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SF/F Crowdfunding Roundup: William Shatner’s Cinematic Graphic Novel, A Scary Clown Anthology & Wasp-Men From Mars!

Crowdfunding is the in thing for obtaining money to fund a variety of projects, with Kickstarter being the most prominent of these sites. With new projects going live daily, it’s a chore to keep up with, let alone find, interesting genre projects. The Crowdfunding Roundup will be our effort to bring projects we think are interesting to your attention so you can, if you so choose, decide to help out. These posts are a collaborative effort between James Aquilone and JP Frantz.

What’s it about? A Cinematic Graphic Novel based on books by William Shatner.

Why it’s interesting: William Shatner is boldly going where no graphic novel has gone before. The Star Trek star has teamed with LNL Partners to create a Cinematic Graphic Novel based on Shatner’s science fiction novel Man O’ War. The graphic novel is like a animated comic book with with movement, original music and sound effects. It will be available on smartphones, tablets and other digital devices. The cinematic graphic novel is $25. Other rewards include posters, lithographs, tuckerizations.

What’s it about? An anthology of apocalypse-survival fiction with a focus on disabled characters.

Why it’s interesting:  Editors Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench decided to launch Defying Doomsday after not finding many stories in the sub-genre featuring disabled characters with significant roles. “We love apocalypse fiction,” the say on their campaign page, “but we rarely find characters with disability, chronic illness and other impairments in these stories. When they do appear, they usually die early on, or are secondary characters undeveloped into anything more than a burden to the protagonist. We believe that disabled characters have a far more interesting story to tell in post-apocalyptic/dystopian fiction, and we want to create an anthology sharing those stories.” The book will be published by Twelfth Planet Press in mid 2016 and an open reading period will run from May till the end of June. The ebook is $10, while the paperback (along with the ebook) is $40.

What’s it about? A playful rhyming book starring superheroes, princesses, doctors and pirates. All of which have to go to sleep!

Why it’s interesting: Sara Crow was inspired to write this children’s book after trying to coax her sons “out of their superhero costumes and into bed.” It must have worked, because she created a gorgeous book that is sure to put any youngster to delight any youngster who needs to go to sleep. A signed print copy of the book is $25.

What’s it about? An anthology of flash fiction featuring clowns, mimes, and other unlikely clown-type creatures.

Why it’s interesting: Unlikely Story, which has been publishing critically acclaimed fiction as a free online magazine since 2011, is taking its first plunge into print and e-book publishing with clowns. The book has stories by Carlie St. George, Caroline M. Yoachim, Derek Manuel, and Mari Ness, among others. Interior art is by  Bryan Prindiville and cover art is by Linda Saboe. The ebook is $6, while the paperback is $15.

What’s it about? Wasp-Men From Mars! is a sci-fi short film inspired by the monster invasion flicks of the 1950’s but with the more modern sensibility of today’s sci-fi and horror.

Why it’s interesting: A love letter to the old 50’s pulpy SF movies but with a modern edge sounds interesting enough. But Wasp-Men From Mars! also has special effects makeup artist Julian Bonfiglio, a contestant on season 8 of SyFy’s Face Off. That may not sound interesting, but I find that show to be fascinating and the artists to be quite talented. If you’re interested in pulpy SF or helping new artists, $20 will get you a digital download of the film while $30 also gets you the DVD and there are several other higher levels with interesting swag.

What’s it about? Shadow of the Demon Lord is a roleplaying game of dark fantasy—a genre that weaves elements of horror into a fantasy world. In the game, you create and play characters struggling to survive in a land sliding toward oblivion, a place infested by demons, roaming mobs of undead, strange magic, unhinged cultists, and all in the ruins of the last great empire of mankind.

Why it’s interesting: Shadow of the Demon Lord looks like a translation of grim dark fantasy into an RPG form. That alone is worth consideration, but then designer Robert Schwalb has attempted to make the game easy to learn (1d20 roll decides the outcome of an action), fast to play (a gaming session lasts 3 – 5 hours), and easy to prepare (5 minutes of character creation and off you go). I like the idea of a game session that is over in a reasonable time, with a campaign being as many sessions as the GM deems necessary. I know our sessions usually go off kilter quickly and this RPG aims to fix that issue. $24 will get you the starter guide and core rulebook in PDF form.

Other notable projects:

About James Aquilone (115 Articles)
James Aquilone is an editor and writer, mostly of the speculative ilk, from Staten Island, New York. His fiction has appeared in Nature’s Futures, Galaxy’s Edge, Flash Fiction Online, and Weird Tales Magazine, among many other publications. His nonfiction has appeared in SF Signal, Den of Geek, Shock Totem, and Hellnotes. He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the Horror Writers Association. Visit him at

1 Comment on SF/F Crowdfunding Roundup: William Shatner’s Cinematic Graphic Novel, A Scary Clown Anthology & Wasp-Men From Mars!

  1. Michael Prior // April 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm //

    Isn’t it about time that we stop incuraging William Shatner?

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