Cartooner is a is a new experience in drawing games. It is a game that combines storytelling and drawing. It is like Once Upon a Time plus Pictionary with story prompts that are inspired by popular and quirky comics themes and trends.
This epic battle game lets everyone experience the thrill of creating and sharing their own stories in comics format with nothing more than stick figures!
While this is a game about drawing, it's not just a game where the best artist wins. Your strategy and ability to adapt fast will matter much more. Points are awarded for strategy and following the rules not artistic ability.
However, if you are an artist, it is undeniable that Cartooner can be a great companion for you as well especially when looking for inspiration for #Inktober or an Instagram #dailysketch or your next #24hourcomicsday, we designed a solo mode just for that.
The game features two decks of cards, Themes and Trends, that give endless replay value and story inspiration.
The Themes deck gives you specific ideas and plot devices: Desire to Save the World, Haunted Houses, Mutants, and 133 other wild Themes.
The gorgeously illustrated Trend Cards (by San Francisco artist Konstantin Pogorelov) represent broader comic tropes, such as Shared Universe, Crossover, Reboot, Origin Story, Disasters, and Destiny.
The game plays out in 4 rounds that build up in intensity. Each round is 5 minutes long. Your goal is to get the most Fame points at each round using a combination of your Theme cards and the fleeting market Trends that are valid only for one round. In the end, the player with the most Fame wins…but every player walks away with a comic of their own creation.
With literally hundreds of thousands of possible combinations of story prompts, you'll never run out of ideas.
In the Box
- 64 pre-printed Comic Pages
- 136 Theme Cards
- 52 beautifully illustrated Trend Cards
- 200 Fame Tokens
- The rulebook which contains the rules, additional sketches, and the names of every backer at $40 or higher level!! (All backers will also have their names listed on our website once it goes up).
Rewards & Stretch Goals
In addition to the game itself, we're making beautiful 1.5" wide Cartooner buttons, perfect for your lapel or backpack!
We're also offering custom comics by Jason and Konstantin. Or, if you're interested in the game design process, you can get the complete design notes and sketches for Cartooner. Or, leave your mark on the game itself by designing your very own a Theme or Trend Card!
All supporters will be listed on our website when it goes up. Supporters at $40+ will get their names printed in the rulesbook that will ship with every game!
You can also increase your pledge over $40 by $10 to get the lovely buttons add-on (shipping included for add-ons).
You can increase your pledge at any level by $40 to get a second copy of Cartooner as well.
$30,000: CARTOONER STICKERS!!! We'll give each backer a set of die-cut vinyl color stickers from featuring art from the Cartooner box.
$45,000: EXTRA CARD PACK!!! We'll print up a "Limited Series" bonus pack of 12 cards (a mixture of Themes and Trends) and give it to every backer of Cartooner! This will be a shrinkwrapped bonus pack.
We (the game designers) are a husband and wife creative duo living in San Francisco. Jumana was born in Jordan, Jason was born in San Francisco, and our friend and artist Konstantin hails from the Ukraine.
Cartooner is a product of love: love for comics, art, tabletop games, and the community those things create. We wanted to make something that helps people explore their creative side and tell their stories, and at the same time build strategic thinking and resilience through gameplay.
Cartooner is a new stand-alone game which is completely compatible with our previous drawing game, Mangaka: The Fast & Furious Game of Drawing Comics. We developed Mangaka from 2011 to 2015, playtesting at conventions, game stores, art schools and public libraries, with age groups ranging from adult to tween. From the beginning, our goal was to make a game that combines the fun of making comics, and sharing them with your friends, with the strategies of a great card game.
Cartooner is the fruit of two additional years of playtesting. The basic rules are the same as Mangaka, but streamlined and improved based on player feedback. Where Mangaka drew from the tropes of anime and manga (inspired by co-designer Jason Thompson's 10 years as an editor at VIZ, the USA's largest Japanese comics publisher), Cartooner draws from the exciting worlds of American comics, animation and movies. If you own both games, you can mix cards!
Please support our Kickstarter to bring this game to life and bring creativity and excitement to your game night! Your pledges will go to paying for creating the art and to offset the cost of the first printing the game. All supporters at $40+ get their names forever etched in the rules book that ships with every game.
Praise for Cartooner
"A comic book fan's dream…I was pleased to find out that your score has nothing to do with writing or artistic talent. Rather, the scoring system is through “Fame Points,” which you get earn based on how many times you incorporate your themes and challenges into your panels. It provides for a lot of creativity, and makes for some pretty hilarious moments."-- Beth Elderkin, io9.com
"Highly entertaining…Mangaka is a game we’ve been enjoying since receiving our reward from that highly successful Kickstarter. Cartooner: The fast and furious game of drawing comics is an excellent stand-alone game, or as a way to add new and exciting cards to your Mangaka decks." -- Ryan Hiller, Geekdad
"Mangaka was a fantastic little drawing game that we enjoyed very much… (Cartooner is) a follow-up that focuses on Western comics – specifically the American brand of comic books." -- Matt Jarvis, Tabletop Gaming Magazine
“One of the best games I ever played…It’s super cool!”—Jadah, 8th grader
This fast-paced game plays out in 4 rounds of 5 minutes each. You can play the game in solo mode or with your friends (suitable for ages 12+ or younger with parental guidance).
Start by drawing three Theme Cards at random to determine what your comic will be about. Will your comic involve Dinosaurs, Secret Hideouts and Car Chases? Werewolves, Obnoxious Coworkers and The Desire to Be Famous? Or Pirates, Blobs and The Last Human on Earth?
Then, set the five-minute timer and draw!
When time is up, follow these simple rules to score the game:
Rule 1: You get 1 Fame point for each Theme you express in your comic in a way the other players can recognize by drawing it or writing it in a word balloon.
Rule 2: You get 2 Fame for drawing something in every Panel, no matter how simple.
Rule 3: You get 2 more Fame for keeping it succinct by using three or fewer Word Balloons on the page. It's that easy.
Rounds two through four introduce an element of strategy: Trend Cards. Beautifully illustrated by game artist Konstantin Pogorelov, Trends represent popular market fads that come and go.
Each Trend Card gives you new ways to earn Fame points for that round. Unlike Themes, which are personal, Trend Cards represent the market and affect every player in the game. Your fickle readers may want you to inject Superheroes…Funny Animals…Medical drama…Disaster stories…Mystery… Romance…or any one of 52 Trends into your story. It's every artist's dilemma: stick to your original story, or sell out for Fame?
Each round brings more Panels to draw and Trends to chase. Plus, each round has more Fame in play than the round before, so the outcome is up in the air until the very end.
When the final round ends, the winner is the one with the most Fame Tokens…but every player ends the game with their own comic.
We are a husband and wife team. This is our 5th kickstarter together. We work and play and make art in San Francisco with our daschund June.
Jason discovered comics in his dad's massive book collection, beginning with Peanuts, Bloom County and Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge. He currently enjoys the work of Jason Shiga. When not running D&D campaigns, Jason enjoys boardgames such as Cosmic Encounter, Robo Rally and Near and Far. Jason is currently drawing maps for Wizards of the Coast and storyboards for Illumination.
Jumana grew up with the cartoons of Naji Al-Ali and Emad Hajjaj in Jordan. She first fell in love with American comics at her first job after moving to the US, stocking the comics section in a small MN bookstore. Her favorite series is Gaiman's Sandman. When not roleplaying a dragonborn paladin at night or building our new robot overlords during the day, she likes playing boardgames like Wiz-War and Dixit, and mobile games like Deep Town.
Konstantin is a game connoisseur. Born in the Ukraine and raised in Spain. He now plays and makes all sorts of games in San Francisco. He is currently working on a skating themed mobile game. His favorite American comic series is Heliosphere, his favorite tabletop boardgame is Game of Thrones, and his all-time favorite video game is Star Control 2. He also plays a Kemeti wizard in our D&D campaign.
Many thanks to Ariel, Filiz Efe, Mitra Shahidi, Adam Burns, Brie Henderson and Jason Shiga for lending their talent and sage advice to our Kickstarter video.
Thanks to our partners at Japanime Games for co-publishing and supporting our first game, Mangaka!
Risks and challenges
This is our fifth Kickstarter and our second tabletop game Kickstarter as creators. We take Kickstarter and our promises to backers seriously. As gamers, creators and backers of many Kickstarters ourselves, we want to make you happy and make this successful!
Our shipping and fulfillment will be handled by our co-publishing partner, Japanime Games, who brings their guarantee and experience to the process. In addition, Japanime's warehouse in Europe lets us get a better shipping price for backers in the EU.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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