A Fistful of Comics: Crowdfunding Roundup, December ’18

Yellow text and red text sit on a black, semi-transparent bar. The yellow text reads "A FISTFUL OF COMICS;" the red text reads "CROWDFUNDING ROUNDUP, DECEMBER '18." Behind the backdrop is a crop of an illustration by Ray Caplin from MOONSHOT The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 3. The illustration, done mostly in hues of red and purple, depicts three futuristic deer-like creatures. Two have massive arrays of antlers and too many glowing eyes, and the other is smaller and stands with its head towards the ground. The creatures are standing on what appears to be a pile of blocky technological debris.

It’s December! Gifts, snow, general frigid cheer! Regressive discourse and bizarre gimmicky marketing choices! Want to pick up some gimmick-free books that will absolutely not be published by the holidays? Look no further! (And listen, any of these still make great gifts. Just… send the recipient a card or an IOU or something.)

STRANGE WATERS: A Queer Fantasy Comic Anthology

GlimmeringAlder & Vexingly Yours
Haunted Cosmos
Ends December 18

Queer creators have come together to create a legion of aquatic, fantastic queer stories in STRANGE WATERS. I’ve always been fascinated by the narrative power of water: because it’s ever-present in our lives as, well, mammals, it has tremendous flexibility as a metaphor and can reference back to any number of folktales or myths in any number of cultures. STRANGE WATERS immerses itself in water’s myriad meanings and uses, with stories ranging from swampy discoveries to maritime adventures.Two pages of comics from STRANGE WATERS. The one on the left (by Rowan Fridley) depicts a strange, lanky fungus creature (?) and the refrain "GO LIVE IN THE MUD FOR ALL I CARE." The page on the left (by Skylar Kardon) depicts a short-haired human figure and a ghostly pale water... person going about their day. STRANGE WATERS: A Queer Fantasy Comic Anthology, GlimmeringAlder & Vexingly Yours, Haunted Cosmos, 2019.

Zen & The Ephemeral

Laurence Dea Dionne
Ends December 21

So, my dad’s partner is really into meditation. I’m not, so much, but she’s studied not just the practice of meditation, but also its psychological implications and therapeutic uses. What this means, of course, is that I’ve absorbed some information by a sort of epistemological osmosis, and have learned some unexpected things: primarily, that simply engaging in mindful practice in a semi-isolated environment can unleash intensely powerful, somewhat repressed emotions. Zen & The Ephemeral is about that experience: the story of a young woman who, after believing she had conquered her depression, re-encountered her demons in force at a meditation center. The story hopes to be about struggle and growth, a lifeline in the hazy dark.Two mockup copies of Zen & The Ephemeral, piled on top of each other. The cover is a swirling mass of blue on first glance, eventually solidifying into the main character, a white person dressed in a baggy green cardigan and dark blue pants, sitting cross legged in the bottom center. They are surrounded by people drawn in shades of blue, emoting grandly. Zen & The Ephemeral, Laurence Dea Dionne, 2019.

Star Bright: The Graphic Novel

Alice Clarke & Rob Zwetsloot
Ends December 22

Aliens! England! Queer kiddos! Star Bright is the story of a wish upon a star that became very tangible, very fast, in the form of a young alien girl crashing down in lonely teenager Zoe’s garden. Clarke and Zwetsloot have already completed (and published!) the story as a webcomic, and this campaign is meant to bring the story to print.An illustration of Star and Zoe, designed after a wish-you-were-here postcard. Star, a brown-skinned, fluffy-haired girl wearing a purple t-shirt, blue overalls, and a bright yellow inner tube, swoops towards the camera with her arms outstretched; Zoe, a light-skinned girl with straight brown hair, stands in the background, wearing a white sundress and hat and flashing a peace sign. The girls are at the beach, and the text reads "greetings from Earth!!" Star Bright, Alice Clarke & Rob Zwetsloot, 2019.

new city – same me?

Anna Roschker
Ends December 24

Anna Roschker meant to move to Berlin for a few months and ended up staying forever. Of course, it wasn’t that simple: moving is hard, and being in your 20s is hard, and moving from the country to the city in your 20s is… hard. In new city – same me? Roschker tells the story of finding a new home and growing up, with gloriously un-glorious illustrations and a sense of humor that reminds me of Julia Wertz’s own coming of age comics.A drawing of the graphic novel form of new city - same me?. The cover is a self-portrait of Anna, a white woman with chin-length straight black hair, wearing a red horned hoodie and jeans, unnaturally huge and perched among the buildings of a city. Everything but Anna's hoodie and the smoke from her cigarette is in tones of dark gray-green. new city - same me?, Anna Roschker, 2019.

Letters for Lucardo: Fortunate Beasts

Otava Heikkilä
Iron Circus Comics
Ends December 28

Letters for Lucardo: Fortunate Beasts is the sequel (the second of four volumes) to Otava Heikkilä’s absolute hit Letters for Lucardo. If you’re unfamiliar with the series, imagine this: There is a vampire. He is aristocratic, ageless, and beautiful. There is also a scribe. He is 61, working class, and aging. They meet, sparks fly, and Heikkilä captures the energy in a tender, absolutely 18+ this is not for kids graphic novel. And now she’s continued the story in a second volume! Please note: Letters for Lucardo is an erotic graphic novel series (the Kickstarter page is both safe to browse and extremely clear about that fact), and Fortunate Beasts is a sequel that will read better with knowledge of the first book. You can get both through the campaign!The cover to Letters for Lucardo: Fortunate Beasts. The cover is a portrait of Lucardo, a solid-featured black man with a broad nose, full lips, and natural hair swept back from his forehead. He's wearing a blue overcoat and a white cravat and dress shirt, and leaves and a single white flower frame his shoulders and head. Lucardo looks shocked, or devastated; his cravat is splashed with dark red blood. Letters for Lucardo: Fortunate Beasts, Otava Heikkilä, Iron Circus Comics, 2019.


Emily Mode
Ends December 31

Radify starts with the death of a journalist and develops into a grand search for truth in the speculative, gene-editing near-future. This book is actually the first in a prospective three, each following the journey of a different person in the late journalist’s life; this first volume follows Cadence Morrow, the journalist’s girlfriend, as she navigates her grief, her curiosity, and the world’s demands on her own body. Cadence is intersex, a fact that her story deals with intimately; creator Emily Mode is not, though the Kickstarter page assures readers that she is working closely with activists, educators, and people of intersex experience to make sure that Radify is respectful and as fairly representative as a single narrative can be.A mockup of Radify's cover and spine. The cover is a collage of pieces of comic pages, ink drawings in a combination of huge splash panels, small beat panels, and a headshot that breaks all panel borders. The headshot is of a white person with straightish hair, tied back; the wide panel is a bird's-eye view of a community, focusing on the roof of one warehouse-type building that reads "GENA LAB B." At the top of the book and on the spine, three circles sit in a row, their edges overlapping: yellow, magenta, and blue, on a black background. Radify, Emily Mode, 2018.

MOONSHOT The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 3

Elizabeth LaPensée & Michael Sheyahshe
Alternate History Comics Inc.
Ends January 30

MOONSHOT is an award-wining, multi-volume comic anthology with work by all-indigenous creators. This volume is focused on indigenous futurisms, telling stories of the “past, present, and future as being a nonlinear reality.” The stories use familiar tropes—robots, aliens, and parallel dimensions all show up—but they also tie into a distinct storytelling tradition outside of mainstream narrative structure. If you want to work on exposing yourself to stories outside of the white western tradition, MOONSHOT is a fantastic resource.A mockup of MOONSHOT 3. The cover is a impressionistic, striking rendering of a face wearing indigenous-styled makeup and a headband, with patterns like shattered glass and circuitry expanding outward from the portrait. Line silhouettes of animals are scattered among the pattern. The cover crops the face directly down its middle at the right edge of the book, and most of the cover is the radiating pattern; the portrait is done in shades of purple, orange, and white. MOONSHOT The Indigenous Comics Collection, Volume 3, Elizabeth LaPensée & Michael Sheyahshe, Alternate History Comics Inc., 2019.


Dan Sheehan & Sage Coffey
Funding until complete

This month’s Unbound feature is I AM NOT A WOLF, which is the story of you: a human man, who is most certainly not a wolf. You have two legs (not four paws), a tie (that hangs around your normal, furless neck), and an appetite for normal human food (including but not limited to various meats). Dan Sheehan has kindly neatened up and expanded on your Twitter account to help other people understand your story, and Sage Coffey has provided gorgeous illustrations. A lot of them seem to have wolves in them, but don’t worry about that. You are not a wolf.Book mockup for I AM NOT A WOLF. The cover is white, with I AM NOT A WOLF taking up most of the space ("I am not a" is black; "WOLF" is bright red). Underneath the lettering sits a small illustration of a wolf, running to the right. I AM NOT A WOLF, Dan Sheehan & Sage Coffey, Unbound, 2019 (prospective).

Zora Gilbert

Zora Gilbert

Zora Gilbert cares a whole lot about words, kids, and comics. Find them at @zhgilbert on twitter, and find the comics they edit at datesanthology.com.