With SDCC recently wrapped and Flame Con (whose Kickstarter we covered back in 2014) and SPX on the horizon, we’re deep into the throes of convention season. But conventions aren’t the only place to get amazing, small press books. Read on to see August’s wonderful crop of crowdfunded goodness. From short stories and fledgling magazines to anthologies from well-established creators, I’m sure there’s something here for you.
Ends August 8
Dirty Diamonds is back with issue #9! This issue, entitled Being, is about just that: being. In it, creators explore the process of making mistakes, trying on different pieces of their identities, falling down, and getting back up again. There are more contributors in this book than I can reasonably count, but the list includes names like Ashanti Fortson and Priya Huq. Editors Kelly Phillips and Claire Folkman have been shepherding Dirty Diamonds to success since 2011.
Ends August 8
SCORE! is an erotic sports comic anthology that the WWAC crew is definitely excited about. Organized by Gina Briggs and S.W. Searle, SCORE! will be over 250 pages of black and white athletic antics featuring a broad assortment of sexualities, identities, and genres! Creators include G.C. Houle, OliveOilCorp, and Megan Rose Gedris, as well as many other talented folks. This campaign also includes a reprint of Food Porn, Filthy Figments’ PRISM-nominated 2015 anthology.
Ends August 15
The Nib is launching a print magazine! Quarterly, 100+ pages an issue, and focused on larger themes that aren’t as timely as the day-to-day news grind, The Nib magazine’s first issue is set to launch in September of 2018 now that they’ve been successfully funded. That issue’s theme? Death. The following issues will be built around the themes of Family, Empire, and Scams. Backers who support this first year’s Kickstarter can get neat swag like tote bags, mugs, and stickers, as well as become part of a membership program called The Inkwell, which comes with more swag, merch discounts, and a special newsletter.
Ends August 15
Agents of the Realm is Mildred Louis’s widely acclaimed magical girl university webcomic! Let me be clear, though—the university isn’t for magical girls; it’s just a school the main characters attend while also dealing with all the wild hijinks and intrigue that come with having magical powers. Volume 2 is almost 200 pages, printed in full color, and if the print quality is anything like Volume 1’s, absolutely gorgeous. Speaking of which, this campaign is also for a reprint of Volume 1!
Ends August 26
Getting Lost is a gently queer story about two people happily getting lost in the woods and the conversations they have while there. The main characters, Isaiah and Reed, are nonbinary and genderfluid (respectively), and writer/artist Izzi Ward describes gender as a “moving target/continued exploration,” all of which makes me feel like Ward will treat these characters and identities with incredible respect. The comic is set to be 24 pages and full color, with comfortably weighty pages. Ward has also completely fulfilled two Kickstarters in the past, and has the timeline of this one fully planned out!
Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen
Ends August 26
There’s a generational gap in queer communities, one that I’m painfully aware of when I table at places like Flame Con and TCAF. Language and culture have practically undergone revolutions in 23 years I’ve been alive, and it can be difficult to find queer media featuring main characters older than 30. Creators Kyle Simmers and Ryan Danny Owen seem to be on my side of the generation gap, but Pass Me By itself reaches across it. The story follows Ed in the present day, as an old man recently diagnosed with dementia, and in his youth as he played with a glam band in the ’70s. This campaign is raising funds for the first book, Gone Fishin’, a 120 page, two-tone, riso-printed paperback.
Ends August 30
Good Boy!’s own logline is too good for me to compete with: it’s the “alternative comics Shonen Jump.” With a contributor list including Miranda Harmon and Benji Nate, the first edition of the magazine will be 128 pages of high energy comics, cool interviews, and bright colors. Extra swag includes a t-shirt and patch that I’m eyeing despite my weeping wallet, and the campaign’s $12,000 stretch goal will bump the book up to 194 pages and unlock a totally-unnecessary-but-also-totally-cool varsity jacket.
Power & Magic Press
Ends September 1
Heartwood is an anthology of magical, nonbinary-focused tales created by and for nonbinary people. The book is in black and white, over 250 pages long, and good for young adult readers (as well as adult-adults!). The comics are all but done (the ones that aren’t just need tones or lettering), and contributors include editor Joamette Gil and Corey Ranson, as well as Chan Chau and Rhiannon Rasumssen, and Eli Baum and Viv Tanner of Heart of Gold fame! Power & Magic Press specializes in witchy comics by and for their audience. Their prior anthologies, Power & Magic and Immortal Souls, were both stories about women and nonbinary folks of color and by women and nonbinary creators of color. Power and Magic even won the 2017 PRISM award!
Funding until complete
The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya is Remina Yee’s Eisner-nominated webcomic brought to life in hardcover glory! The story spans its main characters (Zeynel and Ayşe) lives, from teenage adventure to middle-age mishap, and focuses on themes of faith, love, home, and, uh, vampires. This campaign is being managed by Unbound, a new(ish) crowdfunding website that doesn’t have time limits. Accepted campaigns just run until they’ve raised the money they need to publish. So if you like this book, spread it around!