Dungeon Monsters & Tavern Tales grew out of a broken ankle (which turned into two surgeries and meant lots of spare time lying on my back) and the love my husband and I have for RPGs and especially Dungeons & Dragons.
My favorite part of D&D has always been imagining the amazing creatures that we encounter. What is D&D without fabulous monsters? It's just people sitting around rolling dice. So I thought I would bring some of those lovely beasties to life. Why color butterflies and bunnies when we could be coloring minotaurs and kraken?
The book began with the images. While drawing I realized that coloring both sides of the paper might be a problem if markers are your medium of choice. Since I’m a writer as well as an artist, I decided to create a short story about the image to go on the back of each page. Straight up adventures, fractured fairy tales, noir detective stories, we got something for everyone. A few of the stories contain "colorful" language, but then, it is a grown-up coloring book.
A handful of the characters are recurring; some are characters I or my friends played in adventures. Nearly every story includes a tavern, pub or inn in some fashion. That’s my homage to how many adventures have started or ended there, both in the real world and the world of RPGs.
I hope you'll enjoy coloring and reading about my lovely monsters as much as I enjoyed creating them and their stories. And I hope you'll help me bring this project to life.
The coloring book Dungeon Monsters & Tavern Tales will be a matte softcover, perfect bound and 8.5 x 11 inches in size, with a total of 62 pages. There are twenty-six monsters (From A to Z) with a story about the image on the back of each drawing. The book will be printed on smooth, high quality 80 pound paper and come with a removable plastic insert page to ensure that markers will not bleed through the pages. The pages will also be perforated in case you'd like to remove them from the book. I originally hand-drew each image using pencil then a micron pen. I also wrote each story to illuminate what is happening in the picture.
We've decided to share some of the full stories with you! We just can't wait a whole month. So we'll upload a new story under "Updates" every few days. Check out the complete Dragon story and Griffon story now! Click the "Updates link" beneath the video.
I've partially colored in these greeting cards as examples with colored pencils. Yours will, of course, be black and white when they arrive in greeting card, poster, or book form, unless you get the colored add-on posters below, the hand-colored illustrations, or the original colored art.
Excerpt from the Centaur Story:
Hooves clopped on hard-packed dirt as a stranger made his way into the town of Dry Creek. He was tall and broad, with sharp cheekbones, sun-leathered skin, and flint-hard eyes. He wore a hickory longbow slung over his shoulder and ammo in a quiver across his back.
Townsfolk on the main street skittered away when they saw him coming, ducking into shops and homes, slamming doors, bolting locks.
He drew up in front of the Boot Hall Tavern.
A man with a badge eased out. “’Fraid you’ll have to move on, Hoss. ’Less you want to be strung up. Your kind’s not welcome here.”
“You know what I want, lawman,” said the stranger.
“Reckon I do. Don’t mean you’ll get it.” The lawman put a hand on his double-action crossbow...
Excerpt from the Griffon Story:
“Careful!” she said. “It’s a magic blade. It will cut anything.”
“And what will I be cutting with it?” Mac asked, eyeing it respectfully as they crested the hill.
The duchess put a hand on his arm to stop him as something huge and lightning fast lunged at him. He leapt backwards into a crouch bringing up the sword, but the creature stopped short three feet from them. Mac’s heart pounded.
The duchess had not even flinched. “It’s chained,” she said. “I want you to kill it.”
Mac stared in wonder. The griffon shrieked with something between an eagle’s cry and a lion’s roar. Its muscular, feline back legs catapulted it skyward, its claws leaving gouges in the earth. Its golden wings, wide as a house, beat at the wind, raising a cloud of dust and leaves. A chain from the rock of the hilltop to its back leg snapped taut. The creature cried again as it thrashed. It dropped back to earth with the dangerous grace of a lion and hissed at them, wings spread.
It was the most magnificent thing Mac had ever seen. It weighed at least five-hundred pounds. Its majestic eagle head held golden eyes that while full of rage, were intelligent.
Mac edged right, keeping clear of the trampled earth and shrubs where the griffon could reach. Inside that circle lay the bodies of at least eight or nine soldiers, brothers-in-arms, shredded.
“And those blokes?” said Mac, pointing the magic sword.
“Were not up to the task,” said the duchess...
Excerpt from the Dragon story:
...Next morning Aurin set breakfast in front of Tobin and sat down across from him. Her eyes twinkled. “Tell me about this love of yours,” she said.
Tobin sighed, and hesitated.
Aurin frowned. “Come now, I’ve cooked, cleaned, and taken care of you for a year. The least you owe me is your story.”
He nodded. “Ages ago, I was head of the wizard’s guild in Hanover. I was powerful then, and haughty. I fell in love with a woman nearly as beautiful as you, but my hubris pushed her away, into the arms of my rival—another wizard, as powerful as I.” He shook his head. “Jealousy makes a man do terrible things. I destroyed him and his castle, not knowing my love was with him. I killed her.”
Aurin shook her head. “How could you have killed such a powerful wizard?”
Tobin hung his head. “I couldn’t, he was too well protected. But I had the power and skill to create an Orb of Dragonkind, and with it I controlled a dragon. I sent the dragon to destroy him in his tower.” He shuddered.
Aurin gasped. “What happened to the orb?” ...
A List of all the drawings/stories...
The majority of your backing will go to pay for the printing of the books. We plan to print five hundred copies. Some will also go toward printing cards and posters. The rest of the funds will go towards editing, shipping, shipping supplies, Kickstarter and card processing fees, and other miscellaneous costs.
Not so into coloring? Well, here are some that are colored for you. I colored these 11 x 14 inch posters with a combination of colored pencil and marker, then made high quality prints. I hand-signed each one and included the tavern tale along with it. I'll be adding more colored images as I finish coloring them!
Add-ons can be included with any pledge.
After you have backed the project, click the "manage my pledge" button, and increase your pledge by $12 for each colored poster. In the notes, just let me know which of the colored images above you would like.
- 11 x 14 inches (Which fits standard frames)
- printed on quality velum paper
- hand-signed by the artist
- include the tavern tale
- shipped in a tube
Stretch Goals are the gift that keeps on giving. If Dungeon Monsters & Tavern Tales Coloring Book exceeds its initial goal before the funding period is over great things happen for all of us.
- If we reach $4000 in funding, I will include THREE 5×7 inch greeting cards and envelopes with every pledge for a physical reward.
- If we reach $5000 in funding, I will include the colored Wyvern print with every pledge for a physical reward.
- If we reach $7500 in funding, I will create an additional TWO monsters and stories. Each backer will receive them as signed 11 x 14 inch posters. I'll create a poll to let backers choose which monsters I create.
- If we reach $10,000 in funding, I will create another FIVE monster posters and their stories. Each backer will receive them as signed 11 x 14 inch posters. I'll create a poll to let backers choose which monsters I create.
Risks and challenges
No one can tell the future, but the artwork is done. The stories are written and edited. The book is designed. I don't foresee any problems. The only possible snag would be printing the book, but we're using a reputable printer with many years of experience. If there are any delays in the printing process we'll let you know immediately.
The hand-colored art and the original pieces will take some time to create. I can only color and draw so fast, but I will keep everyone informed on my progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)