A BackerKit campaign is now live for the 120-page first print edition of S.E. Case’s RIGSBY WI: FOOTHOLD. Published by Iron Circus Comics, the series chronicles the lives of a bunch of everyday teenagers growing up in a small city in Northern Wisconsin. All for a coming-of-age story about adolescence, poverty, race, and sexuality about how these teenagers choose to present themselves to the world. 

With over 5000 views on Webtoon and a near-perfect rating, RIGSBY WI has been a hit thus far in the digital space. Atop this, Iron Circus Comics is known for its critically acclaimed graphic novels about the American Midwest and has previously, raised over 5 million dollars in crowdfunding.

“When you’re young, you have so little control over your own life — you are subject to the whims of your parents or guardians, which is not always a bad thing if they truly have your best interests at heart, but unfortunately that’s not the case for all kids,” said cartoonist S.E. Case. “Part of being a teenager is trying to figure out who you are, and that’s hard — but even harder when those around you cannot accept who you discover yourself to be. Will anyone recognize your value as a person when your goal is not to make the football team, or get into a prestigious college, or be crowned homecoming queen, but to simply get through the experience of being a teenager relatively unscathed? Maybe smoking weed in the woods and stealing sunglasses from the mall aren’t the most productive coping mechanisms, but what else is a disaffected 16-year-old in a rural town to do?”

Sometimes as a teen in a small town, you can feel trapped — trapped enough to want to gnaw off your own leg to escape. Bethany has gotten some much-needed stability in Rigsby, WI — she’s away from her oppressively disapproving mother, and the other local teens Jeordie, Erik, and Anna have welcomed her in — and together the four of them know how to escape from the world that is closing in on them. While Case’s vibrant art and naturalistic writing doesn’t shy away from the rougher experiences and feelings of teens, it also covers the truly important topics like, “is Phish a good band?”, “is the neck the dong of the torso?” and “Ernest Hemingway: Was he a piece of shit?” Nostalgic, sweet, bitter and funny all at once, RIGSBY WI feels like a teenage afternoon spent with friends, with all the pathos, boredom and absurdity inherent therein. 

As for the comic itself, the series story feels very much like a slice of life in a story about teenagers in the early 2000s. It’s rife with the drama of friendships, expectations in high school, and even issues such as losing one’s virginity. Essentially, all coming-of-age types of dramatic storytelling.

As for style, RIGSBY WI: FOOTHOLD also has some great fall-inspired coloring set in the backdrop of middle of nowhere suburbia. It also has some musical tastes and fashionable trends based on that era in terms of its clothing styles and hair highlights. This is definitely a comic filled with nostalgia and if you’re a Millennial from that era it’ll feel familiar not only in its subject material, but in remembrance of the world of 20 years ago.

To support the now live campaign on BackerKit click here.