In spring of 2018, Almost Real premiered as a unique little corner of the world of printed speculative biology with its first volume, offering what-ifs and hows of all kinds of creatures and critters as a ballad to those who blend science with the speculative arts.
Now, with our second issue, we’re turning our gazes skywards with the premiere of Volume 2, focused on flight-based lifeforms of all shapes, kinds, and sizes! Join us again for all sorts of lifeforms, proposed worlds, and imaginative evolutionary what-ifs that are so lifelike they could be... well, ~Almost Real~.
Almost Real: A Speculative Biology Zine is a ~60 page magazine anthology collection of at least 12 different speculative biology prose and artwork (whose first volume premiered in March of 2018 on Kickstarter), centered around the idea of rekindling the imaginative days of Zoobooks and encyclopedia entries into just-as-grounded science, but more imaginative worlds. We were met with resounding success and support for our first volume, a unique little corner of speculative biology turned into a creative display of all the macabre, the mysterious, the augmented, and more.
With text editing and interior design done by the editors themselves, this collection aims to show off science's ability to mesh with art spearheaded by incredible contributors, the Almost Real series hosting future issues centered around ideas, themes, prompts, or the environments that these speculative worlds all live in.
Whereas our first issue covered a large group of genres/ideas, our second issue gets into themes for each issue- this one to do with flight in any shape, form, or feature! With everything from alien planets with creatures that "sing" in the heavens, to squids leaping from the waves and spreading their "wings," Volume 2 presents worlds that all are beautiful, strange, bizarre, and seemingly just beyond the horizon.
This issue, while still holding a candle to the first issue, will feature slight design variations to better fit the flight theme, and an entirely new roster of contributors bringing their own visions to (prospective) life.
Don't want the physical copy/can't handle the shelf space? No problem- there's a PDF version available too- formatted to be spread compatible to take in all that beautiful art and prose!
- Yinfaowei Harrison (Cover)
- Anya Redkina ( @nuclearlemons)
- Jay B. (twitter: Bonesnail) & Craig H. (twitter: canisdemachina)
- Javier Valdez (twitter: citysaurus)
- Anneliese Mak (twitter: AnnelieseMak)
- Ainsley Seago (twitter: americanbeetles)
- Mónica "Monarobot" Robles Corzo (twitter: monarobot) & Karen Rohan/Lupus Draconis (twitter: lupusdraconis)
- Meggy Vodušek (instagram: meguskus)
- Jay Eaton (@jayrockin)
- Kiriska (instagram: kiriska)
- Franz Anthony (@franzanth)
- Nero O’Reilly (twitter: itsnero)
- Katie Thierolf (twitter: Sherowkey)
- Ripley Cook (Internal Poster)
Our support for the first issue was phenomenal, and gave us a small cushion to work off of for future volumes and we've found other printing outlets to bring our budgetary needs down! However, with paying our contributors and uncertainties like shipping fluctuations, it all adds up, so we need support to be able to make Volume 2 come to print!
The zine itself! You'll be lost for hours seeing how these creatures and critters take to the skies in their own, unique ways. At 60+ pages and printed on premium magazine stock printed to be a little more durable than the floppies of times gone by, the collection will offer inspiration, beauty, and lifeform displays of all shapes and sizes.
Need a second copy? Add an extra $15 onto any tier you select- 25% off the final product!
Look up in the sky! It's a plane, it's a bird, it's-- nope that is definitely not a bird.
Remember the eagle poster that, while not as popular as the "tiger" poster, certainly made its rounds in Zoobooks? Created by contributor Ripley Cook, this ""crab eagle"" (called the Crab Eagle? Crabagel??? maybe???) takes us to new imaginative heights, and will be available as an ~11x17" poster insert much like the insertable posters of old!
Our highest donation tier also gets you the original painting shipped straight to you too, so grab it while you can!
Tango and Swing are back as our mischievous mascot aliens/creatures for Almost Real, though these little crustaceans have found their own means of flight!
This time on 1.75", black nickel, soft enamel, Almost Real's mascots Tango (pink) and Swing (blue) designed by Jay are featured as enamel pins to echo our cover art by Yinfaowei Harrison! While they certainly don't fly themselves, they're observing a unique and massive critter that's native to the Scud homeworld, a larger-than-life glider above the waves called the Netmaw!
Those flight jackets? Cool. Patches to go on said flight jackets? Even cooler. What if you showed off a cool flight patch of your own as you said through those metaphorical clouds?
This patch, at a larger than life size of nearly 5 inches, mimics our cover again of Tango and Swing observing the Netmaw, but can be iron-on for all your patch vest/jacket needs! These patches will only be made for this Kickstarter campaign, so grab them while they're hot!
Tango and Swing didn't forget to pack (or hook up the hanglider right this time)! In tow is our stretch goal list and what we may reach throughout the campaign, so here's to hoping we can reach all these goals and more!
This stretch goal at $19,000, while simplest, is one is the most straight-forward and comes first and foremost: 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 more! Once we pass our last official stretch goal, each incremental $3k goes towards a raise in our contributors' pay!
Wanna take some of Volume 2's creatures with you either over land, sea, or air? Do you own a plane (that's cool if you do)? Do you just like stickers???
At our 2nd stretch goal of $21,000, we'll include a FREE 8.5x11" sticker sheet of excerpts from each of our entry's creatures for any tier at or above the AERIAL CARTOGRAPHER tier! Made from durable waterproof vinyl, these stickers will last rain, shine, or altitude, fluctuating in size anywhere from 2" to 4" inches each.
Do scuds glow in the dark? Absolutely; there's a lot of bioluminescence to be found in the Scud homeworld! This stretch goal at $26,000 will ensure that all these little goobers glow in the dark, even when sailing high on a hanglider and documenting their own flying leviathans.
Jay Eaton (@jayrockin) 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. Graduate 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.
Mia "Hye" Mardikian (@explodinghye, they/she) is a 25 year old queer graphic designer, editor, and business/technical administrator in the PNW with a taste for tea, tarot, and replying to as many emails as possible in one day. A server by day and typesetter by (late) night, they're the EIC of Fortuna Media that began with TABULA IDEM and manages side hobbies like the Pacific Arcana project, still seeking to create cohesive, collaborative works that give worthy frames to the beauty found in the art that graces their micropress' pages (no matter where those speculative worlds take them). Find them battling tarot demons or learning about local nature ghosts at explodinghye.com.
- The speculative biology community, for its neverending imagination, creativity, and pursuit of science.
- Iron Spike of Iron Circus Comics for the artist bonus model on Kickstarter.
- Iris Jay (irisjay.net, crossedwires.irisjay.net) for the creation of our Kickstarter video!
- Our contributors for their passion and drive to create the impossibly possible and bringing these pages to life.
- Our supporters from Volume 1's Kickstarter, who helped show us that there was a desire and support for this little printed corner of spec bio to.
- And always, to Liam Willow Rain Brueggerhoff (1994-2017).
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 finished! While fulfillment will trickle into 2019, our last Kickstarter gave us the means to have a little less of a required budget, so we'll be launching production immediately (barring any technical issues). We'll keep you informed of any other timetable edits and as we progress in production, but with 5 Kickstarters under Fortuna Media's belt, we've got a pretty ok handle on this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)