One of the best parts of Kickstarter is that while the "big name person gets people to fund something they could have done themselves" stories get all the press, plenty of folks use it every day to help them provide creative outlets that would never see the light of day otherwise.
In today's case, it's Yeti Press, which was founded in 2011 by Eric Roesner and RJ Casey, first for their own comics, then for those of others. Their existing comics include illustrating the adventures of Pecos Bill (one of my favorite tall tales characters), a few anthology series, and even sea-turtle sexual escapades.
Now that sounds just like the kind of thing I want to support (though I do wish their website had better descriptions and sample images), as it reminds me of other small, mostly hand-run publishers I know, such as Retrofit and Oily. The big difference here is that the length of the books they wish to produce are larger, more along the lines of small trades rather than mini-comics.
For their Kickstarter, Yeti Press is planning the following books, split across Winter and Summer:
|A page from Bird Witch|
- Bird Witch by Kat Leyh is an all-ages fantasy story involving magic, coming of age, defeating evil, and, of course birds. It looks incredibly pretty and collects the six issue series together into one package.
- Pecos Collection, which tales the series I mentioned above about Pecos Bill and merges it into one volume. That one is by Yeti Press founders Eric Roesner and RJ Casey.
- Rose from the Dead by Andrea Bell. This one is billed as "adorahorror" (which should really be adorahorra if you ask me), as the creator works within the realm of horror but draws in a friendly, all-ages style that looks like it would be right at home in an issue of Cartozia Tales. This is Bell's first major comics work.
- Poop, Boobs, Poo (there goes my search results again, thanks a lot indie comics) by Sam Sharpe is, unsurprisingly, a collection of gag comics. These can sometimes be hysterically funny (see Magic Whistle) and in other cases fall on their face. Funnyman Shannon Wheeler vouches for its quality, so if you like his thing, you'll likely enjoy this, too.
|A page from Well Come|
- Well Come by Erik Nebel should appeal to those of you who like your comics on the strange side. It's hard to tell a lot from the samples provided, but the Yeti folks bill this one as creating a "surreal, spiritual world" and consider Nebel to an an underrated artist. I definitely love his use of color and found the examples intriguing.
- The Summit brings RJ Casey together with Gabriel Bautista for a short story about a man's dying wish to climb Everest. Sadly, there's nothing but sketches to promote this one, but Bautista is a former Eisner winner, so that's definitely a draw.
In addition to offering digital versions of back issues, subscriptions to get the books as they are produced, and individual purchasing tiers, there are other rewards, such as prints and commissions.
If there's a problem with this set-up, it's that Yeti definitely needs to work on its marketing materials. I had a hard time putting this together, and if I had been browsing this one without having someone vouch for them (Box Brown), I might have passed entirely.
Fortunately, Yeti Press has made their goal, and are now looking to stretch things out. I do hope that they work on improving their examples a bit, so that they can thrive without future kickstarters (something that should be the goal of any KS project). If you want to try some new indie comics that you might not otherwise see because they're from another part of the country, this is a Kickstarter you should support before the campaign ends in a few days. You can find it here.