TOP 5 KICKSTARTERS OF APRIL 2021

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 and pitching in a few bucks to whatever suits their fancy.

But, with over 10,000 projects* running at any given point in time, how does the average reader find the right Kickstarter to support? Hopefully, this article will help narrow things down, starting with...


Young Offenders! Cover by Mike Becker

#5 YOUNG OFFENDERS! ISSUES #1-3

Writer: Mark O. Stack

Artist: Mike Becker

Campaign Ends: May 4th

Status: 70% funded


PITCH:

The first issue of Young Offenders! introduced readers to a world where the leading superheroes have disappeared and their misfit successors have risen out from under their shadow to replace them...Unbeknownst to our fledgling heroes, the death god Hun-Came, the architect behind the superhero disappearance, is sending his forces to destroy what he thinks is an unprotected Earth in issues #2 and #3 of Young Offenders!


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

I'm the first to be skeptical about bringing another superhero comic into the world, but with a sleek and expressive art design, intriguing, three-dimensional characters, and a grasp on actual, interesting issues teenagers and young adults face, I'm inclined to give Young Offenders! a pass. There's tons of content and lots of heart on display, so if you're a fan of the genre or just really like quality action comics, this is one to support!


#4 - DAMSEL FROM D.I.S.T.R.E.S.S., ISSUES #2-3

Writer: Andrew Clemson

Artist: Mauricio Mora

Campaign starts: Late April/Early May


PITCH:

Damsel tells the story of Bec. Abandoned as a child by her adventurer father, she has fought her way up through the ranks of the kingdoms premier espionage agency to become their top operative. When a Dwarven princess goes missing, it’s up to Bec to overcome the ghosts of her family’s past and to save the day! As Bec's mission progresses, she is faced with revelations about her family history and is sent on a journey of discovery to answer questions she never knew she had! Along the way, we meet colorful characters that would feel at home in any one of your favorite fantasy stories, albeit with a very modern twist!


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Damsel is fun. I don't have a super deep analysis on this one, it's just fun. The art is super professional and clean, the plot is knowingly on the nose, and the pacing is appropriately too fast to question. It's not the most sophisticated comic in the world, but not every book has to be Watchmen to be a good time. If that's what you're looking for, catapult your money toward this series.


ThoughtScape Comics #1, Cover by Jenna Cha

#3 THOUGHTSCAPE COMICS #1

Writer/Editor: Matt Mair Lowery

Artist: Various

Campaign Ends: May 2nd

Status: 75% funded


PITCH:

Anything is possible in these taut tales of trauma and transformation, of people pushed past their limits by the gods and monsters they meet – or become – at the edges of reality.


Each issue will run approximately 44 pages and feature both serialized and self-contained stories written by me, Matt Mair Lowery (Dark Horse Comics’ Lifeformed), and drawn by some of the most compelling artists in indie comics today.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Anthologies tend to be a risky investment for the same reason they're exciting and unique: there's a Gish gallop of stories with tons of different tones and viewpoints, some of which you may like, some you may not. ThoughtScape Comics simplifies this by narrowing the stories to a single writer with many contributing artists, and with a strong writer like Matt Mair Lowery at the helm, there's a guarantee of quality that can feel tenuous in other projects. Boasting artistic talents like Jenna Cha, Karl Slominsky, and Tyrell Cannon, it's hard not to be excited by what this wild anthology might offer.


#2 - THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF BART BARTSON AND DEMOLITION DINOSAUR, ISSUE #1

Writer: Don Borgmeyer

Artist: Kelsi Jo Silva

Campaign Ends: May 12th

Status: Fully Funded


PITCH:

The Amazing Adventures of Bart Bartson and Demolition Dinosaur is the story of Bart Bartson, a recently orphaned 9-year-old boy who lands in an abusive foster situation. Tormented by the other boys at the home, Bart escapes into his imagination where he finds companionship in the form of a 20-foot-tall T-rex named Demolition Dinosaur. Together, the two adventure, swashbuckle, and defend a Venusian Queen from an army of toad monsters. The confidence acquired through these adventures provides Bart with a foothold from which he regains a modicum of control in a world torn apart by loss. This is a story of overcoming trauma through imagination. And dinosaurs. And ray guns. Think Calvin and Hobbes meets Pan’s Labyrinth.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

AABBDD carries a refreshing, childlike whimsy in a story that is both tragic and heartfelt without feeling incongruous or inauthentic. It manages to be fun and sad, childish and sobering, ridiculous and all too real. The art is a little rough around the edges, but it feels deliberate and adds to the experience. There was real love put into every tiny detail of this book and it shows, again and again, why the comic book can sometimes be the best medium to tell a story.


Yule, Cover by Donna Black

#1 - YULE: DREADFUL TALES FOR THE HOLIDAY SEASON

Editor: Grant Stoye

Campaign Ends: April 30th

Status: 35% funded


PITCH:

Before the soda-drinking bears, before the bright red suit, and before the litany of saccharine films & music that saturate every holiday season, there was cold and night and fear. This collection of short horror comics will examine Yule, Winter Solstice, Saturnalia, and a slew of other terrifying folklore from around the world, from well-known tales of Krampus to the lesser-known Mari Lwyd, and all the bizarre traditions in between.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

The talent in this anthology is jaw-dropping; from Val Halverson to Jack Foster to Jarred Lujan to Fell Hound, every name involved in this anthology has an astounding reputation in comics and the work to back it up. The passion for the subject matter and the horror genre is on full display and what little we've seen of the stories in Yule point to something truly special. It's a crime that this comic hasn't been funded yet, so get out there and make it happen.


Honorable Mention – GARDENER

Cartoonist: Matt Emmons

Campaign Ends: April 21st

Status: 300% funded


PITCH: A touch of biopunk, a smattering of body horror, and a whole lot of mystery, this book is my love letter to all of the sci-fi/adventure stories I (Matt Emmons) grew up with. It’s a chance for us to spend time with those complicated, weird, monstrous characters that maybe weren't all bad.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Statistically, you already did. I couldn't include this on the list proper because it's absurdly overfunded and other comics need the publicity more. However, this is a really cool project and I'd be remiss not to mention it. The art, the world-building, the attention to detail, everything that makes a comic great is there. Add some insanely cool stretch goals and add-ons and it's no wonder this book is a winner.


*DISCLAIMER: Comics are selected from a very large pool of projects, some sent to us for review, some come across on the site itself. 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 Kickstarter.

–Wells Thompson, Content Editor


The image(s) used in this article are from a comic strip, webcomic or the cover or interior of a comic book. The copyright for this image(s) is likely owned by either the publisher of the comic, the writer(s) and/or artist(s) who produced the comic. It is believed that the use of this image(s) qualifies as fair use under the United States copyright law. The image is used in a limited fashion in an educational manner in order to illustrate the points of the author and not for the purpose of entertainment or substituting the original work. It is believed the use of this image has had no impact on the market value of the original work.

All characters and the distinctive likeness(es) thereof are trademarks of and copyright of their respective owners. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

224 views0 comments