Crowdfunded Comics that deserve more attention: Through the Cognitive Rift

Today we’re talking about Through the Cognitive Rift, a graphic novel project currently seeking funding on Kickstarter.

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The project is about the human mind and hypothesizes that the universe we know and love is simply the thoughts and dreams of a single individual.  The story takes place in a universe experiencing the apocalypse because its creator has severe mental problems and is contemplating suicide.  The plot is about the one person in this universe that has been given the opportunity to connect with its creator and attempt to save the creators life and, by extension, all of existence.

The project was created by Natalie McKean and is seeking to raise $3,200 by August 9th.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nataliemckean/through-the-cognitive-rift-graphic-novel?ref=category_newest

Why I like it

The first reason I like this project is because I have a tremendous amount of respect for the creator.

Now, I never knew Mrs. McKean before I saw her project but when I learned that she is doing all of the writing, art, and production work by herself I couldn’t help but take my hat off to her.

Trust me when I say that creating comics takes a lot of work.  Heck, all I do is write mine and I’m still frazzled.

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The second reason that I like this project is its subject matter.

When I saw that this book was about the internal workings of people’s minds and thoughts my mind immediately thought of this:

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Now, Inception is one of my favorite movies of all time.  It’s deep, thoughtful, and trippy as all hell.

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Now, it looks like Through the Cognitive Rift promises to be trippy as well, just in a different way.

But I think this book promises to be more than Inception, in fact I think it has the potential to be more.

Now don’t get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for Christopher Nolan and the cast of the film, but as a director he’s more of a robot than a human.

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Don’t believe me?  Go back to any of his films and try to find a character that conveys emotion and feeling through something that isn’t exposition or dialogue that doesn’t move the plot forward or reveal some sort of great theme or world shaking plot point.

I like this project because it looks like a more human and thoughtful version of Inception and while I don’t know if that was the creator’s intention, I write this with nothing but the highest praise and excitement.

Why you should donate

Take everything I said about Inception,

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throw in the awesome artwork,

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AND add the fact that this is probably one of the most creative and interesting stories that you will ever see dealing with depression, suicidal thoughts, and mental health,

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and you have a recipe for a book that is engaging, thoughtful, and gorgeous to both read and look at.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/nataliemckean/through-the-cognitive-rift-graphic-novel?ref=category_newest

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Crowdfunded Comics that deserve more attention: Power Scourge

Today we’re talking about a graphic novel currently seeking funding on Kickstarter called Power Scourge.

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The project is created by a company called Visionary Comics and is seeking $30,000 in funding by October 16th.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/470321830/power-scourge-superpowers-gone-wild-graphic-novel/description

Power Scourge is an anthology book detailing a mysterious event called the “Starburst” and the fallout of the event where thousands of people on Earth start mysteriously developing superpowers.

Patient Zero of the superpower plague - Art by Dani Mendoza, Colors by Tom Long.

Nobody knows exactly what’s going on except there is a strange alien device being built in downtown Richmond VA,

An alien superstructure begins taking shape in Richmond, signaling a definitive shift in the crisis. Art by Paris Cullins, Colors by Tom Long.

and the creators of the project are hinting at a strange race of super powered beings known as “The Everlasting” who appear to be playing a much larger role in this strange event than the creators are letting on.

The Chronicler - one of the mysterious Everlasting who bears witness to the Power Scourge! Art by C. Edward Sellner

While the creators of the this project are being frustratingly vague with plot details, I believe this idea is interesting enough to warrant your time, your attention, and your money.

Why I like it

In almost every superhero comic I’ve ever read super powers are limited to a few,

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well…a distinct selection of men and women with special abilities, the right heritage, or incredible luck.

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This makes sense considering that it makes sense to keep your perspective limited and focused from a story telling point of view.  In a world filled with superpowers, what makes superheroes special enough to tell stories about?

Power Scourge takes this idea and flips in on its head.  There are no billionaires who decided to become superheroes, there are no alien devices that chose a specific wearer, and there are no top secret government agencies that have humans deadly enough to go toe to toe with gods and win.  The powers are introduced to our society suddenly, dramatically, and seemingly without reason and it looks like humanity will react in a pretty predictable way.

What starts as a typical day in downtown Atlanta, Georgia quickly escalates into something never before imagined! Art by Dani Mendoza, Colors by Tom Long.

Almost any writer/creator will tell you that chaos and confusion make for the best story set ups and this graphic novel promises a lot of chaos.

The Cosmic Champion SoulStar plays a critical role in Power Scourge - but its not one you would expect! Art by C. Edward Sellner

Why you should donate

First and foremost, this Kickstarter project promises to be the start of something big: a fully functioning comic book universe with plenty of spin offs and a chance to glimpse into a much bigger world that will be developed into other titles.

This project allows anyone who donates to potentially witness a new generation of superheroes and ideas for superhero comics and I think that’s something special.

Also, I mentioned in the beginning that this was an anthology work and here is a sample of some of the writers and artists that are on board with this story and some of their work.

Writer Ron Marz

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Artist Craig Rousseau

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Artist Steve Ellis

and writer Jimmy Palmiotti

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Needless to say, there is an amazing group of very talented writers and artists working on this project and I hope to see a lot more in the future.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/470321830/power-scourge-superpowers-gone-wild-graphic-novel/description

Crowdfunded Comics that deserve more attention: Enough Space for Everybody

Boy, it’s been waaay to long since I’ve done one of these.

For anyone who might not know, I run a blog series where I talk about cool crowdfunded comic books I like and try to help them out for free.  Unfortunately, silly things like work and sleep tend to get in the way so I don’t get to do this as often as I like.

However, today I was feeling especially awake and I decided to browse the projects on Kickstarter and I found this!

The project is a science fiction comic book anthology with a really intriguing twist: it’s a collection of sci fi stories without any military or imperialism themes, tones, or stories.

The project is headed by J.N Monk and needs to raise $30,000 to pay for artists, editing, printing, and shipping.

Kickstarter link:  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1638576966/enough-space-for-everyone-else-an-anthology?ref=home_featured

Why I like it

I’ll be honest, when I first read the project description I was a tad confused.

You see, I am a guy who likes comic books and science fiction.  This means that, for most of my life, this is the kind of sci fi I’ve been raised on:

As you can see it’s big, brash, loud, and awesome, but “Enough Space for Everyone” is trying to do science fiction without all the guns, fighting, and violence and that intrigues me.

For me, and I would assume almost everyone else who likes science fiction, the genre is at its best when it creates timeless stories that speak to some particular part of the human condition

By setting stories in the distant future authors allow their stories to become timeless.  After all, we won’t have to worry about a sci fi story being dated because we’ll be long dead by the year 10191

and the wondrous technology that sci fi is known for allows its creator to physically show the reader everything from the meaning of humanity,

To the dangers of our hubris.

The reason why I think conflict is so prevalent in science fiction is because it makes a story easy to understand.

War and violence are one of the few constants in human history and it is something that everyone understands at some level.

Sci fi often uses conflict to set up two opposing sides and use each side to explain the point he/she is trying to make.  One side is good, the other is bad, here’s why, and this is what happens when one side wins.

But if science fiction is a way to explore the human condition, why do we have to always limit ourselves to conflict?  Aren’t there other emotions and ideas that humans have been coping with for thousands of years?  Why can’t science fiction tell those kinds of stories?

The creators of “Enough Space for Everyone” want to write sci fi stories like that and claim that “there is enough space for friendship, for art competitions, for understanding, for magical nights at the theater, for creativity, for vacations, for new beginnings.”

I like this project because I have spent a LOT of time with violent military sci fi and I want to see what stories from other perspectives look like.

Why you should donate

Another interesting thing about science fiction is that a lot of its art tends to rely on a very specific, very detail oriented, very realistic style.

But “Enough Space for Everyone Else” takes a very different approach, preferring to promote artwork that is much less realistic and almost childlike.

I’m not advocating one style of art over another, I’m simply saying that this comic anthology is different from what a lot of people normally associate with science fiction and that’s a good thing.

Which brings me to the biggest reason why I think more people should support this project: it’s different from so many other stories out there.

Whether you like it or not, the past forty years of science fiction has been dominated by two pop culture behemoths,

Almost every work of mainstream science fiction has tried to emulate these two franchises in theme, tone, and visual aesthetic from the idea of a giant galactic war that threatens to tear entire galaxies apart,

to re purposed colonization and exploration stories that used to be about the Wild West but now take place in outer space.

Personally, I think it’s time that science fiction tries to break away from these two narratives and tries something new.  It’s time for a change and “Enough Space for Everyone Else” is a great start.

So if you’re interested in promoting and encouraging science fiction that seeks to bring a new diversity of ideas and stories back to a genre that we all know and love, consider donating to this campaign.

Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1638576966/enough-space-for-everyone-else-an-anthology?ref=home_featured