Since 2014, a team of comics enthusiasts in Toronto, Ontario has worked to create stories that reflect the unique cultural aspects of their city. Steven Andrews, Allison O’Toole and Aaron Feldman are the editors of Toronto Comics, an independent publisher which is currently in the middle of its latest Kickstarter campaign.
The Kickstarter is designed to raise funds for the group’s new anthology called Toronto Comics: Young at Heart, which is a 210-page collection of new stories about Toronto life and culture.
“Every year we try to capture a little of the zeitgeist of the city,” Andrews said in a phone interview.
This is the company’s fourth anthology since they launched, and each year they strive to tell a wide range of stories. Ultimately though they want to give new creators a chance to shine.
In terms of the kinds of stories featured in this anthology, Andrews said that one of his favorites is called Housing Challenge, by BC Holmes and Brenna Baines. Due to a major housing crisis currently going on in Toronto, Andrews said that many of the stories submitted to him and his co-editors reflect this notion. Thus, Housing Challenge tells the story of the poor middle-class of the near future who fight with giant mecha suits for a one-room condo.
As far as the process of creating these anthologies, each of the editors contribute at least one story to each book, while also reviewing the dozens of submissions they receive. Once they compile all of the stories, they launch a Kickstarter campaign, go to conventions and once the project is funded they use a printer in Ontario to make copies.
And while Andrews didn’t grow up a comics reader, he developed an interest in the medium when he got his hands on a copy of Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev’s Daredevil. Since then, he’s consumed all kinds of comics, from mainstream to indie titles.
“The thing that’s most fantastic to me about comics is that there is no barrier to entry,” he said. “If you have an idea you can pretty much make it yourself.”
The Kickstarter runs through March 31st, so be sure to make your pledge beforehand if you’d like to back this project.