March Kickstarter Round-Up: New SNES Games and Heinlein Comics

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

The estate of the late science fiction master Robert A. Heinlein is actually managed right here in Houston. Virginia Edition publishes a 46-volume definitive collection of Heinlein's work that is as expensive as it fantastic! Their latest project is bringing to life a Heinlein novel in graphic novel format, with further adaptations to follow if successful.

The novel in question is Citizen of the Galaxy, a wonderful tale of a young slave boy who begins to rise in galactic society first as a freedom fighter, then a military officer and finally as the long-lost heir of a wealthy and influential company orphaned so his parents' enemies could secretly profit from the slave trade. It's a dashing space tale and it can only get better under the pen of Batman and Deathstroke artist Steve Erwin. Fifteen dollars gets you a soft cover edition, and $50 a signed hardcover. That's a pretty fair price for a graphic novel.

Goal: $26,400 by March 31

Longtime readers know I have a passion for hard releases for defunct gaming systems, and that the SNES is my favorite of all time. This month I'm proud to tell you of Houston's own Eleazar Galindo Navarro, the man bringing us not one but four new SNES games in actual cartridge format.

Plenty of people put out new SNES games as online releases, but Navarro persuaded three other developers he'd met to combine their efforts in order to kick it completely old school. The result is four games in one. Mazeam is a puzzler in the vein of Solomon's Key, in that you can actually become trapped if you fail to solve the level. Luckily, restarting just costs you a life, not a reset like SK. UWOL - Quest for Money is a side-scroller about a haunted house you loot while avoiding ghosts and ghouls.

You also get Skipp and Friends, which is sort of like a top-down version of Lost Vikings where you use three characters with different skill sets to advance. The one that is absolutely breathtaking, though, is N- WARP Daisakusen. It's a top-down fighting game that supports up to eight players. The Kickstarter has a fantastic deal, with $60 getting you the cart, instruction manual and a poster. That's a better price than when Final Fantasy IV first came out in America. Retro gamers can't miss this kind of bargain.

Goal: $10,500 by May 5

And now, after having talked about two of the absolute coolest things I've ever seen on Kickstarter from Houston, I want to quickly explain why I don't usually feature musician projects on here. This is TBurner, and he wants $35,000 to put out an EP. No, I did not add an extra zero in there.

TBurner caught my eye by calling his personal brand of hip-hop "the future of music." Now, I'm not a big hip-hop fan, but I'm savvy enough to know that something like "No Church in the Wild" will still be cited as an influence 40 years later. TBurner's sole song on SoundCloud "Nite Lites" ain't no "No Church in the Wild."

Nonetheless, he is at "a point where I'm gaining national recognition" and wants to take it to the next level. He's asking fans to fund the whole shebang including videos, commercials, touring, CD pressing, music recording, publishing and a series of 30 radio adverts. Apparently for TBurner, the music industry has literally not changed a single iota since he debuted in 2002.

I hate to pick on the guy, who currently has zero backers, but I am going to hold him up as an example here. My fellow musicians, and please remember I am one of you as well, please have some damned sense when you start a Kickstarter. No one is paying $100 to have coffee with you at this level, and your EP doesn't cost $35,000 to record in this day and age. The 71's did a full-length album for less than half of what TBurner wants, and for $100 Keaton would give you free guitar lesson in addition to a poster, the album, a T-shirt and unreleased B-sides.

Goal: Who cares?

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