May has brought a true host of kid-friendly romps and maybe-less-kid-friendly collections to my internet doorstep, and it’s my utter pleasure to share them with you, dear reader. From heartwarmingly-named sidekicks to striking, graphic artbooks, this month’s offerings are widely varied but super excitingly inspirational. Take a look!
Jill Hackett, Rebeckah Murray
Ends May 26
Magical Boy Basil sort of says it all in the name—it’s long-running webcomic in glorious magical girl tradition, featuring a boy named Basil and a crew of queer kids trying to save the world. You can read the whole webcomic online right now, but this campaign is meant to print Chapter 4! Backers can also grab the previous three chapters and all their bonus content through the campaign. This chapter includes a purple talking platypus and a bunch of magical baseball, so honestly, what’s not to like.
Ends May 28
Making Time and The Sandwich Shuffle are two diary minicomics collections by Elise Dietrich, a woman who has had a thousand jobs in a thousand fields. She’s got young kids and aging parents and an incredible set of skills, and came to comics later in life than a lot of the 20-30 year olds who I tend to feature in this roundup. For me, this made the comics she featured on her campaign page extremely engaging (though that might just be because they remind me of my New England family, and because of that feel very, very homey). If you’re interested, you can get all of Dietrich’s printed work to date for $75, which seems pretty cool.
Ends May 31
I’ve been a fan of Choo’s art for years and when I saw that Shortbox was publishing their artbook I got very excited. Choo is known for deliberate, gorgeous linework and graphic, striking sense of color, as well as some … specific artistic themes. Their illustrations are cluttered and detailed while also making masterful use of negative space. Choo is also true master of vaguely (or less vaguely) horny soft gore, so keep that in mind before you click through to the campaign.
Ends May 31
Eloisa Aquino’s multi-zine deep dive into many of history’s most visible butch lesbians is being collected into a single volume, The Life and Times of Butch Dykes. The chapters are visually striking, with short blurbs and quotes accompanying black and white illustrations. Aquino’s profiles look at these women’s lives critically, examining the breadth of their contribution to their fields and the ways in which their identities shaped who they were (or are)—and how who they are shaped their identities.
Ananth Hirsh, Yuko Ota
Ends May 31
Hey, have I ever mentioned how much I love Johnny Wander? I love Johnny Wander. And Hirsh and Ota’s travelogue comics are some of my favorite parts of their decade-old webcomic, so I’m very excited to see them collected into a book alongside wacky new photos and extras. Wander gathers all the Johnny Wander travelogue comics in one place, wrapped in a cover designed by Patrick Crotty and—since they’ve hit a couple stretch goals already—a fancy cover complete with spot gloss and a spot color.
Sunkanmi Akinboye, Roye Okupe, Etubi Onucheyo
Ends May 31
Malika is African-inspired urban fantasy comic produced by an entirely-African creative team (working out of Nigeria, specifically). Malika has been a WWAC favorite at each of the two Free Comic Book Days where it’s had single-issue preview comics appear, and the previews on the campaign page are full of all the dynamism that make American superhero comics fun without quite so many white guys or dead women. YouNeek studios also produced an animated pilot episode based on the first series, Warrior Queen, which backers can gain access to as part of the Fallen Queen campaign.
Brett Brooks, Sergio Lazaro, Nanci Lillie, Steven Robertson
Ends June 3
I’ve been burned and besieged by superhero frog-based crowdfunding campaigns before, but Dragon Frog is one of the good ones. Join hoppy vigilante Cyd as he tries to keep his city safe even while officials try to stop him from using his natural froggy abilities, bouncing through a city filled with big ol’ dog people and exciting all-ages mysteries. I mean, cmon. Look at him. He’s trying his best.
Jenn Arledge, Tanya Bobrowski, Juli Crowder, Melissa Capriglione, Ross Dannenberg, Miranda Davila, Missy Pena, Nikki Sherman
Ends June 4
It looks extremely cute in basically every way, but the thing that sold me on Future Girl even more than her time-hopping adventures and the book’s kid-friendly deep-dive into speculative AI fiction is that her sidekick is an anxious kid named Steadfast. Steadfast! The solid loyalty that his name implies even despite his fears, plus the fact that the ever-uplifting Jenn Arledge is involved in the project, fills my crusty heart with warmth. Future Girl #2 is the second installment in a potential 6-issue arc, and backers can get digital copies of the first two issues by pledging just $5 to the campaign!
Mike & Cori
Watchtower Coffee & Comics
Ends June 6
Alright, so this isn’t really a comic, per se, but it is an LCS, and anyone who knows me knows that I am deeply, deeply in love with the role a (good. It has to be a good one) local comic shop plays in a comics community. While I haven’t been personally, it seems like Watchtower has created an incredible space for a wide variety of folks who are into comics and other geekery in Salt Lake City, UT, and their focus is wide enough that if they can move into a better space they might just be able to successfully weather the utter collapse of the direct market. So if you’re in Salt Lake City or have some change to spare, give ‘em a hand!