Category: Crowdfunding

Live SquadCast with Comic Creator Thom Zahler

Live SquadCast with Comic Creator Thom Zahler

Join us live as we talk to cartoonist and comic creator Thomas Zahler.  Thom is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for print edition of Cupid’s Arrows Season 2. That comic was originally published on Webtoons.com and delves deeper into the mythos of the covert teams of “cupids” who ensure that the right people fall in love with each other. It is a funny and heartfelt property that explores the nature of love and destiny through the lens of romantic comedy.

Thom is also running a Patreon page where he regularly updates new pages of the latest volume of his long running magnum opus Love and Capes. The latest collection will be called Love and Capes: Home For the Holidays and is a follow-up to last year’s Ringo Award Nominated Love and Capes: In the Time of Covid.

We hope you enjoy the conversation and check out the Kickstarter campaign for Cupid’s Arrows.

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – September 2022 Edition

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – September 2022 Edition

This month we found a bunch of crowdfunded campaigns available to support on Kickstarter. This is a pretty interesting group of projects. They range from new comic material, to art books, to collections, to figurines? Yep. A lot of cool things.

Kickstarter is a platform available at Kickstarter.com where creative individuals have the ability to design and run a crowdfunding campaign. The concept is that individuals pledge to support the project, and if the project reaches the planned goal of pledge money in the time that campaign is running, then the project will get made. There are usually many various tiers of backer pledges, and different pledge levels come with different backer reward items. It is a fantastic way for creators to fund the projects that they love and want to create while getting new interesting things into the world.

The campaigns we highlighted for this month are in various states of funding. Some are fully funded and into the state of trying to hit stretch goals that come with even more cool stuff for backers and some are still in need of backers to hit their goal and get their project made.

The projects are listed below in chronological order of the end of the campaign. So, the ones that end soonest come first. Make sure you click on the Campaign Links for each campaign to get all the detailed info about the rewards and creators. We feel there is something for everyone on this list. Enjoy!

 


STANDSTILL THE SURVIVAL HORROR COMIC BOOK 1-12
The complete season 1 of Standstill!

Campaign Link

Ending: Thu, September 8 2022 12:09 PM EDT

PCS Thoughts: We are fans of this series that Justin Gray has been working on for quite a while and the opportunity to get the whole thing is very cool. Hurry up this one ends really soon!!

From the Campaign:

This Kickstarter is for the complete season 1 of the survival horror sci-fi comic for mature readers including previously unreleased issues #11 and #12.

We have 12 issues worth of content well over 300 pages. This comic has been a passion project that I first conceptualized in 2015 but wasn’t really able to get it to where I needed it to be until 2020. These 12 issues would not have been possible without Kickstarter backers just like you coming back time and time again to show your support even after a nearly 4 year hiatus. That support has allowed me to tell the story my way including mature content that might have otherwise been watered down or removed. I didn’t go into this story thinking about TV or film deals or anything other than doing work I’m proud of in a way that gave me total creative freedom in the medium I love.


Intoximancy: A boozy wizard subclass for 5e
Your guide to becoming a drunken master of the mystic arts! Plus new spells, items, and creatures! #ZineQuest4

Campaign Link

Ending: Thu, September 8 2022 10:00 PM EDT

PCS Thoughts: This is a great get for fans of D&D. There are some really cool included things in the guide book and also with the stretch goals. Steve Conley never lets you down with the package you receive from his Kickstarter Campaigns.

From the Campaign: 

What’s in the Book?

  • Rules for the Intoximancer wizard subclass: a fun, powerful, and playable subclass for fifth edition
  • A guide for creating each Intoximancer’s unique Flagon – a magic drinking vessel which levels up and gains powers as the Intoximancer does
  • Variant rules for those wizards who prefer pipeweed over ale
  • New spells and cantrips like Cheers and Blackout Drunk
  • New magic items like the Beard of Holding and the Crapulancer’s Great Staff
  • New creatures like the Hobgoblet and the fire-breathing Pseudoflagon

Both the zine and the hardcover editions will be printed at A5 size – this is about 5-7/8 x 8-1/4 inches in size. The book will be a minimum of 32-pages.

The Intoximancer mini will be approximately 32mm “heroic” miniature scale with a 1-inch round base. The mini will be a high-quality, ready-to-assemble figure.

Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – September 2022 Edition”

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Shelly Bond about Fast Times in Comic Book Editing

Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Shelly Bond about Fast Times in Comic Book Editing

Our latest spotlight SquadCast interview is with comic editor and publisher Shelly Bond. She is a returning guest and we were able to spend some time talking about her latest project Fast Times in Comic Book Editing.

Her latest effort from Offregister Press, the company that she runs with her husband Phillip Bond, is part memoir and part editorial handbook focusing on her time working on the Vertigo Imprint at DC Comics.

She had a hand in some of the most important comics of the 90s and that helped shape her into the superstar comic editor that she is today.

We talked about Shelly’s projects including the recently completed Filth and Grammar: The Comic Editor’s Secret Handbook, and Geezer. We also talked about comic books in general and why they became her passion.

The latest book, Fast Times, is currently being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and you can find out more about that project below the SquadCast recording.

We hope that you enjoy the conversation.

 


FAST TIMES IN COMIC BOOK EDITING

A Love Letter to New York City in the ’90s.

About the Campaign:

A collection of stories and comics that chart the rise and fall and rise of a career-driven editor working in New York City in the ’90s, who’s in over her head as she tries to secure a place in the male-dominated comic book industry.

FAST TIMES IN COMIC BOOK EDITING is told through a series of short comics, photo/visual montage timelines, prose, and experimental art including a satirical TTRPG “How to Climb The Corporate Ladder From Hell.” Guest writers and artists including Neil Gaiman, Jill Thompson, Paul Pope, Michael Allred, Steven T. Seagle, Mike Carey, and Peter Gross provide brief encounters along the way.

At its core, FAST TIMES celebrates the hustle of monthly comics and the rustle of feathers and heart chambers—the universal love for story and longing to connect through words and pictures. Continue reading “Spotlight SquadCast Interview with Shelly Bond about Fast Times in Comic Book Editing”

With Further Ado #205: Summertime Highlights

With Further Ado #205: Summertime Highlights

Hey, I know you’re rushing off to the beach, or trying to get out of work a little early today. So, this week is just a highlight reel of some cool things:

I also just received the 2022 Steve Rude Sketchbook. WOW!  It was part of his most recent Kickstarter. I miss the days of seeing Steve and his wife at San Diego Comic-Con and buying a sketchbook during the annual pilgrimage. But you know what, getting anything from Steve Rude in the mail is always cause for rejoicing! He’s got all sorts of things on his website and his next Kickstarter starts on July 14th .

Shelly Bond (did you know she’s a proud Ithaca College graduate?) has a fabulous new book out called Filth and Grammar: The Comic Book Editor’s Secret Handbook.

It’s kind of a how-to-edit comics, but I think it’s a “new must” for every creator looking to break in. The Kickstarter was looking to raise $20,000 and it overdelivered with over $85,000. Pretty impressive, right?  You can still purchase this one on her site here.

I rescued a few paperbacks from my friends at Wonderland Comics in Rochester. It’s a great little comic shop that always seems to have some lost treasures out for sale.  This loot was just great:

I found four Flash Gordon paperbacks. These tell the prose version from Alex Raymond’s wonderful strip. You might think that Flash Gordon without the art is kind of pointless, but ever since I read the Avon paperback version of The Lion Men of Mongo (when I was a sixth grader), I’ve been hooked. Most of the adaptations were written by Ron Goulart and with wonderful George Wilson covers. Continue reading “With Further Ado #205: Summertime Highlights”

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – June 2022 Edition

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – June 2022 Edition

This month we found another ten-pack of crowdfunded campaigns available to support on Kickstarter. This is a pretty interesting group of projects. They range from new comic material, to art books, to collections, to figurines? Yep. A lot of cool things.

Kickstarter is a platform available at Kickstarter.com where creative individuals have the ability to design and run a crowdfunding campaign. The concept is that individuals pledge to support the project, and if the project reaches the planned goal of pledge money in the time that campaign is running, then the project will get made. There are usually many various tiers of backer pledges, and different pledge levels come with different backer reward items. It is a fantastic way for creators to fund the projects that they love and want to create while getting new interesting things into the world.

The campaigns we highlighted for this month are in various states of funding. Some are fully funded and into the state of trying to hit stretch goals that come with even more cool stuff for backers and some are still in need of backers to hit their goal and get their project made.

The projects are listed below in chronological order of the end of the campaign. So, the ones that end soonest come first. Make sure you click on the Campaign Links for each campaign to get all the detailed info about the rewards and creators. We feel there is something for everyone on this list. Enjoy!


PLASTIC FARM: The 4th (and FINAL) Collection
Concluding Rafer Roberts’ epic underground fever-dream of a comic! Includes an exhaustive bonus section AND limited edition bookplate!

Campaign Link

Ending: Thursday June 23, 2022 7:00PM EDT

PCS Thoughts: This campaign is a true testament to the power of Kickstarter. This project fills a life long goal of a very talented creator, and that is a great thing. The backer rewards for this campaign are fantastic. Tons of indie, underground-style comic content by a master.

From the Campaign:

Written and (mostly) drawn by Rafer Roberts, PLASTIC FARM follows the life of a man named Chester, his slow descent into complete insanity, and how that madness reshapes the world around him. Chester had a rough childhood, has a magic cowboy that rides a dinosaur living inside his head, and is now, late in life, sitting in a nameless airport bar telling his life story to a group of people who really couldn’t care less.

I began drawing PLASTIC FARM in 1999 shortly after graduating college and with no real sense of what it would eventually balloon into. Over the following 15 years, I self-published 25 issues and one original graphic novel, which only represented HALF of what I had planned. Staring down another 15 years of work to finish the book, coupled with the fact that I was starting to get actual paying gigs meant that in 2016, PLASTIC FARM was put on indefinite hold.

In 2021, mid-pandemic, I decided to simply skip a thousand pages, go right to the end, and finish the damn thing.

And it turned into the best thing I’ve ever drawn.

Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – June 2022 Edition”

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – May 2022 Edition

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – May 2022 Edition

We have a ten-pack of fantastic crowdfunding projects to bring you that are all ongoing and will be ending in the next month. It has been a while since we have done one of these, but honestly these are one of the favorite type of columns that we do at Pop Culture Squad. Right now there are 436 active campaigns on Kickstarter and these are our ten favorite.

Each of these campaigns offer excellent backer rewards and we hope that the creators are able to accomplish their goals and get to make cool stuff for all of us. Some of these projects are already funded, and we are happy to highlight them knowing that backers will get the rewards that they sign up for. Others still need some help to get over the finish line, and we are on their side.

The projects are listed below in chronological order of the end of the campaign. So, the ones that end soonest come first. However, the entire list is banging. We feel there is something for everyone on this list. Enjoy!


Fa Sheng: Origins #1 by Rylend Grant and Dexter Wee

Campaign Link
Ending: Tue, May 24 2022 11:59 PM EDT.

PCS Thoughts: This looks like a great comic for fans of Martial Arts comic books.  There are plenty of digital and physical reward options. We are excited about this.

From the Campaign:

Fa Sheng: Origins is an all-new wuxia comic created by Peter Shiao, written by Rylend Grant and illustrated by artist Dexter Wee, about the humble beginnings of a great Shaolin Master. If you like Shang-Chi, Kung Fu, Warrior, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Ip Man, or The Grandmaster, this all-new series is for you.

Fa Sheng is a death-cheating, mind-bending Shaolin Master… but he carved a long bloody road to get there. Fa Sheng’s story begins in the latter days of the 19th century when the propaganda and carnage of China’s Boxer Uprising force him to reevaluate his purpose in life, to dedicate himself to helping those in need. It isn’t easy. Between Fa Sheng and his goal of enlightenment stand ruthless adversaries, backstabbing power grabbers and cowardly charlatans… any of whom would gladly dispose of anyone in their way.


Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing – May 2022 Edition”

With Further Ado #198: Beyond the Stars with Ron Fortier

With Further Ado #198: Beyond the Stars with Ron Fortier

This one looks like fun. One of my favorite comic writers, Ron Fortier (you may remember him from NOW’s Green Hornet) is working with an Italian artist Andrea Bormida on a new Kickstarter. It’s called Beyond The Stars, a six-issue mini-series, from Silverline Comics.

Ron Fortier is not only a great writer but a focused entrepreneur too. I’ve been lucky to collaborate with him in several different roles in his position as a prose book publisher over at Airship27.

This series is something completely different. “The concept originated with Andrea,” explained Fortier. He saw pages on a social media board where Bormida was seeking feedback from industry professionals. “They were completely penciled, inked, and colored…and incredibly beautiful.”

Fortier reached out to Bormida, and they began working together. Fortier crafted an outline for the six-part cosmic adventures. Shortly thereafter, Fortier reached out to Silverline editor Roland Mann.

“I’m a big science fiction fan anyway,” says Mann, “but when I read Ron’s pitch and saw Andrea’s art…well, we jumped on it right away! Even more impressive was that Ron had assembled his entire team so quickly. I’m a big fan of Mike W. Belcher’s work, and Ron already had him lined up to do lettering and design.”

The Anxiety of a Launch

“It’s my first crowd-funded project,” said Bormida. “Will it work? Shall I be able to reach out to new fans? Such a new adventure.” Continue reading “With Further Ado #198: Beyond the Stars with Ron Fortier”

Crowdfunded Ukraine Benefit Comic Anthology Is Available on Zoop

Crowdfunded Ukraine Benefit Comic Anthology Is Available on Zoop

In true comics community fashion, comics creators have come together to give of their talent to raise much needed money for a worthy cause.  The war in Ukraine has cost too many lives and threatens peace in Europe. A STAR STUDDED comic collection has been organized to raise money for Operation USA, and the stars don’t get much brighter than these. The project called Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds has exceeded it starting funding target and looks to be on pace for astronomic numbers.

If the idea of new content for properties like American Flagg, Chew, Star Slammers, Scary Godmother, Astro City, Groo, and Grendel has you excited, just imagine them all in the same book with a cover by Alex Ross, Arthur Adams, Dave Johnson, or Bill Sienkiewicz. This is a project not to be missed.

The campaign is being run on Zoop.gg. Zoop is an alternative to Kickstarter and has different funding mechanisms. This program allows for customized pre-ordering of products and has been steadily growing in popularity among creators.

This cause is undoubtedly worthy of support, and if you want to get your hands on some truly amazing comic stories, definitely consider supporting this benefit anthology. After two days, the project has already almost doubled it initial goal of $35,000. Below are the intro video by the campaign founders and the press release discussing the progress of the project:

 

 

COMICS FOR UKRAINE: SUNFLOWER SEEDS BENEFIT ANTHOLOGY SURPASSES INITIAL FUNDING GOAL IN TWELVE HOURS

Continue reading “Crowdfunded Ukraine Benefit Comic Anthology Is Available on Zoop”

With Further Ado #187: A Trick of the Light – Review

With Further Ado #187: A Trick of the Light – Review

I don’t think I even know about the genre that Aly Fell’s A Trick of the Light pays homage to. Nonetheless, I was impressed by this book just the same.  This gorgeous 40-page comic is inspired by British Girl Comics of the 1960s and 1970s.

This story tells the tale of two Brit school teachers on a sunny day. They are off to have a romantic dalliance, but all isn’t quite what it seems.  Fell’s phenomenal art is breathtakingly brilliant – sweet and soaring while grounded in solid storytelling. His skill at depicting figures, emotions, automobiles, and landscapes is even more engaging when coupled by his clever compositions and cinematic sense of storytelling.

I stumbled across Fell’s artwork a while back. About a dozen years ago, Asylum Press had sent copies of their books to our consulting firm, Bonfire Agency.  Fell’s covers stood out.  They were designed to stop readers in their tracks – gorgeous women in macabre situations with masterful painting and colors.

Not long after, Fell’s The Shadow Glass was published by IDW in 2017. This was a creepy story mixing occultists with a bit of Three Musketeers vibe.  A real treat to view and a master class for any artist who read it.

In my faculty role at Ithaca College’s School of Business, I often think about the undisputedly historical coolest faculty member of this college: Rod Serling. In fact, I was just teaching a class on Serling – trumpeting his creativity and spirit of entrepreneurism.  I realized that one of the reasons I like A Trick of the Light so much is that it has a “Twilight Zone” feel to it all.

Trick of the Light is (mostly) in glorious black and white and set in the 60s, like The Twilight Zone’s episodes. The creepy, not-fully explained story could easily have fit into an episode. In fact, I can almost hear Rod Serling teasing that “Maltson Secondary Modern school’s art teacher, Ruth Linwood, isn’t just going for a walking in the countryside, she is about to enter…. The Twilight Zone” if he had made one of his signature introductions to this story.

I backed this project from Fell’s Kickstarter. It exceeded all its goals (rightfully so). I’m glad I did.

Editor’s Note: This project was highlighted by PCS as a Kickstarter You Should Be Backing in November.

A Trick of the Light is available in a hard cover and softcover version, and I highly recommend you seek it out.

A Trick of the Light
by Aly Fell
Khabs in the Khu Press
IBSN: 978-0-9356746-6-4

With Further Ado #180: Five and a Half Questions with Christopher Irving about Mike Allred’s Madmania Saturday Morning Cereal Box Fun Pack

With Further Ado #180: Five and a Half Questions with Christopher Irving about Mike Allred’s Madmania Saturday Morning Cereal Box Fun Pack

Chris Irving is a creative guy who’s always got something cooking.  One of his early projects, Leaping Tall Buildings, is still a favorite book of mine. He’s a comics historian and an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.  But with the new year here and his new Kickstarter just launched, it seems like the perfect time to regroup!

He is the latest participant (victim?) of the 5 and 1/2 question format.

Question 1: Your new project looks wild and fun! Can you explain exactly what Mike Allred’s Madmania Saturday Morning Cereal Box Fun Pack is?

Christopher Irving: Sure thing, Ed! I’ve run Fun Pack Madman campaigns where we keep adding more swag (yoyos, stickers, trading cards, you name it!) the more we fund. I was trying to come up with a campaign that would have a great gimmick, and it just felt it was a natural for a cereal box with prizes inside. I’m also a huge fan of creating cool packaging for all my campaigns, so why not START with the packaging and then fill it as we go? By the end of the campaign, we hope to have a box full of more and more goodies, all for just $35 (plus shipping).

The initial Kickstarter goal of $4K funds the cereal box, a Madman yo-yo, a Joe Lombard yo-yo, and two lobby card style 4 x 6 postcards of both Red Rocket 7 and The Oddity Odyssey (think if they came out as drive-in movies in the ’60s). Stretch goals include some mad scientist yoyos, and– A whoopie cushion with THE PUKE!

As I write this, we’re moving towards two new yo-yos: one of Dr. Flem and another of Laura Allred herself (to go with the surprise Mike Allred yo-yo last year).

This campaign met its initial goal in just six hours! That is the benefit of having a regular stable of awesome backers who keep coming back for more.

Question 2: What’s the background on this one? How do you guys ever come up with it?

CI: I’m really, really lucky working with Mike Allred: I just pitch an idea his way and he often just gives me the thumbs up, with approvals and suggestions on the way.

I was really trying to think of creative ways to package a fun pack and nothing says fun more to me than “cereal box”. A good chunk of this also comes from my four-year-old son, Grayson, who is unlucky enough to get breakfast cereals that are BOR-ING when it comes to prizes in the box. Heck, even Cracker Jacks prizes are super-lame! This is a way to go overboard and give him the best cereal box prize experience ever.

Question 3: Exactly who does it appeal to? Old fans? New fans? Cereal fans?

CI: Definitely Madman fans of any generation who love the cool swag! If you’re new to Madman, I’ve been self-publishing pamphlet style essays on each run of Madman (called Madmania!), which can be gained as add-ons and help the newbie learn about the world of Snap City. As for cereal fans, if you collect cool prizes, then this box is for you!

Question 4: I understand you’ve had success with past Kickstarters. What makes your Kickstarters successful?

CI: The backers, first and foremost! I’ve built a really loyal, reliable, and supportive backer base of Madman fans over the past few years. I also build the campaigns with a relatively low overhead for the initial goal, and simply upgrade the main attraction as we continue to fund–which gives old backers more reason to help spread the word of the campaign and gain new ones. That then helps grow the campaigns and benefits everyone who pitches in.

My goal is to give the backers more than their money’s worth by the end of the campaign. I’ve lost my shirt on one or two and broken even on another, but it’s totally worth it when I get nice emails and social media posts from folks who love what I’ve sent out to them.

One thing I’ll never forget is sending a campaign out RIGHT when the pandemic started in 2020 and got a ton of comments from folks who needed that pick-me-up.

Question 5: When does it launch and what will people like most about it?

CI: I launched right after the New Year and we’re going really strong just two days later. I think the best part about the Fun Pack is it gives backers the chance to get even more than their money’s worth through stretch goals. It’s also a chance to get a really substantial and sweet box of unique, limited Madman swag in just a couple of short months. I don’t go back and reprint or have any backstock in case someone misses it–so this is the only chance to grab the Saturday Morning Madmania Fun Pack.

Question 5½ : I know there’s no real cereal involved. But if there was, what cereal, or cereals, would it be?

CI: The cereal on the box was actually made of Sculpie and would (hypothetically) be “berry” red yoyos with marshmallow exclamation bolts, but if I could choose a pre-existing cereal:

Ralston made a Spider-Man cereal and Teenage Mutant Ninjas cereal in the ’90s, that were basically the same thing. I’d sit down with a box and eat it dry with Mystery Science Theater 3000 every Saturday night at 1 AM in college, and the sugar buzz kept me up all morning.

EC: Thanks so much, Chris!

 


For more on Chris, check out his page here.  And for more on this project, check it out here.