White Ash is an ongoing comic book series written by Charlie Stickney, with art and letters by Conor Hughes, colors by Fin Cramb. Thanks to our amazing backers and fans, we’ve ridden the strength of THREE incredible Kickstarters to become an indie comic hit that just exhibited at San Diego Comic Con 2018. We’re also officially now the best reviewed Coal Mining Fantasy/Horror/ Forbidden Romance tale of all time. (Yes, we know we’re the only C.M.F.H.F.R. comic, but still, check out these reviews.)
If you’re returning to White Ash, thank you so much. We couldn't do any of this without you. And you're in for a treat, we've pulled out all the stops for Chapter Four. (Feel free to scroll down and check out the rewards) If you’re new to our town, WELCOME. We can’t wait to show you the place… and we hope you survive your stay.
This campaign is to raise funds to print the 40 page comic White Ash: Chapter Four and a limited edition variant of White Ash: Chapter One with a new cover by Conor Hughes. Hopefully we'll also hit a few stretch goals along the way. Last time we were lucky enough to reach several. We'd love to do that again and give you even more bang for your White Ash buck.
Welcome to White Ash, a small smudge of a mining community in Western Pennsylvania, where the secrets are buried even deeper than the coal under the mountain. If you’re a fan of Supernatural, Twin Peaks or Lord of the Rings, you’re going to love getting to know our mysterious town.
In Chapter One, we met Aleck who'd been counting down the hours till he could get the hell out of town and head off to college.
But an apparent accident at the mine stalled his exit, setting him down a life-altering path.
One that brought him into the orbit of the enigmatic Lillian Alden.
There was a natural chemistry between the two... some would even call it HOT. But not as hot as Thane Alden's burning rage would have been if he found out Aleck was spending time with his daughter.
Aaaand from here on out, we're going to get into heavy SPOILER TERRITORY so be forewarned.
However, If you want to see one, last, spoiler-free breakdown of what White Ash is about, you can watch this short "get to know our town" video made by the White Ash Chamber of Commerce.
***HERE COME THE SPOILERS***
Shortly after the accident, Aleck discovered that nothing about White Ash or his life is what it seemed; and that there’s a reason he’s short, stubborn, and can grow a beard in a day — he comes from a family of...
Yep Dwarves. And if that wasn’t enough of a kick in the head, Lillian, the young woman he’s just fallen for, isn’t just the daughter of the owner of the White Ash Mining Company, she’s also an elf.
So there you have it. White Ash is just a simple tale, old as time, of forbidden elf/ dwarf romance, set against the backdrop of the oncoming war with The Brood... which we kinda neglected to mention earlier. The Brood is a race of dragon/human hybrids whose origins harken back to how the Elves and the Dwarves got here (White Ash) in the first place.
Sadly, if it were only as easy as overcoming a blood feud that started when the Earth was still young, an army of dragon/human hybrids, and some overly-opinionated relatives, Aleck and Lillian would already be on their way to living happily ever after. But as this is White Ash, bad things have a habit of happening to good people.
And if the personal tragedy that Aleck suffered in Chapter Three wasn't enough, Seth AKA Brood #1, ended our last issue by motoring up and casting his mesmerizing charms over Aleck's best friend Katlyn.
So what happens now..?
What happens now is the climax of our first story arc.
White Ash: Chapter Four -- The Throwdown!
And unfortunately, as you'll see with Aleck and Lillian's attempt to take on Seth, life doesn't always go according to plan. So while our last two issues were done at launch, we've got a few pages left to go on this one.
That's because, Mr. Conor Hughes and his wife JUST HAD A BABY!!! So from the rest of us here at Team Ash, Conor, please accept our hardy congratulations and well-wishes to the newest addition to the team. (Actually, one of two new additions... but we'll get to the second in just a bit).
Ultimately for you our loyal backers, it won't make much of a difference, as the book will be done by the time the campaign concludes. Well, it won't make a difference other than you can WATCH CONOR draw some of the pages in real time on Twitch if you like (but again, MAJOR SPOILERS lurk). But we here in White Ash like to be upfront about everything.
And speaking of being up front, you don't have to wait till Conor's streaming to see some of the book, we're happy to show you a little peek from Chapter Four right now...
What? You still need more convincing before you pledge? You do? Well, okay, you can download a 25 page ashcan (a FREE comic book) of Chapter One HERE.
Money raised will go toward artist fees, printing, backer rewards and shipping of the forth issue. And if we're lucky enough to surpass our goal, any additional funding will go towards creating new rewards or be put directly back into the book in the form of additional pages, and production of future issues. (Or paying for those extra shipping costs that always seem to hit) No one is looking to get rich here. (Otherwise we wouldn't be doing comics. Really, we wouldn't) We just want to ensure that we can produce an amazing high-quality comic book series that our backers will enjoy for years to come.
These books are HUGE. There's too much story in White Ash to contain it in 22 page issues. Chapter One was a 52 page beast. Chapter Two and Three are both 32 pages long. As for Chapter Four -- it's FORTY-FREAKING-PAGES.
And that kind of content deserves a premium paper weight.
We print White Ash on a heavy 85 lb glossy paper stock with a 105 lb glossy cover. When you pick up one of our books, you'll feel the White Ash difference.
For this campaign we are again offering two variant covers. The first is an all new variant for White Ash: Chapter One by Conor Hughes and Fin Cramb.
We've been blown away by your support for White Ash. And that support has translated into us moving a lot of copies (we're basically sold out of Chapter One, folks). And this limited edition variant of Chapter One is our way of saying thank you to our returning backers and giving those new to White Ash a chance to read Aleck and Lillian's inaugural tale in tangible print.
For those who like their variants even more exclusive, Conor and Charlie are signing and numbering a limited run of 50 copies. Even better, Conor's signature will include a small, quick sketch of one of White Ash's cast of characters.
And now, hold onto your Mining Hard Hats...
Our second variant, and this one's for our Chapter Four cover, comes from the brilliant Joe Quinones. Joe spends most of his time working with small companies like Marvel and DC, doing titles like Spectacular Spider-man, Star Wars, Black Canary/Zatanna and many more. Needless to say we are beyond thrilled that he'll be doing a variant for us.
As Joe is incredibly busy, he's just getting started on the cover now, but we'll update you with a finished version as soon as we have one. But for now, feast your eyes on a bit of his work an imagine what he can do with Aleck, Lillian, Seth, Katlyn and Thane.
We are only printing (at most) 300 copies of the Quinones variant. So besides assuredly being gorgeous, this will be highly collectable. We have our new Editor to thank for bringing Joe's magic to White Ash. More her in just a bit.
We know what it's like to open up a package and find a mangled Kickstarter comic inside. We pack our books with the care that we used in making the comic and the love that we have for our backers.
Each comic is bagged, boarded front and back and sent in stay-flat packaging. Made in White Ash means everything from the content, to the mailer we use, meets our standards of quality.
And if we hit our stretch goals, you can bet there will be a whole lot more added on...
Stretch Goal #1 ($13,500) Thank You, to the moon and back!
As a sign of our appreciation we’re going send every backer who’s getting a physical reward, a 6x9 print of this thank you illustration drawn by White Ash's own Conor Hughes.
Stretch Goal #2 ($15,500) Trade Me x 3
With Stretch Goal #2 in the dust, every print backer will now receive three brand new White Ash trading cards. And every backer at one of our Print Catch Up tiers (or a tier slated to get a full set) will receive 12 cards -- the original 9 + the 3 new ones. It's only fair, if you're catching up on printed things, you should be caught up.
Stretch Goal #3 $17,000 What's Old Is New
It's amazing what a new coat of paint can do to liven up a place. To that end, it's been far too long since we've released any wallpapers. And since we hit $17,000 we're going to do a full set for screens, phones, maybe even your watch. These will feature some brand new illustrations just for the wallpapers.
AND, because we like giving away things, we're ALSO printing up a new batch of White Ash bookmarks for all of our print backers. This bookmark will be printed on the same premium, Trifecta Green paper with the velvet finish that our funeral invites were printed on.
Stretch Goal #4 #$19,500 What Light Through Yonder Image Breaks
We’re going to try out a brand new bit of White Ash Swag — Window Decals. Perfect to put in your car, on your mirror, or anywhere you want to see a little light streaming though White Ash, we’re going to print up some static clear window clings.
Stretch Goal #5 $20,500 February Shipping
What it sounds like. We're going to get you your books earlier.
We teased this above, but Team Ash is now a quartet. Bringing a much needed dose of estrogen and more importantly, a treasure trove of experience and comic book know how, Heather Antos has joined White Ash as editor to help us level up and take our little mining town bravely into the future. WELCOME Heather, we couldn't be happier.
Risks and challenges
This is our fourth Kickstarter (and third this year). At this point we've worked out most of the kinks. In fact we actually delivered 92% of our last Kickstarter EARLIER than we originally promised (Which for comic books is pretty unheard of). The last 8% has shipped now to overseas backers and will meet the November deadline which was the campaigns original target date. So at the risk of jinxing everything to pieces, we're going to pat ourselves on the back for Chapter Three (Dear God, someone get me a rabbit's foot, a four leaf cover and, um, a horse shoe, NOW).
Going forward... we've added an editor. Heather knows how to make things run even smoother. Plus she once wrestled a emperor penguin and came out on top. No way she's going to let this book get behind schedule. As soon as the KS funds, we’ll send out the PDF’s to you, our backers and the books off to the printer. And then we should be on to Chapter Five...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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