Celebrating the Unpopular Arts

A Quick Kickstarter Rundown (Early February 2020)

Hey folks, lookit me, I’m posting something!  This is Travis here to tell you about a few Kickstarter projects that you might want to contribute your hard earned cash to.  Or not.  It’s your call!  The first two are ending by Wednesday, so take a look quick!

First off is the Make 100 Project that Karl Kesel has done of his two latest projects, Section Zero and Impossible Jones.  It’s a small trading card set, and on the backs of the cards are a puzzle of sorts with a new bigger piece of artwork of the characters.  Plus, you can get uncut sheets so you don’t have to play around with putting your cards together.  The fun thing for this for me is that Karl Kesel is getting excited because he was including his new creator owned character Sam Hell in the card sets, and now that the Kickstarter has hit its goal amount, he’ll be doing an 8 (or possibly 9 or 10) page preview story of the character, and backers get to see the end result.  I’m not huge on trading cards like I used to be, but I like Section Zero and Karl Kesel was a cool guy to me a couple years back when I talked to him about the Section Zero hardcover Kickstarter, so I’m a fan (I’ve always liked his stuff, really!)

Section Zero Does Easter Island
How could you not want this piece of art?

Next up is the Unlikely Heroes Studios book Up From the Skies, about an alien who crashlands on earth in caveman times.

Up From the Skies cover
Love that otherworldly blue on the alien head to contrast with the earth tones!

I’m on the PR mailing list for Unlikely Heroes Studios (probably due to Burgas and Flippin’), so I got the preview of this book a while ago.  I read it and I thought it was interesting.  The artwork by Erwin J. Arroza has a neat, otherworldly painted look to it, and the story by John Pence is interesting in what it says about friendship and how we can find more in common with others than we think.  I think the problem is that I didn’t find the book as strange as I think Unlikely Heroes would like me to think it was.  I’m not sure what it says about me that I don’t find an alien and a caveman hanging out together to be too weird, but there it is.  I’m probably not backing this one just because I have the review copy and it didn’t move me too much, and none of the pledge levels make me want to open my wallet.  Sorry, guys!  However, I do like the hints as to who the alien might be, in the name of his ship and the quotation on the first page!  I do recommend that you give this a look and perhaps you’ll find this something you want to own more than I did.  I’m just hoping to finally find my print copies of the great comic Unlikely Heroes did called Super, and get caught up with that.


After that is the Trekker Complete Journey volume 1 HC that Ron Randall is putting together of his future bounty hunter character.

trekker hc cover
Have Mercy and make this happen, or maybe that’s the other way around?

This stuff is all in color, so even though I have the Omnibus that Dark Horse put out a few years ago, I’m going to pledge for this one.  I’m going for the level where I can get the three new graphic novels as well, I think, because it’s not that much more and you get a good chunk of comics for a good price.  I’ve liked what I’ve read of Trekker over the years, but since it’s been bits of stories here and there, I don’t think I’ve gotten a full picture of who Mercy St. Clair is and what she does.  I was also amused by this line in Randall’s Wikipedia page, “In 2012, Randall was commissioned by H&R Block to illustrate the tax liabilities of Batman and Spider-Man.”  If someone knows where to find this, let me know, because the Wikipedia link isn’t working!


Last but not least, Dave Sim has finally resumed the Cerebus Archive Portfolios, this time with Women,

cerebus women cover
Always cool covers!

the eighth volume of the series.  These portfolios are good looking reproductions of the original art that Dave has in the Cerebus Archive that he maintains, and are about 11×17, I believe, so you can see the artwork real nice and purty and up close.  I also enjoy the commentary that Dave includes, and from the excerpts included on the Kickstarter page, this one should be a doozy.

If you like one or all of these things, consider backing the campaigns, like I’m doing with almost all of these.  If you’re a comics creator going to Kickstarter and you’d like someone to help spread the word about your project, let me know, and maybe this will be a semi-regular thing from me again.  My email should be in my bio below!


  1. Edo Bosnar

    Yeah, since I backed the new Section Zero and Impossible Jones, I keep getting e-mail notifications from Kesel for the Make 100 Project. However, the only thing there that interests me is the Sam Hell preview (I have no interest in trading cards, and having them sent to me would be too costly anyway). Too bad there’s no reward option for just a pdf of the Sam Hell story.

    By the way, since you mentioned other projects, here’s a link to one from regular contributor over at the Classic Comics Forum: The Crimebusters. This is very much an indie labor-of-love type project; these are new stories featuring the now public domain Golden Age character Chuck Chandler (a.k.a. Crimebuster).

  2. Louis Bright-Raven

    Yeah, I’m not that interested in the Sam Hell story, so I’m passing on the sketch cards (not a big fan of the cards as a collector, even though I draw them myself all the time for others). But I do still need to buy a copy of SZ 1959 and Impossible Jones from Karl, so he’ll be getting more of my money soon enough, one way or the other.

    Planning on getting the new TREKKER Omnibus (this Omnibus is more content than the one that Dark Horse released years ago, not to mention being in color). I have already talked about it multiple times on my podcast in recent weeks, and I really need to see if I can get Ron on the show to discuss / promote it. If I can get him on the show, I’ll ask him about that tax story you mentioned. Thanks for reminding me!

  3. wonderbretty

    I think this is a great idea for a recurring column! It’s hard to keep up with good crowdfunding comic projects and I occasionally kick myself for missing something. I’ve also had luck with Indiegogo — most recently funding a couple of Pink Lemonade books (which have been pretty dang fun). Nicely done, Travis! This would be a welcome addition on AJS!

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