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13 artists blend the fantastical with the scientific in a 60+ page collection of fictitious critters inspired by 90s era publications.
13 artists blend the fantastical with the scientific in a 60+ page collection of fictitious critters inspired by 90s era publications.
13 artists blend the fantastical with the scientific in a 60+ page collection of fictitious critters inspired by 90s era publications.
886 backers pledged $27,771 to help bring this project to life.

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Almost Real: A Speculative Biology Zine (Vol 1)

$27,771

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Art and science can go hand in hand- logical and fantastical can meet and make something that walks, talks, flies, or crawls. How great were those publications of old where you could crack open a magazine or encyclopedia and see how creatures and critters' insides worked, as we scribbled down monster designs in the margins of our sketchbooks?

Almost Real is an ode to those who looked for art and science to go hand in hand and were inspired by childhood bestiaries, for those who wanted logic and lopsided monsters to meet and make sense, and for those who wanted see creatures so lifelike that they could be... well, Almost Real.

 

The short answer? Everything, if it all can fit together.
The long answer: an idea conceived by Jay Eaton and administered by Fortuna Media's Mia "Hye" Mardikian, Almost Real will be a 8.5x11", 60+ page art collection/magazine with entries inspired by the imagination, but rooted in the anatomically and functionally plausible. This zine will be a coherent work as a collection of different speculative biology, as if it were an educational work that also shows off contributors’ artistic and anatomical illustration capabilities with full splash and intro pages for each section of the zine.  

Digital Mockup - final appearance subject to change
Digital Mockup - final appearance subject to change

 We took inspiration from encyclopedias, biology notes, field journals, and (of all places), Zoobooks and their interior design (do we have a free tiger poster? Oh, you'll see). With pre-determined text type and text layout done by the editors themselves, illustrations and diagrams are designed in an interactive way that flows with the page/magazine layout.

Magera Gordon (Dimespin)
Magera Gordon (Dimespin)

 

 As Almost Real's kickoff volume, this book covers a wide range of subjects and "figures" for you to sink your teeth into. From showing how far you need to bend human anatomy to make a feathered flying homo sapien, to a "tree" mysteriously made for organ donation with the ecosystem that it sustains, and a "whale" that glides through thin cliffs to munch at succulent-like plants, this first issue aims to give readers a wide palette and an appetizer at what to expect from future Almost Real ~*~*~themed~*~*~ issues.

Kanesha Bryant
Kanesha Bryant

As a printed collection of great artwork to last half a year to the next issue (and for as much as we loved Zoobooks, they were a tad flimsy), this zine will be printed with high-quality, durable, quarterly-oriented magazine stock and designed to as much of a tee, as well as a protection-treated cover that holds against the test of time and re-reads as you continue to pour over the artwork inside. 

Want to see more or discover more? Follow the website's Tumblr-compatible blog for more entry sneak peeks, email us at almostrealzine@gmail.com, or the follow twitter of Fortuna Media here!

Our penultimate goals are making sure our contributors are well paid for their artwork and time, as well as printing some very high quality magazines for you to last and have in your hands. With newer postal rates, we also need to provide a cushion for shipping, as well as any other stretch goals we may hit and accrue (and possibly build funding for future issues of Almost Real). 

 

 Now with all that talk about what this'll look like, what can Almost Real get you?

 

Jay Eaton
Jay Eaton

Printed on best quality magazine stock with a matte treatment, the zine itself! Filled with 2-5 page entries per creature and/or setting, you'll be left reading for hours about the worlds our contributors have concocted as you begin in the fantastical, dive into the creepy, and re-emerge in a hopeful setting for the futue. 

Available as both a DRM-free PDF, or the physical! Need a second copy? Add an extra $15 onto any tier you select- 25% off the final product!

Simply select your pledge, add $15 (or any multiple of $15 for extra copies), and you're done! Your survey will confirm whether or not you purchased another copy.
Simply select your pledge, add $15 (or any multiple of $15 for extra copies), and you're done! Your survey will confirm whether or not you purchased another copy.

 

We all remember that Zoobooks commercial: "AND THE FREEEE TIGER POSTER!" But just a normal tiger for Almost Real? Try on a "tiger." It's kind of a tiger? Seems fake, but sure. Maybe it's a worm. Its researchers called it the "Reticulated" Tiger. One thing we do know: it's certainly lifelike enough to be Almost Real. 

Lauren "Nhyworks" Budney
Lauren "Nhyworks" Budney

Painted by Lauren "Nhyworks" Budney, this 11x17" poster (originally) on canvas with acrylics can be included in your Almost Real issue, folded safely inside and able to hang on your wall.
Our ultimate backer's tier gets you the 12x9" original painting shipped directly from the artist, which has even more detail to compliment its digital counterpart! 

Take a closer look at that snout!
Take a closer look at that snout!

 

You've seen them skittering around, but would you want to take these otherworldly crustaceans with you on the go? 
A sapient alien species called the Scuds designed by Jay, Almost Real's mascots Tango (pink) and Swing (blue) appear occasionally in the zine and are now in pin form! Hard enamel and 1.75", these little goobers will face opposite of one another for symmetry and the collar clip eccentric, or maybe entrust one to your BFF (best "frustacean" friend). 

We also have the Almost Real logo- teeming with all sorts of life, why not show off your love of spec bio on this 1.65" hard enamel pin and make it a set?

 

 

 

Stretch goal #1 AND #2: Reached! All backers at "DEFINITELY REAL" and above will get a free sticker sheet, and artists earn an extra bonus on their flat page rates!
Stretch goal #1 AND #2: Reached! All backers at "DEFINITELY REAL" and above will get a free sticker sheet, and artists earn an extra bonus on their flat page rates!

Swing and Tango will keep updating this as the Kickstarter rolls along (don't underestimate Tango's strength)! Check out what our sweet Stretch Goals are below!

 This one is the most straight-forward: Artist bonuses! Each bump will add on an extra amount to the total artist check: first is $50, then that becomes $75, then up and maybe more! Once we pass our last official stretch goal of $39k, all the incremental $3k will be extra contributor bonuses!

March 19th, 2018 -- Bonus #1 REACHED! All artists will have an extra $50 added onto their flat rate!

Want to slap a fictitious critter onto something while you're away from the zine? Never fear- we have full sized sticker sheets! 
At 8.5x11", this sheet will include excerpts from each entry in Almost Real, waterproof and made to last through the seasons. At our first stretch goal of $24K, these will be automatically added onto every tier "Definitely Real" and upwards (as well as the Early Bird backers)!  

March 17, 2018 -- REACHED! All backers starting at "DEFINITELY REAL" and above (as well as Early Bird backers) will receive a free sticker sheet! 

Digital Mockup - final appearance AND sticker contents subject to change
Digital Mockup - final appearance AND sticker contents subject to change

 

Did you know that Scuds are biofluorescent, making them able to glow-in-the-dark under UV lighting? With these stretch goals, we can make that happen in real life- our first pin upgrade stretch goal at $30,000 will allow Tango and Swing to glow- the second goal of $36,000 will allow the logo to glow along with its Scud caretakers, too!

 

 

Jay Eaton has been harassing worms and pillbugs, wondering how organisms work and why, and using science to twist existing creatures into troubling new forms since childhood. Student of ecology and evolutionary biology, denizen of the California Bay Area, and a habitual world-builder, Jay continues draw made up animals and harrass bugs, but professionally this time.  
Server by day and typesetter by night, Mia "Hye" Mardikian (@explodinghye) is a queer graphic designer, editor, and administrator in the PNW with a taste for tea, tarot, and replying to as many emails as possible in one day. EIC of Fortuna Media that began with TABULA IDEM, they seek to create cohesive, collaborative works that give worthy frames to the beauty found in the art that graces their micropress' pages. Find them in the aether at explodinghye.com.

--The speculative biology community, for its unending creativity and imagination. 
--Iron Spike of Iron Circus comics for the artist bonus model on Kickstarter. 
--Our contributors for crafting such unique worlds and the critters within them. 
--Our manufacturers and printers helping and working with us to make the highest quality products possible.
--Iris Jay (@irisjaycomics) for creating our Kickstarter video, and Eve (Bandcamp) for the use and exclusive remix of her song for the video! 
--And to Liam Willow Rain Brueggerhoff (1994-2017): May your dreams of bioengineered floating jellyfish come true, taking over the atmosphere and permanently inconveniencing the aviation industry. 

 

Risks and challenges

There's always printing delays and manufacturing wrenches thrown in gears that could throw off our schedule, but 90% of the files are ready for print and will be complete by the time the Kickstarter is complete! We're giving ourselves a nice cushion for time by shooting for a June fulfillment timeframe, but we hope to have the zines printed by May, barring any technical issues. We'll keep you informed of any other timetable edits and as we progress in production, but this isn't our first Kickstarter rodeo!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    DIGITALLY REAL

    A Digital, DRM-free PDF of Almost Real's first volume, along with your name in the special thanks section!

    Includes:
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ACTUALLY REAL

    Almost Real has become Actually Real! This tier gets you just the volume (along with the digital PDF).

    Includes:
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    PRIMORDIALLY REAL

    EARLY BIRD TIER AVAILABLE FOR A LIMITED COUNT OF BACKERS! This tier gets you a physical copy of Almost Real, the "tiger" poster, the PDF, and your name in the book for same amount as the flat zine!
    (NOTE: this tier is also available for Stretch Goal add-ons).

    Includes:
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • The "Tiger" Poster Insert
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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    Reward no longer available 30 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    DEFINITELY REAL

    Need that classic "TIGER" POSTER in your hands or paws or claws? Grab this tier for an 11x17" inch poster that will come safely in your magazine!
    NOTE: this tier is available for Stretch Goal add-ons.

    Includes:
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • The "Tiger" Poster Insert
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    SPARKLINGLY REAL

    Need a friend to keep you company? Choose from any one of our three enamel pin designs to show off your love of speculative biology!
    NOTE: this tier is available for Stretch Goal add-ons.

    Includes:
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • One Hard Enamel Pin Design
    • The "Tiger" Poster Insert
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    DOUBLY REAL

    It takes two to Tango (and Swing)! Take home a pair of our beloved mascots of Almost Real as 1.75" enamel pins.
    NOTE: this tier is available for Stretch Goal add-ons.

    Includes:
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • Tango and Swing Hard Enamel Pin Duo
    • The "Tiger" Poster Insert
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SUPERFLUITILY REAL

    +FOR RETAIL/LITERARY VENDORS ONLY+

    5 copies of the Almost Real zine (with the tiger poster included in all copies)!

    NOTE: We reserve the right to request proof of identification of relation to vendor if you select this tier.

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    2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    ABSOLUTELY REAL

    Do you just REALLY like enamel pins and need all three designs, plus the amazing contents of the zine?! Snag this tier for the trio, plus all other rewards!
    NOTE: this tier is available for Stretch Goal add-ons.

    Includes:
    • Almost Real 3 Hard Enamel Pin Pack
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • The "Tiger" Poster Insert
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    ARTISTICALLY REAL

    Love that "Tiger" Poster Artwork a whole lot and need it on your wall? Never fear: artist Nhyworks will send you the original canvas acrylic 12x9" painting, along with every other reward in the Almost Real lineup (along with some other extra goodies)!

    Includes:
    • Original velvet painting of "Tiger" Poster artwork
    • Almost Real - Physical Copy
    • Almost Real 3 Hard Enamel Pin Pack
    • The "Tiger" Poster Insert
    • Almost Real - Digital PDF
    • Your name in the Special Thanks section!
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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (30 days)