I’m sure there are a lot of geeks happy with the way Marvel, DC, and Lucas Films (now owned by Disney) have announced their five-year slates… but me? I’m bummed.
Let me backtrack – I’m a huge comic book fan. I’m a huge "Star Wars" fan. I have nothing against these projects happening, per se, but I wish that the studios would invest in more original stories, like "Ghostbusters" or "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial." The sad reality is those films and other original projects without a major franchise already attached probably wouldn’t get the necessary funding today.
That is -- they wouldn’t get the funding by major studios, but maybe they’d get made another way. Thanks to crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, we as an audience have the ability to pay for what we want to see, upfront. It’s the way Rob Thomas was able to convince Warner Bros. that Marshmallows (i.e. Veronica Mars fans) were real and that we really did want a Veronica Mars movie.
We now have the power to support independent creators in their endeavors – to help them make the things we want to see. It’s not just movies, either -- we can support web-series, board games, comics, and even new technologies. We get to support original ideas, directly from the source -- how cool is that?
It’s worth checking back frequently to see what projects are looking for funding, but here are four geeky Kickstarters up now worth giving money to.
If you’re a fan of World of Warcraft, check out WoW MoM.
WoW MoM is a documentary about Terry Bolt, a woman who was told she had six months to live and began to play WoW as a way to cope with her illness. The online gaming community she found through WoW became a sort of support group, and her daughter set out to tell the story of Terry and other cancer patients playing WoW through this film. World of Warcraft is more than just a game, and this documentary will help people understand that.
If you’re a fan of superheroes, check out Story War: Sentinel Conflict & "Cosmic Contest" Comic Book.
Have you heard of Sentinels of the Multiverse? It’s a cooperative game in which you and your fellow superheroes must work together in order to defeat a villain. One of my favorite things about that game is that they created all new original superheroes -- including a lot of kickass women. There are several expansions featuring new characters and villains. This Kickstarter is from the creators of Sentinels and has two parts; a party game and a comic book, both set in Multiverse.
The party game is based on Story War, in which you need to convince an impartial judge which group of superheroes would win in a battle. Whoever can spin the best story, using their superheroes, the environment, and some items, wins. The comic is the first official story featuring characters from the Multiverse -- hopefully, the first of many.
If you’re a fan of fairy tales, check out Sonnet.
Sonnet is the story of two knights falling in love with one another. It’s a comic book, told in a series of seven sonnets. You can actually read the comic here – they’re currently looking for funding in order to go to print. There are quite a few things to like about this project -- it’s written and illustrated by two women, the art is beautiful, and most importantly, it’s an original story -- a new take on the classic fairy tale story. And honestly, who doesn’t want their meet-cute to involve slaying a dragon?!
If you’re a fan of dystopian stories, check out Ten Candles.
Ten Candles is a storytelling game, in a world where the apocalypse has come and the light is gone. You are given character traits, goals, and “brink” – i.e. what the character would do if pushed to the brink of despair. With these, you work with your team to tell the story together; unlike Dungeons and Dragons where there is a Dungeon Master, here everyone contributes to what happens. This seems like an original RPG (role playing game) that allows players to wonder what would happen if there was no longer any light…?
If you’re curious about more interesting Kickstarters worth supporting, check out the weekly “Give Them Your Money!” feature on my site.