Tag: kickstarter

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”

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 #183: Rocket Time! 5 and a Half Questions With Rian Hughes

With Further Ado #183: Rocket Time! 5 and a Half Questions With Rian Hughes

It looks like Korero Press has another fantastic book coming out soon: Rayguns and Rocketships is by ace designer Rian Hughes. It’s a celebration of old Sci-Fi book covers from the ’40s and ’50s!   Here’s the official teaser copy:

Rayguns and rockets! Spacesuited heroes caught in the tentacles of evil insectoid aliens! Who could resist such wonders? Science-fiction paperbacks exploded over the 1940s and ’50s literary landscape with the force of an alien gamma bomb.

Titles such as Rodent Mutation, The Human Bat vs The Robot Gangster, Dawn of the Mutants and Mushroom Men from Mars appeared from fly-by-night publishers making the most of the end of post-war paper rationing. They were brash and seductive – for around a shilling the future was yours. The stories were often conceived around a pre-commissioned cover and a title suggested by the publisher, and the writers were paid by the word, and sometimes not paid at all. Titles were knocked out at a key-pounding pace, sometimes over a weekend, by authors now lost to literary history (plus a few professionals who could spot an opportunity) who were forced to write under pseudonyms like Ray Cosmic, Steve Future, Vector Magroon or Vargo Statten.

Despite the tight deadlines and poor pay, the books’ cover artists still managed to produce works of multi-hued, brain-bending brilliance, and collected here is an overview of their output during an unparalleled period of brash optimism and experimentation in publishing.

Rayguns and Rocketships just launched on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. A signed limited edition, a deluxe hardcover in a slipcase and a regular trade edition discounted from the retail price will all be available to backers. Fans and pop culture lovers can back this on Kickstarter now!

Rian Hughes is an award-winning graphic designer. I like to use his book on logos in my business classes, in fact. I found some time to catch up with him with my 5 ½ questions:

QUESTION 1: I’m so excited you’ve created this book. Why hasn’t this been done before and what’s the story behind it?

RIAN  HUGHES: It began as a cataloguing project. Without really trying, I’ve accumulated something of a collection of vintage SF paperbacks since I found Rodent Mutation at a jumble sale way back when I was on my art foundation. After a few decades of picking these things up, you find you have quite a few shelves worth. I scanned them in and did a prototype book via Blurb (print on demand service) a few years back, mainly for my own amusement. Yak at Korero Press, whom I’d previously collaborated on ‘Logo-a-Gogo’ with saw it, and here we are. Continue reading “With Further Ado #183: Rocket Time! 5 and a Half Questions With Rian Hughes”

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.

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: November 2021

Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: November 2021

It has been a few months since we did one of these columns but it is not for a lack of quality Kickstarter campaigns. In the last couple of years, as the publishing and distribution channels for independent comics have changed, independent creators have been finding their way to Kickstarter.com with some amazing comic book material. We will continue to highlight campaigns that we believe in through spotlight posts like this one and through creator interviews on our site and social media platforms.

Speaking of social media platforms reminds me to let everyone know that if you are looking for good Kickstarter campaign recommendations, besides following Pop Culture Squad, the @KickstarterReads twitter account is a great vehicle to get a heads up for worthy campaigns.

This month we have seven campaigns that we want to highlight for you. I did say there is a lot of quality content out there. Some are ending really soon and you definitely want to check them out and put your support behind these independent creators. We listed the campaigns below in order of the ending of the Kickstarter with the soonest coming first.


Outrage Volume 1

The print edition of the hit webcomic from Fabian Nicieza and Reilly Brown!

From <https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rocketship/outrage-volume-1>

This campaign ends today, so make sure you jump on it. It is the printed volume of the hit comic Outrage that first premiered on webtoon.com. It is written by Fabian Nicieza with art by Reilly Brown, Jay Leisten, Matt Herms, and lettered by Pat Brousseau. It is a modern day exploration of internet behavior and consequences. We were big fans of the series when it was released on webtoon but this campaign is allowing fans and new readers to put the book in their hands and on their shelf.

We also want to spotlight that Rocketship Entertainment, recently selected favorite Publisher at the 2021 Ringo Awards, is printing and fulfilling this project. Backers should find that to be a major positive aspect to this campaign.

There are some pretty cool physical book and art rewards available for this project. I will leave you with this teaser that gives you an idea of where this story will take you.

How many times have you wanted to reach through the Internet and strangle someone? Or, at the least, give `em a swift kick in the nuts? Yeah, everyone feels the same way. But… what if you could? Anonymously. Quickly. Violently. Would you…?

Campaign Ends: Friday, November 12, 2021 3:00 PM EST.

Click Here for More


Spider-Squirrel #2 — A Buddy-Hero Multiversal Adventure

In this penultimate issue, we wrap up the indiechronomultiversal crossovers, meet the bad guy, and set things up for the finale!!

From <https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/watchguard/spider-squirrel-2-the-next-chapter-is-here?ref=profile_saved_projects_live>

This Kickstarter project is for issue #2 of this series and this is an example of creative teams using Kickstarter to fund books for the fans who want them. Spider-Squirrel is a superhero adventure story with plenty of humor from writer Charlie McElvy and artist DC Stuelpner. John Rauch does the colors, and HdE lettered the book.

There are plenty of interesting and affordable options for backer rewards on this project, both physical and digital. The synopsis that the creators provided plus the preview art has us looking forward to this campaign’s completion:

The main characters Spider-Squirrel and Trash Panda get into all sorts of seemingly random hijinks right out the gate. Well, right after dealing with some dating issues and checking out a local night club, then having Spider-Squirrel bounce around time and the indie comics multiverse while Trash Panda is stuck at home in Richmond (VA) fighting Ultra-Urbanite and then meeting the girl of his dreams…

Campaign Ends: Monday, November 15, 2021 9:30 PM EST.

Click Here for More



NARCO (original graphic novel) + PLASTIC: DELUXE EDITION

NARCO, a 136-page original graphic novel by Doug Wagner, Daniel Hillyard, and Dave Stewart + PLASTIC: DELUXE EDITION Hardcover

From <https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12gauge/narco-original-graphic-novel-plastic-deluxe-edition?ref=profile_saved_projects_live>

This is an interesting Kickstarter campaign from 12-Gauge comics. It is campaign to fund two projects at once. They are calling it a “Graphic Novel Double Feature”. The purpose of the Kickstarter is to fund a new graphic novel called Narco and the deluxe edition of Plastic, which was originally published in 2017. This special edition includes a new cover and an exclusive six-page bonus story.

According to the creators, the primary focus is to get Narco made. It is created by Doug Wagner and Daniel Hillyard, the same creators of Plastic and also Vinyl, with colors from Dave Stewart and letters by Ed Dukeshire. It has a pretty intriguing concept:

MARCUS WESPHAL suffers from severe narcolepsy. His condition is peculiar—if he gets overly excited or stressed, he passes out.

However, he’s adapted well. He has all his groceries delivered; he’s got good friends, he’s developed quite a following as an online sleuth, and he admires the girl of his dreams, JESSICA WRIGHT, through his front door peephole (he’s working up the courage to ask her out, OK?!). Marcus has crafted the perfect bubble for himself. But when he watches Jessica get murdered right before his eyes, helpless to do anything about it before passing out, that bubble bursts.

Marcus is now the prime suspect in Jessica’s murder. If he’s going to prove his innocence, he will have to leave the safety of his apartment and track down the real killer. Or, could he possibly be the killer and not even know it?

The new collection of the widely acclaimed Plastic series is just one of the multiple levels of backer reward options on this innovative campaign. There is a bunch of preview art on the project site that you can check out.

Campaign Ends: Wednesday, November 18, 2021 4:12 PM EST.

Click Here for More Continue reading “Kickstarters You Should Be Backing: November 2021”

Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Comics Writer David Pepose

Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Comics Writer David Pepose

In our latest Squadcast interview we caught up with comics creator and writer David Pepose.

David is known for his creator-owned titles Spencer & Locke, Going to the Chapel, Scout’s Honor, and The O.Z.

His work has been nominated for multiple industry awards and his catalogue of work is continuing to grow into new publishing venues.

His latest work, The O.Z., is a book that he is publishing through Kickstarter. The first double-sized issue was funded last year and currently the campaign for the second installment is underway. Backers have until September 15th to get behind this excellent comic.

Since David and I spoke for this Squadcast, the first issue of The O.Z. has been nominated for best single issue for the 2021 Ringo Awards.

David has grown as a writer and creator over the years that Pop Culture Squad has been around and he continues to be one of our favorite interviewees.

Check out the interview and the Kickstarter campaign below.


THE O.Z. #1-2 – A Fantasy Classic Reimagined for Comics

What is the O.Z?

What if The Hurt Locker took place in The Wizard of Oz? Find out in The O.Z., an action-packed fantasy comic series from Ringo Award-nominated writer David Pepose (Spencer & Locke, Going to the Chapel, Scout’s Honor) and superstar artist Ruben Rojas (Proton) that transforms a childhood classic into a war story for the ages. Returning to Kickstarter with our double-sized, 44-page second chapter, this campaign is dedicated to bringing this adrenaline-fueled twist on L. Frank Baum’s iconic Oz novels to life. Fans of Mad Max: Fury RoadThe Old Guard, and Fables will not want to miss out on The O.Z.

THE HUNT FOR THE SILVER SLIPPERS

Continue reading “Spotlight Squadcast Interview with Comics Writer David Pepose”

With Further Ado #161: Jes’ Who Is This Hombre Called Tex?

With Further Ado #161: Jes’ Who Is This Hombre Called Tex?

Any longtime comic fan is called upon, now and again, to explain “comic stuff” to regular folk. Comic fans often get asked to provide the back story about a particular character who’s made it onto the Silver Screen, or for some insider insights on a guy like Stan Lee or Jack Kirby.  And if that fan is anything like me, it’s hard not to pontificate and go on for hours about all the trivia and historical knowledge that’s rumbling inside my fanboy brain, looking for the opportunity to get out, and to show off.

And then, all too often, the regular folk’s eyes will glaze over, they’ll be hopelessly lost and try wrestle the information to the ground and force fit it into convenient soundbites.

“Oh, I get it. He’s the guy who drew the comic books, right?” Or “Now I see, he flies kinda like Batman, right?”

The tables were turned on me (imagine that) when I was reading the introductions to a glorious new book Tex: the Magnificent Outlaw.  I don’t know much about this character Tex or the men behind his creation, but there’s many people who do and there’s a lot to learn.

I kind of knew that Tex is a cowboy from Italian comics, but that was about the extent of my knowledge. Here’s a primer from the Kickstarter earlier this year for this impressive book:

Who are we and who is Tex?

You may know us (Epicenter Comics) from publishing American editions of works by legendary Italian publishing house Sergio Bonelli Editore, and series such as Zagor, Dylan Dog, Magic Wind, Dragonero and of course, Tex!

Tex Willer, the most legendary western comic book hero in the world, who first appeared on Italian news-stands in 1948 and has been published continually ever since, comes again in English in a breathtaking new story, in a beautiful, oversize, hard cover, 252-page deluxe edition courtesy of Epicenter Comics.

With a self-contained, all-ages story by the main Tex writer and editor, Mauro “The Bos(s)” Boselli (whom those familiar with Epicenter Comics had already chance to meet on pages of Zagor: Terror from the Sea, Zagor: Voodoo Vendetta and Tex: Patagonia), and stunning artwork by maestro Stefano Andreucci (Zagor: Terror from the Sea), TEX: THE MAGNIFICENT OUTLAW (Signature Edition) offers us a glimpse into Tex in his younger, pre-ranger days, or better, his (magnificent) outlaw days! As Tex is framed for the crime he did not commit, he will stop at nothing to clear his name, and in the process he will both, teach and learn some hard-won life lessons. This will be our second Tex book published, and third Tex book published in English ever.

Continue reading “With Further Ado #161: Jes’ Who Is This Hombre Called Tex?”