This Week In Crowdfunding – Tin, The Voyageur

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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, toys, games, 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 adventure takes us first into space with Ilya D’s Tin.

“Have you even wanted to see a delusional droid from Star Wars arguing with Portal’s GLaDOS? Well this is close.

Tin is a story which begins aboard a ship piloted by two robots who constantly debate whether a robot can be an adventurer. Can a maintenance robot be a fully fledged adventurer? 

That is until they stumble on an derelict pod containing an unidentified woman. Rob, a janitor robot embraces the chance to be the adventurer that he’s always built himself up to be. However the mysterious woman shares a name with someone already onboard the ship. Identity crises notwithstanding, there will be heists, death, self-discovery, and most importantly adventure.”

d8681c1b1d2415a741fb97324d8492a6_largeIlya and artist Manuela Soriani have crafted an adventure tale with every bit of sci-fi action and humor you’d expect from a “space opera”. I’ve checked out the pages they already have finished, and I can vouch for the book. It is a fun, rollicking space adventure the likes of which is rare in comics these days. You can check it out for yourself here. The book focuses on whether or not a robot can be more than he was created for, and that theme resonates, as all of us want to be more than we are in some way or another.

The story is really great, with plenty of funny bits that had me laughing out loud. The main characters are instantly lovable, and their relationship feels natural, with plenty of back-and-forth banter of the kind only true friends would have. The dialog is where the story really shines, and Ilya definitely has an ear for it. The pacing is a bit slow in the beginning, but that gives you time to get to know the characters and their world, and gives the story a chance to breathe. The artwork is gorgeous in places, especially in the outer space shots, with an old school painted background animation style that sets it apart from most comics. The character designs are simple, yet perfect in every way. Manuela is an expert in using body language to convey emotion and attitude, and she makes Rob, the main robot protagonist feel completely human.

The book itself is a great reason to pledge, and you can grab it in digital or glorious print, but that’s not all. There is a fancy wallpaper for your computer, a poster, drawings by the author while drunk OR sober, a Skype chat with the author where he’ll discuss any idea for a story you have as well as offering advice and critiques, 3-D printed models of Rob and A.L.I.C.E., your ugly mug as a minor OR major character in the story, and of course a thank you on the website. But all of this is only possible if you pledge!

Next stop, the 17th century for The Voyageur.

Fintan O’Neill’s no hero. There’s not too many rich people in 17th Century Ireland, but the likeable, withdrawn 15-year-old is the poorest kid in Ballypoyle, living on a small tenant farm with his hardened, cynical mother, forced to do what she’s had to for her and her boy to survive.

The arrival of Fintan’s older cousin Ruari – a soldier with his own troubled past – has turned his world upside down. Appointing himself a stand in father figure, Ruari leads Fintan into a world of vice and violence. Sensing the danger, yet unable to resist the excitement – Fintan lets himself get sucked in.

But Fintan’s got no idea what his cousin’s really mixed up with.  And it’s about to throw the shy introvert into a whirlwind adventure into the unknown…

241e7612b61e7183c5212cf59dcd8bd5_largeThe Voyageur is a 74-page graphic novel, illustrated by Nick Marinkovich (Underworld, Nightwolf, Impaler, Kenk) and written and created by documentary filmmaker and screenwriter Jeff Sturge (Mayday, Storming Juno, Cold Blood).

From the future in space, to the Ireland of the past, this Kickstarter Staff Pick is a distinct looking period piece throwing fictional characters into the middle of the Reformation. I love a good period piece, and The Voyaguer is just that, and so much more. There’s action, intrigue, mysteries, and violence, and all of it in a heavily researched and realistic world of times past. The story sounds really great, but that art though. Using photos as the basis for comic art is not a new thing, but what artist Nick Marinkovich does with those photos is astounding. You’d never even know they used to be photographs. With an art style as unique as its premise, The Voyageur is definitely a book unlike any other. And this is only book one!

It’s already reached its goal, with 18 days to spare, but with extra funding comes extra goodies for the readers. Pledge now and get the book in signed print edition or digital copy, along with a 65 page PDF making of art book, a personalized original bookplate with a sketch, original watercolor character studies, an original page from the book, and even the chance to appear in the book and receive that very page.

That’s it for this week, but come back next week for more great campaigns worth your pledge dollar.



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