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A hardcover fantasy graphic novel written & illustrated by Grant Gould, the creator of the Blade Raiders RPG.

Oct. 24, 2013 Update:

Hi, everyone. Well, it looks like GRIMALKIN isn't going to happen. As I write this, we're only at about 10% of funding. With the large goal amount and knowing that I was asking people to wait a long time for the finished product, I knew this book would be a long shot. So it's totally understandable. No hard feelings - no regrets. Better to give it a shot and fail than to never try and always wonder. :)

THANK YOU to everyone who backed and supported this project. It truly means a lot to me!

While this particular graphic novel unfortunately now has to be shelved, I do have other new projects in the works, including a new EXPANDED edition of the Blade Raiders RPG, where players will have access to multiple playable races, revised rules, a continent-wide "war" campaign setting and much more. Please keep an eye on GrantGould.com and BladeRaiders.com for all the latest updates & news. Cool things to come!

- Grant

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About this project:

In 2012, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, I was able to create & self-publish my own fantasy tabletop RPG, Blade Raiders. Now I'd like to take the next step and make another dream of mine come true by creating & self-publishing an epic 140-page, full-color, hardcover graphic novel.

GRIMALKIN is set in the world of Blade Raiders (feel free to read more about that world over at BladeRaiders.com), though you certainly don't have to be familiar with the RPG to enjoy the graphic novel.

I've written and outlined the entire story, so now it's just a matter of being able to devote enough time to illustrating, coloring and lettering each page, and eventually assembling all the files for the printer. I have no intention of cranking out a mediocre product; I plan on making this book something that you'll be proud to display on your bookshelf. But I need your help to make it happen.

Why do I need $25,000? 

Over half of the $25,000 will go toward printing costs (high-quality, full-color, 140-page, hardcover books unfortunately don't come cheap), which also includes the printing of all the reward items, and of course Kickstarter/Amazon fees, taxes, etc. The remainder of the money will go toward paying my monthly bills, making it possible for me to take the time needed to create this book and – most importantly – make it really awesome. I've done the math, and the only way I can successfully tackle a project this large is if we hit that goal amount.

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The Story of Grimalkin:

At its heart, GRIMALKIN is the story of three heroes rising up to face a terrible threat that their rulers refuse to acknowledge, much less deal with. It's a story of rebellion, and the struggle to do what's right. The central protagonists are (1) Errekor Dirgrun, a skilled and respected Sentinel of Stonemir, (2) Onabri Vallyen, a brutally honest and carefree mercenary who harbors a very dangerous secret, and (3) Brenya Shaleway, a young shade who possesses the ability to manipulate light and shadow.

It's an adventure that includes lots of action and drama, as well as a bit of humor. It's more than your standard mish-mash of monsters and warriors, though – it's a story about characters, and the tough, courageous choices all of us sometimes have to make. It will be a completely self-contained story, and yes, it will include some mature themes and some scenes of combat & violence. But nothing too extreme or gory. To put it in movie terms, GRIMAKIN would likely be rated PG-13.

 Errekor is a member of Stonemir's elite military force: The Stonemir Sentinels. He's a man who does what he's told and achieves what he sets out to do... at least until the events of GRIMALKIN begin to unfold. The graphic novel includes a flashback scene that will reveal part of Errekor's past and how he's connected to specific important characters.

 Onabri is a blade-for-hire who enjoys her life as a wandering scoundrel, though there's another side to her that readers will discover – a side that might even surprise those who think they know her best. The graphic novel includes a flashback scene that will reveal part of Onabri's past and how she's connected to specific important characters.

Brenya is a girl born with magical abilities. As a "shade," she can tap into runestones and use their energies to manipulate light and shadow. Her gifts make her dangerous, but they also make her a target, as there are many souls in the world of BLADE RAIDERS who seek to destroy the runestones and all those who would utilize their powers.

I'm excited to bring GRIMALKIN to life, and I think fans of the swords & sorcery genre (or even just comics in general) will really enjoy it. I've done my best to make the story exciting and original, and I have no doubt I'll continue to edit and improve and polish every detail throughout the process, all in the name of creating the best end product that I can. I'm happy to say the book will also include lots of great extras in the last 20-30 pages, such as behind-the-scenes development, concept sketches, layouts, pinups, and more.

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About me:

I'm a 39-year-old dork living in Minnesota with my wonderful wife Gina. I graduated with a degree in Visual Communications in 1999 and went on to do graphic design for Target Corp., Marshall Field's, and Macy's. In 2006, I decided to try my luck as a freelance illustrator and have – to my great fortune – been doing that ever since. My two primary clients have been Lucasfilm (Star Wars: The Clone Wars official webcomics, "Draw Star Wars: The Clone Wars" kids' book, various features for StarWars.com) and Topps (trading card sets for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, Halo, and others). In 2008, I wrote & illustrated a graphic novella called "The Wolves of Odin," published by Super Real Graphics, and in 2012, I created the Blade Raiders RPG. You can discover more about me at my official webpage, GrantGould.com, or if you just want to see some of my artwork, you can check out my gallery at grantgoboom.deviantart.com/gallery.

Pledge rewards:

You have several awesome REWARD TIER options to choose from when you pledge and become part of this project. ***PLEASE be sure to read about shipping below, as I will be asking for shipping costs LATER when the book is done.***

$5: For only five bucks, you will receive WEEKLY ART PREVIEWS! At the beginning of each week (starting the week after this Kickstarter ends, if it's successfully funded), you'll receive exclusive online peeks at my progress on the graphic novel – everything from loose layouts & sketches to finished panels. That's right, roughly a YEAR of weekly art sneak peeks! A great way to brighten your Monday mornings and support my project. :)

$10: The Weekly Art Previews + you'll be listed as a SUPPORTER on the book's "thank you" page, showing the world that you went that extra step to help make my graphic novel come to life!

$20: All of the above + you'll receive the DIGITAL PDF version of the graphic novel when it's done!

$30: All of the above + a SIGNED HARDCOVER version of the graphic novel when it's done!

$40: All of the above + you'll be listed as an EPIC SUPPORTER on the book's "thank you" page –– plus you'll also receive a full-color, two-sided COLLECTOR'S BOOKMARK that features the "Code of the Sentinel" (as referred to in the story & followed by one of the book's central heroes).

$60: All of the above + TWO 8"x10" ART PRINTS featuring the heroes & villains of the story, illustrated and signed by creator Grant Gould!

$100: All of the above + AN EXCLUSIVE 8"x10" ART PRINT ILLUSTRATED & SIGNED BY SUPERSTAR KATIE COOK! Artist/writer & all-around awesome person Katie Cook (KatieCanDraw.com) has graciously agreed to create an original art print based on the characters of this graphic novel, available ONLY via this Kickstarter Reward Tier. For those that might not know, Katie is known for her work on such comics as "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic," "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," "Fraggle Rock," as well as her own webcomic "Gronk." This will be a RARE, MUST-OWN item for Katie Cook fans! [Photo credit: Scott D.M. Simmons]

$300: All of the above + an ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATION by Grant Gould, fully inked & marker-colored on 8.5"x11" thick paper stock. The drawing can feature one of the characters in GRIMALKIN (if so, it may even appear in the back of the book with your name/pledge listed below it) or it can feature any other comic/TV/movie character – it's buyer's choice!

$1,000: All of the above + a CAMEO APPEARANCE IN THE BOOK! Your likeness will be used (photo reference requested) on one page of the graphic novel, and you'll get to choose whether you want to appear in a city background shot, such as a tavern or a crowd on the street, or appear as a bad guy in one of the combat scenes! You'll be given special thanks & credit, and the page number that you appear on will be listed after your name. Now you can truly be immortalized on the pages of a comic project that you helped bring to life! :)

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Shipping:

I'll be shipping BLADE RAIDERS: GRIMALKIN worldwide. However, your pledge amount does NOT include shipping costs. I'm asking everyone to pay for shipping costs separately, after the project is complete and ready to mail. By doing this, it will make the shipping process easier for me, faster for you, and I won't have to worry about backer address bookkeeping (ie. accidentally shipping to old addresses) – I guarantee some of you will be moving in the next year. So, in late 2014, when I have the actual physical books in front of me, I will then contact the backers of each Reward Tier and let everyone know when and how to send shipping payment & current address. Payments will be accepted via Paypal, credit card, check or money order. Amounts will depend on weight and destination, but if you are in the U.S., you can expect your shipping cost to be between $4 and $9, and if you're outside the U.S., you can expect your shipping cost to be between $10 and $30 USD. By pledging to this project, you agree to these shipping terms. Shipping costs will be collected when the book is done.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

This is my 2nd Kickstarter project and I feel better prepared going into this one, having learned from the shipping mistakes I made the first time around (good intentions, bad results), and underestimating how much time it'd take me to finish the project (I was a few months late). That's why, this time around, I'm collecting shipping costs later when the book is done, and I'm giving myself plenty of time to create and print the book.

Of course, there will always be unique challenges popping up when we least expect them, but rest assured, I'm very good at keeping all of my backers updated and informed on a regular basis. I have absolutely no doubt that this project will be a lot of fun for both myself and for all of YOU. Always feel free to contact me with questions or concerns either here via Kickstarter or via personal email: bladeraiders@gmail.com.

Thank you so much to Kickstarter for being such a fantastic place for artists to bring their projects to life (sounds cheesy, but these really are dreams coming true, people), and thank YOU, everybody, for your support!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    0 backers

    For only five bucks, you will receive WEEKLY ART PREVIEWS! At the beginning of each week (starting the week after this Kickstarter ends, if it's successfully funded), you'll receive exclusive online peeks at my progress on the graphic novel – everything from loose layouts & sketches to finished panels. That's right, roughly a YEAR of weekly art sneak peeks! A great way to brighten your Monday mornings and support my project. :)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    The Weekly Art Previews + you'll be listed as a SUPPORTER on the book's "thank you" page, showing the world that you went that extra step to help make my graphic novel come to life!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $20 or more
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    9 backers

    All of the above + you'll receive the DIGITAL PDF version of the graphic novel!

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  • Pledge $30 or more
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    33 backers

    All of the above + a SIGNED HARDCOVER version of the graphic novel! [Shipping costs will be collected AFTER the book is done. Please read the shipping info on the left.]

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  • Pledge $40 or more
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    14 backers

    All of the above + you'll be listed as an EPIC SUPPORTER on the book's "thank you" page –– plus you'll also receive a full-color, two-sided COLLECTOR'S BOOKMARK that features the "Code of the Sentinel" (as referred to in the story & followed by one of the book's central heroes). [Shipping costs will be collected AFTER the book is done. Please read the shipping info on the left.]

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $60 or more
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    4 backers

    All of the above + TWO 8"x10" ART PRINTS featuring the heroes & villains of the story, illustrated and signed by creator Grant Gould! [Shipping costs will be collected AFTER the book is done. Please read the shipping info on the left.]

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    6 backers

    All of the above + AN EXCLUSIVE 8"x10" ART PRINT ILLUSTRATED & SIGNED BY SUPERSTAR KATIE COOK! Artist/writer & all-around awesome person Katie Cook (KatieCanDraw.com) has graciously agreed to create an original art print based on the characters of this graphic novel, available ONLY via this Kickstarter Reward Tier. For those that might not know, Katie is known for her work on such comics as "My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic," "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," "Fraggle Rock," as well as her own webcomic "Gronk." This will be a RARE, MUST-OWN item for Katie Cook fans! [Shipping costs will be collected AFTER the book is done. Please read the shipping info on the left.]

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $300 or more
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    0 backers Limited (40 left of 40)

    All of the above + an ORIGINAL ILLUSTRATION by Grant Gould, fully inked & marker-colored on 8.5"x11" thick paper stock. The drawing can feature one of the characters in GRIMALKIN (if so, it may even appear in the back of the book with your name/pledge listed below it) or it can feature any other comic/TV/movie character – it's buyer's choice! [Shipping costs will be collected AFTER the book is done. Please read the shipping info on the left.]

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $1,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers

    All of the above + a CAMEO APPEARANCE IN THE BOOK! Your likeness will be used (photo reference requested) on one page of the graphic novel, and you'll get to choose whether you want to appear in a city background shot, such as a tavern or a crowd on the street, or appear as a bad guy in one of the combat scenes! You'll be given special thanks & credit, and the page number that you appear on will be listed after your name. Now you can truly be immortalized on the pages of a comic project that you helped bring to life! :) [Shipping costs will be collected AFTER the book is done. Please read the shipping info on the left.]

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (30 days)