(special thanks to Mass Listeria podcaster Nathan Simmons aka The Gargyle for the promo video on this campaign)
Can the angriest daydreamer alive save himself in time before he loses all the good in his life?
STUCK IN MY HEAD by J.R. Mounts
A Seriously Farcical, Farcically Serious SemiArtoAutoDocuMockuBioGraphaMentarOgraphy
For MATURE AUDIENCES
Oliver Lyndt is possibly the angriest man alive. But why? He’s got a loving wife, a decent house and a steady job, yet he’s completely unhappy. The only time he’s not is when he’s in his fantasy world where he’s anything from a rock star, secret agent, lady killer, etc…Unfortunately, he hates his life and can’t figure out when he became so miserable. And now he wants to write a fairy tale. STUCK IN MY HEAD follows one man’s fantastical journey down his mental rabbit hole full of surly pets, traffic monsters, whorey Cinderellas and more. How can such an angry man write a fairy tale for children? Can such a man go from self-destruction to salvation before it’s too late?
(the above is from the back cover synopsis)
This one's all about not losing the love of your life....
NEW! 3-17-16 STUCK IN MY HEAD video interview (below)
Here's the first media exposure I did for the project with my pals from the Mass Listeria podcast group Nathan Simmons (aka youtube's The Gargyle), Tim Frady, Daniel Guy and Chris Goins.
MORE interview promo at ESO Network for STUCK IN MY HEAD below!
What's it about?
STUCK IN MY HEAD is the story of a man named Oliver Lyndt, a constant daydreamer much like Walter Mitty or Ralph Phillips from the Looney Tunes cartoons. The difference between he and those characters is that Oliver is so incredibly unhappy that all he daydreams about is killing his annoying co-workers, rude drivers, etc...violently.
Now ol' Oliver has a wonderful wife whom he loves dearly, two pets and everything else that should make any adult seem content. He used to be artistic; a writer of songs and quite funny drawing comics. So why is he so miserable? Readers take a 10-year trip through the mind of a sad daydreamer in search of happiness. We enter his mind through his fantasies and defining moments of his past in order to discover why he's so unhappy and whether he can do anything about it before it's too late and he stands to lose everything.
This is my first sequential art comic and a story that also features a musical score with songs written & performed by me, J.R. Mounts, and supported musically by some of my pals to coincide with events in the story.
This book is intended for MATURE AUDIENCES. Even though it's done within fantastical daydreams, there are depictions of VIOLENCE, PROFANITY and SEXUAL SITUATIONS throughout the story and soundtrack, although no real nudity is depicted.
This a passion project and I realize the readership will likely be limited as well. It will most likely be a LIMITED RELEASE in so much as I'll only print what I can afford to print as I can afford to print it. The larger size, the little bit of color, page count and cd elements of this project cause the costs to go up as well. This means it'll be more expensive than all my previous comics projects as far as both cost and availability.
Here's a rough early excerpt of a typical Oliver Lyndt moment without the script or lettering.
WARNING: this has GRAPHIC VIOLENCE and PROFANITY.
STUCK IN MY HEAD is a personal labor of love for me and is my newest obsession. Above all, it's a love letter for husbands and wives. I'm using parts of my own life to build an entertaining story about a fictional, relate-able character in a state of crisis that we've all found ourselves in and hopefully where we've all saved ourselves from.
Truth is, I don't know how many stories I have in me. I just follow my whimsy and hope I can cook up something others find worth spending time with. But this story is my Truman Show, my Big Fish, my Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, etc... and it has within it, my best story ever: how I met my wife. No matter how many times I can say it or try to express it, my wife is everything. Even now, she's the reason I can be the person and artist I am today. For that, I created something special for she and I to enjoy as proof of our time together that will hopefully find a place with readers as well.
Who's it by?
I'm J.R. Mounts, better known for my comics series Fried Pickle Noir and Scairy Tales. My website:
(yeah, spell scary adding an "i", it's on purpose). During my comics career, I've been telling funny and silly stories layered with sweetness, puns, parody and smart-assery. Though this project is different from my previous stuff, it's still very ME.
Here's a video of a typical day for me at a comic con, seen here with my podcast bud Nathan Simmons aka The Gargyle:
Here's an typed artist interview by Jim Pyre about what I do:
The book is mostly in black & white with the occasional splash of color for certain emphasis.
Below, Oliver copes with stress by rekindling his artistic side again in the crude comic doodles, 'Family Mal-Use':
Why the MATURE AUDIENCE themes?
I've never done an "adult" book yet. Not that I feel there was ever a NEED to go "adult," but the subject matter here compels and challenges me to honor it the way it needs to be told.
The profanity is common language for adults in similar moments of unhappiness and stays true to this character (not to mention every kid I knew). The violence is merely an extension of fantasies many of us have in stressful situations. Who hasn't ever joked about killing a co-worker or idiots in traffic? There's no real nudity, there are sexual situations used for humorous and ridiculous moments such as the images below.
I've built my comic career purposefully for all ages to enjoy with an art style intended to be fun to look at despite not having the popular superhero aesthetic. This particular project just pushes my boundaries a bit further for me artistically and musically for both humorous and dramatic effect.
Seen below are some of the more serious moments Oliver remembers such as when his father left their family when he was 3...
...and the pain he saw it caused his mother for years.
As with 'Family Mal-Use', we see how adult Oliver continues to cope with stress by starting to vent through his art skills in the lovingly offensive 'Death by Baby' comic strips (seen below):
Below, Oliver goes through his past and recounts some truly ridiculous moments in his overly-creative mind that speaks volumes:
Why the music?
I wasn't supposed to be a comics guy. I was to be a professional musician/songwriter. I started out at the age of 10 with the express destiny to be a famous guitar God/songwriter. As I grew older, I planned to be a writer of popular Nashville music or Broadway musicals. It had been my goal right up until the moment I started my comics. I started making comics because the whole 'music-thing' didn't pan out. Here, I can meld the two for something really cool and different, making this a comic book "autobiography" with a musical accompaniment.
I'm very proud of my musical background as I've been a guitarist/songwriter in rock bands, pop-rock bands, co-wrote musicals for theater and studied the art of lyrics and storytelling for many years. Here, I put all my best feet forward. What I may lack in vocal talent is made up in the best music I've written. I was a storyteller then and I'm still one now. This time, I get to combine my mediums.
The music featured here will come from various sources over several years ranging from actual recordings I did as a kid, personal demos I've made for my friends and wife (who was then my girlfriend) and new songs made for this project specifically.
Here's some rough demos of the more 'produced' samples planned for the songs. As is the book's intention, they're imperfect but honest. Be warned, I sing 'em and play all guitars. I'll try to get some of the acoustic score tunes up soon.
"Crawlspace": a 2003 rock instrumental and a metaphor for Oliver's dark mind in the beginning (features Raoul Ranoa on drums/bass/harmony guitar/intro effect; something we just threw together for fun):
"Read Between the Lines": a 2006 ballad demo and very raw. In the story, Oliver imagines himself so physically impaired that he can't even tell his wife how he feels. However, she knows in her own way. This one's for all those who help improve the lives of those who physically can't do things for themselves (Thomas Wilson on piano/drums/bass):
"This Much": an acoustic instrumental that says 'I love you, THIS MUCH' without words. It's a rough recording I recorded straight to my mini-recorder for this preview. The actual recording is clean and sweet.
"A Time To Cry": (an acoustic instrumental, also a rough recording from my mini-recorder; the clean version will be on the cd); when Oliver breaks down, his wife Tabitha is there to comfort him. It's my second most favorite acoustic instrumental I've done. The first was written for my wife, called "Erica's Song" and one she walked down the aisle to at our wedding. It will also be on the cd.
"Electrolyte Parade":one of 4 demo songs from my/Oliver's rock band days about pleasuring a woman. A less than typical flip side to the 'cock rock' song. (featuring Tom Mathes/drums, Chuck Chittick/bass and Dave/vocal; from my old 2005 band Juggernaut):
"Burning At Both Ends": a 2006 acoustic demo about mental and emotional burnout. This is where Oliver's mind is at and why he needs to fix his life:
"Burning At Both Ends: (a possible alternate rock version of the above song)(features Tom Mathes/drums, Chuck Chittick/bass)
"I've Got Nothing": a 2006 demo. In the story, this is a sad song that epitomizes how an angry Oliver hopes his successful-but-shithead father feels for leaving their family behind when he was 3 years old:
Choosing from around 33+ selections, all songs written will be for specific story and character moments. Most of the songs/ and score aren't long and get straight to the point. Styles will vary from acoustic instrumentals, catchy rock, ballads, country diddy, heavy rock, big band swing, parody theme songs, a rap/rock tune and new 2016 material. The intent is to feel as if some of the songs are being performed live, right in front of you and as raw as you can get.
All will be mastered and mixed as best as they can be and newer tunes will have a bit more production to them but overall, this soundtrack will be raw and from the heart, letting the songs speak for themselves. The soundtrack may run as long as 2 discs or one very full single disc. Lyrically, there will be tunes that use profanity as a tool to emphasize what the Oliver's going through.
It's the first time I've been able to showcase some of these songs and some of the best I've written. There couldn't be a better time or place to roll them out. For the ease of some of the rewards, I'll try to make the soundtrack able to download but at the very least, I'll have it on a mixed and mastered cdr to be mailed or slipped in the books.
While we'd all love to make millions, what I'm asking for here is the minimum I will need to make an over 100 page, 8.5" x 11" graphic novel in "color" paperback, with a cdr soundtrack done guerrilla-style (i.e., burned at home, per order, to keep it inexpensive). How many get printed depends on funding and how much is left over once the campaign ends. Those who know me know all too well that I'm an ambitious cuss who WILL NOT be thwarted. To do all this, I'll need some help, and that's where YOU come in, my friends.
STRETCH GOALS (added 3-31-16)
Now that the goal minimum is met, and beyond, I have no way to end the campaign early with plenty of days left to go. So, we'll have some fun with new rewards, additional upgrades and bigger goals for bigger rewards! Again, this is for FUN rather than greed since there's plenty of time on the clock to spread the word! Since the word is..."STRETCH"...I thought I'd have fun with the concept...
Heads--$2500+ Rewards $35-$45 get an Oliver Lyndt profile drawing! Plus, EVERY reward supporter will be thanked inside the book on a special Kickstarter 'THANK YOU' page.
Shoulders--$3000+ POOF!...all pdfs become books! All rewards get an extra print level upgrade!
Knees--$4000+ Rewards $1-$65 move up one level; $200+ rewards get to have the one page of ORIGINAL ART of their death from the book.
Toes--$5000+ Levels $200+ get limited hardcover version upgrade of the book.
NEW & UPGRADE REWARDS (added 3-31-16)
For those who've already shown their support as well as anyone who wants MORE from their reward, here's some add-on perks of my previous comics works:
SCAIRY Reward (add $33 upgrade to existing reward as discount)
Just like the STUCK IN DEATH REWARD but you'll get the Scairy Tales books currently available: Big Boy Collection (books 1 & 2), The HOLE SH-bang (books 3 & 4), SNOMBIES cd musical, GHOULBALL card game and print set #1
PICKLED Reward (add $43 upgrade to existing reward as discount )
Just like the STUCK IN DEATH REWARD but you'll get the Fried Pickle Noir books currently available: The Raw Dill (b/w), KILLbasablanca (b/w), The Dirty Half-Dozen (b/w), Leftovers vol 1 (color), Cop Salad card game, print set #2
THE WHOLE ENCHILADA Reward (add $100 upgrade to existing reward as discount )
Just like the STUCK IN DEATH REWARD but you'll get BOTH SCAIRY and PICKLED sets from above (note that the b/w Fried Pickle Noir books get replaced & upgraded to the full color omnibus The Origin Thrillogy), print set #3, The Kilted Creature coloring book, The Finleys issue #1 and the limited edition Gus keychain from Scairy Tales.
Indie comics artists need financial support. To be honest, I feel a tad embarrassed to ask for any sort of crowd-funding, as I'd much rather do it all on my own. However, such is not the case if I'm to bring this project out of my personal journals and into the printed world Financial support helps make projects like this possible and comes with gifts of appreciation.
$1 or more STUCK IN MY THANKS
Simply enough, a big ol' THANK YOU gets put on my Facebook and website by auction end for your support because I do THANK YOU!
$15 or more STUCK ON YOUR WALL
A pdf on disc or download of the Stuck In My Head graphic novel as well as the above THANK YOU & a signed 8.5x11 art print of the cover by me. (I will need a safe address to make shipping arrangements).
$25 or more STUCK IN YOUR EARS
Same as above (8.5x11 art print, pdf of book) but add the music soundtrack on cdr or download (possibly up to 2 discs but at least a full single disc).
$35 or more STUCK IN YOUR HANDS
A physical copy of the Stuck In My Head graphic novel (no pdf), cdr soundtrack and 8.5x11 cover art print all signed by me.
$45 or more STUCK IN DOUBLE
Same as the above but add a second, different 8.5x11 art print!
$65 or more STUCK IN ORIGINAL ART
Same as the above reward but adding that I'll draw ol' Oliver Lyndt's profile on 8.5x11 bristol paper, making each of them one of a kind!
$100 or more STUCK IN YOUR HEAD
Similar to the above but instead of a profile, you get Oliver caught daydreaming...something! Add the graphic novel, art prints and cdr soundtrack and it's like you're THERE too!
$200 or more STUCK IN DEATH
Do ya wanna die or something? Well, be my guest as this reward has me place your name on one of the name tags of someone who meets their untimely death or hangs around in the background in one of Oliver's daydream! Be warned, some deaths can be gruesome and this is your warning about some of the fantasy violence in the book, but for a good cause! This also gets the signed book, soundtrack and art prints #1 & #2.
So email, tweet, post, Facebook message, text and spread the word anywhere and everywhere, wherever you can, even if you can't donate, because every little push helps. As always, thanks to everyone for their support. I'm here because of you!...and well, VISA.
Risks and challenges
It's not a question of "if" but "when" and "how many?"
Doing a project so completely different than what I've done before, especially one of this caliber and size, presents challenges. The biggest of these is to finish the project on time. The music will be the most difficult, as it involves other people and comes down to mixing, good takes, etc...
I'm giving myself a December 2016 release date in order to allow the soundtrack to coincide with the book but there's always a chance that both may run late in order to make sure I present a good product. Hopefully, that's enough time and I do work pretty fast. No matter what, once the goal is reached, every order will be honored even if late. Should either or both be finished before the release date, then we all celebrate with some early stuff!
The other element of "how many" depends on how much farther from the goal I get. Anyone who donates into a reward level high enough to get a product will get one. Even if I can only print one more copy for myself, no one giving financial support will be left out.
At the very least, the campaign's goal will be applied first to all rewards, and then everything left over will go to shipping and Kickstarter fees. Anything remaining will be applied to further printings for conventions and future online sales.
Again, those who know me know that it's not "if" but "when." As I said, I'm an ambitious old cuss and when I set my mind to something, it happens.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (52 days)