TOP 5 KICKSTARTERS OF JUNE 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...


FULL DISCLOSURE: The writer of this piece is running his own Kickstarter concurrent with this article. It will not appear on this list in any form to avoid any conflict of interest. There is, however, a separate, satirical article that does include the project because we only partially committed to the whole "ethical journalism" thing.


The Disconauts, Cover by Luke Balmer-Kemp, Self Published

#5 THE DISCONAUTS, ISSUE #1

Writer: Jonathan Stevenson

Artist: Luke Balmer-Kemp

Campaign Ends: June 30th

Status: 50% funded


THE PITCH:

The Disconauts are a band of funky space travellers that roam the Discoverse as a force for good - righting wrongs and playing songs. It is a light-hearted read, designed to bring a smile to your faces. A welcome pick-me-up for these challenging times. Our aim was to create something packed full of fun, action, adventure and silliness just like the animated TV shows we loved as kids.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

You have to respect a comic that's shooting to have the most fun possible and The Disconauts is certainly going for that vibe. Highly stylistic and so tongue in cheek that tongue is in danger of pushing all the way through the cheek and running away to a dinosaur space village, this goofy, A-team style comic will put a smile on your face and some groove in your step. That's worth a pledge from me.


The Disasters, Cover by Javier Caba, Self Published

#4 THE DISASTERS, ISSUE #1-2

Writer: Micah Meyers

Artist: Javier Caba

Campaign Ends: July 9th

Status: 40% funded


THE PITCH:

The Disasters is a comic about a group of D-List villains that luck into killing a big-time hero and have to deal with the consequences. It's a mix of big action, colorful characters, awkward situations and zany comedy. If you're a fan of comics like Justice League International, Superior Foes of Spider-Man or other media like Venture Brothers, Archer, and/or Guy Ritchie films like myself, then I think you will love this comic.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

It's a unique twist on a tired genre that looks to be entertaining and self-deprecating while also having something to say. With an interesting real-life story attached to its development and an art style that stands out while still remaining faithful to conventional genre fare, it's a welcome addition to anyone's pledge list. The fact that you can read the first issue for free to decide if it's your thing beforehand is a level of transparency you don't normally get from any comic. I don't know if the world needs more comics in the superhero/villain genre, but this one has a character with a snowglobe for a head, so I can't be mad at it for too long.


Life, Interior art by Megan Huang, Self Published

#3 LIFE, OGN

Writer: Stephanie Cooke

Artist: Megan Huang

Campaign Ends: July 8th

Status: 115% funded


THE PITCH:

From the lush desert jungles to the deepest ocean depths, each day on planet Acheron is a fresh adventure of survival. Every inch of the world teems with vibrant wildlife hunting for food, play, and company.


Part documentary, part drama, Life is a wordless 44-page collection collecting five short comics, set on a mysterious alien world full of wonderfully strange creatures.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

The stunningly gorgeous artwork is what sells Life, which has no dialogue or captions to speak of and uses only its striking animal figures and page composition to tell its story. This certainly won't be everyone's thing, but if you've ever laid on the couch watching an Animal Planet documentary and suddenly found yourself at one with the universe, this unique take on silent storytelling will definitely satisfy.


Evermore Falls, Interior art by Karl Slominski, Self Published

#2 EVERMORE FALLS, OGN

Creator: Karl Slominski

Campaign Ends: June 26th

Status: 140% funded


THE PITCH:

EVERMORE FALLS is a love letter to the high-flying adventures of the Amblin era of excitement. Stories where everything was possible and anything could happen (and it usually did!). Worlds beyond our imagination - escapism at its finest.


Join our plucky young heroes Izzy and Milo who - with the aid of a mysterious book - discover a magical world where MONSTERS live in secret. But the newfound land of mystical creatures is also home to an ancient danger that, if uncovered, threatens our own world’s existence. As our young adventurers embark on a dangerous quest to the underworld, they forge unlikely alliances and learn that the very traits that make us different are also what make us stronger - strong enough to save the world!


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

I'll be honest, this is on the list 100% for the overwhelming detail and precision in the line art. The stylized characters stand out against beautiful backgrounds in such a way that nothing gets muddled or confusing. It takes a lot to convince an American audience to read a black-and-white book, but I think this OGN pulls it off spectacularly. All of that wonderful art supports a fun, nostalgic, all-ages story that anyone can enjoy.


Dead Beats 2: London Calling, Cover by Lisa Sterle & Stelladia, Self Published

#1 DEAD BEATS 2: LONDON CALLING, ANTHOLOGY

Editors: Joe Corallo & Eric Palicki

Campaign Ends: July 1st

Status: 33% funded


THE PITCH:

Dead Beats 2: London Calling is a 160-page full-color anthology of music-themed horror comics centered around the curiosities for sale at one peculiar record store managed by the enigmatic Shoppe Keeper. This time around, you're just in time for the grand opening of Dead Beats' new London location. Our original editors, Joe Corallo (Oh S#!t, It's Kim & Kim, Lost On Planet Earth) and Eric Palicki (All We Ever Wanted, Maybe Someday), are back for more Dead Beats featuring over twenty new comics stories and more than forty creators. Lisa Sterle (Long Lost, Witchblood) returns to provide the cover with our interstitial narrative illustrations by Val Halvorson (Finger Guns, The Sequels).


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

As far as anthologies go, this one is an incredibly safe bet. The first Dead Beats was wildly successful and the creative team has only grown more expansive and impressive since then. As the 8th anthology in this team's catalogue, it's clear that this is a safe investment, a quality product, and a hell of a ride. Add some really cool backer rewards and a Kickstarter exclusive cover and this badass music anthology has more than earned its place as a worthy campaign.


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

All three of these comics are considered honorable mentions for exactly the same reason: Beautiful art made by talented, highly professional creators that are absolutely worth your time, but have also already made their money several times over. You should check them out, but we can't spotlight them simply because there are other projects that need the attention more.


*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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