TOP 5 KICKSTARTERS OF JANUARY 2022

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...


Sidequest, Issue 4 cover by Brenda Snell

#5 SIDEQUEST #4

Writer: Grant Stoye

Artist: Alaire Racicot

Campaign Ends: January 24th

Status: 85% funded


PITCH:

Have you ever played a video game? Played a table-top role-playing game? Lost yourself in a book? Did you use that activity to escape reality for a bit, maybe blow off some steam? If so, you may relate to this book: when the stress of life gets to be too much for D'arik, he hooks up with his adventuring party to go on some quests! But what happens when he relies too much on escapism to cope? What happens when his choices begin to reflect his frustrations?


Many of SIDEQUEST's biggest mysteries are addressed in this issue: Who was the old woman from the previous issue? Why is Barca laying waste to Tol Kestra? Where did the Ring come from? What does the group do with Grachen's Ron Weasley-looking ass?


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Sidequest is the rare D&D comic that truly delivers, providing all the fantasy action you could ever want and strong character development, but also going beyond and commenting on the nature of escapist media and our role in it. Issue 3 was number 1 on my list last time it was on Kickstarter and #4 would be comfortable in that spot as well, unfortunately I am not fully committed to my nepotism and want to give someone else a chance to claim the spotlight. That said, there's no reason to miss out on this incredible series!


#4 SIDEKICK FOR HIRE #4

Writer: Kristian Herrera

Artist: Rick Alves

Campaign Ends: February 3rd

Status: 65% funded


PITCH:

Sidekick For Hire follows the first-ever real-life sidekick named Leonardo Moss, who gets hired by millionaire vigilantes but sucks at his job and gets the heroes hurt, or worse, killed!

Leonardo Moss has always wanted to be a superhero but can't afford it. So he does the next best thing a broke college student can do: BECOME THE FIRST EVER WORK-FOR-HIRE SIDEKICK!


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

I'm not the biggest proponent of capes comics, but every now and then, something comes along and excites me. Like Invincible before it, Sidekick for Hire oozes with potential and delivers on its twists and turns with gut-punching goodness. The art is sleek and can stand toe to toe with anything the big 2 are putting out, so if you like your underwear on the outside and your heroes costumed in primary colors, give this comic a look-see.


Gorgon, Vol 2. Interior art by Mark Kidwell & Jeff Zornow

#3 GORGON VOL. 2

Writer: Jay Fotos

Artist: Mark Kidwell & Jeff Zornow

Campaign Ends: February 4th

Status: Approaching 3rd stretch goal


PITCH:

The most sought-after narcotic on the world’s streets, the euphoric drug known as Gorgon, is slowly turning its users to stone! From the USA, the DEA has dispatched one of its highest performing agents to Colombia to investigate traces of rare snake venom discovered in the chemical makeup of the deadly powder. A modern day paladin descends into the heart of darkness…


Scarred drug dealer El Caesar knows the dark secret that coils among the rotting stones of a lost temple deep in the jungle. He manipulates it and drives it like a poisoned dagger, straight at the hearts of the Colombian drug cartels that made him...through violence, betrayal and murder...the soulless monster he has become. A purveyor of dreams…he has become the twisted partner of nightmares!


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Having not read the first volume and not being terribly familiar with the creators (despite their decades of experience and many accolades), I only had one thing to go on with this project, the art. And boy does it deliver! Gnarly, textured, and visceral, Gorgon is drawn with the stuff of nightmares and I cannot get enough of it. If you like a good horror comic in the vein of Swamp Thing, this comic will sing to you until you wander so far inside that there is no escape.


#2 ACCESS GUIDE TO THE BLACK COMIC BOOK COMMUNITY

Writers: Dimitrios Fragiskatos, George Carmona 3rd, & Joseph Illidge

Campaign Ends: January 14th

Status: Funded!


PITCH:

The goal of Access Guide is to make people aware of the comics being created by Black creators, and of the Black-owned businesses related to comics. There is beautiful art being made by people who don't have the marketing budget of a corporation. There is also a strong need for outreach on two ends; the creators looking for an audience, and people looking to find themselves represented in their favorite genres. The Access Guide to the Black Comic Book Community will make this connection in order to help the growth of the comics industry as a whole!


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

This isn't the kind of thing that usually goes on this list, but I had to make an exception for the Access Guide, who's mission statement is at once necessary and insanely cool. An effective guide to the best of the best in the Black comic's community, curated by some of the most knowledgeable, well connected people within that community, this is an invaluable tool for anyone that wants to gain a true appreciation and understanding of what indie comics are all about.


#1 LADY MAYHEM

Writer: Jenna Lyn Wright

Artist: Karl Slominski

Campaign Ends: February 1st

Status: Funded!


PITCH:

LADY MAYHEM is a bombastic, over-the-top, thrill ride for the reader that demands more gonzo-ridiculous action in their comics. This is a no-holds-barred love letter to VHS revenge thrillers of the 80’s, big gun bravado of 90’s comics, and that hyperactive buzz you used to get while playing SNES and housing super-caffeinated sodas all night long as a kid. This is the comic book you’d have to hide from your parents (y'know, the dangerous days, before cinematic universes & vinyl figurines).


If we're being honest, this whole thing came to be because Jenna wanted to make a lady Punisher comic and Karl shamelessly wishes that the Lynn Michaels era lasted longer than four or five issues (if you know, you know).


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

I think it would be a mistake to call Lady Mayhem nostalgia bait; it's a glorious celebration of everything that kicked ass about the grunge era of comics with the benefit of thirty years of hindsight. The love of the genre and grind house attitude permeates every page so that, even in black and white, it's impossible not to be absorbed in this world of revenge, impractically large guns, and oh-so much scowling. If you've been waiting for something to live up to the old school Punisher comics, now's your opportunity to make it a reality.



*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

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