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Kickstarter Roundup: 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018

The Steampunk Explorer began covering Kickstarter campaigns shortly after we launched the Steampunk Digest column in April 2018. This roundup includes the campaigns that were ultimately successful. We did not cover crowdfunding systematically until later in the year, so this is not a comprehensive list. And we omitted campaigns that were cancelled or failed to reach their fundraising goal.

New Music from Frenchy and the Punk

Creator: Frenchy and the Punk. Location: New Paltz, NY, USA

Launched: Apr 24, 2018. Ended: May 24, 2018.

Goal: US$9,500. Raised: US$13,071.

Original news item from May 5, 2018:

Frenchy and the Punk, the musical duo popular at steampunk events, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for "Hooray Beret," a new full-length album. As of May 4, they had raised $7385 toward the $9500 goal, with 19 days to go. Rewards include T-shirts, tea towels, finger puppets and copies of the recording in various formats. Funds will cover studio costs in addition to the rewards and Kickstarter expenses. Funds raised over the goal will go toward promoting the album.

More info: Kickstarter page | Frenchy and the Punk website

ElectroMagnetic: A steampunk adventure comic

Creator: Colin Maxwell. Location: Edinburgh, UK

Launched: Jun 7, 2018. Ended: Jul 8, 2018.

Goal: £700 (US$921). Raised: £1,083 (US$1,425).

Original news item from Jun 22, 2018:

“ElectroMagnetic” is a “steampunk adventure comic set in an alternative history where Britain is at war with steam-powered India.” It’s written by Colin Maxwell, best known for stories about Scottish history. This campaign launched June 7 and has a goal of raising $921 by July 8. As of June 20, it had raised $909 in pledges from 58 backers.

More info: Kickstarter page | Colin Maxwell website

The Return of Steam Highwayman!

Creator: Martin Noutch. Location: London, UK

Launched: Jul 17, 2018. Ended: Aug 16, 2018.

Goal: £4,000 (US$5,232). Raised: £6,394 (US$8,383).

Original news item from Jul 20, 2018:

UK writer Martin Noutch is seeking Kickstarter funding for Steam Highwayman II: Highways and Holloways, Volume 2 of his steampunk adventure gamebook series. The reader plays the role of the “Steam Highwayman,” riding a two-wheeled steam-powered cycle through an alternate-history England. The book is divided into 1500 passages, each with choices that take you on different paths through the story. The Kickstarter page includes a link to a demo version of the game.

More info: Kickstarter page | Martin Noutch website

1879 Minis: British and Samsut Army Books

Creator: FASA Games. Location: Portland, OR, USA

Launched: Jul 9, 2018. Ended: Aug 8, 2018.

Goal: US$2,000. Raised: US$2,007.

Original news item from Jul 27, 2018:

FASA Games is seeking Kickstarter funding for additions to its 1879 roleplaying game. The British Forcebook “describes the British military in an alternate world, where an interdimensional portal has given the Empire access to a new land, the Gruv,” the description says. “All the details you’ll need to field advanced steam technology, special forces units such as the Marines and the Shock Troopers, a broad range of artillery, and military spellcasters are contained herein.”

The Samsut Forcebook contains information about the opposing force, descendants of ancient Babylonians who have long occupied the alternate world. “In their new home, they found the remains of another civilization, which gave them weird science technology ranging from rail guns to contra-gravity to the use of life itself as an energy source. Herein are all the details you’ll need to field regiments of technological zombies and skeleton warriors, airborne cavalry riding pteranodons, contra-gravity sleds that ignore terrain modifiers, and terrifying creations of the immortal Amelites who rule the Samsut city-states.”

Each book is accompanied by new minis.

More info: Kickstarter page

Above the Clouds – The Complete Graphic Novel

Creator: Melissa Pagluica. Location: Oakland, CA, USA

Launched: Sep 4, 2018. Ended: Oct 4, 2018.

Goal: US$12,000. Raised: US$43,141.

Original news item from Sep 7, 2018:

Comic book artist Melissa Pagluica has launched a Kickstarter campaign for a trade paperback edition of Above the Clouds, a graphic novel that tells the intertwining stories of “a hero who must save a dying world, and a girl who must convince an author to finish what he has started.” She’s been showing chapters at comic book conventions and other events, and we encountered her work at the recent Bay Area Maker Faire in San Mateo. (It’s not steampunk, but some of her work is reminiscent of Art Nouveau.)

More info: Kickstarter page | Melissa Pagluica website

Charming Disaster: Spells + Rituals Album

Creator: Charming Disaster. Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA

Launched: Aug 15, 2018. Ended: Oct 14, 2018.

Goal: US$7,500. Raised: US$9,733.

Original news item from Sep 7, 2018:

Charming Disaster is seeking Kickstarter funding for Spells + Rituals, the musical duo’s third album. They describe their inspirations as “the gothic humor of Edward Gorey and Tim Burton, the noir storytelling of Raymond Chandler, the murder ballads of the Americana tradition, and the dramatic flair of the cabaret.” The new album includes “songs about poison, witches, steampunk, monsters, the end of the world (again), and more.”

More info: Kickstarter page | Charming Disaster website

Cthulhu is Hard to Spell

Creator: Russell Nohelty. Location: Los Angeles, USA

Launched: Sep 4, 2018. Ended: Sep 27, 2018.

Goal: US$21,666. Raised: US$39,246.

Original news item from Sep 14, 2018:

Comic book author Russell Nohelty is seeking Kickstarter funding for Cthulhu is Hard to Spell, a “comic anthology with thirty-five awesome stories about Lovecraftian gods and monsters, from fans to fans.” One of the stories is “The Marriage Counselor” by Madeleine Holly-Rosing, known to steampunk fans as the author of Boston Metaphysical Society. Her story is illustrated by MJ Massey.

More info: Kickstarter page

The Haunting of Mary Shelley

Creator: Valentine Wolfe. Location: Greenville, SC, USA

Launched: Sep 6, 2018. Ended: Sep 27, 2018.

Goal: US$3,000. Raised: US$4,163.

Original news item from Sep 14, 2018:

Valentine Wolfe is seeking Kickstarter funding for “The Haunting of Mary Shelley,” a forthcoming album inspired by the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein. Based in Greenville, South Carolina, Valentine Wolfe is a duo that describes its music as “Victorian Chamber metal.”

More info: Kickstarter page

Maiden of the Machine Volume 1

Creator: Caitlin Like. Location: Portland, OR, USA

Launched: Oct 1, 2018. Ended: Oct 31, 2018.

Goal: US$11,000. Raised: US$11,352.

Original news item from Oct 5, 2018:

Portland cartoonist Caitlin Like is seeking Kickstarter funding for a print edition of Maiden of the Machine Volume 1, the first installment of her “gothic romance meets science horror” graphic novel. The story: “Elizabeth Watson is an orphaned young woman living with her former adventuress sister Abhaya.” She “is about to be engaged to a man who doesn’t respect her, and is quickly losing her resolve to be a respectable young woman. But when she tags along with her sister to her seemingly simple bodyguarding gig, things”¦ Do not quite go as planned. Suddenly, it’s up to Elizabeth to rescue the famous industrialist Victor Lovelace from the terrible clutches of sky pirates! And perhaps, just maybe, himself?”

She’s been selling the first three chapters at conventions, and the first four chapters are available online. Her goal is to publish the four chapters and additional material “in a single, beautifully bound package.”

More info: Kickstarter page | Caitlin Like website

ElectroMagnetic 1 & 2: Steampunk Comic Series

Creator: Colin Maxwell. Location: Edinburgh, UK

Launched: Oct 1, 2018. Ended: Oct 31, 2018.

Goal: £800 (US$1,058). Raised: £843 (US$1,115).

Original news item from Oct 12, 2018:

Colin Maxwell is back on Kickstarter with a campaign for Episode 2 of ElectroMagnetic, a “steampunk adventure comic set in an alternative history where Britain is at war with steam-powered India.” He successfully completed a campaign for the original comic in July. The new story follows “the continuing adventures of Professor James Clerk-Maxwell as he battles terrorism on the streets of London while war rages on the Indian subcontinent.” If you submit a photo and increase your pledge by £20 (USD$26.40), artist Paul Tonner will draw you as a steampunk.

More info: Kickstarter page | Colin Maxwell website

Caffeine: Victoria's Legacy

Creator: Kikai Digital Games. Location: Sydney, Australia

Launched: Oct 10, 2018. Ended: Nov 8, 2018.

Goal: AU$6,000 (US$4,281). Raised: AU$10,005 (US$7,139).

Original news item from Oct 19, 2018:

Kikai Digital Games of Sydney, Australia, is seeking Kickstarter funding for Caffeine: Victoria’s Legacy, a “cinematic visual novel” about a steampunk anime world. It’s an alternate world where caffeine “possesses magical powers.” To learn about these powers, the protagonist must learn how to brew coffee. A downloadable demo contains 50,000 words and two to four hours of content, though it’s “a work-in-progress and the final product will be polished further,” Kikai says. The developer promises a “touching story with comedic elements” and “lots and lots of coffee puns.”

More info: Kickstarter page | Kikai Digital Games website

Some Strange Disturbances

Creator: Headless Shakespeare Press. Location: Seattle, WA, USA

Launched: Oct 14, 2018. Ended: Nov 13, 2018.

Goal: US$3,000. Raised: US$3,134.

Original news item from Nov 9, 2018:

Headless Shakespeare Press is seeking Kickstarter funding for Some Strange Disturbances, described as a “Victorian Horror comic featuring a diverse trio of main characters.”

More info: Kickstarter page | Headless Shakespeare Press website

Three steampunk novels from author Philip Ligon

Creator: Silver Empire. Location: Huntsville, AL, USA

Launched: Oct 30, 2018. Ended: Nov 13, 2018.

Goal: US$500. Raised: US$500 from 20 backers.

Original news item from Nov 2, 2018:

SF/F book publisher Silver Empire is seeking Kickstarter funding for a trio of steampunk novels by Philip Ligon. They include This Strange Engine and This Mysterious Engine, the first two books in The Engine Series, and The King’s Regret, a YA novel. This Strange Engine is about Alexander Asherton, whose “once promising future with the Church of England has given way to a clandestine organization which tracks and collects items of a magical nature. They provide the elixirs that keep Ash alive, and in exchange he uses the power the elixirs grant to ”‘acquire’ what they desire.”

The book is set to ship at the end of November, followed by This Mysterious Engine four to six weeks later.

More info: Kickstarter page | Silver Empire website

Munchkin Steampunk: Girl Genius

Creator: Steve Jackson Games. Location: Austin, TX, USA

Launched: Nov 1, 2018. Ended: Nov 21, 2018.

Goal: US$7,500. Raised: US$88,543 from 2195 backers.

Original news item from Nov 9, 2018:

Steve Jackson Games is on Kickstarter with Munchkin Steampunk: Girl Genius, which combines the popular Munchkin card game series with the Girl Genius comics by Phil and Katja Foglio. Introduced in 2001, Munchkin has spawned numerous editions themed to geek culture genres and franchises. The new Girl Genius game is an add-on for Munchkin Steampunk.

More info: Kickstarter page

See also: Steve Jackson Games crowdfunds for ‘Munchkin Steampunk: Girl Genius’

Exploriana - The board game of exploration and discovery

Creator: Chaos Publishing Ltd.. Location: Chippenham, UK

Launched: Nov 6, 2018. Ended: Dec 6, 2018.

Goal: £6,000 (US$7,791). Raised: £17,000 (US$22,075).

Original news item from Nov 16, 2018:

Three game companies in the UK are collaborating on Exploriana, a board game in which players guide teams of explorers in the late 19th century. “Facing peril at every turn, your brave explorers will search for fantastic animals, ancient cities, new varieties of orchids and treasures of extreme beauty,” we’re told. The game was designed by Miles Ratcliffe of Chaos Publishing Ltd. Triple Ace Games Ltd and Counters Out Ltd are also contributing to the venture.

More info: Kickstarter page

A Steampunk Digest Vol.1

Creator: Scotty White. Location: Mobile, AL, USA

Launched: Nov 11, 2018. Ended: Dec 11, 2018.

Goal: US$1,200. Raised: US$1,309.

Original news item from Nov 16, 2018:

Scotty White, a writer and podcaster in Mobile, Alabama, is raising funds for A Steampunk Digest Vol. 1, a 20-page anthology with five graphic stories set in a steampunk universe. Some were first intended for Steampunk Originals, a two-volume anthology series from Arcana Studios. They’re all written by White with JS Walker, Bracey, Patrick Halpin, and Carla Rodriguez contributing artwork.

More info: Kickstarter page | Scotty White website

The Victorian Grace Tearoom; Reimagined

Creator: Katlyn Amieva. Location: Brandon, FL, USA

Launched: Nov 2, 2018. Ended: Dec 2, 2018.

Goal: US$300. Raised: US$386.

Original news item from Nov 16, 2018:

Katlyn Amieva of Tampa, Florida, is seeking crowdfunding for the re-opening of the Victorian Grace Tearoom in Brandon. “When I saw my favorite tearoom go up for sale, I knew there was nothing I wanted more than to keep it going,” she writes. “The money that will be gathered through this fundraising will go to improvements for the tearoom’s menu, structure and the Grand Re-Opening that we hope to deliver!”

Tampa has a thriving steampunk community, and one can envision this place as a local hangout.

More info: Kickstarter page

The London Rose

Creator: Mia E. Cotton. Location: Los Angeles, USA

Launched: Oct 24, 2018. Ended: Nov 30, 2018.

Goal: US$6,000. Raised: US$6,068.

Original news item from Nov 16, 2018:

Mia E. Cotton, a writer and composer in San Jose, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for The London Rose, described as “a queer Victorian musical. . . set during the month leading up to the Oscar Wilde verdict. The show follows Edward Kingsley, a young man who has returned to London after escaping his former life as ”‘Emily.’ With the help of his friend, Oliver Li, Edward goes boldly forward in creating a new life for himself.”

Cotton hopes to present the show at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2019.

More info: Kickstarter page

Performer info: 

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