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A young woman wanting to bring back classic cartoons finds a mouse that could bring the lost art to the 21st Century

I've always been a big fan of the older cartoons. The shorts from the 1920s to the 1960s, from Disney and Warner and Universal and so on. They had a special charm and timelessness that I find missing in animation today. This as well as the need for a web cartoon that is considerably lighter than what's put out nowadays, you have several Kickstarter projects like that, presented a project that's been brewing in my head for years now, and it won't let me be until I put it down on paper and present it to the world.

And on top of all that, there's this little fella.

"I might be a man, I might be a mouse, I might even be the product of a Science Experiment, but whatever I am, I'm here to stay!"
"I might be a man, I might be a mouse, I might even be the product of a Science Experiment, but whatever I am, I'm here to stay!"

Johnny Briz is one of my earliest and most beloved of the characters I made. He's a homage to the earlier Don Bluth films, but carries an attitude and personality that is closer to some cartoon protagonists in the current time. He also fills in a hole missing in most comics and cartoons, where he can be likable and believable without going into the angst and hardship found in various comics today. Granted, his life isn't smooth sailing in the least, as you'll see in the story below, but that doesn't get him down. It couldn't. Not when he's hard at work making his own dream of being a beloved cartoon star--probably the only 'living' cartoon star in the story's world--come true.

This web comic, "The Ballad of Johnny Briz," is the story of that dream coming true, of not just him, but his human friends around him. It's a slice of life comic following Johnny and his friends making a web series that's a homage to the old school cartoons. With the occasional action scene, parkour race, and nefarious villains--including one who exemplifies the reasons why Comics and Cartoons are in the toilet today.

The Story

Amber Merichello is a young animation student with dreams to get into feature animation (Think of Disney Feature Films) but the combination of a poor economy and the belief in the Animation Ghetto by every company she knew frustrates her.

She wished for something to turn her career around, and the wish got answered by a cartoon sized mouse stumbling into the bushes. His name is Johnny Briz and hailed from a mouse colony founded by lab escapees from some unknown experiment. As a descendant of those rodents, Johnny shows an anthro body and human-like intelligence. In fact, he looks like he walked out of a Don Bluth film. He used to watch classic cartoons religiously and dreams of becoming a Cartoon Character in the Human world. (Like Mickey or Bugs)

Earlier that day, he investigating another science lab who was working on a growth and shrink device and he fell into it, turning him into his current 1 meter tall self.

An early Style sheet on JB.
An early Style sheet on JB.

Once Johnny recovered from his ordeal, Amber gets the idea to Record Johnny's parkour freerunning on the internet and it led to--with help with her friends--the Chromatown vid series, an homage to the classic toons with Johnny and others dressed up in character costumes in various shorts, tweaked afterward to resemble a 'just into color' Classic Cartoons.

The videos caught viral and Both of Amber and Johnny's dreams became a reality. However, sometimes the bigger story isn't achieving your dreams, it's what happens after you doing do. The pitfalls of fame and those who's want to exploit this new Internet star are not far off from the scene. And then there's the scientists from that lab who want to snag him for their own reasons.

So why the Kickstarter?

The reason why I set up this Kickstarter is for the needed tools and supplies needed to make it.  While I can write the story and the script so far--In fact I have a Haggle Book available on Skydrive--but I need the funding to get what I need to make the actual comics and to find a server to house it in. $2,500 isn't that much as far as funding go, and as in any Kickstarter project worth its salt, there are rewards for those who pledge:

The Pitch Bible and Lifetime PDF subscription: $15

The first part of the strip will be a pitch bible, where I'll put in more information about the strip than what I can put in here. It'll include detailed descriptions of the characters, a breakdown of the three arcs and the chapters involved, and the script of the first two or three issues.

All donors who donate more than $15 with a valid E-Mail address will receive this Pitch Bible when I complete it Early in 2013, it's already part of National Novel Writing Month for this year. You will also receive PDFs of the future comic books that I'll compile all the strips in each chapter together, with corrected art and additional goodies. The comic subscription will be for the life of the comic.

You can be part of the comic with a $50 pledge!  Yeah, I know it said $75 in the picture.  I reduced the price after I scanned it.  Learn form my Fail.
You can be part of the comic with a $50 pledge! Yeah, I know it said $75 in the picture. I reduced the price after I scanned it. Learn form my Fail.

Crash the Comic: $50

Any comic needs bit players, characters who exist in the background of the scenes and only come up when they make their brief interactions with the main stars of the show. Those who donate $50 or more can be those walk-ins!

All I need is a picture of you and 2-3 of your friends, or your whole nuclear family if you wish, with names for each person--doesn't have to be real names if you prefer--and what he or she does. Every one of those characters will become a background character in the comic and maybe even have a couple speaking lines if the plotline permits.

You will receive the E-Mailed illustration of your characters--Signed and Snail Mailed if you provide your Snail Mail address--as well as the PDF Pitch Bible and the comic subscription.

Printed Pitch Bible: $100

At this level, you get something special: A printed version of the Pitch Bible with the illustration included, both signed and mailed to you. You also get the PDF of the comic subscription.

About the Author/Artist

David Foxfire (Real Name: David Gonterman) was once one of the most controversial web cartoonists in the late 90s.  In fact his early attempts at fanficiton were the topic of ridicule and derision well into the next decade due to some of the objectional content infused in them.  However, as he went older, he matured in both temperament and talent, as his original novels 'Scarlet PI' and 'Blood & Metal' can show, although his eccentric storywriting and hybird Disney/Marvel drawing style is still present.

He resides in his Granite City, IL apartment close to family and friends, and is an avid Dungeons & Dragons player.  Future projects include his own Campaign world for the upcoming 5th Edition of D&D.

You can visit his web site at http://foxfirestudios.net.

Notes and FAQ

If you have a question, feel free to let me know at davidfoxfire@foxfirestudios.net

Important Note:  You'll find some different versions of this story in my DA page.  The official story, which will be for the strip, is in the works now, and will not contain any corporate-owned material outside of references.  This strip will be a homage to Classic Cartoons, and not a 'Fan-work.'

For Kickstarter Noobies like myself :) : You might not need to include your E-Mail or Snail Mail addresses when you actually pledge.  When the project is funded, I'll set up a survey to acquire the information with this purpose.  It will only be used to set up mailing lists and not any other purpose.

FAQ

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    All backers with a valid E-Mail address will be able to access a private stream of all the web comic's pages in progress. The Addresses will be placed in a Mailing List and receive updates on scheduled streaming sessions to see the pages being made and be able to comment to me along the way!

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  • Pledge $15 or more
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    2 backers

    Any pledge with a valid E-Mail Address will recieve a PDF Pitch Bible with character and story notes, as well as the script for the first batch of strips. They will also recieve PDF comics with corrected art, bonus items, and other goodies, for the duration of the web comic!

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  • Pledge $50 or more
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    0 backers

    Not only do you get the PDFs, but you can crash the comic! I'll ask for some photos of you and three other people (More if it's your family) with names and what they do for a living. I'll make them up into regular extras for when they're needed in the scenes. You'll also recieve a illo of your comic book selves through the E-Mail, and Snail Mail if you include your Home address.

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  • Pledge $100 or more
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    0 backers

    Recieve a Printed Pitch Bible with a signed illustration of you and your friends and/or family as it'll appear in the comic. You will also recieve the PDF subscription as above.

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Funding period

- (45 days)