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.
Today we start with 21st CENTURY TANK GIRL: a book by Hewlett & Martin & Co.
Finally, in a triumphant reunion of two long lost friends, Jamie Hewlett has returned to Tank Girl! Along with original series co-creator Alan Martin they’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to publish a brand new 100 page hardcover volume of Tank Girl stories.
Combining their efforts with seven other artists, some Tank Girl veterans, other new to her world, they want to take Tank Girl in a new direction. These artists are a spectacular who’s who of underground comics, Jamie Hewlett, Brett Parson, Warwick Johnson-Cadwell, Philip Bond, Jim Mahfood, Craig Knowles, and Jonathan Edwards.
For those unfamiliar, “Tank Girl is a creator-owned comic book series about an Australian outlaw anti-heroine and her friends. The series began in 1988 when Tank Girl appeared in the first issue of Deadline Magazine in the UK. Since then she has starred in her own comics, magazines, a novel, and even her own Hollywood movie.”
“The book will be crammed full with a chaotic mix of short comic strips, poster pages, poems, longer strips, an illustrated text story, and much more. You’ll discover what Tank Girl’s real name is in the story “The Name of Tank Girl” (clue – it’s not Rebecca Buck). You’ll learn tactical tank manoeuvres and vital post-apocalyptic survival techniques. You’ll see Tank Girl explore new worlds in her slightly phallic rocket ship. And you’ll finally find out what Tank Girl keeps covered up with that Band-Aid.”
This edition comes with a Kickstarter exclusive dust jacket, available only this one time, and it will be in a much larger format than most graphic novels, worthy of any coffee table display. They’ve already reached their funding goal, but if you’re a fan you know you want that dust jacket, plus the great rewards available only to pledgers. These rewards include stickers, art prints, a Brian Bolland poster book, t-shirts, magnets, signed and unsigned various Tank Girl books, and of course 21st Century Tank Girl!
Next, we check out the “House Party” – a graphic novel.
This fun, witty, and true to life graphic novel by British cartoonist Rachael Smith is a must have for any fan of Oni Press, Brian Lee O’Malley, or Craig Thompson. This is another one that has already met it’s funding, but with some great stretch goals is still worth a look.
“House Party will be a 92 page graphic novel where three lost 20-somethings are feeling disillusioned after being shoved into the real world since feeling like superstars at university. In an attempt to get their carefree composure and happiness back they throw a massive house party, just like they used to. Instead of reconnecting them with their younger selves, however, things go a little differently and the three of them must decide how to move forward in lives that none of them really asked for.”
She is 90 percent finished with the book, and along with publisher Great Beast needs funding for printing and distribution of what looks to be a fantastic book. With great backer rewards such as the book itself in signed and sketched in hardcover and/or digital form, copies of he other books, posters, pins, pages of art from the book itself, and sketches, this book is already going to happen, why not be a part of the fun?
Check out her website for plenty of free content as well. She may be new to the comic world, but I have a feeling she’s going places!
Next up we have a look at the webcomic series Ribbons.
“What if Las Vegas was a battleground for souls … and you just inherited a brothel? Find out in the Ribbons graphic novel. Ribbons is a dark comedy that explores how myth and religion blur in a glaring, neon Las Vegas. It picks at the differences between love, sex, and passion and what people will do for each. It does this with equal parts blood and laughs.”
This dark supernatural webcomic series is the perfect thing for those that love Dark Horse’s horror books or the Vertigo line. A mature tale to be sure, this series is a fantastic look at morality, set in the ultimate morals free zone, Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The first series sparks off a test of humanity in a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. Every time you blow on your dice or steal a kiss for good luck, you pray. In Las Vegas your prayers are heard and answered…you just may not like the answer. Fate chose Matt and Foster, forcing them into the roles of savior and killer. Neither is particularly good at their jobs. They are set on a collision course to see if people still value morality more than poker chips.”
With its virtual water color style and unique story, this is a great looking series. Don’t believe me? Check out the fist six page chapter for free here. You back? So, I was right, wasn’t I? With humor, drugs, sex, and violence, and lots of swearing, this is definitely adults only stuff. Unlike most mature readers comics, there is a lot more to this book than all of that, with an actual intriguing story trumping the nudity and swearing typical of most others.
And those pledge rewards? They’re as unique as the comic itself! You’ve got an exclusive print edition prequel story, a script book with concept art in digital format, your ugly mug as a background character in the webcomic, signed concept sketch boards, even free advertizing on the website for as long as it exists!
We leave you this week with The Last Cavalier Hardcover Graphic Novel SFE.
“Hardcover Collector’s Volume with amazing full color art and thrilling story of the origins of Michael Cross, modern-day Templar Knight. Michael Cross, a young art historian with anger issues is called back to the past and destiny from which he escaped.
He has been struggling to live a normal life with his beautiful and patient wife Anna in Boston, but he is destined to be a modern-day Templar Knight. He must keep the world in delicate balance between good and evil, and fight the evil that he finds in himself. His sword, his will, his intelligence, his heart and his tainted soul are his forces in this fight.”
Written by Daniel McVicar and Roberto Prettihis this action-filled and exciting adventure features highly detailed, dynamic artwork by Gianluca Gugliotta. It will start out at 46 full color pages, but with each stretch goal more pages and chapters will be added, up to and including a whole new volume 2. Featuring the Shroud of Turin, Homunculi, magic, mystery, and plenty of secrets, The Last Cavalier is like a fantastical DaVinci Code, but so much better!
Backer rewards include wallpapers, digital behind the scenes material, copies of the book signed or unsigned, high quality prints, original concept artwork, t-shirts, original pages from the book, first look offer for the film rights, and even an appearance in the book and the original pencil study artwork.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s travails into Crowdfundland, and seen a few things you liked. Be sure to come back next week as we visit new and exotic campaigns that can only happen with your pledges!
Utopiates Audio Drama, The Pitiful Human-Lizard, The Rattler
Protege, Misfortune High Book 2, P. Craig Russell’s Guide To Graphic Storytelling Volume 5
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