Earlier this year, Kickstarter announced they had been working on the premier crowdfunding service's very own comic book anthology, to be published by Kickstarter itself. The Worlds of Kickstarter Comics was intended to debut at this year's Toronto Comic Arts Festival, but unfortunately that event has become one of many cancelled due to the coronavirus. So they have decided to release the anthology digitally, for free. And every Kickstarter Reads newsletter subscriber will get it as a free digital download on May 2nd. You just have to sign up by end of play tomorrow. Camilla Zhang, Comics Outreach Lead of Kickstarter writes,
Sometimes the best way to cope during a crisis is to escape into another world—or worlds, when it comes to Kickstarter. There are so many stories to discover in our comics section and they reinforce what I've always believed: that comics are for everyone, and the medium spans all genres and forms. We wanted to capture that variety with our first- ever comics anthology, which will be free for download to every Kickstarter Reads subscriber on May 2. (Sign up here if you don't already get the newsletter.)
The anthology is called The Worlds of Kickstarter Comics and it shows the breadth and depth of our community's creative work, from slice-of-life to sci-fi. We want to give back to our creators, backers, and comics readers of all stripes by making the anthology free. Being stuck at home doesn't mean we stop exploring, after all!
We announced the plan for the project earlier this year, putting a call out on Twitter for nominations. We received over 300 unique nominations from 533 backers and fans. From there, a diverse committee of dedicated comics fans who work at Kickstarter selected 12 finalists (all from successful Kickstarter projects) and we're proud to reveal them here:
- "Journeys" by Jeffrey Veregge from Moonshot Vol. 2
- "Soft Physics by Blue Delliquanti from FTL, Y'all!
- "Day at the Park" by Eliot Rahal and Jason Copland from All We Ever Wanted
- "The Whisperer" by Arianne Hokoki from Power & Magic Vol. 1
- "Another World" by Sadan from Naked Body
- "Breath, Plucked from Heaven" by Shivana Sookdeo from ELEMENTS: Fire
- "The Flourishing Feast" by Juliette GMM Lopez from Heartwood
- "Mind & Body" by Mady G. from Corpus
- "Wash Day" by Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith
- "La Voz de M.A.Y.O. Tata Rambo" by Henry Barajas and Jason "Gonzo" Gonzalez
- "Singular They" by Melanie Gillman from We're Still Here
- "Johnny Wander Travelogue" by Ananth Hirsh and Yuko Ota
We're also honored to announce that our afterword was written by none other than Ngozi Ukazu, creator of Check, Please! Here's a sneak peek of her wise and inspiring words:
"In a world where artists from all walks of life are creating comics that capture every odd and beautiful shade of the human experience, few comics get the opportunity to be elevated, broadcast, and distributed on a large scale. Those who hold the key to the gates are people who are unfortunately too hesitant, uninformed, or risk-averse to tamper with the status quo. The power of self-publishing, and indeed, the power of Kickstarter, is that the gates get blown off their hatches. When your audience rallies behind you to bring a graphic novel to print, suddenly you have the keys in your hands."
Originally, we planned to debut The Worlds of Kickstarter Comics at Toronto Comic Arts Festival, which unfortunately has become one of the many events canceled due to COVID-19. We switched gears and joined forces with Russell Nohelty's Alt Free Comic Days (AltFCD), a 2-day online variation of Free Comic Book Day, a beloved spring tradition.
AltFCD kicks off on May 1 with a keynote from Teen Titans co-creator Marv Wolfman. There will be panels featuring creators like Cecil Castellucci (Batgirl, Shade, the Changing Girl), Roye Okupe (Malika, E.X.O.), and Kevin Eastman (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)! I'll also be on a panel called Crushing your Kickstarter May 2 at 4pm EST, so please join me!.
To celebrate AltFCD, we'll be giving every Kickstarter Reads subscriber a free digital download of The Worlds of Kickstarter on May 2. But be sure to sign up for the newsletter by May 1 to get your copy.
Thank you for supporting independent storytellers and artists, especially now. Because in times of crisis, art and stories can be more than an escape—they can be our maps to a brighter future.
I hope everyone stays safe and healthy and that The Worlds of Kickstarter Comics can provide solace, joy, and hope in the days ahead.