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A graphic novel about friendship, loss, and interdimensional adventure! Musical numbers! Magical turtles! Collaborative Illustrations!
85 backers pledged $5,791 to help bring this project to life.

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$5,791

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We are fundraising publishing costs for the graphic novel Half Lives, written by Barbara Begley and illustrated by Shakhed Hadaya, Faith Lindley, and James Brooks Robinson.

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The staged reading of the Half Lives play in June 2015, where it all began! Photo credit Hector Marcel
The staged reading of the Half Lives play in June 2015, where it all began! Photo credit Hector Marcel

The story follows nine and a half year old Ernest and ten year old J. Starr as they become friends and go on adventures between dimensions on J’s magical bike.

Thumbnails by James Brooks Robinson
Thumbnails by James Brooks Robinson

These adventures culminate in a Grand Quest into the void of space and time to find J’s missing father, who may have abandoned him in another dimension. This adventure brings the boys face to face with their deepest fears and darkest secrets, leaving them to rely on their imaginations, wits, and friendship against the darkest force of the universe - loss.

Thumbnails by James Brooks Robinson
Thumbnails by James Brooks Robinson
Thumbnail by Shakhed Hadaya
Thumbnail by Shakhed Hadaya

Woven through the story are excerpts from Ernest Oliver Wineberg's Book of Necessary Knowledge, written by Ernest in case of amnesia. Chapters include: People You Definitely Know, The Story of Your Mountain, and Sea Creatures, among others.

Sketches "People You Definitely Know" - by Shakhed Hadaya
Sketches "People You Definitely Know" - by Shakhed Hadaya

This is a project that we, the creators, care about deeply for a multitude of reasons. Barbara wanted to write a story about growing up in her hometown, Mill Valley, California, about coming of age as a one-way, painful adventure, and the ways that love is tied to loss. Shakhed and Brooks were both drawn to the story as their first large collaborative project because of the loving vibrance of the characters, and the work’s unique mix of exuberance and pain. Faith describes the work as “deeply relatable in capturing what it is to be really, deeply lonely, which is what it is to be human”, and describes the process of a group of artists coming together to collaborate on a piece about loneliness as ironic, in a fun way.

We are seeking funds to print and distribute a 150-copy limited run, with options of printing a larger run if pre-orders necessitate it. The book will be big and beautiful - 8”x12”, around 200 pages, printed in full, gorgeous color to fully utilize the illustrators’ genius hard work. We are also seeking funds to cover art supplies, and to pay stipends to the artists who are devoting virtually all of their free time to this project.

This is a deeply thrilling and important project to us, and we hope you think it is, too. Please contribute what you can to help us make this book a reality.

Risks and challenges

The script is written and the comic is halfway sketched, with some portions already finalized. We're sharing the workload, meeting regularly, and motivating each other. Barbara Begley in particular has a proven history of keeping artists focused and getting projects done, as artist director and producer on a host of projects including the new works festival Undiscovered Countries, the film production company Troutfilm, and in her work as Art Coordinator for Little Skips Brooklyn.

We're on track to finish sketching by the end of the fundraising period, and all backers will get monthly progress updates until the books are shipped. We're confident that this book is going to happen and be brilliant!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Sneak Peek Emails with bonus content!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    All of the above, plus:
    Raymond runs a race! You get to watch! Bonus Raymond strips in this thrilling turtle event emailed to you once every other month from the time the fundraiser ends until the book ships. 4 Strips in total!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    All of the above, plus:
    The Half Lives Ebook! Own a PDF copy of the finished comic book!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above, plus:
    A preordered special copy of the Printed Half Lives Book! This is THE THING: big, beautiful, 8.5x11" of thrills and feelings, ready to be proudly displayed on your coffee table or snuggled with in secret! Get in on this special deal because once they're printed they sell for $30!

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    All of the above, plus:
    An original sketch inside the cover of your Half Lives book! Handmade art from the creators! Turn your book into even more of a collector's item!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    All of the above, plus:
    A Book of Necessary Knowledge Poster! Beautiful 11x17" artwork from the book by illustrator Shakhed Hadaya! Put it in your bedroom and swoon and be EDUCATED!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above, plus:
    A gorgeous print of a Chapter Cover from the book, matted and signed by the creative team! Put it in your foyer and delight your friends! Hang it from your roof and intimidate your enemies!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above, plus:
    A bonus illustrated short story (ebook) from the world of the book! Thrills! Fun! Feelings!

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    All of the above, plus:
    Special Thanks in the book! AND!
    A bonus illustrated short story from the world of the book, printed in that historically honored style, the chapbook! Experience the world of Half Lives as Thomas Paine might have written it, bound simply and honestly!

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    All of the above, plus:
    Be In the Book! We'll draw YOU!
    - as a Shadow Monster
    OR!
    - in the Opening Chapter!
    (instruct us as to which one you want after the project is funded!)

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All perks from $1-$350, PLUS!
    We'll draw YOU as an Interdimensional Adventurer in the Quantum Restaurant! Experience the diner that never closes because it exists between space and time! Rub shoulders with aliens and fourth dimensional beings! Get a print of the spread to make your enemies swoon and your neighbors burn with envy!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All perks from $1-$350, PLUS!
    We draw YOU in the Quantum Resturaunt AND
    Make art with us! The artists will take you out to a QUANTUM RESTAURANT in New York for dinner, conversation, and a game of Destructo!
    (dinner is in New York City, transportation not included)

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Funding period

- (30 days)