A Fistful of Comics: Crowdfunding Roundup, August ‘21

A crop of a page from SIGNALS. A building is distorted around a green portal as ghosts or spirits try to burst out. The page is rendered in purples and greens. The column title lettering is laid over the artwork, and reads “A FISTFUL OF COMICS” in big yellow text. Below, in red, reads “CROWDFUNDING ROUNDUP, AUGUST ’21.”

Welcome to August! I have completely and utterly lost all concept of time at this point—my weeks are punctuated by trips to the library and staring hungrily at my mailbox, waiting for books I’ve backed to show up even though I immediately forget each project’s schedule as soon as I read the updates. But that’s fine! It means each package is an exciting surprise. And this month, you can set yourself up for some more!

A banner displaying the covers of the five comics in this ShortBox: Gristle, Moving, I See a Knight, Bun's Comfort Food Corner, and Temple.

ShortBox 13

Zainab Akhtar, Lily Blakely, Jack T Cole, Chu Nap, Joseph Ruddick, Xulia Vicente, Luis Yang
Ends August 11

The roundup is going up a little early this month because I desperately wanted a chance to plug the 13th and final ShortBox. Since she started the project in 2016, creator Zainab Akhtar has pretty much perfected her version of the mail order comics publishing model, getting boxes to backers with an incredible efficiency that doesn’t at all impact the gorgeous comics or whimsy that they bring with them. Unfortunately, shipping boxes across the world has become unsustainable in its unpredictability, so this is the final actual box—though Akhtar and ShortBox as a publisher will continue editing, publishing, and printing comics, just not in quarterly boxes.

This ShortBox itself carries 5 comics and a box-exclusive print, as well as some candy and mysterious stretch goal surprises. Backers can choose to get two of the comics (I See a Knight by Xulia Vicente and Moving by Luis Yang) in either Spanish or English; the rest of the comics are in English.


The Kickstarter image for The Out Side. Three figures stand in a clearing, greeting a butterfly. A rainbow shines above them, and one holds an umbrella in the blue, pink, and white of the trans flag. The figures also form the colors of the trans flag—one is blue, wearing a dress with hair cropped to chin length; one is pink, wearing a ball cap; and one is white and carries a backpack and a map. The Out Side, The Kao & Min Christensen, 2021.

The Out Side

Min Christensen, David Daneman, The Kao
Ends August 12

The Out Side is an anthology of autobiographical stories of self-actualization, designed for the teens and tweens who might need to hear them. The book collects the work of 16 trans and nonbinary artists including the likes of Sage Coffey for about 96 pages of comics, plus a foreword by Julia Kaye! This anthology aligns so well with the work I hope my own comics projects do—while it’s incredibly important for queer people to be able to tell all kinds of stories (including difficult or tragic ones!), stories that are specifically autobiographical and hopeful are desperately important for folks who might not have personal access to queer elders. Also, the book looks extremely cute!


A preview spread from the Girls Have a Blog print edition. Tara and Sarah watch something mournfully, bemoaning the short time they had together. The thing is quickly revealed to be a TV that a roommate is taking as they leave the apartment, and Tara and Sarah accept that they now need to buy their own TV "for anime." Girls Have a Blog: Signature Edition, Sarah Bellinger and T. Kurtzhals, 2021

Girls Have a Blog: The Signature Edition

Sarah Bollinger & T. Kurtzhals
Ends September 1

It continues to be wild to me that people my age(-ish) are collecting their slice of life, oh-god-we’re-becoming-adults webcomics into hardcover print editions, but the passage of time leaves no one untouched and, frankly, its extremely cool. Sarah Bollinger and T. Kurtzhals of Girls Have a Blog are doing just that, packaging their first forays into a comics career up for print and purchase. I didn’t follow Girls Have a Blog as it came out online, but the preview pages on the Kickstarter page are all… immensely relatable.


And more!

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.