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Fourth volume of the natural science comic anthology.
Fourth volume of the natural science comic anthology.
98 backers pledged $6,541 to help bring this project to life.

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Awesome 'Possum, Vol. 4

$6,541

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"You'll witness love of the natural world with every story, and your own love for it will grow with every page. You'll learn stuff, too, and learning stuff it awesome."

Jim Ottaviani, author of The Imitation Game

Awesome ‘Possum’s eclectic comic styles mirror the variety of life they portray—from ghost slugs and bad-luck lemurs to parasitic plants and a bird with a shoe for a bill. It’s biology broken down into bite-size stories—ideal for kids and adults alike.”  

—Mike Shanahan, author of Gods, Wasps and Stranglers

"I love Awesome 'Possum, and even though I have been writing about this sort of stuff for much of my life, I learn new things on almost every page."

—Richard Conniff, author of The Species Seekers

"After 21 years of teaching entomology, I find Awesome 'Possum to be one of the most educative, graphically accurate, and fun natural history series around. I recommend it up front to my students, whether for term paper ideas or escape reading at bed time!"

—Dr. Evan Sugden, professor of entomology, University of Washington

"An irresistibly vivid anthology of natural history and biology information presented in an appealing range of graphic styles. The delightful drawings and clever storytelling work with subjects from the familiar to the charmingly obscure, to offer an enjoyable learning for everyone."

—Dr. Ben Rowson, discoverer of Selenochlamys ysbryda, the ghost slug

Angela Boyle, a natural science illustrator and cartoonist, has curated and edited the fourth volume of Awesome ‘Possum. The work includes thirty five emerging and established cartoonists and natural science illustrators from across North America, and the world. The stories that bloom on these pages are shockingly diverse in both subject and type, from strictly scientific to pleasingly personal. The stories are appropriate for all ages, with a focus on 9–12 year olds. 

Book Stats:

  • 229 pages, including bibliography and index
  • Black and white
  • 8.5 inches wide by 11 tall
  • Cover inks by Eisner-nominated Tillie Walden, creator of Spinning (First Second, 2017)
  • Introduction by Jon Chad, creator of Leo Geo and Volcanoes: Fire and Life (First Second, 2016)

Flying Opossum: For $5, you can help print the book and still get a little factoid for yourself. Angela will send you a postcard with a print of a drawing by her. She will write a random fact about nature on the back just for you.  

Baby Opossum: $15 will get you a PDF of Volume 4, so you can save some money and some shelf space. PDFs will be provided via a coupon to Gumroad.  

Opossum: $25 gets you the paperback book and the PDF of Volume 4! The perfect level.  

Dangling Mushroom: For $35, get a mushroom pendant hand crafted by Bridget Comeau to go with your book and PDF. These dreamy mini charms are handmade and one of a kind! Because each charm is made by hand, each one has its own little differences. This dreamy mushroom is made with Fimo polymer clay with a cell phone strap.  

Mushroom charm by Bridget Comeau
Mushroom charm by Bridget Comeau

Zippered Mushroom: For $35, get a zippered pouch with a mushroom illustration by Shing Yin Khor. The light canvas pouch is just big enough to hold a small pile of makeup, art supplies, or whatever other strange objects you've collected on your wayward path. (I personally use mine for small knitting projects.)

Mushroom pouch by Shing Yin Khor
Mushroom pouch by Shing Yin Khor

Digitized Passel: For $40, you can get the complete Awesome ‘Possum collection in PDF form: volumes 1 through 4.  

Nature Cards: For $47, get a set of six nature-themed greeting cards by Kami Koyamatsu to go with your copy of volume 4.

Nature-themed greeting cards by Kami Koyamatsu
Nature-themed greeting cards by Kami Koyamatsu

Shorebird Postcards: For $40, get a set of 6 postcards with illustrations of shorebirds by Anita K. Boyle with your book. They include additional information about the birds on the back. These shorebird illustrations were originally published in Volume 3 of Awesome 'Possum.

Shorebird postcards by Anita K. Boyle
Shorebird postcards by Anita K. Boyle

Chicken by Elise: For $50, get an original ink illustration by Angela Boyle, in addition to the paperback and PDF of Volume 4. The art is 6x8 inches, and you get to pick a breed of chicken, or you can let Elise pick one if you don't have a favorite.

Chicken illustration by Elise Smorcsewski
Chicken illustration by Elise Smorcsewski

Original Angela: For $70, get an original ink and watercolor illustration by Angela Boyle, in addition to the paperback and PDF of Volume 4. The art is 5x7 inches, and you get to pick an animal, skull, bone, or cabinet of curiosity. This is just the art, not matted or framed.

Sample commission of a stegosaurus by Angela Boyle
Sample commission of a stegosaurus by Angela Boyle

Passel of Opossums: For $80, get all four paperback volumes of Awesome ‘Possum, plus a PDF of Volume 4.  

International Opossum Pack: For $100, get 4 copies of Awesome 'Possum volume 4 sent to your location outside the United States. This is flat rate international shipping. If you want something more secure or to a country I haven't listed (which is most of them), send me a message! I am more than happy to work with you to do international shipping. So band together with your friends and buy the books together to save on shipping. I can fit up to 10 copies in one package, so let me know if you want to get more than 4. 

Not Really an Opossum: For $500, get a fake curiosity cabinet by Angela Boyle as well as the Volume 4 paperback and PDF. You will get to discuss the theme of your cabinet with Angela, as well as if you want the pieces in jars with or without labels.

Example cabinet by Angela Boyle
Example cabinet by Angela Boyle

This example cabinet includes phoenix feathers, paper stars (with no cap or their power would explode the jar), demon needs, ground unicorn horn, baby troll toenails, mouse bones, dried gnome eyes, dryad hair, rain feathers, assorted small ribs, pine needles, and frog parts

Add Ons

If you are missing a volume or want another, here's how much to add to your total. Then send me a message letting me know what add-ons you selected. Feel free to contact me if you have questions; I will get back to you as soon as I can.

I would love to pay the artists more. So our first goal is to do just that. Comics are hard work and I ran these guys through, getting all the edits done and making sure everyone's work shines!

 We made it!

I don't know about other artists, but I would just buy erasers. Right? Erasers for everyone!

Angela Boyle, editor, curator, designer, and whatever else comes up for the Awesome 'Possum volumes, is a natural science illustrator, cartoonist, and editor. Her favorite animals are Brazilian tapirs and corgis. She wants a corgi-sized tapir.

Cute or Deadly: Llama edition, by Angela Boyle
Cute or Deadly: Llama edition, by Angela Boyle

Tillie Walden, cover artist, is a cartoonist and illustrator from Austin, Texas. She is the creator of the Eisne nominated webcomic On a Sunbeam as well as the recently published graphic memoir SPiNNiNG

Jon Chad, who wrote the introduction, was born and raised in Vermont. After a BFA in Sequential Art at Savannah College of Art and Design, he moved back to White River Junction, Vermont, where he now works at the Center for Cartoon Studies teaching screen-printing and bookmaking. He is the creator of Leo Geo and Volcanoes: Fire and Life.

Moss Bastille is a graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies. His work often focuses on nature and social isolation, a product of growing up in rural New England. He misses the ocean terribly.

Bad Luck Lemur, by Moss Bastille
Bad Luck Lemur, by Moss Bastille

Stephen R. Bissette was born in Vermont, 1955. Drawing by four, he made his first comic at eight. He sold ABYSS in 1977, was a pro by 1978. Retired as of 1999, he created Tyrant and has taught at CCS since 2005.

Ross Wood Studlar became a fan of both Spider- Man and Ranger Rick when he was four. Today he still draws comics and is a park ranger at national parks.

Skin and Saliva, by Stephen R. Bissette and Ross Wood Studlar
Skin and Saliva, by Stephen R. Bissette and Ross Wood Studlar

Anita K. Boyle winds the environment around in her art, whether as paper, an assemblage, or in a poem. 

Taking a Peek at the One-Eyed Sphinx Moth, by Anita K. Boyle
Taking a Peek at the One-Eyed Sphinx Moth, by Anita K. Boyle

Nancy Canyon holds an MFA in creative writing from Pacific Lutheran University and a certificate in fiction writing from the University of Washington. She has a visual communication degree from NW School of Art.

Bone Collector, by Nancy Canyon
Bone Collector, by Nancy Canyon

Melissa Capriglione is a comic artist and a nature hobbyist who loves birds and is passionate about preserving the environment. She learned about the northern bobwhite quail while working at a zoo.

Bob-Bobwhite, by Melissa Capriglione
Bob-Bobwhite, by Melissa Capriglione

Bridget Comeau. Gnome Queen enthusiastic about mushrooms. Loves all fantasy and Fae-folk. CCS class of 2015.

The Shoebill, by Bridget Comeau
The Shoebill, by Bridget Comeau

Bernardo O. Dias. Art and science enthusiast. Also fantasy.

The Ghost Owl, by Bernardo O. Dias
The Ghost Owl, by Bernardo O. Dias

Kit Fraser is an cartoonist living in New York. Her work can be found on The Nib, The Stranger, and in other publications and anthologies.

The Shark Lady, by Kit Fraser
The Shark Lady, by Kit Fraser

Rachel Ford lives in the Yukon Territory of Canada and is surrounded by mountains and boreal forest. She and her partner met in the Slim’s Valley two years before the river rerouted. They have two dogs.

A'ay Chu River, by Rachel Ford
A'ay Chu River, by Rachel Ford

Hedj, born and raised in New York, is a recent graduate from The Center for Carton Studies, loves the outdoors, and is very food motivated.

The Casual Carnivore, by Hedj
The Casual Carnivore, by Hedj

David Humphreys is a cartoonist and a photographer. He is a Center for Cartoon Studies graduate who currently lives in Prague. 

Are Zoos a Good Idea?, by David Humphreys
Are Zoos a Good Idea?, by David Humphreys

Elisa Jarnefelt is Vermont-based illustrator and researcher. Her drawings are inspired both by observations in her family life as well as her research in the area of human cognition and nature. 

Human Filter, by Elisa Jarnefelt
Human Filter, by Elisa Jarnefelt

David Kirkham is a freelance writer and cartoonist whose work has featured in Forbidden Planet, Awesome ‘Possum, and the Desert Island Discs Fanzine. He is the author of the graphic novel Tripped Electric

The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Black Country, by David Kirkham
The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Black Country, by David Kirkham

Kevin Kite and Michelle McCauley create the science and culture comic Hurry Up Please It’s Time. They live in the green hills of Vermont with two kids, two cats, some skunks, and several thousand bees.  

Animals that Eat Light, by Kevin Kite and Michelle McCauley
Animals that Eat Light, by Kevin Kite and Michelle McCauley

Hatty Koerner focuses her artistic energy on drawing the natural world for children, and for the child inside each adult. Her artistic inspirations revolve around deviation; moss on roofs, mildew, spiky object, and scat. 

Farm to Bust, by Hatty Koerner
Farm to Bust, by Hatty Koerner

Shing Yin Khor is an installation artist and cartoonist. She enjoys gently poking slugs. 

Rafflesia, by Shing Yin Khor
Rafflesia, by Shing Yin Khor

Kami Koyamatsu is a natural science illustrator and hopes to use her art to motivate conservation efforts by piquing people’s interests in nature.

Invasive Nomads, by Kami Koyamatsu
Invasive Nomads, by Kami Koyamatsu

Laura Martin is a graduate of The Center for Cartoon Studies. Much like the caribou, the wolf has made her strong.

Farley and the Wolves, by Laura Martin
Farley and the Wolves, by Laura Martin

Shashwat Mishra is an artist currently working freelance. He’s trying to figure life out in India. He lives with two cats. 

Haast's Eagle, by Shashwat Mishra
Haast's Eagle, by Shashwat Mishra

Lauren Norby is an artist and storyteller making comics, videos and music. He lives in Missoula, Montana, USA.

Caitlin Hoffmeister is a writer and filmmaker who makes videos and podcasts for the internet. She lives and works in Missoula, Montana.

Puggle Life, by Lauren Norby and Caitlin Hoffmeister
Puggle Life, by Lauren Norby and Caitlin Hoffmeister

Tom O’Brien is a freelance cartoonist and illustrator living in upstate New York. He is currently working on a nonfiction graphic novel about the history of the world’s most popular liquors.

Ligers and Other Hybrids, by Tom O'Brien
Ligers and Other Hybrids, by Tom O'Brien

Kelly M. Ricker is of a nerdy persuasion with a deep love for Star Wars and all things animated. She is an artist for mobile games and often babysits her sister’s three dogs. 

A Year in the Life, by Kelly M. Ricker
A Year in the Life, by Kelly M. Ricker

Salakjit was born in Bangkok, Thailand, and raised in Queens, New York. She is a cartoonist, illustrator, and printmaker. When she’s not making art, she enjoys reading, sleeping, and eating spicy food.  

Ghost Slug, by Salakjit
Ghost Slug, by Salakjit

Ally Shwed is a cartoonist from New Jersey. Her work appears regularly in the Boston Globe and on The Nib, and she coruns Little Red Bird Press. 

The Friendship Park Binational Garden, by Ally Shwed
The Friendship Park Binational Garden, by Ally Shwed

Elise Smorczewski grew up on a farm that fostered a lifelong fascination with animals of all kinds. Nonfiction comics are a way to share that love. 

Chicken Scratch, by Elise Smorcsewski
Chicken Scratch, by Elise Smorcsewski

Spratty is a cartoonist living near Philadelphia with their various human companions, two snakes, and two cats. They think reptiles are pretty great. 

The Woman without Fear, by Spratty Lin
The Woman without Fear, by Spratty Lin

Alyssa Suzumura is an entomologist and illustrator currently in graduate school at the University of Hokkaido in Japan. After identifying insects for the University of Washington for six years, she is now studying coastal beetle systematics. She spends a lot of time drawing beetle penises for identification purposes.  

Acalyptrata, by Alyssa Suzumura
Acalyptrata, by Alyssa Suzumura

Kelly L. Swann has a keen interest for telling people’s (and animal’s) stories, and she’s found comics to be her favorite medium. 

My, What Hairy Ears You Have, by Kelly L. Swann
My, What Hairy Ears You Have, by Kelly L. Swann

Lisa Wolinsky is a writer of science, horror, romance, and corporate documentation. She keeps a dozen different hobbies for when one of them gets boring. 

Melissa McGee is an artist with an insatiable love for learning, and an irrepressible need to create, be it art, comics, costumes, or a nice cup of tea.

A Salty Situation, by Lisa Wolinsky and Melissa McGee
A Salty Situation, by Lisa Wolinsky and Melissa McGee

If the international shipping seems expensive, that is because international shipping is expensive. I have done my best, picking the least expensive option. Hopefully it will make it through custom's safely, but I will keep the custom's sheet for you in case you need it as a reference. Feel free to contact me if there is a specific way you would like your book shipped and we can work something out.

Calculating the amount for a Kickstarter is hard, partly because of changing prices, but also fees and unexpected costs. But here is the breakdown if how I calculated the Kickstarter goal.

Volume three won 2017 PubWest design award for Graphic Album - New Material, as well as the 2017 New York Book Show Award for Best Self-Published Cover, Adult Nonfiction. So I have big shoes to fill with volume 4.

“Armadillo tongues, the social lives of rattlesnakes, the subtle trickery of side-blotched lizards—Awesome ‘Possum is full of every-day wonders.”  

—Kim Todd, author of Chrysalis  

Awesome ‘Possum is AWESOME!! From vampire bats to microscopic water bears to vultures to St. Anthony’s fire to (of course) possums, these original, entertaining pages are a fabulous way to learn natural history. Talk about a book you don’t want to put down!”  

—Sy Montgomery, author of The Soul of an Octopus, The Good Good Pig, and Spell of the Tiger

Risks and challenges

This is my fifth Kickstarter, so I am confident that I will get everything done. I gave myself plenty of time to get the books here and shipped. The files are ready to go, so as soon as I get the funds from Kickstarter, I can start getting proofs printed!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Thank you, thank you! That's it. But seriously, thank you for all your support.

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    Flying opossum

    Get a postcard of an opossum straight from Angela Boyle with a random fact about nature.

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    • Animal fact postcard from Angela Boyle
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    Baby Opossum

    A wee little nugget, you just want the PDF.

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    Opossum

    Simply, the paperback book. You will also get a PDF of the book.

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    Retailer Opossum

    FOR RETAILERS ONLY, get 2 paperback copies of Awesome 'Possum 4. Add 12.50 for each additional book, up to 10 books. Contact Angela for more information or additional shipping locations.

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    Dangling mushroom

    Get a mushroom charm from Bridget Comeau in addition to your book. Charm ships separately from Vermont.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • mushroom charm by Bridget Comeau
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    Zippered mushrooms

    Get a mushroom pouch from Shing Yin Khor in addition to your book. Pouch ships separately from California.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • mushroom pouch by Shing Yin Khor
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    Digitized passel

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 1 PDF
    • Awesome 'Possum 2 PDF
    • Awesome 'Possum 3 PDF
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
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    Bird postcards

    Get six shorebird postcards by Anita K. Boyle in addition to Awesome 'Possum, volume 4.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • Set of 6 shorebird postcards by Anita K. Boyle
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    Nature cards

    Get some natural science greeting cards by Kami Koyamatsu in addition to Awesome 'Possum, volume 4. Set of six cards, with envelopes.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • greeting cards by Kami Koyamatsu
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    Chicken by Elise

    Original ink illustration on 6” by 8” paper by Elise Smorczewski. You can choose a chicken breed or let Elise choose one for you. This is just art, not matted or framed. You also get a copy of Awesome 'Possum volume 4, both paperback and PDF.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • original art by Elise Smorczewski
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    Passel of Opossums

    Get all of the Awesome 'Possum books! That is volumes 1–4, plus the volume 4 PDF.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 1 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 2 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 3 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
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    Retail Passel

    FOR RETAILERS ONLY. Get 2 copies of all the Awesome 'Possum books! That is volumes 1–4. Contact Angela for more information or shipping locations.

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    Original Angela

    Original ink and watercolor illustration on 5” by 7” paper by Angela Boyle. You can choose one animal, skull, bone, or cabinet of curiosity as the theme. This is just art, not matted or framed. You also get a copy of Awesome 'Possum volume 4, both paperback and PDF.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • original art by Angela Boyle
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    International Opossum Pack

    For the internationally thrifty, get together with your friends and get a 4 pack of Awesome 'Possum 4 plus 4 PDFs.

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    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
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    Not really an opossum

    You, of course, need a fake cabinet of curiosity. Get volume 4 and a small cabinet of curiosity curated by Angela Boyle, mixing real items, such as skulls and flowers, and gaffs, such as ground unicorn horns.

    Includes:
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 paperback
    • Awesome 'Possum 4 PDF
    • Fake cabinet of curiosity by Angela Boyle
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Funding period

- (30 days)