This Week In Crowdfunding – Protege, Misfortune High Book 2, P. Craig Russell’s Guide To Graphic Storytelling Volume 5

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

I’m sure, in your internet wanderings, that you’ve checked out Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, or at least heard about them by now. You’ve probably backed at least one campaign. Every week thousands of new projects are launched through these websites, and many creators have found that this is a great way to bypass the regular publication/distribution model, to get their projects directly into the hands of their fans.

It really is a bold new era, where creators come to you directly with their wares, and properties sink or swim based on the whims of the fans instead of editorial edicts and profit margins.

But seriously, crowd funding has been a game changer in its few years as a viable publication model, allowing many projects that wouldn’t necessarily have seen the light of day come to life because of fans like you. In a lot of ways it has become THE new distribution system, getting unique product directly into the hands of the consumer. Now, there are so many different campaigns being launched on a weekly basis, with a little something for everybody. But where do you start?

Let us be your guide to the thrilling world of crowd funded comics, art books, film, and associated geek and sundry. Each week we’ll scour the aforementioned websites, and profile those projects that we feel are worthy of your Paypal fees. Those projects that are offering something different than what you get at your local comic shop. Projects that defy classification, ones with interesting backer rewards, books that you might love, but would otherwise probably not happen without your support.

photo-mainLet’s start off this week with Terence Anthony’s PROTEGE graphic novel.

This Kickstarter campaign is to fund the print collection of the first five issues of this high-octane espionage/action thriller series.

“PROTEGE is the story of Coltrane Wallace, an over-the-hill operative with a license to kill, whose life is changed forever when he and his partner Devin Edwards cross paths with a young assassin codenamed Allumette.

The world of PROTEGE is one of high-tech gadgets, international intrigue, aging operatives, shadowy data-miners and deadly assassins. It’s a world of shoot-outs, explosions, and double-crosses — but also some plot-twists that veer away from typical action-genre stuff.”

540c2b95bccf8e7c1528d9dae413eb8d_largeGo here to check out a spoiler-free preview, or read the full 128 page story here. If you are a fan of James Bond, the Bourne novels/movies, Mission Impossible movies, or [spooks], I know you’ll love this book. It is done in a style that reminded me of Brian Bendis’ early black & white works, which is a good thing. And it’s been backed by master of spy fiction Greg Rucka, a man who knows a good espionage tale when he sees it!

As if this book doesn’t already sound cool enough, the backer rewards definitely sweeten the deal. There are the usual digital and print copies of the book, along with desktop wallpapers, signed editions, sketch cards, prints, ink wash commissions, a Person-Of-Interest file of yourself published in the book, and even personalized dog tags!


 photo-main2Next, we leave the scary world of spies for the even scarier world of High School, in Misfortune High Book 2.

“In this all-ages comic, Biscuit’s quest to get out of his bad magic school starts with a dragon battle and only gets worse from there.

Misfortune High Book 2 continues the story of Biscuit, a rich kid who had been kicked out of his fancy magic school and sent to a magic school in a bad neighborhood as punishment.  Biscuit believes he might have found a way out of Misfortune High.  A dragon makes nightly rampages across the schools on his side of town, and he believes if he slays it, his old school will be impressed enough to take him back. ”

mh4Jules Rivera had previously launched a successful campaign for the first issue, and now wants to continue the adventures of Biscuit, but she needs your help! This 34 page comic will include all of the things that made readers fall in love with it the first time around. If you love comedy, urban fantasy, and all-out wizarding action, this is the book for you. With its diverse cast of characters that truly represent our multi-cultural world, and its all-ages action, this comic is perfect for kids, or the kid inside each of us. There is even a four page sample .PDF available for you to read for free!

And there are some suitably magical pledge rewards including copies of the book itself, as well as issue one for those who missed it, copies of Valkyrie Squadron, marker commission sketches, postcard sets, bookmarks, button sets, pencil bags, the chance to be in the book, a statuette of Sonia, and even a special tier for comic retailers! I don’t remember High School being this awesome!


photo-main3Next up, learn from a master of his craft with P. Craig Russell’s Guide To Graphic Storytelling Volume 5.

So, you love comics and want to make your own but don’t know where to start? Why not begin your journey into graphic storytelling with this fun, entertaining, and educational DVD from one of the undisputed masters of the craft?

P. Craig Russell has been in this industry a very long time, illustrating tales of your favorite characters along the way. From Dr. Strange to Sandman, superheroes to operas, he’s drawn it all in his unforgettable style. And now he wants to teach you!

fa384bc0dd72a4e658ee2dff4e7c4034_large“We are currently seeking funding for what will be the fifth and final volume of the series, which will feature Craig’s expert analysis of art by other comic-book greats—including Jack Kirby, Hal Foster, Al Willamson, Alex Toth, Will Eisner, Barry Windsor-Smith, Bernie Wrightson, Carl Barks, Bill Watterson, Jim Steranko, Robert Crumb and more!

Our final volume will also go beyond panel-to-panel storytelling and will explain effective composition, the use of white space, contrasts between black and white, different drawing techniques and much more.”

The previous volumes are indispensable tools for any creator, and this one should be no different. Besides being an effective and fun way to learn the basics of comic book storytelling, these volumes are an invaluable look behind the curtain, showing life between the panels of some of your favorite creators.

The backer rewards are just as awesome, with copies of this volume, as well as the other four, on DVD or digital download, fine art giclee prints, original art commissions, and even an Associate Producer or Producer credit. If you want to make comics, and make them right, you need this DVD!


These are just a few of the projects out there worthy of, and waiting for, your hard earned pledge dollars. Check them out, and if you like what you see, throw some money at them, and come back next week as I bring you more great crowdfunded projects.

Previous columns:
Dream Life, Intergalactic Travel Bureau, Hi-Fi Color For Comics, Tortured Life
After Reset: The Fall Of Gyes, 99 Ways To Die Coloring Book, and Varney The Vampire
Tangled Weeds, Red Hot Rebellion II, The Cape Creator, WW3 Illustrated
Exclusive Merrick: The Sensational Elephant Man Creator Interview
She Makes Comics, Deitch Miscellany, Menton 3′s Katabasis, Through the Dust of Empyrean
Fist Of Justice, The Tethermen & The Neolithics, Pinoy Komiks, Comic Book People

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