I’ve been reading more graphic novels published by big trade houses and stampeding my way through several multi-volume ongoing manga series recently. While I’m head over heels for the conclusion of Blue Flag and love Lucy Knisley’s work to bits, I’ve found myself turning to crowdfunded work that gravitates even more toward the short, sweet, and delightfully indie. Fortunately, this month’s Kickstarters were ready to provide—read on for some incredible independent and small-team projects!
Bitmap Prager & Emily Riesbeck
Cow House Press
Ends July 25
MOUNTAIN is the story of a little mouse and a big bug on a journey to help a spirit pass on to the next plane. The 40 page comic is written to suit a middle grade audience, but grief, loss, and friendship don’t really ever stop being relevant. I also find myself captured by Prager’s lovely non-literal colors, and the way that they use linework to capture or emphasize points of shadow or highlight—I’d be happy to have any panel from the campaign page as a print on my wall. Publisher Cow House Press is also making it very easy to fund donation copies through Kickstarter’s new inline add-on system!
Ends July 30
Dylan Kai presents this roundup’s second exploration of death and what comes after with Noctis, their 128 page story of a kid whose encounter with it didn’t quite go as planned. Kai’s depiction of Death and its power rolls across the page with intricate, heavy black linework, set in striking contrast to his simple figures. Noctis is also a decidedly queer story, driven in part by Kai’s desire to see himself and his community in comics—Noctis is nonbinary, aromantic, and asexual, and Kai promises more details on the other three central characters in ongoing campaign updates.
Ends July 30
a.m. is a graphic memoir that marries creator Michelle Kudelka’s experiences from before her recent Autism diagnosis with the introspection that has come after. The interiors are currently in progress—Kudelka doesn’t list a page count on the Kickstarter page—but the preview pages on the campaign span a really engaging range of rendering styles and narrative structures. Kudelka says that she wants to represent the different styles that different periods of her life evoke, and her work thus far promises each will be gorgeous.
Note that the campaign page lists content warnings, including topics such as eating disorders, suicide, self-harm, abortion/right to choose, and chronic PTSD.
Heart that Wanders (Ennead Book 4). Ends July 20.
Brigantia, Volume 1. Ends July 21.
Faith Says You – complete trilogy. Ends July 29.
How to Webcomic: The Ultimate Guide to Making Online Comics. Ends August 5.
Nectar: Trans Femme and Non Binary Erotic Comics Anthology. NSFW (comic). Ends August 7.