A Fistful of Comics: Crowdfunding Roundup February ’19

Four panels from Hai Shijie's comic in Naked Body. In the top tier, made up of three panels, people move about a street scene, staring suspiciously at the camera. All the characters are shaded in green, with yellow highlights. In the fourth panel, which takes up the entire bottom tier, a naked man with short hair and glasses, shaded in muted red, walks among the people, who continue to stare at him. His behavior would be unremarkable, except for his lack of clothing. The series title lettering is laid over the panels, and reads "A FISTFUL OF COMICS" in big yellow text. Below, in red, reads "CROWDFUNDING ROUNDUP, FEBRUARY '19." Artwork by Hai Shijie; Fistful of Comics lettering by Zora Gilbert

Hey all! I’m deep into Kickstarter prep for my own campaign, so quick intro this month. This month is bursting at the seams with incredible projects, and my wallet is weeping. Read on so yours can too.

A mockup of the paperback edition of Love, Joolz. The book is landscape oriented, 7" x 10". The cover features a sidebar with the black Love, Joolz logo (a roughly inked heart with the title lettering in the center, pierced with two swords), lettering reading "Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl" below it, and Jules' credit below that. The cover illustration, to the right, is an illustration of a green-haired woman on a surfboard, brandishing a minigun and wearing a long-sleeved pink and gray dress, blue thigh-high socks, and combat boots. Love, Joolz: Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl, Jules Rivera, 2019

Love, Joolz: Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl

Jules Rivera
Ends February 23

Jules Rivera is kind of a jerk, and she is deeply okay with that. This collection of square-format, slice of life comic strips makes no attempt to be nice, but rather propels itself forward with a grim sort of self-actualizing determination. The book is 124 pages long and perfect bound, and Rivera’s artwork matches her humor in deadpan grayscale with pops of bright color. You can also read the whole webcomic right now—it’s packed with strips about surfing, relationships, and Rivera’s Latina experience, online (this is one of my favorites).

Two pages from the Chinese edition of Inkee Wang's comic for Naked Body. Wang's style is geometric and graphic, with abstracted shapes and soft rendering. In one page, a naked woman—rendered in pinks and blacks—rushes a black-suited figure; in the next page, the two look out over a parade of people in pinks, purples, reds, and browns. Naked Body; Yan Cong, Jason Li, R. Orion Martin; Paradise Systems; 2019.
Pages by Inkee Wang.

Naked Body: An Anthology of Underground Chinese Comics

Yan Cong, Jason Li, R. Orion Martin
Paradise Systems
Ends February 27

Naked Body is the first major anthology of Chinese comics to be published in English, and it looks extremely cool. The rules for the original anthology, organized in 2014 by cartoonist Yan Cong, were that the stories must each be 5 pages long, and all the main characters must be nude. And people turned out—the resulting book was 100 pages long, with a broad range of styles and stories. Now, R. Orion Martin and Jason Li are working with Yan Cong to translate the book and bring it over to the US. At the time of this writing, the book is funded, but hasn’t yet hit the $15,000 stretch goal that will allow the team to include an insert with the original Chinese text along with the physical books… So uh, back it, because I want that.

The cover of Destiny, NY: Volume 3. The title lettering, rotated 90 degrees clockwise, runs down the right edge of the page in green; the credits, in the same color, are in the bottom left. In the top left, Lilith (a white woman with short red hair, a red top, and a black jacket) stands between buildings and in front of two other women (one is white, blond, and wearing reflective glasses and a bandanna around her neck; the other is black, and wearing a buttoned vest). In the lower right, a white, blond woman (not the same one as before) with long, straight hair sits on a beach. She's wearing blue capris and an orange-and-white striped tank top. The predominant color of the upper left is the same green as the lettering; the predominant color of the lower right is a gentle orange. Destiny, NY: Volume 3; Carola Borelli, Jim Campbell, Shannon Lee, Elisa Romboli, Pat Shand; Space Between Entertainment; 2019

Destiny, NY: Volume 3

Carola Borelli, Jim Campbell, Shannon Lee, Elisa Romboli, Pat Shand
Space Between Entertainment
Ends February 28

Destiny, NY is about magical girls in love, only they’re, like, in their thirties and jaded and already did the whole magical girl thing. Volume 3 is the longest volume yet, split into two acts on either sides of the country. The art—for the whole book—is already done, so all that’s left to do is send the book to the printer and handle fulfilment (which Shand & co. are remarkably and consistently speedy about, to the deep awe and vague horror of anyone else who has had to deal with 300+ backer Kickstarter before). You can also grab the two other books in the series via the campaign, but the entire premise of Volume 3 is a very general spoiler for their endings… so maybe just dive in and snag ‘em quick if you’re intrigued.

A triptych of three vertical panels, each depicting a far-out portrait of travelers, moving from left to right, in a different environment. The first panel includes a single person with blond hair and black clothing in a mountainous region, with hints of a town in the hills behind them. The second includes two people, a short person in a hood and a taller person with short black hair and a yellow tunic over green sleeves, in front of a pine forest. The third depicts a single traveler, with black hair and leather armor, in a forest full of spindly trees at night. The first panel is in tones of reds, greens, and grays; the second is greens and grays; the third is blues and blacks. Over the course of the panels, rain beats down, then slows, then stops. Verse: Book 1, Sam Beck, 2019

Verse: Book 1

Sam Beck
Ends March 1

The art in Verse is decadently beautiful, and I want it in my eyes always. Book 1 is the first print installment of Sam Beck’s ongoing webcomic, which will be printed in full color in a trim 6″ x 9″ paperback. I haven’t yet read Verse, but I’m very, very sure it’ll be stealing a morning from me very soon—Beck’s way around color and environments make me so excited to dig in, and her artwork seems perfectly suited to Verse’s story of magic, journeys, and belonging.

A crop of the cover image of COSMIC LOVE, with the creator list overlaid in white text with a blue stroke. The cover is an illustration of a white woman with dark hair, rendered in hues of pink and purple. There's a glowing, anatomically reminiscent heart in the woman's chest, floating in a swirl of pinks. The creators include: Rachel Perciphone, Jennie Wood + Josh Segal, Vita Ayala + Kat Taylor, Seth Greenwood + Angela Zhang, Enrica Jang + Y. Sanders + Jan Velazquez + Mark Mullaney, Mario Candelaria + Adam Ferris + Lesley Atlansky + Scott Ewan, Zack Rocklin-Waltch + Taren Beatrice. COSMIC LOVE, Rachel Perciphone & Jennie Wood, Red Stylo Press, 2019.


Rachel Perciphone & Jennie Wood
Red Stylo Press
Ends March 1

COSMIC LOVE is a celebration of Florence & the Machine, organized by the same folks who did BAROQUE POP. 80 pages of comics by a slew of great creators, all inspired by a specific Florence & the Machine song and capped with a cover illustration, inspired by the same song, by Rachel Perciphone. COSMIC LOVE debuted at Flame Con in 2018, and the current Kickstarter is meant to fund a new print run and distribute the book to people who couldn’t make it to or missed the book at the convention. All the contributors also donated their time and work to the anthology, so once fulfillment is done, the remainder of the print run will be split amongst the contributors.

A mockup of the paperback edition of Never Satisfied Book 1, with vines illustrated around its sides. On the cover, Lucy is framed by two buildings. They're wearing white slacks, black flats, a black top, and a pink cardigan. Lucy has black, chin length, wavy hair, and wears a black eyepatch embroidered with three white circles. A white cat with a fluffy tail and big pink bow twines around their ankles. Never Satisfied Book 1, Taylor Robin, Hiveworks, 2019.

Never Satisfied: Book 1

Taylor Robin
Ends March 2

Never Satisfied is a comic about a grumpy nonbinary mess trying their very best to crush the competition and become their city’s next magical representative. They’re joined by an incredible cast of colorful (both visually and personality-wise) characters, including their competitors in the magical competition and those competitors’ animal companions. But, as always, there’s more going on than meets the eye…

Book 1 covers the beginning of Robin’s webcomic, introducing readers to the characters and the brewing weirdnesses at the edges of their world. It’s quick-humored, bright, and incredibly fun to read—and Hiveworks is facilitating the publishing and fulfillment, so the campaign is in capable hands.

A page from Spirit's Destiny #2, illustrated by Julie Anderson. Over the course of the seven-panel page, Destiny sits up from being knocked out, points at another supine figure in a white hood and coat, and then withstands a blast of purple magic from a sorcerer wearing a top hat, skull face paint, and a black-and-red fitted coat. Spirit's Destiny; Julie Anderson, Lashawn Colvin, Dorphise Jean; Short Fuse Media Group; 2016-2019

Spirit’s Destiny

Julie Anderson, Lashawn Colvin, Dorphise Jean
Short Fuse Media Group, LLC
Ends March 3

Spirit’s Destiny is Dorphise Jean’s baby: an ongoing superhero comic focused on a Haitian woman who better represents her culture than mainstream comics’ general infatuation with voodoo. Issue #1 was released in 2016, and this campaign is meant to fund a reprint and the print run for issue #2, which features a creative team made up entirely of black women. The second issue is all ready to go to print, too, and if it does well Jean fully intends to keep the story going.

Mockups of the illustrated editions of Peter Pan, Crime & Punishment, and The Blazing World, partly out of their slipcases. All are brightly colored and abstractly illustrated. Beehive Books 2020 Illustrated Editions, Rebekka Dunlap (& Margaret Cavendish), Brecht Evans (& J.M. Barrie), Dave McKean (& Fyodor Dostoevsky), Beehive Books, 2020.

Peter Pan, Crime & Punishment, & The Blazing World

Rebekka Dunlap (& Margaret Cavendish), Brecht Evans (& J.M. Barrie), Dave McKean (& Fyodor Dostoevsky)
Beehive Books
Ends March 7

It’s always a good day for me when a new Beehive Books campaign rolls around. In this round, the small press is working to put together new illustrated editions of three classics: Peter Pan, Crime & Punishment, and The Blazing World, with illustrations by some of the industry’s foremost talents. This is actually the second round of Beehive’s illustrated classics—you can find the first on their website—and their books are always stunningly designed and constructed. They ain’t cheap, but they’re worth it (and you can pick up some gorgeous enamel pins through the campaign, too, which are a little more affordable).

The cover to DIE HIBI DIE VOL. 0. Two figures frame a square illustration of jungle plants, teal on a black background. Both figures seem to be the same person, though one is young and short and one is older and taller. Both have wavy, poofy red hair (the taller figure's is earlobe-length, the shorter's falls down their back), tan skin, and are wearing black and yellow clothing. The taller figure is wearing a sleeveless top that exposes their extremely cut abs and a yellow sash and wrist wrapping; the shorter figure is wearing a black tunic with yellow detailing. The title lettering is across the bottom of the cover, with each word a different color (teal, yellow, red). DIE HIBI DIE VOL. 0, Royal Dunlap, 2019.


Royal A. Dunlap
Ends March 12

The campaign for DIE HIBI DIE is brutally and blessedly straightforward, with just a couple reward tiers and a single, very cool, book. The story follows a community of Beastmen, ensconced deep in the Apexelago jungle, and the feral human child who wanders into their midst. The people of Tatibah village commit a huge taboo and raise the child, hoping to teach them their civilized ways. The story is 48 pages, black and white, and the paperback edition will include bonus groundwork sketches in addition to the main comic.

A mockup of the Sharks! hardback edition. The cover is white, with the title in big, black, hand drawn lettering across the top and a drawing of a shark below. The cover is entirely black and white, with simple linework and a black border as if mimicking a comic panel. Sharks!, Sophie Hodge & Christian Talbot, Unbound, 2019


Sophie Hodge & Christian Talbot
Funding until complete

Sharks! Facts! Jokes! They’re all here, bound in a new hardback edition—plus bonus comics that have never been seen online, and probably never will be. Created by actual funny people Christian Talbot & Sophie Hodge, Sharks! includes a whole lot of facts and fiction about our favorite swimming muscles with teeth, and it’s up to you to figure out which is which.

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.