About this project
You have done it! With three days to spare our friends, long time fans, and our new Frostling believers have gotten us to our goal of 20,000$. We knew it was possible, but we are still humbled and extremely grateful for your onslaught of support for our little Frostlings. We've spent the last five days at San Diego Comic Con introducing our Frostling heroes, and people love Flats and company- especially the hand water coloring. Thanks so much, to each and every pledger for helping us on our journey.
We see the pledges are continuing to arrive, and we want to offer another enticement to continue on our upward path- a Stretch Goal! We would like to offer the sister print to "Jumping the Chasm" as an additional bonus free item to everyone who has spent 36$ or more by the end of the pledge period as a free thank you for reaching 25,000$.
Current pledgers don't have to do anything to receive this, except to hope that we reach 25k before the Kickstarter ends- but you might want to cajole and encourage friends and family to pledge, so that we can reach this extra 5000$ and everyone with a 36$ and above can receive this signed, 15" print- "Charge of the Ballbarian Big Horns"!
The two prints will match in size and sit nicely together on your wall when framed!
Thanks so much again for making Frostlings a reality!
A new article on the artists http://scoop.diamondgalleries.com/Home/4/1/73/1018?ArticleID=150796
Shelly and I would like to thank our many loyal and supportive Disney fans and collectors who have made our lives as cartoonists drawing the likes of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge a happy experience over that past 25 years. In that time we have written and drawn hundreds of stories and thousands of pages for Walt Disney's Comics, and more recently as Disney gaming conceptual artists we have further honed our storytelling skills.
Now it's time for us to create something all of our "own". Frostlings is not just a brand new, stand alone graphic novel- it's an entire world. Every aspect of the little snowball world Luminas has been carefully considered. In creating a whole planet from scratch, we've had to touch on what passes for flora and fauna on our desolate little world. The Frostling's economy has taken a lot of work, and we've put a lot of effort into making the Frostling's rather silly magic system fun and charming.
What are these Frostlings really about?
Frostlings is a quest narrative involving five unknown and unlikely little heroes. Flats, whose real name is unknown and of great interest to the curious rogue Stinky, gets the ball rolling as she sets out to do some simple good deeds which go awry. She and Stinky team up for different reasons, and find each other possessing complementary abilities.
Eventually, the Ice Mage Forelock rescues them from a dire moment, and after hooking up with a big lug of a Frostling pirate named Barge Bigbones, and a shifty royal lawyer named Loophole, the little team are sent on a perilous mission to gather resources for the heat starved minions of the local Frostling King.
The story is both big and small. The relationships between these different characters, each with different goals, is explored, and we see nuances of friendship and loyalty form. The story has heart, but it at the same time it is a large and rambling adventure tale, with epic, RAN like battles and all sorts of scary, yet, amusing monsters threatening our little ensemble.
Balancing the deeper character development, the light humor, and fast paced action are what FROSTLINGS is really about. We think it is a memorable and quite original tale, and one that everyone will be glad they decided to follow.
You can find more FROSTLINGS goodness on our website at frostlings.net
In order for our tale to actually unfold between the pages of a book, we need your help. In order to actually own and keep control over our own, original creations, we need to publish Frostlings ourselves. The art is being entirely hand-watercolored, hand lettered, entirely hand-crafted with no computer work at all. In an age where everything is hurry up and throw -away, we would like to create something memorable, lasting and beautiful.
The art style for Frostlings pays tribute to the American newspaper comics of the 1920s and '30s. I still love reading Popeye, Little Orphan Annie and Roy Crane's Captain Easy, and the loose "bigfoot" style of that era appeals to me greatly. Narratively, I suspect the tale will sound a little like an epic Tolkien saga as told by Carl Barks. Nothing you read is truly "original"- you create something interesting that seems "new" by borrowing from various sources you love, and then trying to make the your own.
We are looking to raise 20,000$ to see Frostlings fly. This will pay for 1000 high quality softcover books, and 500 deluxe hardbacks with a black matte velvety finish with high gloss white artwork and full color interiors all around. The money will cover costs for premiums, shipping in the USA for everything, some legal publishing trademark costs, and Amazon and Kickstarter's fees.
Rather than mess around with lower costing books (using lesser quality material), we have decided to do it right, or not at all. If we don't make our goal, no one who pledges is charged a nickel. If the project is a success, we promise you a beautiful book and great premiums.
Also, we have some very exciting ideas for some extra, free premiums, should the project surpass the goal and we will post a number of stretch goals for Frostlings in the future.
Finally, we are honored that one of our Disney supporters, (as well as our previous gaming design boss!), has kindly offered to write us an introduction for those of you who aren't familiar with our work. Warren Spector is well known in American role-playing game design and in video gaming circles- with a variety of successful games to his credit -ranging from Deus Ex to Epic Mickey-we really couldn't ask for a better intro- thank you Warren!- Patrick Block
"Patrick and Shelly Block are among the leading practitioners of what many think of as “duck art.” Now, that isn’t to say they paint duck-hunting decoys or Audobon-style bird paintings (though I have no doubt they could do that expertly if they chose to do so). No. The Blocks are best known for Walt Disney duck art, specifically, comic book and comic book-inspired art featuring characters like Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck and the nephews known as Huey, Dewey and Louis. They follow in a long-line of great duck artists with work that most closely resembles that of the greatest of duck artists, Carl Barks. (Even to be mentioned in the same breath as Barks is high praise and the Blocks most definitely belong in that category.)
But the Blocks are more than just fine duck artists - they’re also fine duck writers. Cartoons, limited by their running time of roughly 6 minutes leave scant little time for characterization and high adventure. On the other hand, comic strips and comic books unfold in more leisurely fashion. It’s not out of line to say that the personalities of Donald and his nephews (as well as Scrooge) were established not in the Disney
cartoons themselves, but in the comic books featuring those characters. And the Blocks’ skills as Duck artists are matched by their storytelling and writing talents.
All this is by way of background to Pat and Shelly’s latest work - Frostlings. Here we find the Blocks playing with characters of their own creation - charming characters in a charming setting… utterly original while somehow being reminiscent of Disney’s best, with a hint of Krazy Kat’s inventive use of language and surreal action, and a bit of Al Capp’s beloved Shmoos. The Frostlings harken back to an earlier, more innocent time in the history of comic storytelling while still managing to feel fresh and modern. And as far as originality goes, Frostlings has that in spades.
I’ve worked with the Blocks on game projects and I’ve loved their work (and working with them) enough to commission original pieces. I’ve seen some of the early Frostlings work done by Pat and Shelly and can’t wait to see more - to see the finished product. These creators deserve your support. Their wonderful creations deserve to come to life as only the Blocks can bring them to life. I’m a backer. Here’s hoping you will be, too."
Below is a pictorial look at the various pledge levels. I find that a visual list of what you get somewhat easier to digest than the written descriptions over in the right hand column.
I've had some questions about the magic and wizards in Luminas- (I'm looking at you Emil)- about their science and technology and use of orbs and wands and whether there will be dueling wizards in the story. There are!
There are four sorts of Frostling wizards in our story- Windzerds, Ignicians, Rocktologists and Ice-Magi. Forelock, our heroic main character is one of the latter.
Frostlings has a silly mix of science and steam magic. The Frostling magi use clever devices to activate orbs, which are a sort of round, silica shelled energy source that pops out of the singular volcano on Luminas. These orbs are a focus of all Frostlings everywhere, as it's about the only source of heat on the otherwise frosty little planet. Wizards manage this power better than most.
Here is a page from one of the pledge package sketchbooks showing off one of Forelock's not very practical inventions. It's a sort of Frostling locational device. Enjoy!
$20,000 is a fairly ambitious goal for an independant graphic novel- even a 200+ page one- but we know how dedicated and supportive our fans are, and we love you guys too. We think we can make it!
When we do, Shelly and I have plans for some free goodies for everyone who has pledged 30$ or more, starting when we reach the $25,000 mark!
We plan on having a larger, 12" by 15" version of our print "The Charege of the Ballbarian Big Horns" made, and will each hand sign them and ship them to all of our 36$ and up pledgers at no extra charge. You don't have to do anything, except have pledged that amount or more, and you will recieve this cool premium, which features hundreds of tusked pig-riding Frostling ballbarians being led by their chief, the wily Balbyteen Hammer, against our brave little Frostling Heroes!
I'm lucky enough to have a printer for a neighbor, so I can stand right at his shoulder to control the color and insure these look great!
Then, if we continue to surpass that goal, we will have some new and very fun surprise in store for our loyal backers!
All proceeds will go back into expanding our Frostling world. We have lots of ideas!
Risks and challenges
We have been full time working Freelance Disney artists for 25 years. In that time we have had quarterly deadlines, creating 6 to 10 short stories in three month cycles for very specific characters with no problems. We are used to working independantly, on our own- it's what we do.
FROSTLINGS is a labor of love for us. The story is entirely written, and thumbnailed out in rough form, it's just a matter now of getting the finished pages done.
We've carefully searched around for the best, most reliable printer who can handle high production values. After looking at many different solutions, we have decided on one of the larger printers in China, which isn't surprising, as that is where most comics are printed that are drawn here in the states. They have offices here in the USA, with American employees, and we've got a fair price and are using the very best materials.
Even with shipping, it's much cheaper to have the books printed overseas. The premiums are being done locally. The printer is actually within walking distance to our house, so I will be looking over his shoulder to make sure he does a good job on the maps and prints!
In the same way that we use heavy illustration board and the best imported watercolors for our work, we always feel it is best to give it your all and not skimp on details. Frostlings is important to us- we feel that what we do isn't a job- it's something we love.
Really, the only thing hard to predict is exactly the week the story will be finished, as 200 pages is a large project. We've tried to leave some extra time by setting the shipping date in May. We will use our FROSTLOG on the frostling.net website to post pictures of art as Patrick draws it, and talk more in depth about the characters/towns- the whole Frostling world.
We don't see any looming issues to hold FROSTLINGS back from being a big success, and in fact, we have ideas for further FROSTLING projects down the road a bit!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Kickstarter seems to lack that feature directly. We have worked hard to try and make the packages inclusive enough to cover most needs- but if you are a hard core fan who wants lots of books, or maybe two different premiums that aren't in a single package, there is no direct way to do this.
There is however, a way you can "up" your initial pledge amount easily enough, so, there is a way around getting a second package.
Your kickstarter page has a place to send us a message-
* After you log in to your kickstarter account, click = Me/My stuff/Backer History (top right hand corner of the page).
* You will see Frostlings, click = "Frostlings".
* Click = "Messages".
* Compose/write your message.
Using this, if you wish, you can get exactly what you want by describing what special package any extra funds are for. We will carefully look over each order to make sure we get the numbers straight. It's just Shelly and I running this show- no Frostling helpers to muck things up, and we will be vigilant.
Frostlings has been bubbling in Patrick and Shelly for a long time. The story is written in 12 chapters or "staves", each is about the length of a normal comic book in length. The entire tale is written in thumbnail form, but at the date of the Kickstarter launch, only pages 3-5 are finished art- Frostling's backers REALLY ARE seeing the project off from the start.
On his normal duck stories, Patrick can draw a page a day. Frostlings seem to get finished faster, even considering the hand watercoloring. I suppose this is because Patrick and Shelly have actually created the whole world, and know the characters so intimately, that drawing them is speedy.
We've set the book shipping date for May 2015, which gives us a bit of a cushion for printing chores.
Shelly and I take the stance that story creators shouldn't worry too much about their audience's makeup. Kids are much brighter than adults give them credit for, and "mature" reading doesn't mean a book has to be blood-soaked nor feature nudity.
Frostlings would probably rate a PG as a movie. There is some vaguely adult humor, but it's masked with double meanings and is "cute" by today's standards. No one really seems to get chopped to bits in the story, although there are probably tens of thousands of axes, long swords, short swords, katanas, spears, halbards, daggers, maces, lances, arrows, bolts, catapult balls and the like being heaved, thrust, tossed, shot, and so on.
The Frostlings are prone to violence- but it's PG rated stuff and there aren't any eviserated Frostlings lying about.
We've written something we would like to read ourselves. Entertaining yourself, rather than assuming your gag will probably entertain a 7 year old, is what it's all about.
Yes. The cards, bookmarks, t-shirts, prints, maps and original sketchbook art will all ship in September 2014. The books will ship in May 2015.
Yes. And we've kept international shipping really, really low too!
Being eternally the optimists, yes, we've made plans for some cool, free premiums, should we surpass the basic goal as a part of a stretch goal. We want our supporters to know that we appreciate their belief in us, and we want happy Frostling backers!
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