HYMN Graphic Novels is a collaboration project started by young artists to create short experimental graphic novels, with a focus on quality illustrations and unconventional stories. We launched our first volume of stories in 2012 at the Calgary Comic Expo, and have released three volumes in total.
Our work is not what most would think of when talking about comic books. Our main focus is the art, layout, and design of the books. We tend to tell our stories more through pictures and less through words.
We don't have a set method or style for creating the books. Each story deserves its own treatment, and we experiment quite a bit with different mediums and processes.
There are no writers, inkers, letterers, or designers. Both of us do everything, and we collaborate in a variety of ways.
About The Book
Volume 2 was originally printed in small quantities in 2013. It sold well, and people responded positively, so we've decided to add more stories and revamp some of the existing content. We want to get Volume 2 out to a larger audience, and we are looking to print 1000 copies, but we need your help to get things going!
The demo in the video gives a pretty good idea of what the book will look like. The reprint will be 166 pages, full colour, and perfect bound with soft covers.
Volume 2 contains eight stories by both Emily Chu and Christian Frederiksen (creator bios below). The book has two covers and is split in half, one half for the work of each creator. The two halves meet in the middle of the book, where they transition into one another.
Christian's half contains three stories: Psychogenic Cat Fever, Orifice, and The Last City. The Last City takes up most of these pages. It's the first chapter of a longer series about the struggles of the last of humanity to escape a sinking metropolis. This chapter focuses on a group of strange children as they play a game of hide and seek through abandoned streets and war-zones. The other stories involve nuns, cults, dreams, and cats.
Art from Psychogenic Cat Fever and Orifice.
Emily's half, titled Nocturnal, is a collection of five short stories, all derived from dreams. The stories included are: Little Red Snakes, First Day of School, Cabbage Babies, Jacqui Love, and Back off, Thief! Each story uses different media and is done in a unique style.
Who are you? And, should you be doing this?
Emily Chu is an illustrator and graphic designer currently living in Edmonton, Alberta. She graduated from the Visual Communications program at the Alberta College of Art and Design.
Christian Frederiksen is an illustrator and graphic novelist. He received a design degree at Alberta College of Art and Design.
We both live in Alberta, Canada, and have been freelancing in illustration and graphic design (and making comic books!) since we got out of school in 2011. We've produced four books so far, and have been selling them at comic expos and art fairs. We believe that our training and experience bring our books to a professional level that you just don't always see with small independent projects. At the same time, our unconventional approach allows us to make something unique and exploratory; something you don't see enough of from larger publishers.
Here's what we're looking to cover with the funds we raise:
It costs about $5000 to print the books and have them shipped to us.
It costs about $1250 to ship everything out to you. Actually, it costs $3000, but we are digging up about $1750 from the HYMN coffers to help with this expense.
It costs about $500 to print marketing materials, attend local shows to promote the project, and make prints for the pledges.
It costs about $750 to cover Kickstarter and PayPal fees.
But I want it now...
Our timeline is as follows:
Sept 2, 2014: Kickstarter Launched
Oct 2, 2014: Kickstarter Ended
Early October: Files sent to Printer
Early November: Books received from printer, and shipped out to you along with pledge rewards.
Late November: Rewards are in your hands.
The digital books will be 150dpi PDF files. We're thinking about other formats, so if there's demand for something else, we might do that also. Let us know!
The prints are 8.5 x 8.5 inches. We like this size because it matches the design of the book and will ship easily without getting damaged. They are printed on 80lb. cardstock and signed.
The available prints are below. (We send you a survey once the project is funded where you may select which prints you want to receive.) We may add more as the project continues so keep an eye out!
Volume 3 (or Book of Secrets) is a black and white, numbered, special edition comic containing a strange array of short stories and single images. It is an experiment in collaboration, both artists contributing in different ways on most of the stories.
There will be 10 pieces of original art available. The art you receive will be selected at random. We will reveal more art as the campaign continues.
Volume 1 consists of two separate books: The Floaters by Emily Chu and Luska the Gypsy Puppet by Christian Frederiksen.
If you want some cool art from us, but none of the originals are quite what you're looking for, this is a good way to go. We're also doing commissions for custom comic books.
Check out our personal websites and the blogs therein to get an idea of what we do:
Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter project. Keep in mind, Kickstarter is an 'all or nothing' system, so unless we reach the full amount, all the pledges are void :(
We hope you can contribute to the project by pledging. If not, that's cool, but if you know someone who's into this kinda thing, please spread the word!
Risks and challenges
First off, we've never done a Kickstarter project, so we might have missed something or screwed something up. If you see anything that needs to be added or improved, or have some ideas for our campaign, please give us a shout!
Secondly, we are working with a new printer, Marquis (marquisbook.com). Everything is going great so far, and we're super happy that we found a suitable printer in our own country (they're in Montreal). However, if the worst occurs, we've done our research, and we have some other printers we can fall back on at similar prices. It would set back the timeline about a month, but we will still be able to deliver.
Finally, there will be a large quantity of stuff to ship out to people. We've budgeted properly for shipping and handling costs, but I always worry about giving a package to some random people at the post office and hoping it travels thousands of miles and lands into a tiny and very specific box. However, shipping insurance is like $2 per $100, so that implies that less than 2% of packages get messed up (right?). For you unlucky handful, we will be easy to contact and we will make sure to get the rewards in your hands.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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