A superhero sidekick with elastic/morphing powers crosses a multiverse to solve his own murder. By Lex Wilson and Jason Strutz. Read more
This project was successfully funded on November 3.
About this project
FULLY FUNDED, BUT THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES!
- Jason is @strutzart on Twitter.
KLAY: Golden Gates and Bridges
is a full color comic book "one-shot" (complete story) written and lettered by (me) Lex Wilson and illustrated and colored by Jason Strutz. It's about s super hero sidekick with morphing abilities who has to solve a murder mystery which spans two different realities. It's the first time either of us have published a super hero comic!
My favorite thing about this project has been seeing Jason excel in two different, distinct art styles: the four-color superhero world of Klay, and the darker, crime noir world of... murder. We get action packed fight sequences in both, as well as subtler moments in both. And for fans of Jason's versatility, we also see glimpses of a few other "worlds."
It's probably PG as far as mature content goes, for "off-screen" murder and your typical cartoon superhero violence. The story itself will probably be more enjoyed by the older reader.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY
This project actually stems from my previous Kickstarter (the Eagle Award winning The Time of Reflection with Silvio dB) where a reward level included a photo-based mini-comic starring the backer in a genre of her or his choosing. But I quickly realized my ability to write something in the backer's favorite genres (super hero, multiple realities, and crime noir) weren't going to be well served by my lack of ability as a photographer. Just imagine re-enacting Crisis on Infinite Earths in your backyard, right?
So we agreed that, instead, we'd forget the photo-based part and I'd write the best story I could which crossed all three of his favorite genres, and then work with a talented artist to turn that script into a more traditional, illustrated comic rather than the photo (but still "starring" the backer).
That's what we did, and Jason and I are so proud of the result that we want to expand the print run beyond the scope of the original reward, and bring this comic to all of you.
HELP US GET THE COMIC INTO SHOPS
Those of you who backed "The Time of Reflection" might remember our experiment: we wanted to see if you could support your locally owned comic book retailers at the same time as you support our project. For every comic we sent to you, we would send one to your favorite shop (if they wanted it). In the end, our 5-page comic went to 60 different shops! You can read more about our results here.
This time around we're expanding on the experiment: first, it only applies to pledges $10 or more, so you can "opt-out" of this and still get the comic at the $6 level. And as a super hero comic of a more traditional size/length, it should find itself more at home in more shops. (In other words, this is a product their customers will more likely be interested in.) So I'll be skipping the "asking the shop's permission before sending it" step and will simply send the named shops the comics along with a note that they can sell the comic, give it away, recycle it, whatever.
All thanks to you.
GUARANTEED CHRISTMAS 2014 DELIVERY
for all printed material, for all backer addresses in the USA, or your money back.
Note: guarantee applies to those who get me their mailing addresses by December 1. Yes, I know backer surveys can be a nuisance, and financial support of a project shouldn't come attached to further obligation to do anything on the backer's part, but it is what it is. Thanks for understanding.
$2 - A Sticker and a Thank You
Sticker is based on an alternate cover by Jason. Thank you is based on how my mom raised me.
$3 DIGITAL ONLY reward
Just the digital format of the complete Klay comic. No sticker. Possibly a thank you. Because civility.
$6 - Klay: Golden Gates and Bridges
A full color, 16 page complete comic (plus cover) printed at about 14cm x 21cm. Available at all reward levels $6 or above. (Plus everything at the $2 level.)
$10 - Exclusive Print, plus a Copy Sent to your Favorite LCS
A print of Jason's Klay cover image, plus you'll help us get this comic into shops! This idea was wildly successful with The Time of Reflection, and that was a hard-to-categorize 5-page story rather than the more traditional "feature length" super hero comic like this one. If you don't have a favorite LCS (local comic shop), one can/will be provided for you. (Plus everything at the $10 level.)
$16 - Signed and Numbered Limited Edition Scriptbook
Color cover. Black and white interiors. Also includes all 16 pages as thumbnails by Jason and a few favorite pages at the inked stage. (Plus everything at the $10 level.)
$21 - The Last Christmas of Mrs. Claus Chapbook
Makes a terrible Christmas present! A prose story by Alex, with a cover by KLAY's Jason Strutz (and includes some of his alternative cover sketches inside). Mrs. Claus is an ex-marine who has to find out what happened to Santa on Christmas Eve. An earlier version of this story appeared in the anthology Thoughtcrime Experiments. Reviewer Erica Naone called this Mrs Claus "one of the most bad*ss characters I have ever read." Contains awesome language and other adult themes. (Plus everything at the $16 level.)
$30 - Inconsequential Art #1-4
A complete set of my business-card sized minicomic/zine series, which comes in this very cool plastic multi-sleeve holder. Hand-assembled and includes comics, gag cartoons, a choose-your-own-adventure story, a Casey at the Bat political-election parody, and more, with art by the likes of Dennis Culver, Constantine Markopoulos, and (probably the only place you'll ever see this) me.
I don't intend to print any more of these. They're kind of a pain to make. Contains awesome language and other adult themes. (Plus everything at the $21 level.)
$70 Art Commission by Jason Strutz
A custom illustration by Jason. Black and white, single character. Add $20 per additional character. Add $20 for color. (Plus everything at the $20 level.)
(The cover image of Klay is a good example of what you might get with a color art commission from Jason.)
$100 - 1,000 Piece Puzzle based on your choice of cover
An exclusive jigsaw puzzle based on your choice of the actual cover (likely with a not-yet-finalized gradient background) or the alternative cover. 1,000 pieces. Add $20 if you'd rather have a larger 1,500 piece puzzle.
$125 - Song Commission by Alex
I'll create the musical/"filk"-equivalent of an art commission based on your favorite comic/novel character, story, author, illustrator, letterer, or other fandom-related subject or person. Always wanted to hear a love song between Angel and Spike? Here's your chance. I tend to lean toward humor--both reverent and irreverent--but I've written some serious stuff, too.
Here's an example from the Firefly/Serenity universe:
(A love song written from the perspective of Jayne Cobb's gun. Performed on ukulele, of course..)
You'll get an MP3. I might also do a YouTube video. I tend to use a ukulele or guitar for this sort of thing, but if I feel the song requires some groovy beats, then groovy beats it shall have. While I'll do my best to work within any stated likes and dislikes, I give no guarantees about genre or whether you'll like what I come up with. (Plus everything at the $30 level.)
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions before backing at this level.
$1200 - Starring Role in a Comic Book
You star in the next one! I'll ask you for your favorite genres and stories (films, comics, whatever), and I'll write something in a tone and genre I think you'll like. I'll work with an artist to create a finished complete-story comic starring an original character based on your likeness and with your name ("Starring [YOUR NAME] as [PROTAGONIST'S NAME]!") alongside my name as writer and the name(s) of the artist(s) and/or other collaborators.
The result will be a minimum of 12 color pages of story (or 16 black and white pages) plus cover, and a maximum of... whatever the story dictates. (FWIW The reward which resulted in KLAY only promised 10 total panels minimum, and that turned into 16 pages plus cover.) No guarantees that you'll like the result, but I'll happily work within general parameters to make sure you don't, say, get an R-rated comic when you wanted something G-rated for your kid, I won't cast you in the role of a terrible person unless that's what you want, and I won't write a satire making fun of your favorite political candidate or family member... probably even if that is what you want, because I don't need to get in the middle of your drama. And I should note that Kickstarter doesn't allow transfer of copyright/ownership so that will remain with the creators of the comic.
Includes 10 copies of the printed book with the option to purchase more. (Plus everything at the $30 level.)
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions before backing at this level.
Up your pledge for extras!
- Add $2 to your pledge for a copy of The Time of Reflection
- Add $2 to your pledge for a copy of You Got Your Schwarzenegger in Your President
- Add $4 to your pledge for each additional copy of Klay
- Add $6 to your pledge for a copy of Writers of the Future 29
- (Retailer Bundle) Add $10 to your pledge for 4 copies of Klay.
If you'd like additional copies of The Last Christmas of Mrs. Claus or the limited edition Scriptbook, please contact me before the end of this Kickstarter to guarantee availability.
Lex Wilson (Alex) is a writer and actor in Carrboro, NC. Stuff he's written has won the Eagle Award (comics) in 2012 and Writers of the Future (prose) in 2013. Other comics and prose have appeared/will appear in Asimov's Science Fiction, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Outlaw Territory 2 (Image Comics), To End All Wars, FutureQuake, and elsewhere. More at LEXWILSON.COM
Jason Strutz is the illustrator behind the Cask of Amontillado and the upcoming The House of Montressor graphic novel from Red Stylo Media. He also publishes a variety of Make Your Own Comics, ABC books, and other comics. More at STRUTZART.COM
On a personal note, Alex is also a longtime member of the Kickstarter community, and is a backer of over 150 Kickstarters in almost every category over the years. http://kickingitforward.org
Risks and challenges
My last Kickstarter was hugely ambitious. I learned a lot from what I got right and what I could have done better.
This one's reward fulfillment I expect to be a cakewalk by comparison, but I've built in some room for unexpected problems (extra time just in case there's printing errors, etc) regardless.
I want a long career in comics. I believe I only get to have that if I treat readers with respect.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Because Jason's coming to town in November for NC Comicon! And if everything works out (Kickstarter funded and no printing errors or other excessive delays), that means it won't just be my autograph on this stuff, but Jason's as well. So the 7 day experiment idea was born.
(Because of the possibilities of a delay, I wouldn't feel comfortable promising that Jason will sign anything other than his commissions. But a longer campaign would have guaranteed that we missed this window of opportunity.)
Why are your goal amounts so low? Doesn't it generally cost more to produce, print, and mail a comic book?
Yes, the complete budget for both Klay and The Time of Reflection are/were larger than their respective Kickstarter goals. The amounts chosen are the _mininum_ we needed to move forward. I plan from the beginning to provide additional funds myself. If we break even, it will more likely be with later sales of the comics at conventions. Either way, you make it possible.
This is likely true even if we fund beyond the goal, since a significant portion of any additional funds will go toward stretch rewards and/or expanding the print run.
Pledge $2 or more
Thanks! And a sticker in the mail! Includes shipping in the U.S.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $3 or more
NEW! DIGITAL ONLY reward: Klay comic complete story in digital format. No sticker. Still get a Thanks! though.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $6 or more
The Klay comic complete story in both PRINT and DIGITAL FORMATS. First printing. Plus everything at the $2 Level. Includes shipping in the USA with guaranteed delivery by Christmas 2014.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $10 or more
Help us get the comic into shops! An additional comic will be sent to your favorite Local Comic Shop (North America only) and you'll get an exclusive print as an additional thank you! Plus everything at the $6 level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $16 or more
A limited edition, SIGNED and NUMBERED Scriptbook with both Alex's script and Jason's thumbnails/layouts, as well as a few pages at the inked stage. Plus everything at the $10 level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $21 or more
5 backers Limited (145 left of 150)
The Last Christmas of Mrs. Claus! A prose story chapbook written by Alex with a cover by Jason. First printing. Limited quantity available.
Plus everything at the $16 level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $30 or more
12 backers Limited (48 left of 60)
Inconsequential Art! My last available copies of the complete set of Inconsequential Art, issues #1-4.
Plus everything at the $21 level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $70 or more
1 backer Limited (5 left of 6)
A commission by Jason! Single character, black and white. (Add $20 for each additional character. Add $20 for color.) Plus everything at the $20 level.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $100 or more
1 backer All gone!
Original art! You get the one and only cover art! Plus everything at the $20 level.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $100 or more
0 backers Limited (8 left of 8)
A 1,000 piece 20" x 27" jigsaw puzzle based on your choice of the Klay cover or Jason's alternative cover image (the "flip book" style cover, as seen on the sticker). (Add $20 for a larger, 1,500 piece puzzle.) Includes everything at the $20 level.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $150 or more
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
A "fan song commission" by Alex honoring or parodying the fictional character or media property of your choosing. Plus everything at the $30 level.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $1,200 or more
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
You star in the next one! I'll ask you for your favorite genre(s) and stories (films, comics, whatever), and I'll write something in a tone and genre I think you'll like. I'll work with an artist to create a finished comic starring an original character based on your likeness, with your name alongside ours in the credits. Includes 10 copies of the printed book with option to purchase more. Plus everything at the $30 level.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (7 days)