Welcome back to The Beat‘s weekly crowdfunding comics round-up! Crowdfunding has reshaped the comics landscape, and there are more projects available through sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo than ever before. Each week we’ll spotlight comics projects we think would be a great investment, whether it’s a one-shot story or a sprawling anthology. This week includes This Is What Democracy Looks Like from the Center for Cartoon Studies, a new book from an Iron Circus imprint, and more.
Let’s get going!
1. This Is What Democracy Looks Like, A Comic Book, A Road Trip
Goal: $6000 USD
Ends: Wednesday, July 31 2019 10:15 AM EST
Creators: The Center for Cartoon Studies
Best Value Tier: $7 USD plus shipping for a PDF/physical copy and bumper sticker; $30 USD plus shipping Educator Bundle (25 copies for the social studies or government teacher in your life)
Through the generosity of early donors, CCS has already created and printed the comic; we’re now on Kickstarter to fund classroom visits where our cartoonist/educators will facilitate a dynamic, interactive workshop that includes providing each student a copy of This Is What Democracy Looks Like.
This isn’t a comic book campaign exactly, but you do get a comic at the end of it. The Center for Cartoon Studies has created a visual guide to government — not just elections, but the every day impact of government functions, and now they’re aiming to take their comics to the classroom. The comic is already complete and the campaign is more than 70% funded with more than three weeks to go, so this one is a fairly safe bet.
2. Shattered Spear
Ends: Thursday, July 18 2019 3:11 PM EST.
Creators: Otava Heikkilä for CIRCUS MAXIMUS, an Iron Circus Comix imprint
Best Value Tier: $5 for a digital copy/$10 plus shipping for a physical copy
Shattered Spear is the story of crossed paths in the Jordan Valley of 10,000 years past, when the traveling spellkeeper Naihu awakens in the night to find her belongings being stolen by Pitu, a strange and wounded woman with nothing to her name, save for a broken spear.
Otava Heikkilä’s Letters for Lucardo has been an Iron Circus staple, and he and publisher C. Spike Trotman are teaming up once more to publish Heikkilä’s never-before-printed itch.io comic Shattered Spear under an experimental new Iron Circus imprint. CIRCUS MAXIMUS titles will be published once through Kickstarter, and that’s it. This will be your only shot to own the absolutely gorgeous Shattered Spear, so don’t miss out. Iron Circus Kickstarters are always low risk, high reward.
3. Our Final Halloween
Goal: $2496 USD
Ends: Friday, July 19 2019 6:59 PM EST
Creators: Mike Lee-Graham, Mike Garley, Mike Stock (letters), Jess Taylor (cover)
Best Value Tier: Approx $6 USD for 2 PDFs/$45 USD for 2 PDFs, print copies, 3 A5 prints, and a visitor badge from a location in the second volume
Our Final Halloween is a horror comic inspired by the likes of HP Lovecraft and John Carpenter. Set in 1984 a group of teens find themselves covered in blood, disorientated, and with no short-term memory. In our first issue the gang started to uncover the horrors of what happened on that fateful Halloween, but despite their best efforts they only just scratched the surface. In Our Final Halloween #2 we’re going to go beneath the surface. Deep beneath the surface…
After a successful Kickstarter campaign for volume one, Our Final Halloween returns to crowdfund the second of its planned four volumes. An eerie and gorgeously illustrated tale, this is a great choice for anyone jonesing for horror-plagued youths between Stranger Things 3 and IT: Chapter 2. Stretch goals to look forward to are three original digital music tracks and a screen-printed patch for backers at the £10 (approximately $13 USD) and above tiers.
4. Ma’Ari #1: Paranormal Mystery
Goal: $3360 USD
Ends: Sunday, July 28 2019 4:41 PM EST
Creators: Elisa Bisignano, Iolanda Zanfardino, GregAnderson Elysée
Best Value Tier: $20 USD for a PDF of Ma’Ari #1 and five additional comics
Janaan is a witch and she always has been. It runs in her blood and in her family. Janaan and Simone, her best friend, practice their craft in peace, their community used to them and to generally everything. Even their gentle priest is unbothered. Palermo has always been a city of differences, after all. Everything changes abruptly when a town member is found dead, with a symbol carved into their forehead and horror on their face. He is only the first of a series of victims that will send the life of the community into panic.
The absolutely stunning art for Ma’Ari #1 should be enough to draw you in. And who doesn’t love queer, witchy mysteries? The comic is, per the campaign page, complete, and will just need to be delivered. The $20 tier is the way to go here; six digital comics for $20 is a solid deal. That said, if you’re primarily interested in Ma’Ari, go with $25. You’ll get a physical and digital copy, and a beautiful print featuring a very cute floating cat.
5. Junior Scientist Power Hour Volume 2
Goal: $30000 USD
Ends: Wednesday, July 24 2019 12:05 PM EST
Creators: Abby Howard
Best Value Tier: $25 USD for Volume 1 and 2 PDFs
My humorous, semi-autobiographical webcomic has been running since I was but a stressed university student in 2012, and will finally be coming to an end this year. But mourn not, for I’m compiling all the comics from April 2015 onwards into a huge hardcover, including the Junior Paleontologist Power Hour comics, four years of hourlies, all the minis and journos, and hopefully some very special guest comics that will be revealed throughout the course of the Kickstarter.
After an impressive seven year print run, Abby Howard’s webcomic Junior Scientist Power Hour is coming to an end — but not before Howard collects the last four years into one massive volume. Howard’s wide-eyed cartooning style is a delight, particularly when it comes to sweet cat Spoons, and $25 for two pdfs delivering more than five hundred pages of content is an incredible bargain. As with any webcomic campaign, an added bonus is you can check out the Junior Scientist Power Hour website for a preview, but you’ll still want to back for the PDFs to enjoy the full collection and tons of extra content in an easy, bingeable format.
6. BREAKS 2: Special Edition
Goal: $10064 USD
Ends: Wednesday, July 31 2019 5:39 AM CDT.
Creators: Emma Vieceli, Malin Ryden
Best Value Tier: £25 (approximately $31 USD) plus shipping for volume 1 and 2 PDFs and volume 2 special edition hardcover
Two young men discovering who they were, who they are…and who they’re going to be. Mistakes of the past meet ambitions for the future in a school-ground battlefield of ego, consequence and toxic masculinity. As a chain of events years in the making is slowly revealed and reckoned with, will what Cortland Hunt and Ian Tanner find in each other be enough to help them through the storm to come?
Co-written by Emma Vieceli and Malin Ryden, BREAKS is a love story — in its own way. While the first volume is published through Soaring Penguin Press, Vieceli has brought Breaks to Kickstarter to crowdfund a special edition of the completed second volume. £25 (approximately $31 USD, plus shipping) will net you the special edition hardcover with bonus content, and PDF copies of the first and second volumes.