Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
An enormous collection of the complete run of West of Bathurst, a webcomic about friendship, maple doughnuts, and possibly Satan.
An enormous collection of the complete run of West of Bathurst, a webcomic about friendship, maple doughnuts, and possibly Satan.
131 backers pledged CA$ 9,350 to help bring this project to life.

About

West of Bathurst: Soul-Destroyingly Huge Print Collection project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

CA$ 9,350

131

AND THAT'S $7,500!
AND THAT'S $7,500!

We have made our goal. We are the champions. You're all awesome, by the way.

And now that's $8,500, which means we've hit our first stretch goal and earned a month's worth of daily It Never Rains comics. If we somehow hit $9,500, we'll get another month's worth. COMICS EVERYWHERE!

In Which I Explain Why I'm Doing This in the First Place

So once upon a time, way back in 2006, I started a webcomic. Somewhat later, in 2014, I finished the very same webcomic. In the interim, I kept promising to publish bits of the webcomic in a print collection. I got pretty close in 2010, even though I was basically creating the book in Word, and it would have looked terrible and made people laugh at me. Luckily, I stopped myself just in time, but unluckily, that left me here in 2014 with 1,463 in-sequence comics, some in black and white and some in colour, and a number of sad readers who wanted a print collection and couldn’t have one. I have thus set out to rectify this monstrous injustice.

In Which I Describe the Comic in Reasonably Non-Spoilery Terms

West of Bathurst is a webcomic about a young woman named Marie who moves into a graduate college at the University of Toronto. If that were all that happened to her, the webcomic would mostly involve grad students weeping through the night as they put the finishing touches on seven hundred useless footnotes. However, this graduate college, which is based on a real and actual graduate college called Massey College, is a strange place. The resulting weirdness is rooted partly in the real bizarreness of the real Massey and partly in a tangled plot full of ominous fairy tales, mythology, oblique references to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and the Sherlock Holmes stories, oddly significant Canadian coffee-and-doughnuts franchises, floods of shiny objects, and the possibility that one of the characters is Satan, albeit in the nicest possible way. 

In Which I Proclaim This a Good Idea for Various Reasons

Of course, all this stuff is already available online for free, so why am I asking people to pay money for a print version? That would be because of my archaic belief that a physical book is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. It is difficult, though not impossible, to read a webcomic under the covers late at night when you should be sleeping and/or memorising a long and useless list of French verbs. It is nice to be able to let one’s eyes slide seamlessly from one comic to the next without having to go clicky clicky clicky clicky clicky. It is wonderful to breathe in that new book smell, which, admittedly, probably exists mostly because of the glue. It is fantastic to be able to use an improbably large book as a weapon. This could likely also be done with an e-reader, but not without breaking it. 

If all this doesn’t convince you, note that the webcomic has completed its run, meaning that the book will constitute a finished story with an ending and everything. It will also include extras: copious footnotes, an explanation (in comic form) of the fairy tale, “Bearskin,” that lurks behind the narrative, guest comics from Errol Elumir (Debs and Errol) and Peter Chiykowski (Rock, Paper, Cynic), and possibly more. I need to keep the book under 700 pages if I want to get it printed without breaking the bank, but aside from that, the world is our oyster.

In Which I Appeal to Your Emotions

If you know and love West of Bathurst, this book is for you. If you don't know and love West of Bathurst but have the potential to do so, this book is also for you. Alas, its size makes it expensive, but I’m also offering an electronic version, so there’s that. If you’ve just stumbled across this Kickstarter and are wondering why you should contribute, know that this book is designed to cause you to laugh, cry, and make vigorous strangling motions in my general direction. As a bonus, you don’t have to read the story at the rate of four panels every two days, and if it makes you angry enough, you can throw it at a wall.

In Which I Outline the Campaign's Goals

I am aiming for $7,500 because that is how much it will take to cover a modest print run, the fees of my designer and of Kickstarter itself, and the alarming costs of shipping the books first to me and then to you (see the more detailed breakdown below). I am not looking to make a huge profit and end up bathing in money. I'm Canadian. We have a lot of coins in Canada. Bathing in Canadian money would cause a great deal of physical pain. 

If the campaign does exceed expectations, stretch goals are always a fun way to go, so here are a few. Yes, I go all the way up to $25,000, simply because talk is cheap:

  • LEVEL 1 UNLOCKED ($8,500 RAISED): For every extra $1,000 raised, It Never Rains, my current webcomic about a teenage girl who does not care to keep her mouth shut about anything, will spend a month as a daily comic, with that month coming at a time of my choosing (i.e., probably not during a marking-heavy time of year).
  • $10,000: I shall find some way to make the book prettier. In other words, I shall buy it a present: better-quality paper, perhaps, or a few extra pages of content. This present will remain a surprise until the book is close to completion because surprises are fun and decision-making is not my strong point.
  • $15,000: All backers contributing to levels involving physical books will receive a print of some comic or other (of my choosing). I'll also draw a special panel involving Casey and a shiny object and post it online.
  • $20,000: The bonus story about "Bearskin" will be joined by a second bonus story. It could be about anything. Anything.
  • $25,000: I shall gather some of my friends together and make a short film in which we recreate one West of Bathurst comic. I shall not warn my friends beforehand that this is happening. The results may not exactly resemble the comic concerned.
In Which I Briefly Discuss the Rewards

My reward levels are, understandably, focused on the book itself, which is available in three formats: 1) a digital edition, 2) a paperback edition, and 3) a hardcover edition. There are also several extras, which range from imaginary fist bumps through quirky ukulele albums to genuine shiny objects sent through the mail. I do understand that the reward levels may be a teeny bit bewildering, which is why I have created a handy-dandy chart and list of exactly which rewards go along with exactly which levels. This document is four pages long and will not fit here; I have thus made it its very own PDF document.

In Which I Wax Poetic Regarding That Pesky Thing Called "Money"
I have based the goal on the supposition that I shall print at least 100 books. Let's say 50% of them will be paperbacks and 50% hardcovers. In informal reader surveys, people seem more interested in hardcovers, but paperbacks are just cheaper enough that they may be attractive to readers with tighter budgets (believe me, I very much understand this). I'm thus happy to eat the costs if more people want hardcovers, just so that some of you can have paperbacks as well.

A good friend of mine has made me up a spreadsheet that allows me to project a goal based on the actual printing costs (approximately $2,500USD or $2,733CAD) + the designer's fees (about $1,050CAD) + shipping, customs, tax, cost of other materials such as CDs, postcards, shiny objects, and frames, and Kickstarter's fees. Believe it or not, all that together adds up to approximately $7,500CAD (a bit less with more paperbacks, a bit more with more hardcovers). It's the shipping that's the real killer. (I do realise that $20 may seem a steep extra fee for international shippers, but to be frank, even that is low for a quite heavy book sent internationally, especially when the cost of packing materials is factored in.)

At the price I've set for the physical books right now, if no one buys anything but the books, I shall likely end up a little out of pocket. That's okay. My goal is to end up a little out of pocket, not a lot out of pocket. A girl can dream.

In Which I Conclude

In a nutshell: I want to get you this book. That is, at the moment, my main goal.

That will do to go on with.

Risks and challenges

The main risk is that the production of the book will run up against the demands of the six classes I’ll be teaching this fall. There will be an almighty bang, and someone will lose a limb. I've been doing my best to get as much of the work as possible done this summer, but there’s an awful lot of work involved.

There’s also the problem of cost. My goal is to keep the cost of the book as low as I can without bankrupting myself, but printing does take money, and printing 700-page colour comics collections takes rather a lot of money. (True, only a third of the pages will actually be in colour, but that still means I have to print the entire book as a colour publication.) The goal will cover the cheapest possible printing and shipping process and the fees of my designer. If we somehow exceed the goal, there may be a possibility of higher-quality printing.

I shall do my very best to get you the books themselves before the end of 2014 (other bits and pieces may take longer). There is still a possibility that this won't work out and the rewards won't be distributed until 2015, but I really, really want to finish this year, partly because I would like you to have the books by Christmas and partly because I do not want to end up with $7,500 worth of "other income" to declare for 2014. That's just a little quirk of mine.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.92

    ELEMENTARY, MY DEAR CONTRIBUTOR. You will receive eternal gratitude, which will take the form of an e-mailed thank-you comic. Also, your name will go in the book. Hurrah!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $5

    EVIL MARIE'S FIST-BUMP ACADEMY. You will receive everything from the "Elementary, My Dear Contributor" level. Also, I shall fist-bump an imaginary version of you while speaking your name aloud in solemn tones. I shall make a film of myself doing so and post it online. If you are shy, you may elect to have your imaginary fist bumped in private.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $14

    BATHURSITY. You will receive everything from the "Evil Marie's Fist-Bump Academy" level, plus a digital version of the soul-destroyingly huge WoB collection. It will not have physical form, and you will thus not be able to use it as a doorstop.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    21 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 20 or more About $18

    DAVIESITY. You will receive everything from the "Bathursity" level. As well, I shall draw a picture of the Davies College choir. One of the members will be labelled with your name, though it is likely that he or she will not resemble you in the slightest.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    13 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 30 or more About $28

    POSTCARDITY. You will receive everything from the "Bathursity" level, plus a digital copy of my geeky album Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off. As well, I shall send you a WoB-themed postcard in the actual mail. I shall draw something on it because that is how I roll.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 60 or more About $55

    SOUL-DESTROYING HUGENESS. You will receive one shiny new signed paperback copy of the complete WoB collection, as well as one digital copy. Your name will be listed in the book, and you will be sent an e-mailed thank-you comic.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    35 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 70 or more About $64

    EPIC DISMEMBERMENT. You will receive one shiny new signed paperback copy of the complete WoB collection, one signed physical copy of my geeky CD Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off, and digital copies of both. Your name will be listed in the book, and you will be sent an e-mailed thank-you comic.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 90 or more About $83

    HARDCORE SOUL-DESTROYING HUGENESS. You will receive one massive signed hardcover copy of the complete WoB collection, plus one digital copy. Your name will be listed in the book, and you will be sent an e-mailed thank-you comic.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    19 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $92

    HARDCORE EPIC DISMEMBERMENT. You will receive one massive signed hardcover copy of the complete WoB collection, one signed physical copy of my geeky CD Beowulf Pulled My Arm Off, and digital copies of both. Your name will be listed in the book, and you will be sent an e-mailed thank-you comic.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    14 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 150 or more About $138

    SHINY! You will receive everything from the "Hardcore Epic Dismemberment" level, plus your book will contain a personal message and a little pen-and-ink doodly cartoon just for you inside. Also, you will be sent a shiny object of some sort. I am not entirely sure what it will be, but rest assured that it will be shiny. I shall attempt to personalise it, if only with a Sharpie.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    7 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Reward no longer available

    Pledge CA$ 300 or more About $276

    IT NEVER RAINS WEST OF BATHURST. You will receive everything from the "Shiny!" level. As well, a character in the webcomic It Never Rains will be given your name and likeness.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 3 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 300 or more About $276

    PANELICITY. You will receive everything from the "Shiny!" level. As well, I shall create a panel involving you and an element of your choice (a PG-rated or tamer one, please, as I do not want to draw porn), plus at least one West of Bathurst character, again of your choice. This panel will be posted online; you will also be sent a signed print and a high-resolution electronic version.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $459

    DRAWN AND QUARTERED. You will receive everything from the "Shiny!" level, plus a black-and-white comic of your choice redrawn on Bristol board and framed. (It is probable that the framing will not be able to involve glass unless you actually live in Toronto. We'll see. I may have to get creative here.)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $919

    WE WANTS IT ALL, PRECIOUSSSSSS. You will receive everything from every preceding level (your name in the book, a virtual thank-you comic, a virtual fist bump, virtual copies of the book and the album, a WoB postcard, physical paperback and hardcover signed and doodled-upon copies of the book, a signed copy of the CD, a shiny object, a character in It Never Rains named after you, and a redrawn, framed black-and-white WoB comic of your choice).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    CA$
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)