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Kickstarter Spotlight: Utopiates Audio! Haunted Taxis! Dark Tales! Red Ten! And More!

It’s been a while since we’ve done a Kickstarter spotlight, partially because I’ve become rather negative on the site due to delayed projects, vapor ware, and lack of accountability. However, we’ve been hit up to help promoted numerous projects, many from folks I know will come through! So, I feel a bit better about promoting these, as I feel myself, and this site, is responsible for your experience if you decide to pledge due to our post. Check out below to see what might be worthy of your dollar!

utopiatesUtopiates Audio Drama

What it is: Sex, Drugs, and Biotech: Welcome to the future, where the only escape is at the tip of a dream needle. This project takes the solid graphic novel and gives it an audio drama spin courtesy of Audio Comics. The project also features Denise Poirier, who was the voice of Aeon Flux!

Why I like it: So far I’ve been digging the audio comics I’ve heard. It’s a new way to experience the stories we enjoy and expanding out is never a bad thing. I’ve also read the graphic novel being adapted and it’s a fun read. Seeing how it converts into an audio drama will be rather cool.

Best Pledge: $25 gets you a mp3 download of the audio drama, the soundtrack, wallpapers, and avatars, as well as a signed copy of the graphic novel it’s based off of.

Risk: LOW – Audio Comics is a professional company and they’ve done this sort of work before. I don’t expect a lot of issues.

playing cardsThe World of Cassyno – Playing Cards by BENGAL

What it is: A stunning deck of playing cards featuring original character designs and lore by the comic illustrator & founder of CFSL! Far from just another deck of playing cards, this set is as much a gallery of original character art by Bengal, as well as the fantastic setting for numerous stories of magical intrigue, medieval espionage, and dramatic conflict between four unique kingdoms. Each face card, plus the “knight” (the 10 card), features a key character from the world, each of whom possessing both strengths and weaknesses, allies and foes, allowing for unique original gameplay as well as an abundance of exciting stories to tell.  With 20 original characters to draw from, the dramatic combinations are outstanding.

Why I like it: You can never have too many decks of cards, plus the bonus of some games. Plus, you get some stunning artwork to stare out while using it.

Best Pledge: $15 gets you the deck of cards plus a bonus joker card!

Risk: LOW – They’ve got vendors to print and for the materials, and the game design should be pretty simple. I think this out has a nice lead time that’ll give them some padding to make it all happen.

cyrus perkinsCyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab

What it is: After a young boy dies in his taxi cab, Cyrus Perkins must solve the boy’s murder… or be haunted by the spirit trapped in his car! Cyrus Perkins and the Haunted Taxi Cab is a four issue supernatural crime noir comic series. When a young boy named Michael dies from a gunshot wound in his taxi cab, Cyrus Perkins is thrust to the role of unlikely hero as Michael’s spirit is trapped in his cab. Cyrus must solve his murder, and give him the peace to pass into the afterlife.

The project brings together some of the Action Lab team. Dave Dwonch has been a comics writer and artist producing indie titles for over a decade. In 2010 he founded Action Lab Entertainment with fellow indie mavericks and as Creative Director for Action Lab helped produce several of their titles including the Eisner nominated series Princeless. Recently he penned several titles, most notably Vamplets (with Gayle “My Little Pony” Middleton), Ghost Town, and CBR’s Top 100 of 2013 series Double Jumpers.

A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Anna Lencioni has been working as a sequential artist on such titles as NFL Rush Zone and Miss America. Cyrus Perkins is her first long form project.

Why I like it: The Action Lab team has been putting out quality comics and I expect no less from them when it comes to this!

Best Pledge: $20 gets you a Kickstarter edition of the first issue signed by the series’ creator Dave Dwonch!

Risk: LOW – The team says they’re halfway done with the project, so I don’t expect too many problems. These are comic professionals who have met deadlines before!

the red ten vol 1 hardcoverThe Red Ten – Volume 1 Hardcover

What it is: When the world’s greatest detective is violently murdered, her corporate-backed super team and former sidekick band together to bring her killer to justice. However, the mission goes terribly wrong, and before the night is out, each of the ten “heroes” will pay dearly for past transgressions. This is Agatha Christie’s classic story Ten Little Indians transformed into a story with super heros!

The issues are done, so this is to help raise the bare minimum money needed to print a small run of a premium hardcover version of the series.

Why I like it: I’ve read the issues so far and they’re solid work by a great independent small publisher. This is exactly the type of project Kickstarter was made for.

Best Pledge: $25 gets you the printed hardcover of the book. That’s kind of the point of the project….

Risk: LOW – These guys have done numerous projects before and they’ve gone off without a hitch and the comic is completed, it just needs to be printed!

the dark tales of the brothers harrowThe Dark Tales of the Brothers Harrow

What it is: Two titles. Two worlds. Two epic stories that push the boundaries of the graphic novel medium, all contained in one book. The Dark Tales of the Brothers Harrow Volume 1 collects the first two issues of two sci-fi fantasy titles – The Delta and Avalon: The World Within. It contains over 130 pages of beautifully cinematic comic goodness.

Why I like it: The art looks pretty solid in this book and if it’s printed as shown, that’s a beautiful book to add to any comic collection.

Best Pledge: $40 this gets you the paperback version of volume one and a digital version as well. Also included are wallpapers  and a “special” thank you.

Risk: MEDIUM – This is their first Kickstarter project and I don’t know much about the company as well. The visuals though are solid which is why it’s included here. My guess is the project will be late if anything, but prices seem high enough that the money projects should be covered to produce and ship.

all kings menAll the King’s Men

What it is: A huge dystopic science-fiction anthology of comics and prose that features award-winning contributors, and pays fairly for their work.

All The King’s Men is a science-fiction anthology. It’s planned to run a mammoth 300 pages, a combination of short prose stories and black and white comics, all stories loosely linked together by theme and/or setting.

All proceeds from this Kickstarter campaign will be used to pay those contributors for their work. There will be no working for exposure, no working for royalties that might never materialise; if it’s good enough to get in the book, it’s worth paying for.

Why I like it: The paying the contributors for their work is what stood out to me. The project sounds ambitious, but that part gets it a bump from here.

Best Pledge: $35 AUD gets you a paperback copy as well as a digital copy of the book.

Risk: HIGH – While May 2015 is a hell of a time frame to get this done, I’ve notice anthologies tend to have a lot of issues on Kickstarter. Expect this one to be delayed or the line up of creators to change.