Nine Awesome Comic Kickstarters

1) Control

Goal: $6000
Funded: 16%
Ends: 24/07/13

Control is the science fiction story of John, a man who wakes up tied to a chair in what looks to be a science lab. He doesn’t know where he is, how he got there, who’s keeping him there or why they want him. He’s also being pumped full of drugs designed to keep him from piecing the whole mystery together. Bad day for John.

It will be a good day for sci-fi fans if this project gets funded though. It sounds like a classic sci-fi / horror story that keeps you asking questions all the way to the end. Amnesia is a device that’s employed a lot in fiction but Control writer David Crispino sounds like he has found an original use for it, and his graphic novel script is brought to life with great art by Matt Heuston. If you’re intrigued about the story then head over to their Kickstarter and help it get made.

2) BAAKO Book 1

Goal: $12000
Funded: 22%
Ends: 12/07/13

Joshua Covey has launched his comic book Kickstarter because he wants to gain freedom to create. In his words, “Kickstarter is my chance of doing a book without limitations”. I admire Joshua for this because it is important for graphic novel writers and artists to be creative and do everything they can to put their imaginations on the page. The reality of life – rent, heating bills, gas – can sometimes put shackles on a dream and force a writer or artist to take on a project for the money rather than one that they want to do. If Kickstarter helps someone get free of this and give their own thing a go, then I’m all for it.

BAAKO is a post-apocalyptic graphic novel set in a time where an evil force called the Hatred has laid waste to most of civilisation. The main character is a young girl who will go on a journey to defeat the hatred, and through the journey she will also learn about herself and come of age. Joshua’s plot is inspired partly by the fact that he has a young daughter himself, and this makes the story important to him. This Kickstarter will help Joshua get his book finished, into print and into your hands.

3) World War Kaiju

Goal: $15000
Funded: 22%
Ends: 12/08/13

World War Kaiju is about cold war paranoia, the destruction of war, and Godzilla. In a love letter to the Kaiju genre Team Kaiju are asking fans to contribute $15,000 to make their graphic novel a reality. This is the story of one journalist’s quest to uncover the secrets behind the Kaiju – fifty foot tall monsters who were used as tools to end the Second World War.

The metaphor there is almost smacking you in the face, but this is what excites me about the book. It seems like the makers want to explore the history and ideas behind the worst part of the twentieth century, but in a way that will really entertain and engage readers. If you check out the graphic novel project website you will see some example or the art work as well more info on the story.

Goal: $19000
Funded: 61%
Ends: 21/06/13

If you want to know if Murderville is the sort of thing you'd be interested in, then think the Sopranos crossed with the Adams family. Sound good? This is how comic writer and artist Carol Lay sees her creation, and if that sounds like a winning combination to you then you should check out the Murderville page.

The Kickstarter of this mature themed comic is aimed at putting issue 1 into production, helping the author with costs and giving her the freedom to work full time on the continuation of the series. Carol shows refreshing honesty on her page when she says that she doesn't know much about the business side of comics, and she hopes the funds from this campaign will help with that. If you like gangsters, murder and crime then you should keep an eye on this graphic novel.

5) The Empty Grave: Daddy's Little Girl

Goal: $4000
Funded: 66%
Ends: 1/7/13

This is the wild west-set story of Annabelle Cutter, a young bounty hunter trying to make a life catching criminals in one of the roughest eras of world history. This is a tale of guns and revenge, and from the sounds of it there is a lot going on. I'd love to get a copy and write a full review on this one, so I’ll definitely contribute to the project myself.

The funds donated to this graphic novel are going to help put it in print as well as paying artist Dan Hale for his work. It seems deserving too; the artwork looks fantastic. Take a look at the Kickstarter page and see if you want to back writer Warwick Johnson’s action-packed gunslinger story.

6) Moscow 38

Goal: $2500
Funded: 71%
Ends: 11/7/13

A project that has taken independent comic artist Ben Jelter a year to finish, Moscow 38 is the story of prostitution, drugs and cults in New York. It is a book with deep adult themes and it tells the tale of a woman who is coerced into being a prostitute by a cult and who seems to be stuck in her terrible fate until a mysterious package arrives from Russia and changes everything.

Ben’s Kickstarter page doesn’t go into more detail than that and while I could have used a little more information on characters and the like, the details he does give are enough to get me interested in his project. I really want to read this book. If this sounds like the sort of thing you would like to read too, then help Ben get it in print by backing his graphic novel project. He’s offered up lots of goodies to potential backers including printed copies of the book, copies of his previously printed comics and to higher backers he is offering to draw a three page comic based on you. That sounds cool, now if only I had $900 going spare…

7) Westward

Goal: $2000
Funded: 38%
Ends: 15/07/13

A black and white steampunk mystery comic, Westward is the story of Victor West, a man who was born into a life of luxury but didn’t ask for it. He lives an easy life, but that is damn sure about to change. I like steampunk and I like mystery stories, so this comic is right up my street.

Unlike a lot of Kickstarter graphic novel projects, Westward does have prior reviews which will help you best decide whether or not to back it. Comicbook Resources posted a review last year that was very positive, praising the book’s plot and characters. The visuals of the comic look striking and certainly seem to show an original art style, and I think the hard work already put into this book make it a worthy one to give money to.

8) Humanity

Goal: $26000
Funded: 2%
Ends: 23/7/13

Humanity’s creator Tony Mell shares the same view of Kickstarter as I do – on his page he says “Kickstarter, for the right people, is really one of the greatest websites to come out of this wonderful tech era we are currently living in. It gives creators like myself a chance to take what we dream and share it with the world.” This is what Kickstarter is all about – giving independent comic writers and artists the best chance possible to get their passion projects off the ground.

Humanity is an interesting idea in that it explores themes of freedom and choice by putting humans in the place of animals, and asking what would happen if we were tested on in laboratories much in the way we do with animals now. Whether you’re for or against scientific use of animals for experiments you are likely to find this an interesting story.

9) Clan of the Vein

Goal: $25000
Funded: 12%
Ends: 14/07/13

“It’s like Die Hard with Vampires!” Rarely has anyone written something that best sells me on a graphic novel idea within six words. My all-time favourite movie is Die Hard, and until the recent onslaught of sub par films and books I was also a big fan of anything to do with vampires. Already I’m interested in this book, and that’s without knowing anything else about it.

If you read further though you will see that Clan of the Vein has a pretty great story idea. It’s about a vampire turned vampire assassin who has all but eliminated his enemies, and is now quite bored from the sounds of it. That is until the Children of Judas, a bunch of deadly vampires, surface and threaten to unleash a bunch of new monsters. Our hero suddenly has a new purpose, and this is the basis of the book.