Hello everyone, and welcome to the Kickstarter for Dubious Company, Volume 2. For those of you just joining us, or who randomly stumbled across this Kickstarter, Dubious Company is a webcomic written by Ben Hsu and drawn by Elaine Tipping. The idea of the comic was to tell a story that satirized the various tropes and memes found in Geek Culture. Nominally, it's the story of an incompetent air-pirate and an alcoholic ninja. If the Kickstater for volume one has been any indiction, I'd say we were fairly successful. I'd say a bit more, but it's probably easier if you visit the comic at http://dubiouscompany.com and read it for yourself. Fair warning, the paragraph will probably contain spoilers, but I won't reveal too much.
Volume 2 will pick up right where the cliffhanger of Volume 1 ended. From there we plan to print the next three plot-lines, bringing us straight through the Fairy Ball Arc. We also plan on including an extra comic (or two or three, depending on how well the Kickstarter goes) that will be only available via print. These aren't actually part of Dubious Company canon, just a little something extra for you diehard fans. Overall, the intent is to have a 200+ page, softbound, glossy cover comic by around mid March.
Regardless, Volume 2 is already shaping up to a great book, we just need to get some formatting issues out of the way. And of course we need to get funded so we can actually pay to have them printed. I hope you guys will be as generous as last time, and we won't let you down.
Update #0: So, just before we went live, Elaine and I decided that we should give an early bird special. If you back us during the first day we'll send you a special thank you card with a signed and personalized sketch (done by Elaine). You have until 11:59 pm, Dec 21 (Pacific Standard Time). Thanks everyone!
Update #A: It's been brought to our attention that many of you already have Volume 1 and...silly us, we forgot to add an alternate reward for the 50 dollar level. No worries, Elaine and I have you covered. As the FAQ states further below, we're offer an alternate reward for the 50 dollar level. You can either pick a copy of Volume 1 OR a set of 6 colored prints depicting various artwork from Volume 1 and 2. Sadly, we didn't notice in time to make the change and the level 50 reward description is locked in...But don't worry, we've added an alternate 50 dollar reward level and I'll be adding a question at the end of the Kickstarter survey to allow higher level backers to indicate which version of the 50 dollar reward they'd like.
Update #01: Incoming art! As promised we've got the blue-sketches of the designs for the buttons and Key-chains.
These are the button designs. You'll be able to pick from Sal and Leeroy, Tiren and Walter, or Elator and the cute, animal mascots. Unless you've backed us for more than 10 dollars, which in that case you just get all three.
The first of the key-chains. Double sided, featuring Izor, Marty and Gary on one side, and Mary and Sue on the other side.
The other key-chain. Featuring Walter and Leeroy on one side, and Tiren, Sal, and Elator on the other side.
Update #2: Cover Design and Stretch Goal
Well, more than 20 days left and just over 2/3s of the way to our goal. Great Job everyone! Thanks for all your support. We've been working on the cover design for this Volume and have pretty much got a design that Elaine and I both enjoy the feel of, here's the blue sketch of (things are probably going change as we flesh it more).
Going for a heavy "Alice In Wonderland" feel that I greatly approve of, partly because of the plot (shhhh, shhh, spoilers...), but mostly because I'm a HUGE fan of Lewis Carroll's work.
In the mean time. Since we're doing so well, we've decided to come up with our first stretch goal.
Stretch Goal #1: 3500+
If we can reach 500 dollars over our needed funding limit (totaling to 3500+ dollars) Elaine and I will write and illustrate a Children's Story featuring the Dubious Company Crew. Rather, it will be a short, very simple tale, written and draw in a basic Children's Book format (warning: this story will probably not be suitable for children under the age of 13, at least if Tagalong has anything to say about, no catgirls will be harmed in the making of the story, expect their feelings, probably). So, tell your friends or up your backing let's see if we can get Tagalong and Tria to awkward flail at a children's story!
Update #3: Never Before Seen!
I was trying to save this as a surprise for when the books were printed, but Elaine insists on telling everyone. Astute readers may have noticed that the plots I listed don't actually add up to 200+ pages (it's closer to 185). I did promise 200+ pages of comic goodness, and we intend to deliver by adding in an extra plot-line. When we originally plotted out the comic, we wrote a "gender-swap" plot that had to be cut for time and pacing reasons. Well, Volume 2 will feature the, never before seen, "gender-swap" plot added back in (just for the books), bringing us neatly into the 200+ range (plus whatever stretch goals you all force us to do). For continuity reasons, it will be added as an extra story at the end of the book, and not actually canon. Consider it an extra "thank you" for the fans awesome enough to support us.
Just to make things clear, this is not a stretch goal. If we get funded we'll straight up include the "gender-swap" story into all the volumes. This will be added in as a non-canon side story at the end of the volume, and (currently) only available in print. It's like a DVD extra that only die hard fans get to see.
Regardless, thanks for the support so far, and let's see if we can push those stretch goals!
Update # 4: Funded + Cover Art!
Everyone, we're funded. Thank you all for you backing. Tria and I are already working on getting everything set-up and ready for the printer. We already have the front cover all inked up and ready:
Long time readers may be able to spot where the different costumes are coming from. New readers, well, you've got something to look forward to now don't you? In the meantime, just because we're funded doesn't mean we have to slow down. We've still got stretch goals to create and reach!
Update #5: First Goal Complete, Achieving New Goal:
Right, I fall asleep, decided to use the day to get some non-comic related chores done, sign on to Kickstarter, and find we've complete blown past our 3500 dollar stretch goal! Wooo! I love you guys.
Anyway, I'm working double time on that non-children's children's story. In the meantime, we owe you a new stretch goal:
3650 dollars: Tria and I have decided on book covers. Which are not book jackets, (or dust jackets) those are a bit out of our price range. But it's the next best thing. These will be a thick quality paper with new art printed on them that completely encloses the book (making it so you have to take the cover off to read them). They're basically an extra layer of stylish protection for your wonderful Dubious Company Volumes.
Update #6: New Stretch Goal
Sorry for the delay. I fell deathly ill and have just recently been able to think without becoming dizzy. Anyway, we have shot WAY past the $3650.00 needed for the the book covers and as such, Tria and I owe you another stretch goal. We brainstormed a bit (a lot) and I think we've got a good one:
Stretch Goal #3:
If we can reach 4200 dollars, we will print out Dubious Company calenders. These calenders will be for 2014 and feature all the major holidays (that Tria and I deem worthy of being in our calender). These will be a one page calender (more of a large poster) featuring a new piece of Dubious Company artwork with all twelve months of the year listed below it. As with the previous rewards, stretch goals, these will be mailed out to all backers that backed as a level that receives a package (5 dollars or more). Thanks all for great support.
Update #7: Colored Cover
Just a few days left. Will we make the final stretch goal? With you folk helping, I'm sure we will. In the meantime, Tria has updated the image for the cover.
Let's see how strong we can finish this one!
Risks and challenges
Many of you may have noticed the jump in price between the Volume 1 kickstarter and this kickstarter. Allow me to explain:
1.) Our readership has grown. This is the major reason and it's great, but it means that our expected initial production run is much lager than the initial run for the previous volume.
2.) For various reasons we've had to switch printing methods. I won't get into it, but I expected that it will cost us more per book than Volume One. This should translate into a higher quality book.
3.) Our rewards are more material in nature. Rewards from the previous volume tended to be more along the lines of walk on roles and guest written lines. We found those tended to muck with our creative process, so we've switched more material goods. Sadly this means we need to add in the prices of shipping and raw materials as part of the kickstater (but I'm going to get REALLY good at making buttons).
I hope you all understand the hike in the required funding amount. We tried to keep the value as low as possible for all of you, and we appreciate your support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
This was a slip up on our part. We didn't realize until too late that we hadn't added an alternate reward for 50 dollar backers that already bought into our kickstater (blame the high amount of new readers between kickstarter 1 and 2). We've decided that, as an alternate reward for the 50 dollar level, you can choose either a copy of Volume 1, or a package of 6 colored prints depicting various pieces of art from Volume One and Two.
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