I listen to a lot of podcasts and I mean a lot. I feel like these people are practically my coworkers. I know they aren’t but as I work from home and never get to hear my actual coworkers voice, it’s like they are. Don’t at me. There’s no real point to this story, just that remote working can be difficult for creatures who are meant to be social. Thankfully, I can ignore my sad state of social affairs by writing this week’s Crowdfunding Watch and that’s exactly what I am going to do.
ARRO is an adventure-based comic that takes place in the post-apocalyptic United States. The series follows a team hired by the American Research Recovery Organization to investigate what’s left of the southeastern U.S. three years after most of the population is wiped out by a gene-altering disease in the water supply. The first volume for ARRO was released two years ago and creators Tara and Ali are finally ready to give you more of what you want and by that, I mean volume two.
In ARRO: Volume I we are introduced to the team as they learn about one another as well as the fate of former members. Slowly the group begins the process of unraveling the events that lead to the contaminated water supply and I can tell you something, it isn’t always pretty. In volume II we continue to follow the group on their journey as they make their way towards a Nashville solar plant. What they uncover when they arrive, however, is for you to find out.
Tara and Ali have self-published ARRO, along with their other works, through their small press Fine OK Press. There’s rich world-building happening in ARRO along with detailed character profiles and history. The creators say they spent hours researching maps, disease behaviors and patterns and that effort shows.
What will volume II look like? The team is hoping to combine issues four and five along with three smaller chapters into one perfect-bound full color graphic novel. The novel will be printed on French Paper Muscletone/Speckle-toned Madero Beach 140# for the cover, 100% post-consumer Neenah PC100 80# for issues 1-3, and a crisp accent of French Paper Grout Gray Construction #70 for the mini chapters. The duo have already completed a test print-run and have everything lined up to make getting volume II into your hands as easy as possible.
Ali and Tara are hoping to raise $2,000 by June 7 to cover the usual costs associated with printing, publishing and shipping. Backers can choose between several reward tiers including custom-sketches, prints, doodles and a cute little kitty tote bag featuring the Fine OK Press logo. You can find out more about what rewards are available on their Kickstarter page.
This Kickstarter is hoping to raise money to support and publish the tenth issue of the independent comics and illustration magazine LÖK ZINE. This is a great way to introduce yourself to artists and comics creators you may otherwise have never heard of.
The bilingual comics and illustration anthology features artists from all over, submissions are obtained through an open call system. The primary goal of this anthology is to support new and emerging artists, comics, and illustrators by giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent. The anthology will be published in English and Italian. Each issue of LÖK ZINE has a different theme, which helps the editors highlight diverse talent from all over.
The folks behind this magazine’s publication have been working collaboratively since 2011. They support their efforts by holding events, exhibitions and partnerships with local publishers and organizations. Here’s a look at the team:
Since this marks issue number ten of LÖK ZINE, the team has planned something special. This issue will be produced in full-color at 120 pages on A4 paper. Why so large? Well, here’s the reasoning:
Dimension represents the degrees of freedom with which a point can move in space, these degrees are described by measures that define a shape and a size. We’re talking about big, small, narrow, large, but also about dimensions in a wider sense, the space, the relationship we have with it and parallel universes, everything told through our authors’ hands.
There are slew of backer rewards and tiers for you to choose from. Previous issues of the magazine are available as well as prints, tote bags and works from past contributors. This represents a total revamp of the magazine’s style and with that comes the added costs of printing in full color. That’s why the team is hoping to raise $5,966 by June 8.
I try hard to not include campaigns which have been funded but I am a tiny bit obsessed with the artwork of this project. Please forgive me. This Kickstarter is based off the Heart of Gold webcomic published on Sparkler, a monthly digital magazine. With seven chapters of the story now complete, the Vienna-based duo of Eli Baumgartner and Viv Tanner hope to assemble their gorgeously illustrated romantic mystery into one 146-page volume.
Heart of Gold is the story about about a small town priest named Dunant and albino pianist, Ionel. The two are residents of a tiny French town where Dunant practices what he refers to as a sort of “faith-healing”. Ionel seeks out Dunant’s help during Mass one day in order to heal the condition which threatens to end his career as a pianist. The priest’s blessing inspires Ionel to investigate Dunant further, to find out more about this man and his healing abilities. What Ionel discovers, however, is a fair bit more than he bargained for, a world of miracles and curses.
The artwork of Heart of Gold is beautiful. Have I said that already? It is an obvious labor of love and dedication. The artist and writer behind the series talk about what this comic means to them and why they continue to invest so much into these characters:
We’ve both been pouring a lot of love, effort, sweat, blood, religious sacrifices etc. into the creation of Heart of Gold ever since we started the concept of it – it’s our way of exploring art and storytelling in a way we haven’t yet, while also focusing on themes and ideas that are significant and fascinating to us. As a queer couple that wants more representation, Heart of Gold is important to us because it tells the story of how the two protagonists are drawn to one another despite their differences.
Heart of Gold has blown past it’s initial fundraising goal of $14,000 and just about every stretch goal the duo set out. The pair were incredibly surprised by the popularity of the project and have run into some financial problems. This has resulted in them placing a cap on reward tiers, which is a shame because the rewards are flipping amazing: washi tape, hoodies, enamel pins, and some lovely artwork from various artists. Hopefully the team can sort out their accounting troubles. Until then, you can read more about what’s happened on their update post. We will wait to hear more and will update this post as information becomes available. Funding for this project will continue through Saturday, June 9.
Until next Tuesday, I bid you good day and thank you for reading my missives each week.
Andrea Ayres writes about comics and representation in pop-culture.