into a gripping narrative. Sabrina Kidd says she’s been with these characters in one way or another since high school. Co-writer and illustrator Katy is also using her past as inspiration to help shape and mold the graphic novel’s narrative.

Secrets of the Stones follows the main character Christine, who has suffered the devastating loss of her entire family but cannot recall how they perished or any other information about her past for that matter. She must rely on her own instincts to reforge her identity and solve the mystery of her family’s demise. Naturally, nothing is that easy as Christine soon uncovers that even her instincts may be untrustworthy.

Magical forces are used for both good and evil and have created a world where anything is possible. Equal parts fantasy, adventure, and romance, Secrets of the Stones is a classic good vs. evil story, which manifests itself between the characters as well as within them.– Sabrina Kidd on Kickstarter

The bookmarks included as a backer reward give us a little glimpse at the other characters featured in Secrets of the Stones but I was still left wanting to know a bit more about them. Adding character profiles and preview pages would go a long way to help possible backers gain a better sense of the story.

I’m personally interested in the young Lucius Malfoy looking dude but I digress. What I would love from this Kickstarter is a little more information about the planned length of this graphic novel, its size, and the scope of the project. It tends to be useful to know where a team is at in their creative process as it aids in managing expectations. There are a few rewards available including bookmarks, wallpapers and character sketches. In addition, there are some really nice rewards that will unlock should funding pass $10,000.

Give me a story about exploring and coming to terms with the darkness within and around us any day of the week. I like the idea and conceptual designs for where this graphic novel could go but would love more information about where the team is at now. I look forward to seeing and hearing more from this creative team. Sabrina and Katy are hoping to raise $5,000 by June 8 to complete their graphic novel.

2. Kaneesha the Graphic Novel

Planned cover for Kaneesha, the Graphic Novel by Ben Miller

Writer Ben Miller is here to tell us a story we all need to read. While the story of Kaneesha is fictional, Miller draws on the real abuses of state and police power he has witnessed as a resident in Gary, Indiana. Miller has completed the writing for Kaneesha and is hoping to raise enough money through this Kickstarter to print the graphic novel.

Kaneesha is the story of a girl who simply wants justice for her brother Jerome, an unarmed man who was killed by police on his way home from work. His wrongful death shakes Kaneesha to her core, and when the police accused of killing Jerome are acquitted, she sets out on a journey to create change. Readers will follow Kaneesha as she demands accountability and justice for her brother and community. What is the best way to create change? This is the challenge, among many others, Kaneesha will have to confront.

Ben Miller has created some unique rewards which include commissions from other comic artists like Julio Guerra and Randy Stewart. Stewart has also provided the artwork for Kaneesha. A special “Resist” t-shirt featuring Kaneesha is also available to backers who pledge $40.00 or more.

Image from Kaneesha, via Kickstarter

This is a graphic novel about the horrific pain of loss, and the brutality of systemic racism and violence. It’s also a story about finding your own voice and using the power of that voice to inspire communities to action and change. Miller has created a graphic novel that doesn’t shy away from the reality of our American communities. It is a reality fraught with unequal justice and oppression whose legacy reaches far back into America’s history. The imagery of this graphic novel is powerful, difficult, and necessary. Below you will find a few preview pages.

Miller is seeking $4,000 to help cover the costs of printing this graphic novel which he will be printing through Ingram’s IngramSpark service. Funding for this Kickstarter will go through June 4.

3. KING of KINGS: Graphic Novel

That’s a lot of characters (Warning: probably some NSFW text in here).

Sometimes it is hard to find the words to explain a project. That, however, is not a problem comic book writers Jesse Blaze Snider and Mark Poulton have. King of Kings is a satirical graphic novel that pits religious figures against one another in a battle of the bands type contest. The contest only happens once every 100 years, so it’s nothing to take lightly. Okay, maybe it is. Indeed, that’s the entire purpose of this graphic novel, to have fun. In this particular instance, it may be best to let the IGG video do the talking and explaining:

Fans of Monty Python may feel at home perusing through the King of Kings IndieGoGo campaign. Artist David Witt appears to draw on the art style of Terry Gilliam. For those unfamiliar, Gilliam’s hand crafted animations are as integral and evocative of the Monty Python’s comedic styling as any of the troupes comedic sketches.

Let this serve as a warning to you all that the campaign page for this graphic novel contains a lot of information and I’m putting that mildly. I may be so bold as to say there is too much information, but I reckon they felt too much was better than too little? If you aren’t sure whether or not this comic may be for you, Snider has provided a five page preview which I’ve linked to here.

Funding for this graphic novel will go on for the next two months. The team is hoping to raise $50,000 to complete, publish and print this book. The graphic novel is planned to run around 160-pages in length and will feature a painted cover by  J. K. Woodward. There are a bevy of perks available to backers, including shirts and autographed goodies. If this sounds like something you may be interested in, consider peeping their IndieGoGo campaign but don’t say I didn’t warn you.

If you have a project you think I should know about, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter.

Until next week, Happy Tuesday!

Correction: an earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Amazon owns the IngramSpark service, which is actually owned by Ingram. The Beat regrets the error. 


  1. Andrea, please call me at 615-321-3110. I work for Ingram, and Amazon does not own IngramSpark. Your article is incorrect when it states Amazon’s IngramSpark. This is a false statement. Thank you. Elizabeth

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