Every few weeks we sift through all the dozens of crowdfunding communications we receive here at BF each week to bring you a handful of the more intriguing, exciting, experimental and daring uses of the form that we spot, along with some interesting campaigns we’ve found ourselves. These are comics that both fit the Broken Frontier coverage ethos and that we think deserve your support and backing!
Welcome to Crowdfunding Corner…
Isle of Elsi Book One
The who and what: Alec Longstreth’s Isle of Elsi webcomic, aimed at a younger audience, makes the transition from online publication to print format. The comics feature protagonists Rex and Sally who live in Egalliv on the Isle of Elsi, with this collection re-presenting three stories (including one where our heroes face a dragon who is threatening to destroy their homes). In the shorter tales the wizard Draziw looks for new animal messengers to use after the death of his owl Nicomedes, and Nogard the Dragon searches for the perfect pair of prescription glasses! The stories remain free for those wanting to read them online.
What’s on offer: There’s a lot on offer on the reward tiers apart from the book itself including sketched-in copies, zines, other Longstreth books, a watercolour painting, and even a toy Nogard the Dragon!
Why you should back it: Longstreth’s philosophy of countering the inaccessible prices of monthly comics with a free webcomic for kids is admirable in and of itself. But Isle of Elsi is also as accessible in terms of its fun, wordplay-filled, fantasy narratives as it is in its method of delivery. One to definitely check out if you’re looking to introduce younger readers to the form from the Ignatz-winning creator of Phase 7.
– Andy Oliver
Every Day: An Anti-Gun Violence Comics Anthology
The who and what: An anthology comic tackling a difficult and sadly all-too topical subject, Every Day: An Anti-Gun Violence Comics Anthology exists to “raise funds for the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Community Justice Reform Coalition to help end gun violence in America.” The impressive creator list includes, among others, Scott Snyder, Kelly Thompson, David Lafuente, Ariela Kristantina, Jamal Igle, Devin Grayson, Joe Keatinge, Doselle Young, Marguerite Sauvage, Ron Marz, Stuart Moore, Shannon Wheeler, Steven Grant, Roger Langridge, Matt Miner, Ray Fawkes, CW Cooke, Alex de Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, Kelly Williams and Emma Beeby, with editing by Brendan Wright.
‘5-4-3-2-1’ by Kelly Thompson & David Lafuente, and ‘Guns and Boys’ by Neil Kleid, Huseyin Ozkan, Josh Jensen, and Zakk Saam
What’s on offer: This one is largely stripped back to to print and digital copies (whether for individuals or retailers) but given the nature of the project this is obviously as much about supporting the cause as it is about the rewards.
Why you should back it: It’s hardly the most incisive of observations to say that we live in worrying times. Projects like this can make a tangible difference, though, in raising awareness of the issues involved through the empathetic communicative storytelling tools of comics as a form.
Normally in this section we give our own reasons for backing a project but this time it seems more appropriate to let the words of Sean E. Williams from publisher Comicker Press do the talking: “In tackling such a difficult issue, we wanted to make sure that a wide spectrum of storytelling was being used, and the creators involved more than delivered. From personal stories, to dramatic stories, to laugh-out-loud satire, these tales shine a light on the solvable problem of the extreme gun violence in America.”
– Andy Oliver
Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles Volume 3
The who and what: BHP Comics have been steadily building a growing catalogue of material over the last few years that, notably, ranges from the grassroots BAME voices of the Full Colour anthology to huge names like Frank Quitely. They also have a far-ranging line of books which cover everything from genre books like the acclaimed all-ages Dungeon Fun to We Shall fight Until We Win, an anthology celebrating 100 years since women got the vote in Great Britain. This third instalment of Gary Chudleigh and Tanya Roberts’ Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles brings the sci-fi/magic mash-up to its conclusion with a final part of witch Miranda, former witch hunter Mackie and his dog Dex’s adventures in a plague-devastated future Scotland.
What’s on offer: Lots of different permutations here that mean you can get the entire run or just the third part in various combinations of print and digital. There are also tiers that encourage school library donations plus sticker, poster and other BHP books options. And at the top end there’s the chance to be drawn into the book as a character.
Why you should back it: This is a book with a proven appeal to readers of all ages from a publisher unafraid to present an undeniably eclectic line-up of graphic novels and anthologies. Don’t just take our word for it – check out the comments from the younger audience on the Kickstarter page. Their opinions are of far more importance than a middle-aged reviewer’s ever could be!
– Andy Oliver
The who and what: We’ve been covering the comics of Steve MacIsaac for a number of years at Broken Frontier going right back to the old site (including an interview with MacIsaac here) and the most recent issue here a couple of years back. Issue #6 continues his explorations of gay culture but unlike the serialised graphic novel of the last few numbers this is an autobiographical anthology collection of shorts. It includes previously published comics alongside all-new material.
What’s on offer: In addition to the print/digital versions there are greeting cards, t-shirt and print rewards. Plus previous issues of Shirtlifter and Unpacking, the graphic novel serialised in #3-5.
Why you should back it: In the last Broken Frontier review of Shirtlifter Tom Murphy talked of MacIsaac’s resonant storytelling saying “the strength of the characterisation produces people we feel we know, rather than easy stereotypes. There are no saints in MacIsaac’s world – just human beings as difficult, flawed and complicated as the people reading the work.” This one has already easily reached its target with plenty of time to spare. Back it yourself and see just why it has such a committed following.
– Andy Oliver