Iron Circus Crowdfunds FAILURE TO LAUNCH: A TOUR OF ILL-FATED FUTURES, A Light-Hearted, Educational Look at Unrealized Technological and Societal Advances

The Full Color 300+ Page Comics Collection Explores Futures Which Never Came to Be


(February 6, 2023) History is often written by the winners… but this spring, the award-winning independent publisher Iron Circus is jumping through the cracks in history to spotlight those who didn’t let failure stop their dreams. Iron Circus, the premiere publisher of award-winning, critically-acclaimed graphic novels in the American Midwest, is launching a crowdfunding campaign for FAILURE TO LAUNCH: A TOUR OF ILL-FATED FUTURES, a light-hearted, educational tour of (so far!) unrealized technological and societal advances promised in years past, but which never came to be. FAILURE TO LAUNCH tells the tales of what could have been, but wasn’t: planned utopias in space, wild inventions, attempts to improve society, robot pets, and predictions of armageddon. With over 300 pages of full color comics, this collection of disasters explores a wide variety of hopes and dreams falling to pieces.


Featuring the following stories:

  • Bagels in Space by Helen Greetham

  • Birth by Blonsky by Dani Colman and Einar V. Másson

  • CGIdol by Victor Santiago and Bolu Oriowo

  • Dead Calls by Nakata “Knack” Whittle and Sam “SunnyShea” Roberts

  • Dead Eyed by Erin Keepers and Fend Hamilton

  • Death of a PC Repair Shop by E. Altman

  • Hemispheres by Violet Kitchen

  • Indestructible Bicycle by Rowan Oats

  • Lead Balloon by Katie Tiedrich

  • Little Islands by Blue Delliquanti

  • Lost Dogs by Iris Jay

  • Magic City, All of Fire by Evan Dahm

  • Milking It by Colin O’Mahoney and Mari Rolin

  • Ninit’i or The End by Kelci D Crawford

  • One Man’s Beast, Another Man’s Bacon by Triple Dream Comics

  • Panopticon by Shannon Saar

  • Pneumatic Tube to Nowhere by Cat Parra

  • Poma by Ashley Hasfal

  • Rats by Ryan Estrada & Aarón Cruz

  • When Do We Get Our Star Trek Future by J. Dalton

  • The Digesting Duck by C. S. Garcia Martinez

  • The First Union by Harry “Hbomberguy” Brewis and Skutch

  • The First Wind-Power Revolution by Matthew R Francis and Maki Naro

  • The Paradise Within Reach of All Men by Ryan North and Kel McDonald

  • The Pasilalinic Sympathetic Compass by Maddi Gonzalez and Alice Woods

  • The Rain-Making Machine by Lore Vicente

  • The Second Extinction of the Pyrenean Ibex by Erin Roseberry

  • The World Turns by Barbara Mazzi

  • To Be Believed To Be Seen by Tuisku H.

  • What Happens at Midnight? by Colton Fox

  • Zigurats by André Valenté

“Failure to Launch is a fascinating project because while we frequently idolize pioneers, we forget that a lot of pioneers don’t make it,” said editor Kel McDonald. “I think showing the missteps and stumbles in the march of progress paints a more complete picture of history. Ideas rarely spring forward fully formed and are immediately accepted. Every success learned from those who came before. The luddites covered in ‘The First Union’ was the first step for collective organizing. The idea for wind power in ‘The Paradise Within Reach of All Men’ was impossible but the idea is carried forward and made real by those covered in ‘The First Wind-Power Revolution.’ Star Trek imagined a version of several inventions we now have. So even if they didn’t get there in the end, they can still play a part in building a better future, no matter how ill thought out, idealistic, or impractical they are.”


“I love bad ideas,” said Editor-in-Chief C. Spike Trotman. “I am a bad ideas expert, just ask my friends. And now, I’ve got an entire BOOK full of bad ideas, which, turns out, was a good idea. I am simply amazing at my job. This cannot be disputed.”


Failure to Launch is Iron Circus Comics’ thirty-seventh crowdfunding project and is crowdfunding now on BackerKit.

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