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A graphic novel about a herd of orphaned African elephants that must escape their homeland as a vicious poaching militia chases them.
A graphic novel about a herd of orphaned African elephants that must escape their homeland as a vicious poaching militia chases them.
522 backers pledged $34,372 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$34,372

522

VIEW OUR STRETCH GOALS BELOW OUR PAGE ARTWORK

Welcome to the Kickstarter page for Tuskers!

Tuskers is a 130 page graphic novel about a herd of orphaned African elephants that must escape a vicious poaching militia in South Sudan to the safety of an animal sanctuary hundreds of miles away in Kenya. 

Guiding them on this journey is a group of wildlife conservationists who are risking their own lives to help a cause that’s bigger than themselves.

This thrilling journey is told from both the human and elephant’s perspective that only the visual format of a large-scale graphic novel can provide. 

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ELEPHANTS (Our main elephants are orphans that find one another after their families are poached for ivory.)

Meet our elephants
Meet our elephants
  •  Detroit -- Orphaned by the brutal killing of her family, Detroit is our main narrator and protagonist. (Her name has specific meaning and will be revealed in the book.) Not easily accepted into the new herd at the orphanage, she soon befriends another broken soul,  Sgt. Elias Delgado, and together they'll learn to overcome their personal trauma.  
  •  Esampu --  Future matriarch in training, Esampu loves being around people and other members of the herd. 
  •  Roi -- Playful jokester with a reputation for always finding a way to steal food.  
  •  Daphne -- Matriarch of the orphanage herd. She grew up in Zuri's camp after a brutal leg snare left her for dead.  

HUMANS

Meet our humans
Meet our humans
  •  Dr. Zuri Erivo -- The caretaker of the elephant orphanage who has spent her life protecting wildlife in her homeland of South Sudan.
  •  Sgt. Elias Delgado -- A disgraced Army Ranger who is seeking redemption after the brutal ambush of his troops in Afghanistan.
  •  EcoGuards -- Led by locals Joseph and Rafi, they are members of a conservationist group who risk their lives by protecting and leading the elephants to safety.
  •  Abdalla Katumba -- A vicious war-lord who wants to sell the elephant’s ivory tusks to pay for weapons and power. He leads his own private army that views the elephants as commodities to be bought and killed for profit.  

Below is a preview of the first ten pages of Tuskers. 

ARTWORK is traditionally hand painted with watercolor and ink.  

LETTERING is temporary and will be replaced in the final printing.  

Please be aware that the artwork depicts scenes of graphic violence to elephants -- Tuskers is a work of fiction, however the catalyst of the story is unfortunately all too real. We've spent several years researching the African poaching crisis and felt it was best to show the realistic carnage that is inflicted on elephants to harvest their ivory. 

Stay tuned for more pages which will be revealed throughout the campaign!

BELOW IS A PREVIEW OF SOME STILL IN-PRODUCTION ART --


STRETCH GOALS! 

In celebration of meeting our original goal, we've setup some amazing stretch goals to keep the Tuskers momentum going. Keep telling people about Tuskers, share us on social media, and release the flying monkeys with our url address. Additional rewards like art prints, more pages, and a beautiful hardcover book are just a few backers away from happening. Thank you for sharing our passion about this story. 

Stretch goal correction -- Mini-prints are for ALL tiers (including digital only backers).
Stretch goal correction -- Mini-prints are for ALL tiers (including digital only backers).

Self-publishing a graphic novel is an expensive proposition. 

Production: With around 130 pages to be illustrated and then lettered, there’s a lot of dedicated work that needs to be done.

Printing: We have quotes from different printers and while we want to make this as affordable as possible, we also want to make sure it's a quality bookshelf book.  70pt pages, a beautiful heavy-weight embossed cover so the logo resembles elephant tusks, and end pages that will hold up to water-media for personalized remarries (sketches).

Kickstarter fees: Kickstarter takes a little under 10% of what we receive, so our goal has to factor that in of course. And remember that Kickstarter is an "all-or-nothing" system: If we can't raise the full amount in the time given then the book won't happen. 

Stretch Goals: If this campaign goes over its funding goal, we already have some fantastic ideas for additional rewards, including changing the book from a paperback to a beautiful hard cover, so please help us spread the word if possible.

We have assembled a fantastic creative team to bring Tuskers to life. 

WRITER MARC GAFFEN: From The Bernie Mac Show to Grimm and now New Amsterdam, Marc has been a camera assistant, writer, associate producer, and script coordinator on numerous television shows. He was also the co-writer on the successful Grimm comic book series (based on the NBC television show).    

WRITER JAVIER BARRIOS: Besides being an amazing father to twin girls, Javier is the manager of the television and film script library at the prestigious Writer's Guild of America. He is also a screenwriter that specializes in stories with a social and environmental message. 

ARTIST DANIEL GOVAR: Daniel is a comic, children’s book, and gaming illustrator who has worked on dozens of titles for various publishers over 10 years; Marvel, DC, Valiant, Dynamite, and has self-published a number of projects here on Kickstarter such as Lovecraft and Mr. Trunk Builds a Wall. Over his career he has tackled horror, fantasy, sci-fi, true-crime/noir, and real-world dramas. Daniel is a regular at 10-15 conventions throughout the country and lives in St. Petersburg with his fiancée, son, and 2 Great Danes that keep him on his toes.

EDITOR GREG TUMBARELLO: Greg is a senior editor with over fifteen years professional experience working with numerous companies, including Legendary Entertainment where he helped cofound and structure their successful comic book division with acclaimed editor Bob Schreck. He has previously worked as an editor, writer, and producer for MTV Networks, Lion Forge Comics, Image Comics, The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and Tokyopop.

If all goes according to schedule then we will have the completed graphic novel starting to ship out to you in November

We can't express just how much your support means to us. It's a true honor to have your backing. We won’t let you down. 

Thanks for your support in making Tuskers the best graphic novel it can be!

Risks and challenges

All parties involved have worked creating comics and graphic novels for years, for publishers and for ourselves. The big question mark is the printing and shipping of the finished books to us. We have a production schedule ready to go and should funding succeed, all pages will be ready for our printer months in advance to allow for overseas shipping (which can take three months). Several of the printers we’ve approached have worked with Daniel before on other sequential stories -- and in the publishing world, familiarity is a big plus. We've padded the schedule a bit to compensate for hiccups and unforseens, and our big goal is to have this book ready to ship to you in time for the holidays 2019.

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    Love & Support

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    Tier 4 - Remarqued Signed Book

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    + A personal drawn pen and ink remarque sketch inside the front of the book of a general animal of your choice by Daniel Govar

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    Tier 6 - Watercolor Remarqued Book

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    Tier 7 - 9x12 Commission + Book

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    Tier A8 - Get Drawn Into the Book!

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Funding period

- (30 days)