Over the past couple of years, the number of projects on Kickstarter has skyrocketed – many never get funded, but for those that do, it presents an opportunity to share their work with a wider audience than perhaps otherwise possible. In this post, I want to take a moment to highlight those Kickstarter projects thus far in 2016 (as of August 30th) that deal with graphic medicine. I’ll highlight those that I funded and those that I, sadly, missed (perhaps someone reading did and can share). If you know of a project from the first half of 2016 that I’ve missed, please let me know (in the comments or on Twitter @NoetheMatt). But first…
While Kickstarter is typically the funding tool of choice for projects involving comics, there are also those that make use of GoFundMe and Patreon. As of this posting, I know of no GoFundMe projects and only a single ongoing project on Patreon related to Graphic Medicine:
Virology Comics is the brainchild of virologist Susan Nasif and is an ongoing comics and animation project meant to engage the public with virology – specifically, viruses such as HIV and those diseases that can be combated by vaccination. The first book, The Adventures of the Regatjes won the Science Hero Award in 2015. New comics are being created on a monthly basis and supporters receive early looks. An example of their work is included below, which situates viruses as villains who are using anti-vaccine propaganda to further their cause!
From the Kickstarter page:
Sweaty Palms is an autobiographical comics anthology about anxiety. The book contains more than 350 beautiful pages of black and white comics by 50 incredible indie cartoonists. We’ve collected their stories to present a very intimate and comprehensive look at what it’s like living with anxiety.
This anthology is our way of helping to destigmatize mental illness. As cartoonists, we can’t think of a better medium for the job! Visual storytelling gives a face to abstract things, like anxiety, which can be very difficult or painful to convey otherwise. It is our hope that readers will connect with the stories and know that they aren’t alone.
— Sweaty Palms (@sweatypalmszine) August 30, 2016
From the Kickstarter page:
MINE is an anthology of comics, art and illustration in support of the reproductive rights campaign in Ireland, referred to on the internet as #RepealThe8th. It is edited by Karen Harte, an Irish illustrator and graphic designer, and Jessica Maybury, the editor of Girls Like Comics.
With artwork from artists all over the world, all proceeds will go to the campaign push after the printing costs and Kickstarter-reward-fulfillment costs are met.
— Mine Anthology (@MineAnthology) August 18, 2016
Kevin Budnik‘s Handbook is a graphic memoir that recounts his real-life experience dealing with life, social pressures, and physical anxiety issues (anorexia and disordered eating). I was lucky enough to help fund Kevin’s project and I must say the book is fantastic. It is an interesting size for a graphic memoir, more akin to the comic-strip books of old at 6″x 6″, but it suits the narrative well, which he describes as a sort of dairy in which each comic can stand alone if need be. Handbook has since been nominated for a 2016 Ignatz Award – no small feat!
— Kevin Budnik (@knittedsweater) January 27, 2016
A shorter comic memoir that tells comic artist Breena Bard‘s story of pregnancy, birth, and the early days of motherhood. The straightforward, simple illustrations do a fantastic job of capturing the feeling of Breena and her partner as they go through the life-altering experience of childbirth. If you missed your chance to participate in the Kickstarter, fear not – Breena was able to print extra copies (the fundraiser was quite successful) and you can get a copy on her website! Unfortunately for non-backers, you are missing out on the extra comics she has been drawing all summer as a pledge reward – they add some great humor to the tale of raising a child!
My new book “Hey Baby: A comic memoir about becoming a mom” will be available starting next week! Just a heads up 🙂 pic.twitter.com/PRaOMYqZS6
— Breena Bard (@EaselAintEasy) August 4, 2016
In this graphic memoir, Tyler Page does a masterful job of weaving personal narrative and medical history together to create, what I am calling, a required reading for anyone interested in graphic medicine. Not only is it a fun read for those of us who love to see the lives of others play out, but it provides a better overview of what ADHD is than any “mass medium” I have seen to date. Right now, it is unclear if there will be additional print copies available, but Tyler has made a PDF version of the book available for purchase here.
— tyler page (@tylerpage) June 1, 2016
Health Heroes Comics by Eric Meredith was meant to help fund a project to create and publish a comic promoting exercise, healthy eating, and teamwork to young children. The goal was to provide at least 20,000 comics free of charge to children in the Chicago area. Unfortunately, at the time of this posting, the project, which did not make it to funding on Kickstarter, does not seem to have come to fruition.
Do YOU have a project idea that would benefit from a Kickstarter campaign? Share you ideas with us here and using the hashtag #graphicmedicine on Twitter to ask for feedback! If you have an idea that you think would benefit from a librarian’s input, feel free to reach out to me and we can discuss collaboration!