A Fistful of Comics: Crowdfunding Roundup, March ‘21

A crop of a comic from Gaining STEAM! A scientist with light, neck-length hair lays a record on a turntable and begins an explanation about DNA. 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, MARCH ’21.”

March is a time for anthologies and yearly fundraising, and Kickstarter and Indiegogo have delivered a host of exciting collaborative projects to my eyeballs. I’ve had my wallet threatened by everything from contemplative autobio to exciting debut issues this month, but I’ve whittled ‘em down for you. Check out this month’s favorites below!

The cover of The Saddest, Angriest Black Girl in Town. A watercolor illustration of three figures, each portraits of the author, cascading into and consoling each other. The figure's hair is blue and full of volume, blending into the middle figure's tears. The Saddest, Angriest Black Girl in Town, Robyn Smith, Black Josei Press, 2021.

The Saddest, Angriest Black Girl in Town

Robyn Smith
Black Josei Press
Ends March 16

For several years, Robyn Smith lived as one of the only Black people in a rural Vermont town, and if you’ve ever been to rural Vermont you might have an idea of the toll that could take on a person. The Saddest, Angriest Black Girl in Town is a 32-page comic that explores Robyn’s lived experience and the effect it had on her mental health. This campaign, run by the same press behind Wash Day, is to reprint the comic after Smith’s 2016 self-publishing.

A crop of the cover of Gaining STEAM! A figure with neck-length black hair and a backpack walks across a huge lawn towards a University of Wisconsin building. The trees are adorned in pink and orange fall leaves. Gaining STEAM!, JKX Comics, 2021

Gaining STEAM!

Rashpal (Rush) Dhillon, Caleb Dillingham, Hallie Funk, Jaye Gardiner, Kelly Montgomery, Amy Moy, Khoa Tran
JKX Comics
Ends March 17

Gaining STEAM! is a project close to my heart in ways I didn’t expect to see on Kickstarter! A crew of grad students at the University of Wisconsin, Madison—where I spent my high school years—is putting together an anthology of science comics aiming to make the concepts in their research interesting and accessible to kids. The sciences as an institution have always had a fraught relationship with communication outside the industry, and I’m incredibly excited to see a group of up-and-coming academics outright dismissing the ivory tower’s need for superiority in the interest of connecting their work to kids now. JKX Comics have been creating work digitally for a few years, but this campaign is meant to help them get books in print in order to access communities they haven’t reached through their website.

A strip from What's Left? Three pairs of people, one young, one adult, and one elderly, look out of three different windows. The caption reads "Except there's more than that left." What's Left, Arledge Comics, 2021.

What’s Left?

Arledge Comics
Ends March 22

What’s Left? is an anthology about picking up the pieces and finding a way forward after enduring the grinder that was 2020. The 70-page anthology from Arledge Comics is full of stories of hardship and healing, and will—I hope—be a source of catharsis both for the creators and for readers. All of What’s Left’s contributors have donated their work, and the campaign’s goal is just enough to print a small run of books. Any extra will be split into $100 grants for creators adversely affected by Covid, and the rest will go to the Marsha P. Johnson institute.

And more!

Cosmic Summer – A Sci-Fi Vacation Anthology. Ends March 17.

I am Hexed #4. Ends March 18. Check out our interview with writer Kristen Thompson!

Loquita, A Supernatural Latina Superhero Graphic Novel. Ends March 23.

2021 Birdcage Bottom Books lineup. Ends March 29.

Where No One Grows. Ends April 2.

The Carpet Merchant of Konstantiniyya: Volume II. Funding until complete. We wrote about Volume I a few years back!

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.