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A steampunk-mystery comic series, Westward follows the ongoing themes of individual achievement and the essence of human happiness.
A steampunk-mystery comic series, Westward follows the ongoing themes of individual achievement and the essence of human happiness.
45 backers pledged $2,501 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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What is "Westward?"

The latest title from Kinetic Press, Westward is a new steampunk mystery series from Ken Krekeler, writer and illustrator of The Colodin Project and Dry Spell. 

Watch the original trailer here:

Played against a semi-Victorian background of corporate espionage and technological revolution, the story centers around Victor West, a man who did not ask to be born a wealthy aristocrat. He did not seek out the titans of industry that surround him, that pressure and push him toward a life of grand production and unending work. Heir to the fortune of Westward Enterprises, Victor has never had to try for anything; he has never had to strive or conquer or build. But all that is about to change.

Westward #5 cover image
Westward #5 cover image

Past KS Campaigns

This is the 3rd KS campaign for Westward to date, and so much of what you'll read here has been copied and pasted from previous campaigns.

Here's a brief ten-minute documentary from the KS of "Westward: Volume 1." Although made for a previous campaign, it's still a great way to be introduced to the series conceptually, and contains interviews with the creative people involved.

New Rewards

KS rewards can be tricky things; they require lots of organization and good financial projection. Without caution, the cost of producing and shipping the promised rewards can easily outweigh the contribution itself, nearly canceling it out. The tier system for W #5 has been designed to minimize production cost on Westward's side, while maximizing the more artistic and exclusive values for the benefit of backers. 

In an effort to provide fresh rewards at minimum cost, a few creative ideas have been added to the W #5 Kickstarter campaign, including:

  • Prints - The prints included in the various rewards tiers will be all-new, exclusive to the #5 KS campaign
  • Original artwork - Mid-level tiers will receive an original ink sketch by the artist of Westward, signed and sealed.
  • Steampunk portrait - Your likeness will be rendered in steampunk garb and mailed to you as a print and PDF
  • Exclusive T-shirt design, featuring art from Westward #5

Reviews

“Packed with plot and interesting characters... It’s excellent.” 111-ComicBookResources.com
(Full review)

“The writing and art stay strong throughout.” -3AmberUnmasked.com
(Full review)

“Krekeler is a fine writer... It's a very good comic.” 5-InsidePulse.com
(Full review)

Preview Pages


Supporting Westward - Beyond Kickstarter

Maybe you don't have the money to pledge right now. Maybe you've already pledged, but you're a fan and you want to do more. In either case, there are a number of ways you can help Westward's success outside of contributing to the Kickstarter fund.

The best way to support Westward is to boost what we call "pre-orders." This involves getting comic stores to order something that essentially doesn't exist yet (which, as you might imagine, can prove to be very difficult). To boost pre-orders, there has to be demand... Buzz, hype, online postings. To generate demand, one must first raise awareness.

So how can you help? It's simple: Tell your friends. Link them to the Westward website. "LIKE" the Westward Facebook page, or share updates from that page on your own FB wall. Post the trailer on a comic fan's Facebook wall. Let them know about the Kickstarter project. Comment on blog posts. Follow the Twitter feed. But above all: Tell your store to order Westward: Volume 1 during the month of March, 2013.

Risks and challenges

The biggest challenge in the success of this campaign is the same challenge I face with every comic I've ever produced: marketing, exposure, and awareness. Every artist has their weaknesses; mine has always been publicity. Outside of animated trailers, preview pages and comic cons, I've always lacked the salesmanship necessary to communicate my ideas properly in a way that catches the public eye.

With only 30 days to maximize the campaign's potential, I have a number of supplemental opportunities planned, designed to help generate interest in the project. Videos of original artwork as it is produced, interviews with the cast of Westward, frequent Facebook/Twitter updates and an ongoing blog. I am also open to any suggestions, so if you have an idea on how to help Westward succeed, don't hesitate to leave a comment or email me directly.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A sincere thanks and gratitude for contributing to the production and success of WESTWARD: VOLUME 1. As a backer, you will receive exclusive access to updates, images and videos throughout the duration of the Kickstarter.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DIGITAL PACKAGE: A digital copy of "Westward #5" will be emailed to you upon success of the Kickstarter. You will also receive a digital background for your desktop/laptop/mobile device.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ISSUE PACKAGE: You will receive a signed copy of "Westward #5." Inserted into each book will be a mini art print, available only to Kickstarter backers. A digital package will also be mailed to you, containing a “Collected” PDF of EVERY Westward issue, #1-5, allowing new readers to catch up with the storyline. The PDF will contain additional supplemental material such as concept art, reference photos, and a rare Westward short story: “Provider.” - ($5 shipping charge included)

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    SINGLE PRINT PACKAGE:
    Receive a limited edition 8.5 x 11 print of Victor West, boarded, sealed and signed by the artist. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($5 shipping charge included)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    TRIPLE PRINT PACKAGE
    Receive 3 limited edition 8.5 x 11 prints of Victor West and two new characters, first appearing in Westward #5: Aurthur LeRoux and the Woman in Black. All prints come signed and sealed by the artist. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected”Digital PDF (issues #1-5) and background - ($5 shipping charge included)

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    VOLUME 1 PACKAGE
    Along with Westward #5, you’ll receive a signed printed copy of “Westward: Volume 1,” collecting the first 3 issues of Westward as well as supplemental artwork, script pages and the short story “Provider.” A limited edition mini-print will be inserted into both books, Volume 1 and issue #5. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: One 8.5 x 11 character print (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($5 shipping charge included)

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    ORIGINAL SKETCH PACKAGE (with single print) Every tier between $65 and $110 will receive an original signed ink sketch of a Westward character, bagged and boarded for protection. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Westward: Volume 1 (signed)+ one 8.5 x 11 character print (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($5 shipping charge included)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    ORIGINAL SKETCH PACKAGE (with triple prints) Nearly identical to the $65 tier, but with all 3 character prints included, boarded, bagged and signed by the artist. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Original ink sketch artwork (signed) + Westward: Volume 1 (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($10 shipping charge included)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    LARGE-FORMAT PRINT PACKAGE
    Nearly identical to the previous (‘Triple prints’) tier, but all 3 prints are upscaled to 11 x 17, highly visible when displayed in a gallery or in the home. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Original ink sketch artwork (signed) + Westward: Volume 1 (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($10 shipping charge included)

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ART BOOK PACKAGE
    A popular item from previous Kickstarters, you'll receive "Ever Westward," a production booklet exclusive to Kickstarter backers, featuring concept art, sketches, photo references, script pages, and a personal introduction by the author. See how Westward made its journey from a scribbled notebook to the written page, to the layout design, to the artwork and colors. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Original ink sketch artwork (signed) + Westward: Volume 1 (signed)+ one 8.5 x 11 character print (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($10 shipping charge included)

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    'TSHIRT PACKAGE' Receive an exclusive Westward t-shirt with an all-new design featuring artwork from Westward #5. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Westward: Volume 1 (signed) + one 8.5 x 11 character print (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF (issues #1-5) and background - ($10 shipping charge included)

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    Limited 4 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    ‘STEAMPUNK PORTRAIT’ PACKAGE
    This tier allows Westward fans and steampunk fans alike the chance to see themselves drawn in steampunk garb. Working with photos that you provide, the artist of Westward will render your likeness into a black-and-white line art portrait, printed at 8.5 x 11. The print will be boarded, sealed and signed by the artist. An additional 11 x 17 high-res PDF of the image will also be emailed to you, so that you can recreate the print in a large format of your choosing.
    THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Westward: Volume 1 (signed)+ one 8.5 x 11 character print (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - ($10 shipping charge included)

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    THE ‘EVERYTHING BAGEL’ PACKAGE
    For this one, you’ll get every digital and printed KS item from all previous tiers, including the steampunk portrait and original ink-artwork sketch. The 3 character prints will be upscaled to 11 x 17 as well as your steampunk portrait. THIS TIER INCLUDES: Steampunk portrait (11 x 17 print and PDF) + Tshirt + EVER WESTWARD artbook + Westward: Volume 1 (signed) + Three 11 x 17 character prints (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - (Free shipping!)

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  14. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    ‘APPEARANCE’ PACKAGE
    Identical to the $300 tier, with one big advantage: Your steampunk portrait will be featured on the inside-back cover flap of Westward #5. THIS TIER ALSO INCLUDES: Steampunk portrait (11 x 17 print and PDF) + EVER WESTWARD artbook + Westward: Volume 1 (signed) + Three 11 x 17 character prints (signed) + Westward #5 issue (signed) + “Collected” Digital PDF(issues #1-5) and background - (Free shipping!)

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (29 days)