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Awesome Possum is a natural science comic anthology collecting art from seven natural science illustrators.
Awesome Possum is a natural science comic anthology collecting art from seven natural science illustrators.
Awesome Possum is a natural science comic anthology collecting art from seven natural science illustrators.
102 backers pledged $2,417 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Hi there. My name is Angela Boyle and I am bringing you a collection of short comics about the natural world. The other artists and I are all recent graduates of a natural science illustration program. And after a year's worth of hard work, we can't give it up. We have to keep sharing. The natural world is a wonderful place that deserves exploration. We want to show you some of our favorite views of the natural world.

The book is a minimum of 40 pages with at least 32 pages of comics and some additional illustrations. Seven artists contributed ten stories. The cover is full color (with beautiful art by Marly Beyer). The interior pages (comics and illustrations) are in black and white.

Why this comic?

The natural world is a fascinating topic. There is more going on than one person could ever get to know. But the artists in this anthology are all enthusiastically trying. We are covering (subject to change):

  • Why are bugs so diverse
  • The life cycle of peridocal cicadas
  • Emus, the only existing member of the genus Dromaius
  • Evolution and structure of the eye
  • Gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), one of the oldest Canids
  • Maria Sybilla Merian, grandmother of scientific illustration
  • Tapirs - gentle and fierce
  • How narwhals use their tusk

Artists

We are all from the 2014 graduating class of the Natural Science Illustration certificate program at University of Washington in Seattle, WA. It was 9 straight months of hard work that really paid off. 

You can view the art for our class at http://nsi2014.weebly.com/. We learned a variety of techniques: from the common graphite, watercolor, and ink, to more unknown like carbon dust. We also learned about animals, such as how a vertebrates skeleton works and the number of feathers on a bird's wing, and plants, such as the parts of a fungi.

Here are some samples of our work from class.

Angela Boyle

EJ Landsman

Ellen Van Wyk

Hatty Koerner

Jessica Heide

Kami Koyamatsu

Alyssa Suzumura

Stretch goals

$1200 - We will pay the artists $5 per page. Done!!

$1400 - Opossum stickers! At least one sticker for every physical reward. Done!

$1600 - Another $3 per page for the artists - Done!

$1800 - Each physical reward will get about an 8x10 inch print of the cover image! - Done!

$2000 - Another $5 per page to each artist. You guys are nuts! - Done!

$2200 - Each physical order gets a postcard with a scientific illustration of an opossum with the full body and some scientific information. - Done!

$2300 - Pay the artists another $3 per page ($16 per page total). - Done!

$2400 - Every level will get a digital image of the postcard for the desktop wallpaper

$2500 - all physical tiers will get 2 of the opossum postcards

Rewards!

Tier 1 - $1
Your name on the Thanks page in the back of the book.

Tier 2 - $5
PDF copy and your name on the Thanks page.

Tier 3 - $15 (or $23 for international)
Paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 1 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Another Tier - $25 Random print of an illustration from the book, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 2 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Yet Another Tier - $50 Vertebrate poster randomly by Angela or EJ, random print of an illustration from the book, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 4 - $100
5x6 inch black and white line drawing by EJ Landsman, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 5 - $100
5x6 inch black and white line drawing by Ellen Van Wyk, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 6 - $100
16x20 inch cartoon drawing by Angela Boyle of 14 cartoon animals, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 7 - $200
9x12 inch portrait of your pet as your favorite character by Angela Boyle, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 7 - $750
Bird walk in the park with EJ Landsman and Emma Anderson in a Seattle park, paperback copy (hand delivered by EJ at the park), PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 7 - $750
Bug hunt Alyssa Suzumura in a Seattle park, paperback copy (hand delivered by Alyssa at the park), PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)

Tier 8 - $1000
Starter cabinet of curiosity with an item chosen by each artist, paperback copy, PDF copy, and your name on the Thanks page. ( + 4 sticker, 1 8x10" print of the cover image, and 1 postcard of a scientific illustration of a Virginia opossum.)


I don't know who you are. Is this book for me?

Do you not know much about the natural world? Do you know a lot about the natural world? If you answered yes to either of these questions, this book is for you. 

If you don't know much, you will get to learn more. And nothing ever went wrong with more learning, did it?

If you do know a lot already, you will get to see each of our unique perspectives as we showcase some of our favorite topics. 

In any case, we all had fun learning about our topics and are excited to share what we learned with you. 

Risks and challenges

The only real risk is hitting the shipping deadline. We hope to have everything completed and shipping by the end of August because school is starting up at the beginning of September and we have a number of students, including our fearless task master, er... leader, Angela Boyle. We should not miss this by more than a month though.

The comics are almost complete at the time of this project going live and print files should be ready by the time the project ends. We just need your help in funding the printing itself.

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FAQ

  • So far everything has been G-rated. I believe it will stay that way. That is not to say it is written for kids. But it won't scar them. They just might have to look up some words.

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    Electronic Awesome - PDF of the comic and your name on the thank you page.

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    Awesome Possum - The dual comic!
    A PDF and a paperback copy of the comic. And of course, your name on the thank you page.

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    International Awesome Possum - The dual comic!
    A PDF and a paperback copy of the comic. And of course, your name on the thank you page. But this will ship outside of the US!

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    Printed Possum - Get a random print of one of the illustrations in the book, in addition to a PDF and a paperback copy of the comic. And of course, your name on the thank you page.

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    Spinal Possum - Get a random poster of a poster about a vertebrat by EJ or Angela, in addition to a PDF and a paperback copy of the comic. And of course, your name on the thank you page.

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    Silly Animals - Up to 14 cartoon animals by Angela Boyle On a 16 x 20 inch drawing. Partial color. You pick the animals and what they are doing. Artist can say no to an idea. Alternately, you can get a black and white line drawing, about 5 inches x 6 inches on good illustration stock, of a creature of your choice (as long as a Google search yields some pictures of it). And of course, a paperback copy of the comic and your name on the thank you page.

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    Creature by EJ - Black and white line drawing, about 5 inches x 6 inches on good illustration stock, of a creature of your choice (as long as a Google search yields some pictures of it).

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    Creature by Ellen - Black and white line drawing, about 5 inches x 6 inches on good illustration stock, of a creature of your choice (as long as a Google search yields some pictures of it).

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    Creature by Jessica - Black and white line drawing, about 5 inches x 6 inches on good illustration stock, of a creature of your choice (as long as a Google search yields some pictures of it).

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    For Owners of Beloved Pets - Fantastical Pet Portrait by Angela Boyle on 9 x 12.
    Send Angela a picture of your pet, and the name and a picture of your favorite historical or fictional character. Angela will combine the two in a fantastic hatched ink drawing. Alternately, you can get a watercolor or ink drawing of your pet as is - not combined with a character, just a portrait.
    With all that, you still get a paperback copy of the comic and your name on the thank you page.

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    Bird Walker - Go on a personal bird walk with artist EJ Landsman and (partner and bird enthusiast) Emma Anderson at a park of their choosing in the Seattle, WA area. Transportation, lodging, and food are not included.
    They will also hand you your paperback copy of the comic and your name will be on the thank you page.

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    Bug Hunter - Go on a bug hunting trip with entomologist and artist Alyssa Lee Suzumura at a park of her choosing in the Seattle, WA area. Transportation, lodging, and food are not included.
    She will also hand you your paperback copy of the comic and your name will be on the thank you page.

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    Cabinet of curiosity...
    Get your own starter kit for a cabinet of curiosity. Each artist will select one item and place it gently in a special little cabinet just for you. (Warning: The actual artist might night actually be able to place it in the cabinet.)
    And of course, a paperback copy of the comic and your name on the thank you page.

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Funding period

- (32 days)