Crowdfunding Comics: ‘Shelter: Early Doors’ By Lucy Sullivan
by Richard Bruton
Lucy Sullivan’s new book, Shelter: Early Doors, is up for funding at Crowdfundr. It’s a must-back book.
Lucy Sullivan burst onto comics radar with her 2020 debut graphic novel, the incredible Barking, based on her own experience of a mental health crisis. Since then, she’s worked on various projects, including IND-XED with Fraser Campbell, Black Cat with John Reppion, The Wishmaker’s Gimcrack with Ram V and Aditya Bidikar, and Sweeney Todd & I with Dan Watters and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, as well as work on Black Hammer, Hey Amateur!, Killtopia, Insider Art, Colossive Cartographies, Hell in Stalingrad, Hey! Don’t Go!, Heavy Rotation, Murky Waters, and Tales from The Quarantine.
But most importantly, she’s also been hard at work at her second major project, Shelter. It’s described as a Folk-Horror set in London 1969 and looking every bit as incredible as Barking did.
And as part of Shelter, Sullivan’s crowdfunding Shelter: Early Doors, a 33-page prequel to the wider Shelter project. You’ve got until 23rd October to back what looks like something rather special.
Here’s how Shelter is described on the Crowdfundr page:
“When a wave of immigration descended on London in the 1950s the locals pushed back and soon the windows of guesthouses were plastered with the mandate ‘No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish’. But not so in Shepherd’s Bush. In this pocket of West London all were welcome and so grew a community of differing cultures and a new home for many. Some say there was nowhere safer for a girl alone, in the small hours than The Bush.
But bad things happen everywhere and a girl in trouble here knows where to go for help. Not to the Coppers, the police don’t give two hoots. Not to the gangsters, they’ll turn on you in flash. No, those in the know will whisper their troubles and turn to local matriarch, Mammy Magee.
Her singular girls will aid no matter what and all Mammy asks is that you return the favour… One day.”
Shelter‘s inspired by Sullivan’s own family history and mixes folk-horror with cultural mythology and urban unease, a series of stories around the London community, tales of the immigrant women of West London, and all in a world where the supernatural and the everyday co-exist, where the darkness of the city is full of traditions and ancient ways, where magic comes as both vengeful spirits and healing witchcraft. And more than anything, it’s about a matriarchal society attempting to survive in a world where women suffer and struggle.
Each Shelter volume will follow one of the local women in trouble and going to Mammy for help. The first of the Shelter stories is Early Doors, following a young Irish immigrant to London, Ealga Culhoun. Life in swinging 60s London is going great for Ealga at first… but it doesn’t take long for her to be at Mammy Magee’s door looking for shelter.
Shelter: Early Doors is 33 pages of watercolour and carbon artwork, a one-off print run prequel to Sullivan’s bigger Shelter project that’s being developed.
As you’d expect, there’s multiple reward levels and add-ons available, including Sullivan’s comics and a very limited offer of exclusive copies of the sold-out Barking 1st edition Hardbacks, with just 15 available. And then there’s 25 copies of Sullivan’s How To Build A Free Woman risograph Zine series, created as part of developing Shelter – only 25 available. Or you could go for one of the five limited editions of Brigit’s Fix – “individually concocted, handwritten cures for your life’s ailments replete with an original Carbon drawing.”
Finally, Sullivan’s roped in several other fine, fine artists for a couple of very special add-ons – a fold-out A3 poster by Mark Stafford and a set of four Tart Card postcards by Sullivan and three of her favourite creators – cartoonist Russell Mark Olson, artist Ian Banks, and cartoonist Sarah Gordon.
Shelter: Early Doors by Lucy Sullivan is crowdfunding until 23rd October 2022 on the Crowdfundr platform. Definitely worth backing the new project by one of Britain’s best.
See more from Lucy Sullivan at her website, including the first couple of chapters of Barking, and you can support her work at her Patreon.