January 28, 2014

  |  

King Bone Press Kickstarter Looks To Tickle Your Funny Bone with Comics

King Bone Press, a small press imprint with a lighthearted touch to its approach, is in the closing days of a Kickstarter for their 2014 titles.

They are looking to drum up support for their 2014 efforts, which they define as releasing "many more unique and exciting books into the universe" but only specifically talk about five of them, which are part of the reward materials for the Kickstarter.

This is not a fly by night operation, with six years of experience and several anthologies (and even another Kickstarter project) under their belt. Ryan Kelly of Three did a cover for one of them, though nothing in the comics themselves. The biggest knock on this one, in fact, is that most of the folks involved don't have a lot of name recognition, a common issue with indie publishers. There are so many and often are so regional or localized to their corner of the internet, that running a Kickstarter can be a bit tricky.

However, King Bone does a great job of presenting themselves to outsiders like me. Their website is smart and professional, and they offer both print and digital options, a key sign of understanding the changing nature of comics publishing. Even the digital is available in DRF-free PDF, if you are so inclined.

The comics themselves that make up the 2014 Kickstarter are as follows:

  • Hellbillies, a comical take-off on horror and suspense that finds the road to hell is paved with rednecks.
  • Bandthology III, the last of a series of anthologies with a musical theme
  • Caperbet, a heist comic
  • My Hero, where the villain gets to kill the hero, ala Edison Rex
  • World's Strongest Mailman TP, about a guy with good pecs who also delivers your bills.

I don't know anything about these beyond the Kickstarter descriptions, so it's hard for me to tell you if they'll be good or not. But at $11 for the digital option, which gives you copies of these plus Bandthology I, for a total of $2 per comic, it's a pretty inexpensive experiment.

One way to see if they might be for you is checking out their free digital offering, which features several of the same creators. I did, and thought the lighthearted tone was enjoyable enough to give this one a shot at the lowest tier.* I would suggest doing so as well, because humor is their main weapon and that's a very subjective thing. What works well enough for me might not be to your taste.

In the first of the free sample stories, Michael Jackson's time is due, but can he delay it? Lots of pop music references abound in a joke story that's cute, if a bit on the rough side in terms of illustrations. The second story featured Greek Myths and an origin for the name Steve. The art is stronger, but the jokes aren't quite as funny. Again, your mileage may vary.

If you're a fan of indie, small press work and like a lighthearted touch to them, then definitely take a minute and back this one in its final days. Per the campaign itself, these books may not see print and digital releases otherwise. It's a sobering comment, but that's reality for a tiny publishing house. They only need $3,000, but failing to get it might require scaling back. This is the kind of thing that Kickstarter was made for. So if you're interested, definitely back it so these comics get made--and you (hopefully) get to laugh at some comics comedy across 2014.

*Generally speaking, I usually only promote Kickstarters I've personally backed or would back, if finances didn't prevent it. I don't see the point in telling you about something I didn't like enough to contribute--or at least try.