Kickstarting the Dreams of Nerds

We nerds are creatures of consumption. We buy. We read. We watch. We play. And when we finish we look for more and we do it again.

But you know, in order to keep a nerdy wheel spinning, somebody has to actually make the stuff we buy, read, watch, play and so on. How, as good nerd citizens, do we support the creation of kick-ass books, games, comics and artwork to scratch our collective itch?

First: support your local comic book store, independent movie theater, strip club, etc. Next, head over to Kickstarter and engage in what may be the most powerful creative facilitation in the history of history: crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding, as if you didn’t know, is an activity on the internet that raises money (i.e., funding) from lots of people (i.e., a crowd) to accomplish a certain goal. It’s the digital version of a telethon, but instead of primarily supporting public television or feeding the hungry or doing something noble, digital crowdfunding also raises money for selfish, awesome, nerdy things like short films, video games and comic books.

While there are a number of websites dedicated to crowdfunding, the biggest among them by far is Kickstarter. It takes all of about three clicks on Kickstarter to find cool comics, short films, animations, illustrations…most any sort of creative product your nerdiness desires.

How does it work? Quite simply, thank you very much.

First: find a project you like. Read and watch all the info about it. Pay particular attention to Rewards, which are a tiered set of rewards you get according to how much money you pledge to the project. Popular and common rewards include everything from limited editions and early bird prints to having your own persona coded into a video game as an NPC.

Finally, you click the big “Back This Project” button, enter your pledge, pick your reward, complete the transaction, and viola! You’ve just put some skin in the creative side of the game.

Remember, to compliment is human, to pledge money is nerdy. Backing Kickstarter campaigns or projects on other crowdfunding sites are awesome ways for creators to bypass the often cowardly gatekeepers at major publishing houses, studios and so forth.

Just to get your feet wet, we’ve located a few killer projects actively seeking Kickstarter backers right now. Get out there and support them!

 

UNGROUNDED by Patrick Gerard
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/pandemicmeme/ungrounded-an-expansive-comic-book

A prototypically unique Kickstarter comic project. “Ungrounded” follows the retro-tinged adventures of one Captain Solenoid, a Magneto-like master of electromagnetic fields with full complement of amazing superpowers, except one: he has to walk or run, at normal speed, wherever he needs to go to fight bad guys. So for travel, the Captain relies on his (wait for it) magic flying Polar Bear. Part Silver Age homage and part man’s best friend story, a little nerd love here will give the affable Mr. Gerard time and pagespace to craft the journey he wants to take us on.

 

WE ARE MONSTERS by John Shackleton
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/justintagg/we-are-monsters-0?ref=live

A very slick-looking-if-not-totally-original mutant superhero film looking for pre-production seed money. Two things make this one stand out: first, it’s British, and the Brits have proven they can make great sci-fi (do you know Who I’m talking about? Who? Get it? Do you get it?); next, the whole 99% slash class warfare angle indicates that there should be some nice sociopolitical depth here, which is a hallmark of lots of great superhero stories. Rewards include DVDs and Blu-Rays, filmmaking master classes and custom mutant portraits. (note: I totally want headfingers.)

 

SCROLL NINJA by Rei Kagetsukei
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/374397522/scroll-ninja-revised

A beautiful video game platformer for computers, tablets, smartphones and the forthcoming open-source game console, OUYA. Illustrated in the style of a Japanese art scroll (hence the name), Scroll Ninja has a killer handmade feel that falls somewhere between The Fancy Pants Adventures and Okami. Rewards include DRM-free copies of the game, of course, but the upper tiers for this one are particularly awesome: ninja Kunai USB drives, traditional Japanese Fude brushes, and lots more. There are only a few days left to back Scroll Ninja, and Rei is quite a ways away from his goal. How awesome would it be if Nerdlocker Nerds pushed this project into the black…black like a ninja…?

Let us know what you think of these suggested projects or if there are other projects you feel we should promote!