Indie and self-published comics are in a bit of a renaissance right now as the major comics powerhouses are on the decline and tools for independent creators are becoming much more plentiful and accessible. As a result, comic readers can find whatever niche comic they want to read just by going to Kickstarter or Zoop and pitching in a few bucks to whatever suits their fancy.
But, with thousands* of projects across multiple platforms, how does the average reader decide where to put their hard-earned money? Hopefully, this article will help narrow things down, starting with...
Creator: James Lawrence
Platform: Kickstarter Campaign Ends: July 31st Status: Nearly Funded!
PITCH: One prize. Fifteen luchadores. Summoned to save an old friend from himself, La Mariposa finds herself caught up in a contest of champions contained in the crumbling confines of a collapsed coliseum! Will our purple powerhouse triumph over the odds? Can her friendship survive the challenge? What secrets lie behind the Mask of Vulcan?
The Legend of La Mariposa is a pulpy, colourful all-ages action series set in a world governed by the traditions and folklore of Lucha Libre. It's best described as a cross between Nacho Libre and Samurai Jack with a dash of Steven Universe. You don't have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy it, you just have to like colourful characters, high-energy fight scenes, silly jokes and HEART.
WHY SHOULD I BACK IT? After watching GLOW, I've come to realize that wrestling, specifically media about wrestling, really is the highest form of entertainment. The dynamic action, the built in drama, the camp, the costumes, it all works wonderfully to tell deceptively human stories in a way your monkey brain will latch onto effortlessly. The Legend of La Mariposa looks to be just that, a big, loud, fun story that anyone can enjoy!
Writer: Caleb Palmquist Artist: Daryl Toh
Platform: Kickstarter Campaign Ends: August 11th Status: 90% Funded
PITCH: The perfect vampire hunter is a unicorn...
...and he's on a mission to find answers about his past. Over the past two years we have successfully funded issues #1, #2, and #3 of Unicorn: Vampire Hunter, and now we are back on Kickstarter to fund issues #4 and #5, which will finish the first story arc of the series!
Unicorn: Vampire Hunter is a fantasy adventure comic about a curious young woman, a wise wizard, and a unicorn with a penchant for killing vampires. It is a heartfelt story about friendship, love, and finding purpose in an unpredictable world.
WHY SHOULD I BACK IT? I feel like I shouldn't need to explain myself here, it's called Unicorn: Vampire Hunter. If you're not sold already, I don't know what I can say to get you on board. That said, the pacing is great, the first issue is available to read for free, the art is super rad, and the story is the kind of uncomplicated fun that we all need every now and then.
Writer: Lesly Julien & AJ O Mason
Artist: Paulo Sampaio
Platform: Crowdfundr Campaign Ends: July 23rd Status: 50% funded
PITCH: It’s a routine morning subway ride to school in New York, circa 1999. Hila and Ramon, two bored teens, steal a man’s bag on a whim. When they eventually manage to lose the stranger, Hila opens the bag and can’t believe what she’s seeing inside: there is a severed head! Thus begins the zany chain of events where a trained hitman, an FBI agent, and others are hunting the teens down to get the head back!
WHY SHOULD I BACK IT? An intriguing crime thriller with a fantastic creative team, great art, killer writing, and fun characters? Sign me up! The fact that the platform is basically brand new is the only reason this campaign isn't mega-funded with nine days to go. And, I get it, it's a pain to sign up for a new platform, but don't use that as an excuse to miss out on one of the most exciting comics being crowdfunded this year!
Writer: L. A. Chavez Artist: Julio Suarez
Platform: Kickstarter Campaign Ends: August 4th Status: 30% Funded PITCH: For all of you lovers of martial arts and action movies of the 80s, this comic is for you! Street Fighter meets Kill Bill in a tale of family drama and warriors fighting for the title of Dim Mak! The deadliest person alive, who trained them to be the most fearsome fighters in the world! Each is from a different country and background, but all the best at what they do. Who will be left standing at the end of this battle royale of the ages?! Support Heirs Of Dim Mak and find out! A graphic novel equivalent of a summer blockbuster for the ages!
WHY SHOULD I BACK IT? What's better than a 64 page graphic novel about luchadores? How about a 64 page graphic novel about fighters from all over the world! L. A. Chavez, the writer behind the excellent comics The Preserve and Santa Fae is back and I am here for it. The art behind this book is sleeker and more stylish than its ever been. Get this book in your hands, it's too much fun to ignore!
Writer: Eastin DeVerna
Artist: Kay Baird
Campaign Ends: July 20th
Status: 70% Funded
PITCH: A. Guardian is an epic, dark fantasy -- with heart -- comic book series created by Eastin DeVerna (writer/story) and Kay Baird (artist/story), with letters by Shawn Daley, and back up story art by Grim Wilkins. This campaign features both volumes I & II -- the first volume comprising of 100 pages, and the second volume coming in at 96 BRAND NEW PAGES of material -- continuing on from volume I with chapters 4, 5, and 6.
Think Game of Thrones X Iron Giant.
WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?
It's rare that I see a book so beautiful that I don't need to know anything about the story to be on board. A. Guardian is so pretty that even the most hackneyed writing wouldn't ruin it; the page layouts are beyond creative, the landscapes rival anything in a Thor comic, and the very posture of the characters exudes personality and charm. Fortunately, it's written by Eastin DeVerna, who's proving himself to be one of the most talented indie writers of our generation. You'd be a fool not to invest in this book.
*DISCLAIMER: Comics are selected from a very large pool of projects, some sent to us for review, some come across on the websites themselves. We tend to favor first issue comics by indie creators that haven't already hit their campaign goals 5 times over, so keep that in mind. While we feel this list is representative of projects most worth the time and money of a comic reader, it is by no means exhaustive and there are many, MANY more projects that you can and should explore on Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Zoop. -Wells Thompson, Reviews Editor