THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR TORE through our initial funding goal in the first nine hours of the campaign! Amazing! Now, we've plowed through the first three of our great Stretch Goals!
STRETCH GOAL #1: MET!
BOOM! We've torn through our first Stretch Goal at light speed! THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR will now add a cargo bay-busting pile of Behind the Scenes Extra features-- character designs, plans for the Zephyr, "raw" pencil and ink versions of some key pages from the story, and some finished character portraits and watercolors just for good measure! Enough extra bounty to make THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR an even more memorable volume and celebratory event in Mercy's publishing history!
STRETCH GOAL 2: MET!
Classy Spot Varnish and a Bonus Print for ALL BACKERS! Assuring that THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR will match the look and feel of the CHAPELTOWN book and be just as distinctive and stylish a volume-- one you'll be PROUD to hold in your hands and display on your shelves!
STRETCH GOAL #3: MET!
Books with this inside front and back cover enhancement have always attracted my eye. I'm thrilled to be adding this fantastic extra touch to THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR!
Here we go! If we stretch to the $30, 000 mark, I'll make the trip really worth the effort by adding this Exclusive, Four Postcard Set to every TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR Backer pledge at the $10 and up level (PDF's for digital backers)! Four key images from Mercy's publishing history, all polished up, and formatted especially for this Kickstarter: 1: The cover art from Mercy's debut solo book at Dark Horse Comics, 2: The cover art from the first (and only!) issue released through Image comics (inked by legendary Karl Kesel! And newly-recolored just for this postcard set by the original colorist, the amazing Moose Baumann!), 3: The iconic, final moment from the Chapletown story, "The CHAPELTOWN KISS", and of course 4: The cover art to our new DARKSTAR ZEPHYR book. I can't wait to get these four special prints into your hands!
IS THAT IT?
Are you kiddin' me? I'm having far too much fun to stop here! If we hit Stretch Goal #4, I am already set to spring a dazzling new stretch goal #5-- and beyond-- on you! But-- we've got some traveling to do before we get there. Let's fly!
TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR is an all-new, 96-page (at least!) graphic novel written, drawn and colored by me— Ron Randall. It continues the story of Mercy St. Clair— a tough-as-nails "Trekker", or 23rd century bounty hunter. 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 special pages, TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR is completely finished! Your support will pay for the book's printing and shipping. That's all that's really needed to get the book into your hands.
In THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR, Mercy comes into conflict with the oppressive, system-ruling Council. Facing deception, betrayal, and capture, Mercy must overcome impossible odds to save herself, her girlfriend, and just possibly the hope of freedom for the entire system.
Mercy St. Clair: Driven, relentless bounty hunter. On a path of self-discovery. A path that's destined to lead to increasingly deadly confrontations with the overbearing and ruthless System Council forces. A path she is destined to walk alone. Or so she has always thought.
Molly Sundowner: Intuitive and unflappable musician. Believer in the power of patience, grace, and compassion. And in Mercy St. Clair. You know what they say about the attraction of opposites...
With Molly by her side, the stakes are higher than ever for Mercy as she seeks answers in her past and pursues the dangerous destiny that calls her. All of these threads weave together in TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR.
From the raw streets of Chapeltown, TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR charts a course into the stars. And your ticket to ride the Zephyr costs as little as $15 for print, $10 for digital.
Beyond the book, which I've poured everything I love about science fiction, comics, and good storytelling into, there's a full slate of extra rewards for helping to get The Zephyr on its way. Everything from free prints for early backers, to out-of-print books (I found a few more hidden away!), to original sketches of Mercy's domesticated pet fox (or "dox"), Scuf.
THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR not enough? No worries-- load up with Mercy's two previous tales!
ADD JUST $40 FOR THE COMPLETE TREKKER DIGITAL BUNDLE: "ALL THE WAY TO THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR"!
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. For a mere $40, you can add the Digital Bundle to any reward level. To add the digital bundle, simply add $40 to any reward level and send me a message. I'll stow away a bundle in your cargo bay.
The Digital Bundle includes some extra features, none more special than the digital-format one-off tale:
This bundle wouldn't be complete without this unique, digital-specific version of the crossover story where Mercy meets Karl Kesel's semi-folkloric Zombie hunter: JOHNNY ZOMBIE! Or does she...? You'll have to experience the story for yourself, and draw your own conclusions.
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 the 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.
FULFILLMENT BY BLACKBOX!
I’m thrilled to be working again with Blackbox, a fulfillment company from the folks behind Cards Against Humanity! These classy and delightful professionals will assure us the best, most reliable and timely fulfillment process possible!
WHERE DOES THIS MONEY GO?
Creating a book like TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR isn't cheap. I've had to factor in the cost of printing, postage, manufacturing rewards and Kickstarter fees, fulfillment services...etc. And while I'd also love to eventually get paid for the weeks, nay, months that I've labored on this book, I'm not asking for that in the campaign's goal. But I am paying for some invaluable expert aid to assure that TREKKER: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR is as good as I can possibly make it. Crack crew hands from editorial guidance by the brilliant Shawna Gore, to the splendid cover coloring by Jeremy Colwell, and interior coloring assistance by Caitlin Like. And I'm also taking on a printing consultant and a production ace to make sure we get all the bugs out before liftoff. I need to recuperate those out-of-pocket 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 THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR!
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 a dream cruise.
Risks and challenges
Risks? Extremely low. If you followed my first campaign, you know that all of the rewards were sent out by the expected delivery date, less than five months after the campaign's conclusion. As with that campaign, all main work on THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR is done. Finished. Ready for print. The only thing remaining is the 10-page "Shore Leave With Mercy and Molly" story— which by its nature can't be completed 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. And once again, I'm blessed to be working with Blackbox to fulfill the campaign, so we have real pros in our corner!
Challenges? Well, there's always the chance that unforeseen obstacles could slow me down, despite the homework I've done and the experience I've gained by running one successful and relatively smooth campaign. I've seen it happen to other Kickstarters— things completely beyond their control can cause stumbles and delays. 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: THE DARKSTAR ZEPHYR 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, and this is the best approach I can think of to keep making #MoreTrekkerMoreOften.
That's probably my biggest challenge. But it's the sort of challenge I love.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter