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Licensed Heroes Volume 1's video poster
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This project will be the compilation of the first 119 strips of the webcomic Licensed Heroes. Read more

Portland, OR Comics
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This project was successfully funded on March 15, 2014.

This project will be the compilation of the first 119 strips of the webcomic Licensed Heroes.

Portland, OR Comics
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About this project

Licensed Heroes follows Tempest as he tries to live out his dream of becoming a famous adventurer. Along the way, he is joined by his friends and teammates, Eagle and Sarah. Every step of the way they're beset with common, everyday problems that we've all experienced at one point in our lives. Overall, the feel of the comic is a crispity, crunchity, high fantasy shell, surrounding a warm, gooey, slice-of-life comedy center. 

The idea for the comic stems from a time when the author and artist were both either unemployed or underemployed. Elaine, the artist, joked that they should move to a fantasy world; one where they could get money by simply killing monsters. Ben, the author joked that, given their luck, they'd still be unemployed and underpaid. Elaine, highly amused with the potential scenarios of "a day in the life of a hero," mocked up a few comics about Tempest within the week. And so Licensed Heroes was born!

Sample comics!
Sample comics!

The entire comic can be read here:  OnSmackjeeves!

You can also follow us on Facebook!

Sharing the comic, as well as the kickstarter, is a great way to support us!

 What's better than one webcomic? Two webcomics! Modest Medusa is also running a kickstarter and we've decided to offer you a special deal. If you back both of our kickstarters at the 25 dollar level (or higher) you'll receive a special print (sample above). This art is a collaboration between both comics. Get a great reward for backing two great kickstarters! Remember: Modest Medusa Kickstarter and our kickstarter, both at 25 dollars or more and receive a print version of the above art for free!

Ben Hsu and Elaine Tipping are a creative team who've been working together for nearly a decade. Ben concentrates on the writing and scripting aspects of comic creation, whereas Elaine focuses on the art and visual aspects. 

Including Licensed Heroes, they have two collaborative projects together, Dubious Company being the first. Between the two of them, they've had four successful kickstarters and they're hoping to make Licensed Heroes their fifth!

Congratulations! We've reached the point where we can begin revealing stretch goals!

Goal 1: $4500 - Sarah's Back-story revealed! We will include in the comic a short story detailing why Princess Sarah decided, of all things, to become an adventurer.

Goal 2: $5500 - Character Bios Included! We will include short character bios for each of our heroes with the book. These will include basic profile data and new art of them in various poses.

Goal 3: $6500 - A full Hero Bran commercial (in comic form) will be included in the book. Why do Sarah and Tempest like Hero Bran cereal so much? How nutritious is it? These questions may or may not be answered in the super hilarious commercial that we're writing!

Goal 4: $7500,- .Traditional Story! To prove our heroes aren't just bouncing from terrible job to terrible job we'll include a more traditional (albeit short).adventure of theirs in the book. This will be drawn in the more common comic book style as opposed to Licensed Heroes' usual 4-panel style.

Goal 5: $8500 - The comics come early! If we reach this goal, all kickstarter backers will be able to view the Licensed Heroes comics we have planned for this June (June 2014) early. At the start of June, we'll post all of June's comics at a specific website, and send all of you backers (and just the backers) the link (and password), so you'll get to see all the comics for June 2014 before anyone else in the world!

More to come!

Final Thoughts:

As said, we're super excited to be producing this volume! This comic is by far my favorite comic to write, and I'm sure Elaine is having as much fun drawing it. Looking forward to your support!

~Ben & Elaine

Follow Ben on his Twitter!

Follow Elaine on her Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook page and Deviant Art page!

Alright, we've got the first bit of art release for this project. This is one of the posters for the 60 dollar reward level. We've only got the line art right now, but we'll release the other poster, and colored versions of both of them soon enough.

Hey, you know what goes great with webcomics? More webcomics!

That's right, we're offering copies of our other comic, Dubious Company as part of this Kickstarter. In case you were wondering, Dubious Company is a rousing comedy-adventure about an incompetent Sky Pirate who becomes best friends with an alcoholic, cat-girl ninja. And you can get the physical volumes through this kickstarter. We have two volumes available and by adding on 15 dollars to any reward level that involves shipping (levels 25 dollars or higher) you'll receive your choice of either Volume One or Volume Two of Dubious Company. Increase your pledge amount by 30 dollars and you'll receive both volumes. This is a great deal for our books that we only offer at select times, so if you love our comics, you should take advantage. (Note: We've added reward levels to reflect this offer, please DO NOT pick the reward levels, instead increase your pledge by either 15 dollars or 30 dollars more than your selected reward level. We'll take it from there).

Okay, we've got the line art for our second poster done, and I think you guys will really like this one. A little peak into what our heroes do during their free time.

 We have the colored version of the first poster.

 Super happy with the way this one turned out. Remember, this is for the 60 dollar level.

 Second poster done for the 60 dollar reward level! If you look closely, you can see a few of our other works in the background! Remember both of these are available at the 60 dollar reward level!

Risks and challenges

Previously, we'd encountered issues with printers and producers for our various rewards. This time we've narrowed down the rewards to things we know we have competent and affordable printers for. This means slightly more digital distribution, but overall I think this will allow for higher quality products.

A secondary concern is the shipping costs. Due to rising cost of international shipping from the US, we've had add a shipping fee onto our international backers. It saddens us greatly that we've had to do this, and I hope you all understand.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • That depends. When we check for who qualifies for the Early Bird Reward at the end of the project we'll be checking for two things: 1.) You backed us within the first 48 hours, 2.) You're currently at a reward level that warrants shipping.

    So, if you started at the 10 dollar level, but you increase your pledge to 25 or higher before the end of the Kickstarter, you'll qualify for the Early Bird Reward.

    However, if you started at the 25 dollar level (or higher), but you've had to drop down to the 10 dollar level when the Kickstarter ends; then I'm sorry, but you won't qualify for the Early Bird Reward (though please email us, and we'll try to work something else out instead...that doesn't require shipping things).

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  • Elaine doesn't have time to do elaborate landscapes and such (and if she did it would drastically raise the price of that reward level), so instead we're offering to put your hero on the background of a single color. That way, they won't be posing in a pure white void. The overall effect should look something like this: http://triaelf9.deviantart.com/art/Tink-430580748

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  • In terms of the Licensed Heroes Universe, E Class Licences are a dime a dozen. All you need to do is go down to your local International Department of Adventurers (IDA) office and fill out the paperwork (as well as give them the appropriate processing fee). In terms of the real world, the E Class License is going to be rather simple. More than likely it'll contain your Hero ID Number, some legal jargon, a place for you to sign, and the IDA logo. Quality wise, it'll be similar to a social security card or a high quality business card.

    The C Class License is much harder to get. You have to have either graduated from an accredited Heroing Academy (as Tempest has done) or started as an E Class Hero and been sanctioned by an adventuring guild to take on more dangerous quests (and getting a guild to sponsor you is a quest chain in itself). If you get sanctioned by a guild, then you are allowed to take a test to move up to a D Class License. From that point you have to preform a requisite number of quests (the guild is in no way required to give you any quests). If you complete the required number of quests, you'll be allowed to take another test (again, after applying for permission from your sponsor guild) to obtain your C Class License. Yeah, most people just go to school.

    In terms of real life quality, the C Class License will be much more intensive. As with the E Class License, it will contain your Hero ID Number, some legal jargon, a place for you to sign and the IDA logo. But it will also contain some information about your physical identifying features (eyes, height, weight, etc. (these don't have to be real)). It will also have your preferred method of dealing with conflict (sword, magic, fire, diplomat, etc.). If possible we'll have an identifying photo (or our version of an identifying photo). And, while we can't print on hard plastic, we'll definitely have them laminated.

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  • No, Elaine and I never intended those to be actual reward levels, Kickstarter just doesn't really have any other way of displaying that type of offer. So to reiterate, I'm sorry, but the 15 and 30 dollar reward levels are not part of any cumulative offer, you must add 15 or 30 dollars on top of your existing pledge to get either of the two Dubious Company books.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    5 backers

    Thank You! - For one dollar, we'll list your name (or alias) in the special "thank you" page at the beginning of the book!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    8 backers

    PDF - For ten dollars, we'll send you a digital copy of the book. The PDF will be exactly the same as the book, aside from not being an actual book. Your name will also on the "thank you" page at the beginning of the book!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    0 backers

    Add On A Dubious Company Volume - We've decided to offer copies of our other webcomic, Dubious Company. Just add on 15 dollars to any reward level that involves shipping (levels 25 and higher) and we'll let you choose to receive either Dubious Company Volume 1 or 2 along with the rest of your Licensed Heroes reward package. This is a special discounted price of the Dubious Company books, available only during select times. NOTE: Do not choose this reward level, it is not a real level, and is not included in the cumulative reward offers.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    61 backers

    The Actual Book - For 25 dollars, you'll receive both of the previous rewards as well as your very own signed, physical copy of Licensed Heroes Volume One!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    1 backer

    Add On Both Dubious Company Volumes - For our specifically awesome fans that sadly missed our previous two kickstarters. We're offering both existing volumes of Dubious Company through this kickstarter. Just add 30 dollars to any reward level that involves shipping (levels 25 dollars or higher) and we'll send you both volumes of Dubious Company with your Licensed Heroes kickstarter. Once again, these books are being offered at a discounted price that's only available at select times.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    14 backers

    Class E License - At this level, you'll receive the rewards from the previous levels, as well as a Class E License! This is the generic heroing license given to Class E heroes in the Licensed Heroes world. It will allow you to accept any quest that involves no danger, and is not expected to immediately affect more than 67 people. (Note: License only valid in the Licensed Heroes Universe) Info will be gathered after the kickstarter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    2 backers

    Two Posters - As before, you'll receive all the previous rewards, as well as two posters! These posters will be in full color and 9 inches by 14 inches. The poster designs will be revealed as the kickstarter progresses.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $80 or more

    7 backers

    Class C License - This reward level replaces the 35 dollar level reward. You will still receive all previous reward levels (including the two posters) but instead of the generic Class E Heroing License, you'll receive a more personalized and higher quality Class C License. This License is the same kind Tempest has in the comic and will allow you to take on any quest of moderate danger and not expected to immediately affect more than a township worth of people. (Note: License only valid in the Licensed Heroes Universe). Details will be gathered after the kickstarter.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $160 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    Now You're a Hero! - You'll receive all the previous reward levels (with the Class C license instead of the Class E license) and Elaine will draw you as an adventurer from the Licensed Hero Universe! This will be a colored, single figure drawing with a simple, flat, mono-colored background. We'll send you both a physical and digital copy. Additionally, your hero may appear as a background character in the comic!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $160 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    Now You're a Hero! (second round) - After much discussion, we've decided to open up the chance to be heroes to five more backers! Description and conditions are identical to the other $160 reward level.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $300 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Now You're an Administrator! - Want to really be part of the Licensed Heroes world? At this level I will take your personal story (or theme, or general idea) and turn it into a Licensed Heroes story that will be published both on the web and in the next volume! The story will be between 6-15 pages long and you will be credited as well as receive the pages digitally before we publish on the web. Details will follow in a personal email after the kickstarter is over. As with previous levels, you'll receive all previous, non-limited levels (sorry, you can't be a hero and an administrator). This is your chance to really take part in this comic!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $350 or more

    1 backer All gone!

    Elaine's Sketchbook- Elaine will, over the course of a year, fill a sketch book with various pieces of traditional art, before mailing it to you. The book will be a nice spiral bound notebook, of about 100 pages. Art will include various pieces, from sketches to inked and even a few colored pieces, all of which will only be found in the book. There will be more than a few Licensed Heroes pieces, as well as whatever strikes her fancy. As a bonus, you can contact her as she fills the book for updates and suggestions on themes. You will of course, still receive the previous rewards levels (with the Class C license instead of the class E) with the exception of the sold out Now You're A Hero reward.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (40 days)