About this project
If you're already sold on the comic, you can find subscriptions at $68 and $89 in the long cornucopia of rewards over there.
If you want any persuading, however, let me invite you to discover Cartozia, a fantasy world populated by strange creatures, puzzling mysteries, thrilling adventures, and a diverse cast of fun and unusual characters.
Cartozia Tales is an all-ages fantasy series, with nine stories in each issue, all set in the same world. But Cartozia is not your standard swords-and-sorcery setting. Although it does have gryphons and dragons and elves, it’s also got stork-headed men and diminutive desert lizard people, wuggamuts and phibbits and tickle crabs, wandering library stairs and a shrinking swamp, essence magicians, incantors, and a global society of cartographers.
We are really committed to making this an all-ages series, because we think the world needs more comics that can be shared across generational boundaries. We won't be including things that aren't suitable for even very young readers. (Several of the core creators are parents of young kids, so we know that part of the target audience.) We are focused on telling the sorts of stories—of mystery, wonder, and discovery; of searching and striving; of trials and betrayals—that engage us as adult readers. Because we take kids seriously as readers, we know they enjoy the challenge of the occasional new word or a moment of narrative complexity. We especially want to honor the child's playful impulse to discover and invent complicated imaginary worlds.
One pleased subscriber recently wrote in to say, "[The first issue] is great. My son was really excited when it arrived, and he picked it up immediately and started reading. I asked him what he thought of it, but he wouldn't stop reading to answer me."
Cartozia Tales is created collaboratively by a group of indie cartoonists working together to discover and invent the world of Cartozia and its secrets. We share the creation of the world of Cartozia by a process of chance, setting our stories in different parts of the map randomly with each issue. As the months progress, we trade characters and locations, picking up and expanding the stories started by our fellow contirbutors.
Our artistic and narrative voices are all different, so each character moves from issue to issue through a real variety of styles, making for a new and engaging sort of storytelling. What’s more, we are continually leaving our cherished characters’ fates in our collaborators’ hands! (And, in time, even our readers have a chance to influence the way the stories will turn out.)
With so many plots and creators to follow, there's really something in Cartozia for everyone. There are seven core cartoonists whose work appears in every issue, and the other two sectors of the map are handled in each issue by guest artists, including such big names and notables as Dylan Horrocks, Jason Lutes, Maris Wicks, Kevin Cannon, Jon Lewis, and James Kochalka. You can see more about them on the guest-artist page of the Cartozia website.
In fact, you can see lots more about the project, including sample stories, by navigating around on the Cartozia website. Dig deeper! See what you’ll find!
I have already published one really gorgeous issue of Cartozia Tales, and the second installment is, as of September 7, on its way from the press. I am aiming for a vibrant, durable, and attractive printed package that doesn’t just present the stories, but enhances them with its warmth. Each issue is offset printed on high-quality, creamy natural-tone paper, with full-color covers and at least 40 pages of content.
I’m also committed to paying the cartoonist contributors for their time and effort. Putting Cartozia Tales together the right way isn’t cheap, but if we can attract enough subscribers, the fixed costs (like paying the artists and the pre-press set-up fees) will be shared among enough readers that we can afford to publish a book that everyone can treasure.
Here’s a breakdown of how your subscription dollar is spent:
If you calculate the spot where subscribers actually balance the up-front fixed costs (that is, where the pie becomes only one pie, not a pie plus a few thousand dollars in an extra wedge), it's around $73,500, if everyone's getting "fun bonus" subscriptions. Some of the rewards get money to us more efficiently; others (like the regular subscription) would actually require us to raise a little more, so there's a lot of back-of-the-envelope haziness to the calculation. I'm willing to gamble on future business to make up some of the difference between our Kickstarter goal and the magic whole-pie number. But it would actually only take about 770 new fun-bonus subscribers to hit it—not so many, considering how many people there are who would really enjoy this book! There are, without a doubt, more than 800 kids on this planet who would love Cartozia Tales. (And more than 1100 subscribers will mean raises for the artists!)
Please consider subscribing to help us make this awesome fantasy project a reality. Claim your reward early, and you can even pick up a premium that allows you to sneak a message or a cameo into the stories as they’re drawn!
There are also a bunch of non-subscription ways you can support this campaign if you’re on a budget or if you already subscribe: you can choose original artwork, commissions, postcard packs, prints, and more! If you already have issues #1 and #2, you can start a subscription here with issue #3. Looking for even more kid-friendly comics? We have bundles of non-Cartozia kidsafe work from all the core contributors! Browse the rewards and see what looks best to you; watch the updates page for more details on things like original art.
(Incidentally, all subscription-based rewards are listed with a September 2014 delivery date because that's when we project shipping Cartozia Tales #10. Other parts of your reward will arrive long before then.)
We've made a lot of different rewards available over there on the right — packages for current subscribers, retailers, libraries and classrooms; custom art and ways to get directly involved with the stories in Cartozia Tales — but the basic subscription is filed under $68, and the "fun bonus" subscription appears at $89. Those are our bread and butter.
We’re making Cartozia Tales because we think the world needs more comics that will attract young readers and let them celebrate adventure, curiosity, exploration, and fun. We’ve come to Kickstarter because we know Cartozia Tales will appeal to people outside our circles of friends and indie-comics creators, and because doing this book right is going to require a group of engaged and enthusiastic readers. Help us deliver this wonderful book to the people who will cherish it!
Shawn, Jen, Mike, and Sarah; Tom, Lupi, Lucy, and Isaac
Risks and challenges
Risks: It's possible that the subscription will be delivered more slowly than once every five weeks, because each issue requires a lot of small parts to come together. But we have contingency plans, even to the point of backup cartoonists, and all of the core contributors are really excited for each new issue. I handle all the printing locally, and shipping is actually pretty simple. If we get off-schedule, it should only be by a matter of weeks here and there.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter