You don’t have to draw comics to love comics. But who hasn’t looked at an incredible panel and wanted to do it themselves? For those who have the itch and the talent, there’s never been so many ways of sharing your stuff with the world. And one of the best ways is crowdfunding.
From the charming to the terrifying to the whimsical, here are some Kickstarter proposals that caught our eye. Some are beginning to take off, and some are still obscure. Many are fully funded, but some haven’t reached all their goals yet, so if you like them, support them!
#1: Billy the Pyro: Volume One
What it’s about: Billy is a teenager struggling to deal with a background of abuse. When he discovers that a government research institute has been experimenting with his genes and given him the ability to produce fire, his life really gets complicated, for better and worse.
Why it needs to exist: Billy’s far too cool to wear a superhero suit, and he’s not afraid to let people know it.
Raised: $2,639 of $5,500
#2: Ninja Baseball Man
What it’s about: Inspired by an obscure Japanese video game released in the early 90s, Jose Majors is working two jobs: struggling veteran baseball player, and ninja. He fights baseball-themed villains to recover objects stolen from the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Why it needs to exist: One of the villains is a giant baseball with a face and a pair of hands.
Raised: $1,278 of $1,000
#3: SCAPULA: World’s Worst Villain
What it’s about: A long-running webcomic looking to become a book, Aidan Casserly’s Scapula features a supervillain, and he’s not very good at his job. He mostly commits petty crimes and tries not to tread on the toes of criminals, villains and other figures from San Francisco’s seedy side.
Why it needs to exist: A truly disturbing gallery of bad heists and misfits.
Raised: $5,938 of $5,000 (stretch goal $6,000)
#4: Solitary: A Superhero Prison Drama
What it’s about: Tim Hill is an innocent man sentenced to death. But there’s one hitch: when he’s executed, he doesn’t die. And forever is a long, long time to spend on death row.
Why it needs to exist: It’s a vivid and seriously dark take on prison. Creator CW Cooke says he’s been working on this story since he was a kid.
Raised: $7,138 of $3,500
What it’s about: The cover of the first issue of Squarriors raises questions. But those questions have answers. Yes, that squirrel has an axe. And yes, it just killed another squirrel. In a Watership Down-type tale gone very, very bad, tribes of intelligent squirrels have inherited the earth from extinct humans. Now they’re fighting their own murderous instincts, not to mention each other.
Why it needs to exist: The artwork is seriously lush. But it’s not for the squeamish.
Raised: $15,299 of $12,000. They asked for cash and they got cash.
What it’s about: There are apes, and sometimes they wear capes. Set in a vividly imagined, noir-ish world where humans and intelligent apes coexist, a human, George Tremayne, is charged with giving leadership to a human race that has lost its way.
Why it needs to exist: Shifting alliances between humans, monkeys, and sunbears. The sunbears are sentient, organized, and real mean.
Raised £632 of £400 (stretch goal £625).
#7: Monkey Chef #2
What it’s about: Mike Freiheit was once a chef at a primate sanctuary in South Africa. Did he cook for the humans or the monkeys, you ask? Both.
Why it needs to exist: Freiheit’s best friend in the series is a monkey called Kismit.
Raised $4,052 of $3,500 (stretch goal $4,000)
#8: Dawn of the Furries
What it’s about: Dawn of the Furries is set in Pittsburgh—a.k.a. Gotham on the Allegheny*—and follows a besieged band of coworkers as they try to survive an attack by furry creatures devastating the city.
Why it needs to exist: Each character gets a chance-of-survival rating, which keeps you from getting too attached. Did we mention the furry creatures are also zombies?
*… and the Ohio, and the Monongahela.
Raised: $2,495 of $2,000 (stretch goal $2,600)
#9: The Saga of Metalbeard
What it’s about: We can’t put it any better than its creator did: “The story of a young prince, his lost birthright, and the beginning of his journey to become the most notorious space viking ever.”
Why it needs to exist: The importance of the quest to become the most notorious space Viking ever.
Raised: $849 of $4,800 (Canadian dollars).
#10: The Astronomer
What it’s about: This ran back in 2012, exceeding its fundraising goal by an incredible 281%. We love the strangeness of the concept—the first chapter follows Floating Head Bounty Killers as they roam through strange canyons. In the second chapter (spoiler alert!) these canyons turn out to be lines on the hand of an astronomer, who sits armed with a rifle and a telescope among the ruins of an ancient civilization. Since then, creator Matt Rebholz has gotten to chapter three, and it’s fair to say things get weird.
Why it needs to exist: See above.
Raised: $11,242 of $4,000
It’s an exciting time for those of us who love comics: the old comic publishers are still going strong, and there’s a ton of strange and suspenseful new content getting made independently. And if that’s your thing, don’t forget to check out Biowars.