Our first Stretch Goal— at $20,000— has added the complete, 24-page adventure THE VOLSTOCK PAYOFF to the CHAPELTOWN book! “Volstock” was originally intended to be serialized in Dark Horse Presents, but when that title folded after only the first 8-page chapter saw print, the story became an “orphaned” TREKKER tale. The story is already finished, and this is our chance to rescue this terse, noir street-caper tale from limbo and insert it here, as a perfect “prelude” to the CHAPELTOWN adventure!
Our $25,000 Stretch Goal has been knocked out! This means swanky Spot Varnish on the cover! Classy! And free Digital Doubleshot downloads!
And the cattle drive continues, with a Really Big One next. Stretch Goal #3: a whole saddle bag full of EXTRA ART AND CONTENT:
At $30,000, I will add a whole new, extra-content section to the book and fill it with lots of never-before-seen Trekker art, and behind-the-scenes looks into the creative process that went into creating TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN! Rough character design sketches, pencil drawings, inked panels, and the thinking all along the way that ended up making CHAPELTOWN. No spoilers, mind you, but info that should help to make reading CHAPELTOWN and TREKKER a richer experience for everyone! AND EVEN MORE:
My own road to CHAPELTOWN included many convention appearances, where I had the chance to draw a bunch of fun commissions. At this same $30,000 Stretch Goal, I'll also include a whole gallery of Trekker-themed portrait commissions! As Molly herself might say:
So dig in, and let's head on to Stretch Goal #3!
TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN is a new, 112-page (for the moment, at least!) graphic novel written, drawn and colored by me— Ron Randall. It continues the story of Mercy St. Clair— a "Trekker" or 23rd century bounty hunter— as originally published by Dark Horse Comics. Filled with classic sci-fi action and adventure, colorful characters and exotic settings, this book is an excellent introduction to Mercy's world for new readers, and a thrilling return visit for long-time fans.
Best of all: Except for a small handful of pages TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN is completely finished! Your support will pay for the book's printing and shipping. That's all that's really needed before the book can be in the hands of people who will enjoy it. People like you!
MERCY ST. CLAIR BRINGS IN BAD GUYS. She's tough as nails, quick on her feet, and a crack shot. She's also more complicated and conflicted than she cares to admit. Why else does she come home from her grim, violent work to be with her fox-like pet, Scuf? Why else is her best relationship with her musician friend Molly? Why else does she let the mysterious resistance movement "Rigel" keep dragging her into missions that offer no real bounty or reward?
One thing's certain: she's the best at what she does. See for yourself...
"MERCY… HAS PLENTY OF ADVENTURES TO TAKE US ON… filled with strange technologies and creatures, far-flung politics, and lots and lots of ACTION." - io9
MERCY IS A TREKKER ON A JOURNEY. A pivotal stop on that journey is CHAPELTOWN.
Accompanied by Molly, Mercy travels to a frontier world in pursuit of answers about her past that will determine her future. She gets caught up in a deadly struggle between the oppressive, system-ruling Council— who are determined to control mankind's journey to the stars— and the brusque, burly local Sheriff. Sparks fly— both from gun barrels and on a much more personal level.
The last page will change Mercy's life forever.
I’m RON RANDALL. I’ve been a professional comic artist for decades, working for DC Comics, Marvel, Image, IDW and Dark Horse on projects from Supergirl, Future Quest and Catwoman to Star Wars, Predator and Venom. It’s been a thrilling ride, but nowhere near as thrilling as when I get to tell the stories of the extraordinary 23rd century TREKKER, Mercy St. Clair.
Back in the 1980's I was approached by Dark Horse Comics with a rare opportunity to do, “Anything you want”. What I wanted was a strong, believable, charismatic and complex character fighting her way through a world of violence to a point of self-discovery and destiny. I wanted stories that had depth, meaning and value— and were flat-out fun, too. I wanted it all! TREKKER was— and still is— my shot at hitting that bullseye. But it was far from a commercial concept back in the 80’s. Hardly anyone was doing science fiction comics, let alone one featuring a woman who was more than an excuse for “cheesecake” poses and revealing wardrobe. And yet— seeing the same potential in the character that I did— Dark Horse gave me the green light. Through the years, Dark Horse has been a faithful home for the book, and I’ll always be grateful they gave TREKKER and me such a great opportunity.
But everything changes.
I still have plenty of TREKKER stories to tell, and I’ve decided the best way for me to tell them is through direct support from Mercy's fans, old and new.
Well, There's THIS…
…a story I've poured all the passion, craft and love I can into! Chapeltown Cheap (as they say) at $15 for print, $10 for digital.
I've also set up some fancy-schmancy bonuses to thank you for saddling up and hitting the Chapeltown trail with me. Starting with...
EARLY-BACKER EXCLUSIVE: "HAPPY HOUR WITH MERCY" SIGNED PRINT!
AVAILABLE FIRST 72 HOURS ONLY!
Watch Mercy "relax" at a local watering hole in a watercolor print that will only be offered for the first 72 hours of the campaign! EVERYONE PLEDGING BY FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 7 AM PST WILL RECEIVE THIS SIGNED PRINT AT NO EXTRA COST! (Digital Backers will receive a digital version.) This is in addition to any other rewards your pledge-level entitles you to. After FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 7 AM PST this print will no longer be available, although all other rewards and prices will remain the same.
A DAY WITH MOLLY: "MERCY AND MOLLY" WATERCOLOR PRINT
This snazzy, signed watercolor "Mercy and Molly" print is ONLY going to be offered to backers of this Kickstarter! And it's yours— along with the book!— for as little as $25!
TREKKING WITH MERCY: TITLE PAGE HEAD SKETCH
As proof positive that I personally came into contact with your book, I will add a quick head sketch of our lady of Mercy, and my signature! A steal at $30!
BETTER TOGETHER: PRINT AND SKETCH!
Can't decide between the "Mercy and Molly" print and the title page head sketch? GET BOTH for a paltry $35!
QUICK DRAW ARTIST: COMIC CHARACTER OF YOUR CHOICE
I'll also roll up my drawin' sleeve to offer a limited number of original commissions, based on your request. Black and white, with a gray inkwash. One character per sketch, but beyond that you're the boss! Considering you're also getting the signed book and signed print, it should be $175, but for you— $150.
ALL THE WAY TO CHAPELTOWN
Friends, the sad fact is that the two first TREKKER volumes from Dark Horse are currently out of print. BUT-- I've got your back! If you didn't get in on our ride from day one, here's your chance to corral all the TREKKER books with one toss of your lasso! For a few lucky hands, I've stowed away a few stacks of all four Trekker books! And I'll even put a nice little quick Mercy sketch and signature inside both the OMNIBUS, which collects ALL of Mercy's earlier appearances in print, and inside the brand-new CHAPELTOWN book. Two out-of-print volumes, two quick sketches, and the whole run of Mercy's adventures to date-- and all of it for a slim $90!
KINDRED SPIRITS! COMPLETED WATERCOLOR OF ANOTHER SCIFI HEROINE: ZOE FROM SERENITY/FIREFLY!
A couple year's back, I did this piece as a tribute to a show and a character that felt so very close to Mercy's spirit and aesthetic. It's been sitting on the shelf--but now seems a GREAT time to offer it here. If you like smart, sassy scifi westerns (and since you're HERE I think that's likely), you can claim this 11"X14" piece of ZOE and her ship, SERENITY, and help Mercy on the trail to CHAPELTOWN for just $250! You'll also get a signed and sketched-in copy of the book and the "Day With Molly" signed, exclusive print as well! I think even ZOE would approve!
QUICK DRAW WATERCOLOR ARTIST: YOUR CHOICE OF CHARACTER IN WATERCOLOR!
I'll be dipping my brush into the watercolors for a limited number of original, watercolor commissions based on your request. One character per sketch, but beyond that you call the shot Watercolor is lush, luminous and my favorite color medium by far. Done on large, high-quality 12"X16" watercolor paper. Considering you're also getting the signed CHAPELTOWN book, and the signed "Day With Molly" Kickstarter-exclusive watercolor print, $375 should feel like a colorful wholesale price!
MERCY, ME! YOU'RE IN A WATER-COLORFUL MOMENT WITH MERCY!
Feel like sharing a bit of quality time with Mercy herself? Here's your chance to hang out with our favorite bounty hunter, in a scene of your own choosing-- tracking down a bounty, knocking back a favorite beverage-- I'll draw YOU or someone you REALLY want to impress into a "Moment With Mercy", and then watercolor the scene! Done on large, high-quality 12"X16" watercolor paper. Note: I have it on good authority that these make EXCELLENT GIFT ideas for that special Trekker-aficionado in your life (even if it's YOU!) A once-in-a-lifetime piece of personalized commissioned art, PLUS Mercy's latest book and the signed watercolor print, for only $545!
BE A TREKKER: YOU! YES— YOU!
For only a handful of the most dedicated— and daring!— TREKKER fans out there, I'll be drawing a special eight-page story for this book— with YOU as a Trekker! AND you'll be getting a page of original art from that story featuring you and Mercy herself! A chance at mercenary immortality for only $500!
DOUBLE-SHOT: "CHAPELTOWN" and "RITES OF PASSAGE"
CHAPELTOWN isn't Mercy's first rodeo, but in case it's yours, I'm also offering her previous adventure— an 88-page race across the galaxy called TREKKER: RITES OF PASSAGE— in order to give you as much Mercy as possible! Simply choose the DOUBLE-SHOT version of whichever Reward Level you want, and RITES will be added to your loot (for only $11 more than the non-DOUBLE-SHOT version of the same reward)!
Note: DOUBLE-SHOT is not available for DEALER'S CHOICE, QUICK DRAW ARTIST, LOCKED & LOADED, or BE A TREKKER simply because there are limited rewards to those levels, and if there's a sudden rush on TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN (as there will be, of course) more people could claim those rewards than are available. If you are interested in one of these levels and want to add TREKKER: RITES OF PASSAGE, contact me. Arrangements will be made.
I love comic shops. I believe in comic shops. I want comic shops to thrive. So to make TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN accessible to comic shops and their customers, I am offering 6 copies of the book for the cost of 4! That's right—A $90 value for only $60!
Even better: the DOUBLE-SHOT: RETAILER ROUND-UP offers 6 copies of TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN and 6 copies of TREKKER: RITES OF PASSAGE for only $104! That's how much I want to support your local comic shop.
ADD-ON COMPLETE TREKKER DIGITAL BUNDLE: "ALL THE WAY TO CHAPELTOWN"!
Since the earlier TREKKER stories are all out of print (for now, at least!), the next best thing is to offer a snazzy PDF bundle containing of all of Mercy's previous adventures-- with a few extra touches thrown in as well! So, for a mere $30, you can add the complete set of all of Mercy's stories! If you want a quick and convenient way to get up to speed with every step of Mercy's journey to date, this is the way to go. Besides presenting each as its own, self-contained volume, I've revised and retouched the colors on many of the covers. I've also included both the original black and white version as well as the newly colored version of her very first tale, and included one cover, drawn back in the day, that was never used. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE!
This bundle wouldn't be complete without the unique, "novelty" one-off, digital-specific version of the crossover story that my fellow comic-maker buddy Karl Kesel and I dreamed up, "CITY OF THE DEAD", where Mercy crosses paths with Karl's semi-folkloric Zombie hunter: JOHNNY ZOMBIE! Or does she...? You'll have to experience the story for yourself, and draw your own conclusions.
And "experience" it you will. Karl and I worked very hard, and with a great sense of fun and discovery, to use the digital comics' "click-to-advance" potential to deliver a unique story experience for a reader. Not animated, and not a conventional page-by-page presentation either, this digital version of the story is its own format, one that Karl and I had a blast creating and are both very proud of.
So there you are-- an exhaustive collection of all the existing Trekker stories!
To add the DIGITAL ALL THE WAY TO CHAPELTOWN to your rewards, simply increase your pledge amount by $30 and message me to add the DIGITAL BUNDLE to you "saddlebag" :)
ADD-ON INKTOBER "LUCKY DRAW"!
Take your chances at a randomly selected "Inktober" original ink sketch from last year's series, where I set the theme at TV shows that made some connection with TREKKER to me. Whether in genre ("Firefly", "The Expanse", "Battlestar Galactica"), action female lead roles--("Supergirl", "Wynonna Earp"), or vivid characters and tone of drama and adventure ("Stranger Things", Longmire") I drew some sense of inspiration and kinship from watching these shows. For a $75 add-on to your pledge at any level, I'll randomly select one of these remaining, unclaimed 6"X10" portraits and add it to your saddlebags. Simply increase you pledge by $75, and then message me that you want a "stake" in the "Lucky Draw Add-on! Limit of 10 slots, so first come, first served!
Once we hit our initial goal (and by "we" I include you, since none of this happens without your help) our first Stretch Goal— and a pretty amazing one— will be to add the complete, 24-page adventure THE VOLSTOCK PAYOFF to the CHAPELTOWN book! “Volstock” was originally intended to be serialized in Dark Horse Presents, but when that title folded after only the first 8-page chapter saw print, the story became an “orphaned” TREKKER tale. The story is already finished, and this is our chance to rescue this terse, noir street-caper tale from limbo and insert it here, as a perfect “prelude” to the CHAPELTOWN adventure!
We'll make our expanded and enhanced book even classier with a fancy schmancy cover spot varnish on the TREKKER logo and Mercy herself (and the rock she's standing on) to make her stand out in the way she really deserves. A great way to mark this new chapter in Mercy’s journey, and to celebrate our success in using crowdfunding to bring these stories to you faster and better than ever before!
Hey! Ask me when we get there! Sure, I’ve got other exciting bells and whistles up my sleeve. But you wouldn’t want me to spoil ALL the surprises right away, would you?
But speaking about money…
WHERE DOES THE FUNDING GO?
Publishing a book like TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN isn't cheap. I've had to factor in the cost of printing, postage, manufacturing rewards and Kickstarter fees, packing supplies...etc. And while I'd love to eventually get paid for the many, many days that I've labored on this book, I'm not asking for that in the campaign's goal. But to this point, I've paid out of pocket for some invaluable aid to assure that TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN is as good as I can possibly make it. Expert hired hands like editorial guidance from the brilliant and experienced Shawna Gore, the splendid cover coloring by Jeremy Colwell, interior coloring assistance by Caitlin Like, and more. And I need to recuperate those expenses to help me keep my own lights on while I draw away tirelessly and lovingly on the TREKKER tales that will, when we succeed here, follow close on the heels of CHAPELTOWN!
You might say so. Until you realize it's toward the goal of continuing to tell the dream project that's been the core of my entire career— work that means more to me than anything else I've ever done. By far. Under those conditions, working on TREKKER isn't really work at all. It's hitting the bullseye.
Risks and challenges
Risks? Extremely low. As I write this, all main story work is done. Finished. Ready for print. The only thing remaining is the 8-page "Be a Trekker" story— which by its nature can't be worked on until after the campaign— and some design work on the book itself. The heavy lifting is behind me. The amount of time I need to finish this book is minimal. It will be at the printer as soon as humanly possible after the Kickstarter ends. That will be my top priority.
Challenges? I am handling fulfillment myself, and have never done that before. But I have done exhaustive research— anyone I've ever met in my entire life who's done a Kickstarter, I've talked with them (and everyone THEY know who's done a Kickstarter!) and picked their brains, learned their tricks, and tried to learn from their mistakes. I already know the packaging I will use, where to get it, how much it will cost to ship, etc. I have a loyal crew of family and friends (all working for a free-beer-and-pizza paycheck!) standing by to help me put packages together and get them mailed out. I am unfamiliar with handling fulfillment, but I don't think I'm unprepared to meet the challenge.
Of course, things could still go wrong. Unforeseen obstacles could slow me down. I've seen it happen to other Kickstarters— things completely beyond their control make them stumble and stall. I've done everything I can to limit those possibilities, and all I can say is: If I hit an unexpected roadblock, I will let you know quickly and truthfully.
I want TREKKER: CHAPELTOWN in your hands as soon as humanly possible. I want it to be a high quality product all of us can be proud of. And I want it to be a story that makes you want to read more about Mercy St. Clair. Because I have more stories to tell.
That's probably my biggest challenge. But it's the sort of challenge I love.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter