About this project
***UPDATE! Every tier from $25 and above will receive a MONSTER ELEMENTARY sticker and a MONSTER ELEMENTARY button! All we have to do is reach our goal! It's a non-stretch goal!***
MONSTER ELEMENTARY is a fun, witty, comedy/adventure comic for children of all ages! It's about five monster children that are forced to attend a human public school after their monsters-only private school is raided by the FBI. Oh, and they're not allowed to eat any of the other students.
This will be a 90 page graphic novel made up of a series of short stories that range in length from 1 to 22 pages. The stories are illustrated by a rotating cast of artists. One of the advantages of working with multiple artists is seeing each one bring their own distinct style to these characters. I am incredibly fortunate to have so many amazing artists working with me! This comic will feature the talents of Caanan Grall, Lee-Roy Lahey, Josh Gowdy, Cal Moray, Daniele Serra, Bobby Timony and Patty Variboa!
The Characters: This group of five monsters are at the heart of this story. Their adventures and experiences will be the focal point of the book.
- Desmodus: Des is a vampire child that looks down on humankind. He is the leader of this group. He loves being a monster and all the powers and privileges that come with it. He wears a daylight ring that allows him to walk safely in the sunlight.
- Lukos: Lukos is a boy werewolf and Des' best friend. He usually has to reign Des in and keep Des from doing anything drastic. Lukos has developed an unhealthy addiction to juice boxes.
- Francesca: Francesca was assembled in a laboratory by her mother. She has a very simple view of life, a big heart, and doesn't understand why others are afraid of her.
- Rags: Rags is a mummy that doesn't really know who he is underneath his wrappings. His identity issues lead him to try on different personalities.
- Gilda: Gilda is a fun-loving lagoon monster. She has an untainted view of her world and has never even considered what other people might think of her. Gilda proudly and happily marches to the beat of a different drummer.
I could tell you more about the book. But you know what? The best way for me to communicate my vision is to show you!
I've partnered with Emanata, the premiere indie comics app, to give you the first 6 pages of MONSTER ELEMENTARY for FREE. That's right, free. If you were in a comic shop, you wouldn't buy a book without picking it up and thumbing through. And I wouldn't expect any less here on Kickstarter.
About Me: Nicholas Doan. I'm the writer and creator of Monster Elementary. I've written for DC/Zuda, Fat Rabbit Farm, Emanata and Drawmore Inc. in addition to being a produced playwright. But really, I'm writing for you and I'm writing for me. I want to tell stories that I would want to read and I want to share them with you. I love telling my stories in the form of comics. Sure, I've had dreams of writing big budget Hollywood movies. But I gave those up because it's simply not where my heart is. My heart is here. In this 90 page graphic novel.
In the past, I have written some stories with very graphic, adult themes as well as some all-ages stories. It's important for the industry to have both and to do both well. When I go into a comic shop, I miss seeing a lot of fun comics. The industry needs new, young readers and it needs to remember how to have fun! I aim to fill that need with a book that is enjoyable to adults as well as kids. A book that isn't just a cartoon tie-in. One of my great joys in life is waking and checking my email to discover new MONSTER ELEMENTARY art in my inbox. I can't wait to give you 90 pages of that joy.
The Artists: I want to tell you what amazing people they are! In addition to being SUPER TALENTED, they have been supporting me and my vision. They've rearranged their schedules, dropped by my apartment with art updates and given their time to many of the rewards offered here. They are dear to my heart and deserve to be compensated. A large chunk of the budget for this project will pay the artists for the work that they have done so far as well as the work yet to be done. I have not budgeted any compensation for myself. But these people deserve the world and I would give it to them if I could!
- Josh Gowdy: You may know Josh best as a featured artist on the Comic Book Resources feature, "The Line It Is Drawn." I saw his stuff on Comic Book Resources and immediately emailed him; I knew we needed to work together. We've collaborated in the past, most recently, in Drawmore Inc.'s NOBODIES, VOL. 2 anthology.
- Canaan Grall: Canaan holds a special place in this project as the first artist to ever work on MONSTER ELEMENTARY. His stamp is all over these characters and I will be forever grateful to him for giving these characters their signature looks. Canaan and I met when we were both writing for Zuda. His webcomic, CELADORE, was the last Zuda title to go to physical print. He also has been nominated for an Eisner for his webcomic, MAX OVERACTS. No biggie.
- Lee-Roy Lahey: Lee-Roy is my Los Angeles buddy. He and I met at a local meetup for comic book professionals. He seems to be just as excited about this project as I am! He's the artist with me in my video above. Lee-Roy does a lot of art for the film industry. Lee-Roy just finished doing storyboard's for the newest Charlie Kaufman film, ANOMALISA, which was funded by Kickstarter! I love how he brings out the animalistic nature of the monsters in his art.
- Cal Moray: Cal has been a friend of mine for awhile now. She has many years of experience in the animation industry and has worked for some major studios. I am thrilled that I can give her an opportunity to fulfill a goal of hers, to be published in a comic book.
- Daniele Serra: My Italian friend forever! Dani was my first professional collaborator. He was my artist, letterer, and partner in crime on PRAY FOR DEATH for Zuda. Dani has made quite the career of doing cover art for horror books in addition to working with Jeff Marriotte at Image on FADE TO BLACK. For several years, Dani has made the long list of nominees for Best Artist in the British Fantasy Awards, finally taking home the prize in 2012! I'm so proud of him.
- Bobby Timony: Bobby is another Zuda veteran. Bobby and his twin brother Peter created THE NIGHT OWLS for Zuda. NIGHT OWLS was nominated for multiple Harvey Awards including a Best New Talent nomination for Bobby! Bobby's art is just fun, plain and simple. I've always wanted to work with Bobby. But because he collaborates mostly with his brother, I wasn't sure it would ever happen. I'm thrilled I could steal him a way for a few pages on MONSTER ELEMENTARY.
- Patty Variboa: Patty is the artist and one half of the creator team, with her fiance, of Fat Rabbit Farm. I've had the pleasure of working with Patty on two children's books under the FRF umbrella: BABEE AND THE VALLEY OF THE HUNGRY NINJAS and BIG T'S BIG ADVENTURE. Because she spends all of her time drawing cute furry animals, it was only natural for me to ask her to work on the story that takes place at the zoo.
- Beth Sotelo (NEWLY ANNOUNCED!): Beth has been coloring comics for 12 years starting at Top Cow and moving to Marvel, DC and Aspen. I became aware of Beth's work when I noticed her creator owned comic, GRUMP, kicked my comic off the front page of Kickstarter's Comic section. I introduced myself to her at Comic-Con and later emailed asking her to join MONSTER ELEMENTARY. And she agreed! I'm very excited to help her show the world what a great penciller and inker she is.
Why Kickstarter: I have had some incredible opportunities with this project that include offers and contracts from major publishers as well as some heartbreaking setbacks that were out of my control. In March 2013, I heard Jimmy Palmiotti talk about Kickstarter at WonderCon in Anaheim. Before that, I was terrified of crowdfunding. I didn't understand it and I didn't believe that I could manage a campaign. But Jimmy's optimism and advice left me excited and eager to come to Kickstarter and ask you for help. He simplified it all for me and then took the time to answer my exhaustive questions. With Kickstarter, I can eliminate all of the elements that prevented me from finishing this book two years ago! With your help, I can be in control and deliver the book that you deserve!
The Budget: Here's what your $19,000 pays for.
- $6,750 to pay the artists.
- $4,950 to print the book.
- $5,255 to cover the cost of the rewards and shipping
- $1,875 for Kickstarter/Amazon fees
That adds up to $18,830. The rest is to cover any possible errors in my math. (I'm not good at math.)
I hope you like what you've seen so far. I am having a lot of fun working on this and I think you'll enjoy reading it. I'll end this with a sneak peek at some of the art for the prints you'll be taking home. The artists did these for free as a goodwill gesture to you all for helping to give them work and make our vision come to life. I hope you love them as much as I do.
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges are few. I have been lucky enough to receive a lot of great advice from Jimmy Palmiotti. He is a great comic book writer and has had four successful kickstarters of his own. He set me straight on a few things and put me in touch with some incredible vendors to help complete the process. The comic is written and the art is rolling in. The only real challenges are the day-jobs of the artists and whatever life may throw at us to slow us down.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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