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. Plus, you get cool stuff!
This week’s journey begins on the high seas with Strangebeard, Volume One: The Ghost Pirate’s Gift.
“Strangebeard! The hard-fightin’ all-ages adventure comic about a twelve-year-old girl who’s just become the world’s greatest pirate.”
I keep hearing that there aren’t enough all-ages comics on the shelf, well here’s your chance to help one make it there. Kelly Tindall has been working on this series as a webcomic for the last year, filling it with fun characters, action, adventure, and plenty of laughs.
“On the night of her twelfth birthday, young waitress Jenny Brigham is possessed by the Ghost of Augustus Strangebeard, the Pirate Emperor. Since the old captain was missing an eye, a hand and a leg, Jenny gains superior vision, a powerful punch, and a wickedly strong kick… but also the loyalty of Strangebeard’s pirate crew!”
This book has got everything: pirates, a gambling Boston terrier, a mysterious governor, and a ten-year-old wizard who takes orders from his dead father’s skull. Don’t believe me, you can read it for yourself for FREE right here. This book would be a great gift for that kid in your life who wants to read comics, but is turned off by the violence and themes of many books out there right now.
This 144 page book will include 128 pages of story in full color, a pin-up section with artists such as Riley Rossmo, and a foreword by Comicraft’s very own Richard Starkings. The book is finished and ready to go, but needs funds for printing and distribution. And for a pledge of a mere twenty five dollars you’ll get a physical copy of the book and some goodies!
The other backer loot is pretty great too, including DRM-free digital copies of the book, postcards, sketched in print copies of the book, DRM-free .PDF copies of his other all-ages works, black & white drawings of the character of your choice, the chance to appear as a supporting character who dies a gruesome fate in volume two, original pages from the book, 11 x 17 ink wash commissions, and more!
There’s just under 2 weeks left to get this treasure into your grubby little hands, so get on board the pledge boat before this book floats out to sea forever!
Our next stop is Brian Buccellato’s exciting Sons of the Devil transmedia experience.
“SONS OF THE DEVIL is a character driven psychological thriller that is told in multiple timelines across 25 years.
In 1989, the FBI raid the remote compound of deranged Cult leader DAVID DALY– only to find him comatose among the 93 murdered followers he sacrificed in a devil’s bargain. The only survivors are six infants rescued the night before the bloody massacre.
Twenty-five years later we meet one of those infants…”
“The goal of Sons of the Devil is to create an experience that lives in two separate media (comics & film) but when brought together creates the rich tapestry of a world that examines the cult of personality. We’d love for you to join us as this ultimately leads to a digital web series.”
The Sons of the Devil project is a supernatural suspense mystery thriller comic/film on an epic scale involving cults, the FBI, and a race against the clock by six siblings trying to save the world. How does that not sound exciting? And we know Brian has the skills to bring it to life, seeing his past works guarantees this will be an intense ride well worth the ticket price.
The first 32 page issue of Sons of the Devil the comic will be drawn by Toni Infante, and the previews I’ve seen so far are fantastic! The comic’s storyline will live alongside the 12-15 minute short film, telling the same story, while offering two unique versions of that story. Most of the funding would go towards the costs involved in creating a short film, with the excess going to the printing and production costs of the comic, not to mention paying the artist.
For pledge goals they’ve got copies of the comic and film in digital or signed hard copies, Kickstarter exclusive t-shirts, the chance to be Brian’s guest at Long Beach Comic Con, an original watercolor painting that Brian will hand you directly after you play a one-on-one game of basketball with him, a script consult with Brian and Kyle Higgins, a behind the scenes set visit, an Associate Producer credit in the film, and even the chance to appear in the comic or film!
Brian’s goal is a bit ambitious, but I think it is a goal worthy of your money, and in return will guarantee you an experience like no other!
We continue on our journey to the laboratory for Frankenstein’s Bodies.
“Players are surgeons aiming to create the finest bodies in their lab to impress Frankenstein. A very interactive board based card game.”
“Frankenstein’s Bodies’ is a very interactive board-based card game for 2-6 players lasting 50-70 minutes. In the game you play surgeons aiming to create the finest bodies from the parts (cards) available. Points are gained for bodies that are made from parts matched for serum colour and gender. But it’s more than a straight race to stitch parts together. Players can surgically remove parts from each other. But there is a risk of having these ‘infected’ and so become worthless. Master Surgeons can be brought in who offer extra expertise (points) and prevent other player’s ‘Surgery’. The game ends when one player has completed two bodies, or the draw deck runs through twice.”
With a simple and gruesome premise such as this, how could you not want this interactive card-based board game? If you are anything like me and my friends, you need this game. This looks more fun than Apples To Apples, and crazier than Cards Against Humanity, and has more body parts than either. This would be a great game for a Halloween party, and a sure crowd pleaser.
The game comes with 110 cards, 12 “benches”, player tokens, score tokens, body tokens, infection tokens, a score track, and rules booklet, everything you need to start playing as soon as you open the box. There is more information available at their website, including the full rules of engagement. They are so sure you’ll like their game that their website even has the whole thing available for free download to print out and try before you buy!
After two and a half years perfecting the game, the creators are ready to produce it and bring it to the masses through the magic of Kickstarter. Besides pre-ordering a copy of the game, the pledge rewards include a version of the game that includes wooden tokens instead of cardboard, the option to pay for three copies and receive five, even the option to have your face and those of seven friends immortalized in the deck.
It’s gruesome, it’s nasty, and according to the many who have played it, it is addictive fun!
It seems our journey is almost at an end, but first, let’s visit The Coast of Dreams.
“On the Coast of Dreams’ is an original epic fantasy adventure, graphic novel set in the fictional mysterious world, inspired by our dreams. It is our first graphic novel about abandoning the material world that we live in and accepting other dimensions around us.
In the story we will follow a journey of a man, whose daughter is trapped in a coma and he has to travel into the world of dreams to get a chance to fight for her life.”
Are you a fan of the films of Terry Gilliam and Guillermo del Toro, or the comics of Neil Gaiman and Sam Kieth? Do you like your books to be filled with beautifully rendered nightmare fuel? Then this is the Kickstarter campaign for you!
The first Kickstarter campaign from the Czech Republic, On The Coast of Dreams is a fantastically surreal graphic novel with gorgeous art befitting a story that takes place in dreams. This 90 page full color graphic novel will be in English, with the possibility of a Czech language version if they make enough.
You can obviously use this campaign as a way to pre-order the book in print or digital, but there is so much more. The backer rewards also include desktop wallpapers, gorgeous posters suitable for framing, a t-shirt, signed swag, a glowing glass sphere like the one that accompanies our “Seeker”, a signed page of lineart from the book, custom artwork on canvas, 5 custom comic pages by Michael, and a 30-60 minute chat with the creators on Google Hangout.
Viktor Šauer and Michael Petrus have worked on this book for over two years, and it will be completed in just a few short months, so let’s help them see their dreams come true.
Once again our journey is over, but next week I’ll bring you a couple more crowdfunding campaigns that I think deserve your money.