Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 4, 2012.

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A graphic novel about Owney the Postal Dog and his trip around the world. Join him on his secret travels and adventures.

Greetings from writer Marcelo Vital and artist David Montgomery - we're the creative team behind a new graphic novel called The Secret Around-the-World Adventures of Owney, the Postal Dog. Who was Owney? You may not have heard of him, but more than a hundred years ago, he was the most famous dog in the world!

Back in the 1890s, the United States Postal Service adopted a mutt from Albany, New York, as its unofficial mascot. The lucky pooch was Owney, a mailbag-loving free spirit who traveled the entire United States during a time when travel was not yet within reach of most of the public. But railroads were starting to change the landscape of North America. So Owney hitched rides on mailcars going across the country, and everywhere he went, he received commemorative tags and did some PR for the Postal Service.

Owney also traveled across international borders – he visited Mexico and Canada, and was actually detained in Montreal as an illegal traveler until the Albany postal workers posted his $2.50 bail! Then, in 1895, Owney actually made a trip around the world. The Jules Verne book Around the World in 80 Days was inspiring adventurers to circumvent the Earth, so as a publicity stunt for the U. S. Postal Service, Owney embarked from the Pacific Northwest on a similar journey. He visited Japan, China, Singapore, and Northern Africa before returning home aboard a steamer ship.

After this trip, Owney slowed down a bit, but he continued to travel the U. S. rails almost up until his death in 1897. His mail clerk pals preserved the beloved pooch, and today the stuffed Owney lives in the Postal Museum in Washington DC.

Naturally, the story of a dog going around the world captured our imagination. But we wanted to take it a step further. What if Owney had made some unexpected detours during his travels around the world and had some exciting adventures along the way? He was always going his own way, so it wouldn’t be altogether surprising.

We imagined him not just stopping in Japan and China, but crossing into India, the Middle East and Europe on his own before sailing back to the States. He would have had a chance to see a world very few people saw at that time. He might have befriended postal workers of distant countries or met famous contemporaries like the Lumiere Brothers in Paris…

And that’s how The Secret Around-the-World Adventures of Owney, the Postal Dog was born. It’s a story for all ages, with adventure, history, humor and heart. We have done extensive research to make this a fun and accurate look at the world in the turn of last century.

Together we've done another historical fiction graphic novel called 1904, in celebration of the centennial of the St. Louis World’s Fair. In it, readers followed the misadventures of Nico Capeli, a delivery boy who unraveled a nefarious plot by organized crime to turn the 1904 World’s Fair into a fiery inferno. They also got to visit the Fair and its wonders. Because of its unique presentation of this historical content, the book was selected for the summer reading program of the St. Louis Public Library. We were happy to help shed some light on the importance of the World’s Fair to a young generation who knew nothing about this episode in the city’s history.

Now we're asking for your help to shine the spotlight on Owney, a dog who was ahead of his time. By telling his story in an exciting, visually rich format, with over one hundred full-color pages of beautifully detailed art, we're hoping to provide something for everyone: dog people, history buffs, Postal junkies, travel aficionados, comic book lovers, thrill seekers, and even steampunks.  But we need to cover production costs such as publishing, four-color printing, coloring and lettering to get this book into your hands. With your support we can make this project a reality and keep Owney’s story alive in the 21st century!

So here’s how it works. With your pledge you will receive from us not only our undying gratitude, but also lots of cool stuff. You can get autographed copies of the book, signed original artwork, t-shirts - you or your pet can even make a cameo appearance in the book alongside Owney! You can also get an original pet portrait (or architectural portrait) framed to your specifications and ready for the holidays or other special occasion - what a great gift for the animal lovers in your life!

*Please note that the cover of the book is not the final one yet.

And don't worry, when you make a pledge to our project, your credit card won’t be charged until the end of the campaign, and only if we reach our goal. So there’s nothing to lose!

Just as important as a pledge is helping us get the word out about the book - so please forward this site to everyone you know and you’ll be helping us make this project a reality! We'll keep you posted on our campaign’s progress here and on Facebook and Twitter. So, follow us right now, and then follow Owney on his adventures around the world!

Many thanks, from Marcelo, David and Owney!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The main challenge for such a large, graphics-heavy project is completing the art in a timely fashion. However, we have done it before under a tight deadline with our last book and know that we can do it again. We feel confident that by including in our goal the cost of hiring out some of the coloring and lettering we can meet our deadlines to produce a beautiful finished product, as promised.

FAQ

  • 110 pages. If we go over our goal we will add more pages containing extras.

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  • We're shooting for May 2013 to have the book drawn, inked, colored, lettered and printed.

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    2 backers

    Thank you very much...every bit helps! On behalf of Owney, we'll send you a special thank you tweet and your name will be listed as a supporter on the book website.

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    4 backers

    Many thanks! On behalf of Owney, you'll get a special thank you postcard and tweet and your name will be listed as a supporter on the book website.

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    12 backers

    Merci beaucoup! You'll receive a copy of the e-book, a special thank you postcard and tweet from Owney, and your name will be listed as a supporter on the book website.

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    24 backers

    You have just pre-ordered a softcover copy of the 110-page, full color "The Secret Around-the-World Adventures of Owney, the Postal Dog" - congratulations! Additional copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    36 backers

    Congratulations, you have just ordered an autographed copy of the softcover book, plus the e-book and a personalized thank you postcard from Owney! Additional copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    11 backers

    You'll get 2 autographed copies of the 110-page softcover book, plus the e-book and a personalized thank you postcard from Owney! Additional copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    17 backers

    You are now the owner of an autographed copy of the softcover book, plus an e-book, an Owney dogtag, a set of original Owney postcards from the book art, and a thank-you postcard from Owney! Additional copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    1 backer

    Retailers' Package. This includes 5 copies of the 110-page, softcover graphic novel plus a a personalized thank you postcard from Owney, full of gratitude and dog love!

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    2 backers

    Thanks alot! Besides the autographed copy of the 110-page softcover book, e-book, Owney dogtag, and set of Owney postcards, you also get a nifty Owney t-shirt, available in a range of sizes and colors. And a personalized thank you postcard from Owney, naturally! Additional copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    4 backers Limited (26 left of 30)

    You get our Belle Epoque package, which includes an autographed copy of the Owney softcover book, plus a softcover copy of the now out-of-print "1904" - our graphic novel celebrating the centennial of the 1904 World's Fair - plus an e-book, t-shirt, dogtag, set of postcards and a thank you postcard from Owney. Additional copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)

    Nice job! You have just pre-ordered a limited edition, Kickstarter-only hardcover 110-page edition of the book, signed personally to you, plus an e-book, an Owney dogtag, a set of Owney postcards, and an Owney t-shirt. Of course, you'll also get a personalized thank you postcard from Owney, full of gratitude and dog love! Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    2 backers

    Thank you for your generosity! You now own an framed original piece of art from the Owney book - this is a signed panel of David's original graphite artwork used to illustrate the book! You also get the 110-page hardcover book, e-book, dogtag, t-shirt, set of postcards, and a thank you postcard from Owney. Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    14 backers Limited (11 left of 25)

    You're a star! With this pledge, you or your pet will make an appearance in the story and be immortalized in print! You can also include additional pets for $50 each. You'll get a signed print of their cameo appearance, suitable for framing. And, of course, you also get all the items from the $100 pledge level. Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    0 backers

    If you are part of an non-profit institution, society, association, school or other group and you'd like to help make this book a reality, this pledge is for you! You can get your logo on the back of the book, plus all other items from the $99 level. You'll also get five extra copies of the 100-page softcover book! Your group will be in great company with Owney in a beautifully illustrated story! Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    With this generous pledge, allow us to create a work of art for you! You'll get exclusive custom art by David Montgomery, either a pet or architectural portrait, framed to your specifications. These make great gifts and can be made available in time for the holidays or other special occasions! You'll also get all the other items from the $99 pledge level, plus an extra second copy of the 110-page hardcover book. Thank you so much! Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    There are only a few double-page spreads in the book, pages that, held side-by-side, form one single panel stretching the entire width of the book (10" x 14"). These depict big, important scenes in the story, and you can have the original art for one, framed for display. You also get all the $99 pledge level items plus a second 110-page hardcover copy of the book. Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    We wish we could take you on a trip around the world, but if we did, we wouldn't be able to finish the book in time to send you a copy! So we'll send you on a trip for two to Washington, D.C. to see Owney in person! Includes airfare and two nights accomodation on a mutually agreed upon date, plus admission to the Postal Museum where Owney resides. This offer is good only within the continental U.S. You'll also get all the items from the $99 pledge level and our eternal gratitude! Additional softcover copies are available to you for a discounted price of $15 each.

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