I like to end the month by having an existential crisis and I’m glad that 2018 is proving no different. The good part about questioning what your purpose on this mortal plane is, is that you are likely to venture off into unknown areas of your brain. My brain is filled with campy science-fiction tropes, a wish that I could perform magic, and self-deprecating humor that makes everyone uneasy. So with that in mind, I present to you this week’s crowdfunding projects.

Birdcage Bottom Books 2018 

Birdcage Bottom Books is hoping to fund their 2018 slate of publications through their Kickstarter campaign. The micro-press was founded in 2008 by comic creator J.T. Yost and primarily makes sales through internet orders and at independent comic conventions. By backing this Kickstarter campaign you’d essentially be preordering what the team plans to publish through out the year at a discount and naturally, with some backer rewards thrown in.

Birdcage Bottom Books aims to help lesser known cartoonists and authors gain recognition. Because the micro-press publishes those with less name-recognition, they’ve provided readers with previews of what they can expect from the presses 2018 release schedule. I’ve included two previews from the April bundle below:

Eva Müller: In the Future We Are Dead (April)

Synopsis: “An elderly woman dies lonely. After a long time, brother and sister meet again at the father’s funeral. A punk girl finds out that she is not immortal. Very personal death stories have been composed by the author, which also reflect her own death fears.”  

Sara Lautman: Pictures of Bananas and Funny Bugs (April)

Pictures of Bananas and Funny Bugs is a little book of cartoons about being yourself, uncaged ruthlessness, not looking directly into an eclipse and chats with Gilbert Gottfried. Lautman’s work will be

Jordan Jeffries “The Complete Matinee Junkie: Five Years At The Movies

Synopsis: “The Complete Matinee Junkie collects the entire run of Jordan Jeffries’ ongoing comic series, plus a full year of new material. Part autobiography, part cultural review, Matinee Junkie contains entries for every movie the author saw in theaters each year, with the complete collection spanning almost 250 movies over five years, from 2013-2017.”

Birdcage Bottom Books has made it pretty easy for backers to choose which bundle is right for them. There’s a slew of different price points and rewards ranging from $10 to $400. The team understands it’s a big ask and so they’ve tried to make it simple to choose which publications you’ll receive. This includes individual creator bundles, which is nice if you happen to be a fan of a particular creator. Birdcage Bottom Books is hoping to raise $10,000 with a funding deadline of February 20, 2018.

Tavarsia IV

Tavarsia is a fantasy comic series about two witches from Earth trying to save another world and is now seeking help from backers to publish the final volume.

The full four volume set of Tarvasia is available through the Kickstarter

The series was originally conceived by creator and illustrator, Charlotte Sandmæl (Cha Sand)and was later joined by fellow writer Gillian A, who has helped with the development of characters, dialogue and other narrative elements. All three previous volumes of the series have been successfully Kickstarted, so the creators have a good track record of publishing, shipping and delivering the goods!

Cover design for Tavarsia Volume IV via Kickstarter

Here’s a synopsis of the comic from the Tavarsia website, where you can also start reading the comic for free from the very first issue:

The young witch Gaea finds herself imprisoned for reading a book she was not allowed to touch. Soon she must decide whether to trust her mentor or her mysterious cellmate, as she learns the High Priestess in Rome has dangerous plans for the book, plans which may not only put their world in great danger, but also another magical world called Tavarsia.

Listen humans, I love a good witch story and I like it even more when witches have to work together to thwart evil. Volume IV of Tavarsia is complete so funds raised from this Kickstarter will go towards publishing costs. While backers may not find a ton of rewards available, what you will find are some fairly accessible price points for the entire darn series ($45 for all four volumes that you can hold in your real human hands).

Interior pages from Tavarsia Volume IV via Kickstarter

The team is about half-way towards their funding goal of $4,160 with a deadline of February 9, 2018.

Prospects #1-2 

What do you get when you blend 1950s science fiction with 1980s style action? Well, according writer Max Majernik and artist Jean Franco, you get the comic Prospects. The team successfully  funded the first issue of Prospects on Kickstarter, so they are back and hoping to fund the second issue of their slice of life meets campy-sci-fi comic.

Synopsis via the team’s Kickstarter

The town of Ridgeville has been stuck in the middle of a 150-year-old battle between two mad scientists, and former colleagues, Edwin Grabowski and Victor Farsimov. Both claim to have figured out the secret of immortality and created armies of zombies and cyborgs using their respective methods. The scientists have waged a war for so long within the town that the townspeople now consider it an honor to be abducted by one of the mad scientists in their quest for glory. Anyone who shows any bit of potential, be it brains, brawn, or anything in between, will be captured by one of the scientists by the time they are 25 years old.

On the outside looking in is 30-year old Colin Bates, who isn’t one of the prospects. He has been selected by no one, not by scientists, girls, or even friends. He spends most of his days watching TV in his basement where he avoids doing odd jobs for his Grandma and her friends. Everything changes when a notorious terrorist, intent on destroying both scientists, appears in Colin’s basement begging Colin to take over his legacy.

On the inside looking out is 18-year old Andrew Russell. Andrew has it all, the brains, brawn, and looks to be whatever he wants: the ultimate 5 tool prospect. The problem is that the whole community wants him to be a soldier for one of the scientists, while he just wants a normal 18-year-old life. He has to deal with the pressure of the town, especially his mom, about every aspect of his day AND the thought that he can be abducted by one of the scientists at any moment.

For around $14 you can get yourself issues #1 and #2 and a sticker and if you are able to be more financially generous, $85 will get you the physical copies of Prospects, stickers, two posters and two prints.

Posters available to backers via Kickstarter

The creators have provided a six-page preview of issue #2 on their Kickstarter, I’ve included the first three pages below as an amuse-bouche:

The team is hoping to raise $1,150 to help publish the series with funding ending on February 24, 2018.

Have any projects you’d like for me to check out? Please for the love of all that is sacred get in touch with me @missafayres or shout into the void, I’ll probably shout back.