A Fistful of Comics: Crowdfunding Roundup July ’19

A crop of a page from Missed Connection. Partygoers are abstractly arranged around a simple disco ball on a black background. A DJ reigns over a set of turntables near the top of the page. The series title lettering is laid over the artwork, and reads "A FISTFUL OF COMICS" in big yellow text. Below, in red, reads "CROWDFUNDING ROUNDUP, JULY '19." Artwork by Meredith McClaren; Fistful of Comics lettering by Zora Gilbert.

After an impromptu vacation borne of a combo work-home move and needing to finalize ordering for my own Kickstarter fulfillment, we’re back! Look no further for the chance to fund exciting issue #1s, snag some fancy webcomic collections, and keep comics institutions in print and publishing.

The Kickstarter graphic for Junior Scientist Power Hour. On the left, the book cover is white with cat silhouettes on it, with Howard's cartoon face in the top-left corner and her cat's in the lower-right corner. On the right side, Howard's cat sticks its little feet in the air in sticker form. Junior Scientist Power Hour, Abby Howard, 2019

Junior Scientist Power Hour Volume 2

Abby Howard
Ends July 24

Abby Howard, a reigning internet funny person, is collecting the second and final volume of her journal comics! This volume of Junior Scientist Power Hour will include the Junior Paleontologist Power Hour, a whole boatload of hourlies, miscellaneous journal comics and minis, and… guest comics? All this, wrapped up in a fancy 300 page hardcover full of goofs and general good times. If you’re like me and think Abby Howard is hilarious but haven’t yet actually taken the time to dig into her work, this is… very good.

A page from PiNKHEARTS #1. Kailani, a woman with dark tan skin, brown wavy hair tied up in a bun, and a blue hoodie, stands outside a bar called PiNKHEARTS, the pink neon sign glowing above her. On the right side of the page, a stack of five square panels each show a piece of paperwork in Kailani's meeting, marriage, and divorce with her recent ex wife. PiNKHEARTS #1; Levi Buchanan, Melissa Capriglione, Jess Crayons; 2019.


Levi Buchanan, Melissa Capriglione, Jess Crayons
Ends July 25

PiNKHEARTS is a story about family, growth, and singing very loudly on a bar stage in front of a bunch of strangers. Or, to be more direct: it’s about Kai, a woman working through her recent divorce and feelings of homesickness, forging her own found family at a Karaoke bar in Portland, OR. The first issue is 22 color pages but if the campaign hits $5,500 (and it’s well on its way!), the team will be able to dive straight into the second issue! And honestly, if you’re not sold by “found family karaoke bar,” just look at the incredibly cool storytelling Melissa Capriglione is doing with Kai’s documents in the page above.

4 panels from the comic Jancewicz drew for her kickstarter page. The text reads: "Hi! I'm Elizabeth. I draw "The Touring Test," a semi/mostly autobiographical comic! I'm also a full-time artist, and I mainly make my living as a live painter in my band: Pocket Vinyl. The Touring Test is a comic about being in a touring band, living as an artist, and cats!" The Touring Test, Elizabeth Jancewicz, 2019.

The Touring Test

Elizabeth Jancewicz
Ends July 26

Elizabeth Jancewicz is a live painter in a touring band, which is a sequence of six words I didn’t know could go together in that order, and I would like to read about it immediately please and thank you. And luckily, I can! The Touring Test campaign is meant to print 150+ strips (currently readable on Instagram) about Jancewicz’s wild life, as well as a small print, a laser-cut wood pin, and some great stickers. Jancewicz is also doing fulfilment through Amazon, which means that international shipping might actually be affordable!

The main Kickstarter image for The Book of Ghosts. Drawn on cartoon ghosts slither out of a the roof of a photo of the hotel. The Book of Ghosts: Jerome Grand Hotel, Meredith McClaren, 2019

The Book of Ghosts: Jerome Grand Hotel

Meredith McClaren
Ends July 31

Do you want to pay a dollar (or more) to help a cartoonist sleep in a weird haunted hotel and then make a comic about it? Because I absolutely do.

So, okay, this campaign isn’t for a physical book, even a little. The comic doesn’t exist yet. Instead, McClaren is raising money to travel to the haunted Jerome Grand Hotel and go on a ghost tour, so she can later make a comic about it! I am extremely charmed by this (and by McClaren’s admittedly unrelated Pokémon series) and would like to see it happen. If this sounds familiar, you might be remembering when Crowded scripter Christopher Sebela did a similar thing for the infamous Clown Motel, to great success!

A Kickstarter graphic for the American Comic Book Chronicles. On the right, a mockup of the entire series of books is lined up with their spines to the viewer; on the left, on a yellow background, lies a mockup of 1980s volume.

The American Comic Book Chronicles: 1980s & 1950s Reprints

John Morrow, Keith Dallas (1980s), Bill Schelly (1950s)
TwoMorrows Publishing
Ends August 9

Cards on the table: I had to think about including this campaign in this roundup. A lot of mainstream comic book history is written for, about, and by white dudes, and John Morrow is fully entrenched in the masculine-focused, primarily straight, white, mainstream comics culture (though not like, vitriolically so). But that history is part of comics history, and consistent chronicles produced outside of specific companies are valuable and important to keep in print and accessible. And John Morrow’s American Comic Book Chronicles are doing that! Also, the campaign tier names are… a lot.

Two pages from Missed Connection. Tess Smith-Roberts' style is reminiscent of colored pencil children's book drawings. In the first, the main character (a character with puffy black hair and a poofy red jacket, lies on their bed. The second panel reads "I should probably leave soon." In the second page, the character sits on a train, walks through a black void with bright yellow stars and block letters reading "PARTY," "BEER," "FUN," and "FRIENDS." In the final two panels, the character waits outside a door and then is told, "Oh hey! Come in." Missed Connection, Tess Smith-Roberts, Rope Press, 2019

Missed Connection

Tess Smith-Roberts
Rope Press
Ends August 11

If you’ve read this column before, you know I love aesthetically impactful comics about moving to big cities, and that is… exactly what Missed Connection is. With a focus on the quiet moments of consideration that happen between the capital-E Events in a 20-something’s life, Tess Smith-Roberts has created an incredibly striking, multi-award-nominated, 84-page graphic novel. There’s also a whole pile of fancy extra goodies, including a yelling tiger enamel pin and extremely funky stickers.

A panel from Women Do Not Creep by Daylight. Three women lean over a long sink in a basement. The one on the far left asks "Ma? Have you heard of this backwards spirit yet?" Women Do Not Creep by Daylight, Vera Greentea & Kyla Vanderklugdt, Greentea Publishing, 2019.

Women Do Not Creep By Daylight

Vera Greentea & Kyla Vanderklugt
Greentea Publishing
Ends August 23

Gothic Horror, skeptical lady protagonists, and weird ghosts abound in Women Do Not Creep By Daylight, which might be my favorite title in a long time. When Kate’s father is killed on the job, she and her mother have to search for work in order to survive… and they find it in a lonely, remote castle with too much space, not enough people, and a whole lot of rumors. The environment is spooky, the art is lovely, and I’m very excited. Fair warning, though: the tiers are kind of confusingly laid out. Each one includes the object listed in its title, plus all the stuff in the “Includes” section (for example, I grabbed the $10 tier, which includes a PDF of the book and a big digital collection of process work).

A crop of the cover to Midnight Widows #1. Three women, all with pale, blue-lit skin, stand in a row: the first, tall with short white hair, holds a rose; the second, the shortest, has black hair worn in pigtails; and the third has bright auburn hair. Midnight Widows #1; Wendy Browne, Jio Butler, Marcela Hauptvogelova, Delia Mihai, Doris V. Sutherland, Rosie Wigg; 2019

Midnight Widows #1–3

Wendy Browne, Jio Butler, Marcela Hauptvogelova, Delia Mihai, Doris V. Sutherland, Rosie Wigg
Ends July 27

What do the brides of Dracula do after he dies? Well, they leave, keep living, and start having a lot more fun. The story is full of ancient-but-modern lesbian vampires, reanimated serial killers, and, uh, raunchy good humor (…which is to say, mature readers recommended). Midnight Widows springs from the mind of WWAC’s own horror correspondent, Doris V. Sutherland, so we can guarantee that she knows her stuff.

The cover to Bun & Tea #1. A bunny with a cup of tea and its tongue poked out stares up at the camera, with the logo floating above his head. The cover is reminiscent of the loud, excited, teen magazines you can find at grocery store checkouts (with the quiz ads, but without the sexim). Bun & Tea #1; Claire Napier, Megan Purdy, Christina “Steenz” Stewart; 2019. Bunny mascot by Raquel Kusiak.

Bun & Tea #1

Claire Napier, Megan Purdy, Christina “Steenz” Stewart
Ends August 15

Claire Napier glided gracefully out of editor-in-chief-ship at WWAC and, because we as a generation have no idea what to do with free time, immediately launched herself into developing a new, serialized comic magazine. And now, you can get that magazine! Bun & Tea is a celebration of serialized storytelling, which means that each of the 12 first chapters in this issue will be designed to be read in discreet, monthly chunks. Claire’s worked with each of the teams from concept to finals, and the stories run from sci-fi to folktale to romance. This campaign is meant to kick off the whole series!

The Nib's Inkwell membership graphic. Merch (a tote bag, physical issues, phone backgrounds, a mug, some stickers) are strewn around the outside of a square graphic on a yellow background. The logo is in the middle, in black text.

The Nib

Ongoing funding

As we reported a couple weeks ago, the Nib—home to incredible autobio work, political satire, and the occasional weird publishing choice—is being sent off to sea by its parent organization, First Look Media, and will be going independent at the end of the month. This means that their main source of funding will shift from First Look to its membership base… which means, in turn, that it needs financial support from its members to survive. The Nib is a font strong, contemplative comics for readers and a consistent, reliable source of fair-paying jobs for the cartoonists who work with them. Despite occasional skepticism, I’m excited to be part of a comics industry where the Nib exists, and kicking them a couple bucks every month will help that continue.

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.