About this project
Now, if we can reach our stretch goal of $5500, we'll be able to produce a printed book in addition to the digital download.
Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter campaign. We are very excited about Scofflaw, our comic book project. It's an adventure story about rum-runners in the Pacific Northwest, that infuses elements of folk-tale and urban noir.
Our story is a work of historical fiction, which means it is buttressed by facts more than it is slave to them. The first story arc takes place in the Puget Sound area in 1918, a couple of years before capital 'P' Prohibition began (with the 18th Amendment).
In 1916, Washington passed an 'Anti-Saloon' law that restricted the sale of alcohol. Full-throated support for complete prohibition grew over the next two years and was instituted by popular vote in November of 1918. In addition to the alcohol-related social disruption, 1918 was a profoundly interesting year. WWI was nearing its end after the United States' entered the fray in 1917. The first outbreak H1N1 flu started in January of that year and was a world-wide pandemic. For more on what we learned about this era, please visit our tumblr at scofflawcomic.tumblr.com
At the center of our story is Isaiah 'Ides' Clayworth. Ides is an educated guy in his early twenties from an upper-middle class family in New York City. While studying engineering in college, he realizes he's only doing it to satisfy his father's expectations and sense of propriety. His mentor encourages him to forget his engineering studies and pursue his passion for jazz piano.
He drops out of school and starts to explore . He becomes embroiled in the jazz scene of New York and starts to become acquainted with its criminal ties. As he learns more about this world he comes to understand it in a different way than he was brought up to. Ides chooses to become a criminal in order to explore both the world and himself.
Through a series of events happening in the months before Issue #1 takes place, Ides has become something of an operations consultant for rum-runners and bootleggers. In this story, he is assessing the strengths and weaknesses of a small outfit trying to get off the ground as a distributor of apple-brandy from Canada to the Seattle market. What should be a simple ship and sell mission goes completely wrong. Ides has to figure out why things broke down and how to put the pieces back together.
Ultimately, the Seattle bootlegging market came to be dominated by a very interesting man named Roy Olmstead, who is a minor character in our book. But we drop Ides into the mix a little before Olmstead’s prominence, when the market is massively disorganized with many factions competing to gain a foothold. Our story is about how Ides makes sense of all these parts to create a cohesive whole.
The money we are seeking with this Kickstarter will go directly to the creation of the first issue of the five-issue story arc we have planned. The money will allow Michael to focus his attention on the pages of Scofflaw over the summer as well as offset expenses for research and equipment and help pay some of the people who have helped us along the way. Also a significant percentage of the funding will help us get you the great rewards we have designed for you!
Our goal is to have a full-color, 24-page, digital issue completed by October of this year. We could continue to work on the book in our spare time, but there is no telling how long it would take to complete the first issue by those means. The $4,000 we are seeking on Kickstarter will enable us to focus our attention and accomplish our goal with a realistic deadline.
Additionally, if we reach our stretch goal, everyone donating at the $25 level and above will get a print edition of the comic! This will also enable us to get some issues into stores and in front of people at comic conventions.
We want Scofflaw to be self-sustaining. We would use the sales proceeds from this first issue to fund the creation of the remaining four issues of the story. We have more stories to tell about Ides and our dream is for this to be an on-going series. This Kickstarter is the first step toward that goal.
For a behind the scenes look at our process and to learn more about what we discovered during our research check out scofflawcomic.tumblr.com and facebook.com/scofflawcomic. We'll be updating both sites regularly throughout the next few months.
We want to thank Greg Ruby and the Rhythm Runners for allowing us to use their fantastic song! Listen to more of their stuff at http://gregrubymusic.com/bands/the-rhythm-runners/
Thanks to James Newman for his photography skills while putting our video together. See his work at pdxfoto.com. And a special thanks to the librarians at the Seattle Room of the Seattle Public Library for their wonderful research assistance!
Thanks for reading. We hope you'll enjoy reading Scofflaw #1 soon!
Risks and challenges
The one risk to our supporters might be that this is our first attempt at a comic book series. But at this point the risk is largely minimized. We've got most of the heavy lifting for the first issue out of the way. The story is written and the pages are storyboarded. Michael is a deeply talented and efficient artist. If we get the support we need, there is no doubt in our mind the book will be completed on time.
Further, we have already sourced and priced out our rewards. We have included shipping and packing time and money in our estimates. We set the October deadline to ensure we would have ample time not only to finish the book but to get you your goodies.
The only remaining uncertainty is associated with the stretch goal and actually printing the book. We have never printed a comic book before. While we have investigated printers and spoken with people in the industry, there will undoubtedly be unpredictable events when it comes time to actually go to press. But we think we'll handle those just as well as Ides would.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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