TOP 5 KICKSTARTERS OF SEPTEMBER, 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...


The O.Z., Issue #2 cover by Ruben Rojas

#5 THE O.Z. #1-2

Writer: David Pepose

Artist: Ruben Rojas

Campaign Ends: September 14th

Status: Absurdly well funded


PITCH:

Decades ago, when a young girl defeated the Wicked Witch of the West, she said farewell to the magical land of Oz… but unwittingly plunged the country into years of brutal civil war. But a generation later, the name of Dorothy Gale lives on in her granddaughter, an Iraq war veteran grappling with disillusionment and PTSD — until a tornado strands her in the war-torn battlefield known only as The O.Z. Forced to navigate warring factions led by the Tin Soldier, the Scarecrow, and the Courageous Lion, Dorothy must face her past and embark on a dangerous quest for the all-powerful Silver Slippers if she ever hopes to bring peace to the Occupied Zone.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Objectively speaking, this is probably the highest quality comic on this list. The pedigree of the creators is Image-quality and the concept is entirely too interesting to ignore; however, it has already earned over 5x its goal and needs no help from us. Normally, I wouldn't even consider putting it on the list, but the art is far too good and the circumstances of its creation far too interesting to be ignored. So, let's split the difference and put it at the bottom of this list. Give the comic money if you genuinely want to read it, but know that the creators are getting paid their worth and then some as it stands.


#4 ROBO, #1-3

Writer: Jesse Keppler

Artist: Renzo Podesta

Campaign Ends: October 7th

Status: Launches September 13th


PITCH:

Robo is a dystopian cyberpunk adventure comic book by Jesse Keppler and Renzo Podesta. The comic is 20 black-and-white pages of intrigue, action, and danger. This third installment delves deeper into the city, its people and the corruption beneath the veneer of the future...In a world of networked brain implants, technological terrorism, corporate espionage, and desperate people, Robo tries to balance his desire to be a hero for the people with his job for a company that only seeks order to do their business.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

If rich, dystopian, sci-fi world-building is what you like in a comic, then why have you been sleeping on this one? With gorgeous artwork, moral ambiguity, and some of the finest box braids ever put to ink, Robo is worth the time and attention of any Matrix or Blade Runner fan. Black-and-white might not be everyone's jam, but if you can look past the lack of color, you'll find wonderfully detailed and textured grey tones that evoke exactly the right mood for the setting.


Ennead: The Rule of Nine "May We Find Peace" cover by Luke Horsman

#3 ENNEAD: THE RULE OF NINE, #1-6

Writer: J. L. Johnson, Jr.

Artist: Edward Lilley

Campaign Ends: October 5th

Status: 60% funded


PITCH:

ENNEAD: THE RULE OF NINE is an epic fantasy re-envisioned for a modern and diverse audience. We know representation matters and the world of Amashik reflects it. Travel through The Republic Kingdom of Athea alongside Inahtuu Kinisc, as he runs from his past, and his present pursuers. Navigate a tumultuous transfer of power with Queen Ellaria Shadoon as she works to solidify her grandmother's legacy... as well as "The Rule of Nine." March with King Ulius Kazar as he fights to end a decades long war and ensure his name is remembered long after he's gone. Witness as Ngia'wi of The Order of The Jade Crest races to prevent an ancient, and ethereal, cold war from turning hot. Travel within the brand new world of Amashik as this story unfolds.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Go back to this section under Robo and read it again. Replace "Sci-fi" with "Epic fantasy" and you've got your reason right there. The artwork is stunning, even in black-and-white, the world-building is fully realized and imaginative, and the quality of storytelling is remarkable. Ennead aims to give epic fantasy the "facelift" it so clearly needs by providing proper representation and exciting, modern storytelling from a diverse creative team. Basically, if you like Lord of the Rings but wish it wasn't so overwhelmingly white, you have a home in Ennead.


#2 THREE

Editor: James Duran

Campaign Ends: September 30th

Status: 60% funded


PITCH:

THREE is a diverse collection of fantasy stories straight from the minds of the newest creators. All of our writers were looking for a place for their stories to call home. Through the wonderful invention of the internet, they found each other and decided to party-up and create something together. We hope to bring you something you can’t find anywhere else. Be it a battle of the bands between witches and demons, spirits possessing a drug dealer, or a tavern for monsters dealing with a serious adventurer problem. THREE is the product of creators who love comics and are excited to share their stories with you.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

The raw energy and talent on display in these pages are impossible not to get swept up in. Wide variety of styles and subject matter aside, each comic is brimming with a vibrancy of ideas and urgency of creators that couldn't wait any longer to have their story told. What mistakes are present are more charming than distracting and serve as post markers for the growth of what will undoubtedly be impressive careers by the up and coming comic creators. If there's one comic to buy for the sake of supporting the most indie comics folk, this the one.


Gilgamesh: Eternal, Issue #1 cover by Kostas Pantoulas

#1 GILGAMESH: ETERNAL #1

Writer: Cam Kerkau

Artist: Kostas Pantoulas

Campaign Ends: September 28th

Status: 75% funded


PITCH:

Witness the world’s first story, retold in the world's greatest storytelling medium. Gilgamesh the God-King ruled over Uruk as a tyrant until he was humbled by the Beast-Man Enkidu. With Enkidu's support Gilgamesh earns the love of his people. Finally a man who has everything, he can think of nothing else to do but travel the world in search of even greater glory. Alas, he searches too far and makes too many enemies - and they will make sure he loses everything.


WHY SHOULD I BACK IT?

Be honest, you never thought that English degree would come in handy. What better way to vindicate your poor choice of major than to support the comicification of the world's oldest epic poem, which you probably faked reading but vaguely remember the cliff notes. Obvious projecting aside, this is exactly the kind of adaptation comics were made for! The art is rough and detailed as if etched into a stone and the tapestry like flair to the panels matches the tone of epic poetry to a scary extent. If the theme of this article was actually "Top fantasy Kickstarters of September," it's fitting that the top choice is the God-king of epic fantasy. You owe it to yourself to check out Gilgamesh: Eternal.


HONORABLE MENTION: BI VISIBILITY

Editor: Kat Calamia

Campaign Ends: September 23rd

Status: 175% funded


Kat's excellent anthology is a beacon of bisexual representation in a world that continually and systematically engages in bisexual erasure. There's a ton of amazing talent on display and a story that nearly anyone will be able to relate to. The reason it only makes honorable mention status is to avoid conflict of interest; both myself and interview editor for CBY Jimmy Gaspero wrote stories for the anthology. While I wouldn't blame you for taking my recommendation as biased, I do urge you to check out this anthology, it really is that good.


*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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