Welcome to a new feature at PW Comics World. With Crowdwatch we'll be spotlight new and notable crowdfunded comics projects that are worthy of attention—or support.
In recent years, crowdfunding has given comic creators of all stripes a unique platform to create and distribute their work while engaging readers like never before—to the tune of $1 billion dollars raised, as a recent press release revealed. Less-established artists and writers can now make a direct appeal to readers, securing the necessary resources they may otherwise lack the means to obtain. Even professionals have turned to crowdfunding for more personal projects that allow them to work with a level of autonomy rarely possible in traditional publishing. The popularity of websites like Kickstarter, IndieGoGo, and RocketHub represents a shift in the comics landscape, one that levels the playing field and redefines the relationship between creator and consumer.
With Crowdwatch, we will chronicle this movement and sift through the many crowdfunding campaigns that begin each month to highlight unique, notable, or otherwise important projects.
Pledged as of 3/4: $16,297
End Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014
Since 1979, World War 3 Illustrated has been on the front lines of comics journalism and commentary, collecting stories that tackle real world social and political issues. The anthology gives writers, artists, and activists the opportunity to collaborate and share their perspectives on themes including the environment, nationalism, feminism, globalization, religion, and more.
The new 320-page color hardcover, edited by Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman, and Jordan Whorley and published by PM Press, collects over three decades of bleeding edge comics with works by Peter Kuper, James Romberger, Peter Bagge, Sue Coe, Spain Rodriguez, Art Spiegelman, and many more.
Rewards include a finished copy of the book, back issues of WW3 magazine, PM Press merchandise, limited edition prints and posters from the magazine's contributors, a "Friends of PM Press" membership, and a trip to the WW3 launch party in New York City.
Pledged as of 3/4: $1,513
End Date: Sunday, March 16, 2014
After last year's successful project for Mexico, Cause Vision is shifting their efforts to Nepal with "Chameli Goes to School," a manga-style comic that educates readers of the dangers of human trafficking. Working with local grassroots programs, the project's organizers hope to distribute the comic to impoverished towns and schools throughout the Himalayas (2013's "Evelina" saw 12,000 copies reach over 100 schools in Mexico).
The comic, in its final stages of production, was written by Cause Vision founder and photojournalist Natsuko Utsumi, who visited Nepal in July 2013 and interviewed families who have been affected by the destructive practice. Artwork was provided by manga artist Yusako Emoto, who also drew "Evelina," and the Nepalese translation was done by Pasang Pakhrin.
Rewards include a print and digital copy of "Chameli," as well as special recognition included in the finished book.
Pledged as of 3/4: $6,317
End Date: Sunday, March 16, 2014
Created in 2004 by Mike Imboden and Ed Dukeshire, the Fist of Justice is a superhero who originally appeared in Digital Webbing Presents and later in his own self-titled series. After years of defending Charm City, Marc Mason – the Fist of Justice, gave up crime fighting following a series of tragic events. For thirty years his body lay dormant, but now he's back, fully-powered and ready to take on the threats of the 21st century.
The all-new trade will collect DWP #s 24, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, Fist of Justice #1 (all written by Imboden and featuring artists including Chad Hardin, Yildiray Cinar, Anthony Castrillo, Dario Carrasco Jr, André Coelho, and Pow Rodrix), as well as the highly-anticipated sixth issue by Imboden, Hardin, and Cinar.
Rewards include print copies of Fist of Justice Vol. 1 and Fist of Justice #6, limited edition prints, assorted merchandise, and a chance to appear in an all-new 8-page FOJ story.
Pledged as of 3/4: $6,214
End Date: Sunday, March 9, 2014
Columbus, Ohio based Nix Comics, which specializes in Rock N Roll-themed comics that appeal to both comic readers and rock listeners, is adding two additional books to their 2014 lineup.
First, Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Record Stores?, a 24-page black and white comic tells the true story of two kids who meet The Ramones in a seedy record shop in the 1990s. The book celebrates the 90s punk and indie rock scene of Columbus, Ohio, and reminisces about a time before celebrity worship pervaded the industry. Do You Remember Rock 'n' Roll Record Stores? , written by Bela Koe Krompecher, adapted by Nix Comicx publisher Ken Eppstein, and illustrated by Andy Bennet, ships in April.
Also shipping in April, Pure Entertainment #4/5, a 72-page, black and white collection of original rock n' roll cartoons from some of best artists of the 1980's alternative comics scene. Originally published in the 1980s by Look Mom, Comics!, Pure Entertainment was edited by Pete Friedrich and contains work by Bob Camp, Peter Kuper, Dave Simons, Pat Redding, Al Voss, and many more, and features bands like The New York Dolls, Devo, and Roxy Music.
Rewards include a subscription to Nix Comics, original cover art, assorted merchandise, autographed LPs, and being drawn into a panel of Do You Remember Rock 'N Roll Record Stores?.
Click here to listen to Calvin Reid's interview with indie comics creator Pete Friedrich on PW Comics World's podcast.
Pledged as of 3/4: $67,623
End Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2014
After a highly successful campaign for their first Fairy Quest book, Outlaws, Paul Jenkins's and Humberto Ramos's fantasy adventure series continues in Fairy Quest Book 2: Outcasts, a new 48-page oversized original graphic novel. The story of Fairy Quest takes place in Fablewood, a realm where all the known fairy tales reside and must faithfully hew to their respective stories or face the dreaded "Mind Eraser." But Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf (known as Red and Mister Woof) have developed a forbidden friendship and are trying to escape from Fablewood. Outcasts picks up where Outlaws left off, with Red and Mister Woof entering the Dark Woods in the hope of reaching Realworld, a mysterious place that seems to offer the freedom they seek.
Writer Paul Jenkins recent work has included Deathmatch and Revelations for BOOM! Studios and Batman: The Dark Knight for DC Comics. Humberto Ramos has worked on Marvel's The Amazing Spider-Man and is the current penciler on Superior Spider-Man. They have both described Fairy Quest as a passion project.
Rewards include a finished copy of Fairy Quest Book 2: Outcasts, a bundle of both Outlaws Outcasts, a deluxe edition of the Outcasts, assorted merchandise, signed and personalized books, a writing seminar with Paul, being drawn into the comic, and trips to C2E2 and San Diego Comic Con to hang out with Paul and Humberto.
Got a project you'd like to see on Crowdwatch? Email suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.