Calling forth “a new era for comics arts,” Portland’s Floating World Comics is organizing an epic three-day mash of workshops, exhibitions, panels, and performances all set to nurturing comic expression and collaboration. The Kickstarter for this extravaganza, appropriately titled THE PROJECTS, has only 7 days remaining to fund this ambitious gathering.

We’ve seen a plenty of Kickstarters aimed at funding new comics, anthologies, collections, etc, but this inspiring proposal goes above and beyond. Floating World Comics, one of the most active and innovative comic book  shops around, is throwing what appears to be this year’s most ingenious comic event. Taking inspiration from European comics festivals such as Serbia’s Novo Doba and Rome’s Crack!, THE PROJECTS has re-imagined everyday convention features by allowing artists to curate their own individual space, forgoing the sales aspect to focus on the creative process and allow artists and attendees a more intimate and stimulating experience. THE PROJECTS merges art and comics through 3 days of workshopping, panels, performances, and an added incentive, it’s going to be free.

The list of guests artists include

Le Dernier Cri (Pakito Bolino and Marie-Pierre Brunel – France), Matthew Thurber, Austin English/Domino Books, Sammy Harkham, Jonny Negron,Igor Hofbauer (Croatia), Panayotis Terzis (Greece/NYC), Kevin Hooyman,PictureBox, Profanity Hill, Sparkplug Comic Books, Komikaze (Croatia), Johanna Marcade + Turbo Comix (France/Serbia), Bianca Barragan (LA), Plink Flojd, MSHR, Experimental Half Hour (Eva Aguilara and Brock Fansler – Portland), Julia Gfrörer (PDX), Maria Sputnik (Portland + the cosmos), Kinoko Cascadia … and more!

THE PROJECTS could just be the beginning of a new kind of comics festival, drastically different than more mainstream commercial events whose main goal is essentially a marketed sales pitch. Austin English, featured artist as well as a publisher, describes its best:

I think this is an idea whose time has really come. I’ve gone to many comics festivals in my life, and always enjoy being in a room with countless other creative people. But I have always felt the model of artists sitting at tables with their work is not the best use of all these artists traveling to one spot. I really think something like this project is a really essential step for art comics—the strength of what is being created in comics today far outweighs the institutions that the work exists within. There is a potent community within comics but far too few resources and institutions that have the pure integrity of what is being proposed here.

Check out THE PROJECTS Kickstarter page as well as their Tumblr to keep up with this momentous upcoming event!