Houston Kickstarter Round-Up: October Complete With Cancer Comedy, a Zombie Game & More

Once a month we'll be bringing you a look at some of the best local Kickstarter campaigns in order to let you know what's getting ready to be unleashed through the help of small investors.

For five years, Lisa Hamilton has been working on a one-woman cancer comedy based on Joni Rodgers's book Bald in the Land of Big Hair. Hamilton lays bare life with cancer, the dragon of our age, as she calls it, in an engaging performance where she uses wigs to play ten different roles in telling the story. Now she's looking to take the show to an off-Broadway debut in New York City.

What she needs to mount a workshop production for local filmmaker Joe Grisaffi to shoot and use as a promotional tool. A $20 pledge gets you into the show, which is a good deal. Splurge for $200, though, and you'll get that plus Hamilton will come sweep your floor. Odd prize, but points for originality.

Goal: $5,000 by November 12.

Chris Fairchild of Critter Box grew up on 16bit RPGs and old zombie movies. He's looking to combine the two in The Long Night for iPhone and Android. The game is an old-school turn-based affair, but you'll see your enemies like in Chrono Trigger. No random encounters. The initial tests look more 8bit than 16, though that may change. Fairchild is promising a lot of flexibility in the story as you decide which of your allies live and which die. All in all, it looks like a fun way to while away ten hours.

$3 gets you a copy of the game on release, which is not a bad price at all. At $250 and above, though, you get to be in the game itself. You can't beat that for megalomania if you happen to have the cash around.

Goal: $8,000 by November 11

Adrian Engmann is a fan of kung fu flicks and hip-hop culture. His upcoming monthly comic book series Kung Fu Swagga focuses on the martial arts goings-on at Brickhaven High School, where a young, scrappy Jason Stonewall matches fists with a spiteful bully who holds the school in his grip. Engmann's art is spectacular, looking like it popped right off the side of an SNK arcade cabinet. It promises to be an amazing and original book.

He's already met his goal, but keeping an indie comic going is hard so trust me, he could still use some dough if you want to see how it ends. $5 gets you a digital copy of the first issue, $10 a physical (includes shipping). Starting at $50, you can get your likeness in the comic as a background student, a bad guy or a victim.

Goal: $500 by October 30 (Met)

"Brave Lights": Debut Release from Valiant

Maybe it's because I spend all my time listening to goth music about dying or being dead, but every once in a while I go looking for high-energy Christian music. Not because I'm ready to stop being a Satanist, but just because it's like an occasional piece of hard candy amidst the deeper and more nuanced diet.

Valiant is absolutely perfect in this regard, with "New Day" being a grand earworm that the damned and the saved can get behind. It's an upbeat melodic ode to new beginnings, and if the rest of the album they are trying to fund sounds anything like it, you won't be disappointed in the slightest. $20 is a bit steep for getting a copy of the record, but it is a physical copy, signed, that includes your name in the credits. Some church should drop the $2,500 to get them to hoof it out to anywhere in Texas for a concert. You could probably break even selling tickets to it.

Goal: $4,500 by November 3

This isn't local, but it's also too awesome to pass up!

David Fincher, Eric Powell, Blur Studio and Dark Horse Entertainment created a short animated treatment for Powell's unbelievably incredible Goon comic that featured the voices of Clancy Brown and Paul Giamatti and looked like the adult animated movie that we've all been waiting for since Heavy Metal. Hollywood naturally took one look and ran.

Fincher decided to make the movie himself without a studio, so to Kickstarter it is. Only two days in and they're already a quarter of the way there, and all you have to do is look at the original treatment featured above to see why this must absolutely be made.

Here's the downside...it's $50 before you see any concrete reward beyond private access to the making-of film blog. Even then it's a PDF copy of the pitch book. No chance to own the movie is offered in the deal. No matter what, you're going to end up paying a movie theater to see The Goon when it's made. On the other hand, isn't it worth $10 to show the world that cartoons don't always have to have singing animals?

Goal: $400,000 by November 11

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