About this project
Missed your chance to participate? Find the comic here.
Thanks for the amazing support, all!
"For $3, Wilson will not only send the pledger a copy of the 12-page [booklet] he will also send a copy to the comic shop or independent bookstore of the pledger's choice." - Comic Book Resources
Comic Bastards: ...Looks to Change the Kickstarter/Retail Method
Funding the Dream: Podcast Interview
Comixtribe: Reflecting on Retailer Outreach (full interview)
BECAUSE WE REACHED $1,200...
- A short comedy I (Alex) co-wrote and starred in world-premiered at the International Cycling Film Festival in Herne, Germany, October 6. Because we reached $1200 in funding before then, backers of this project will get an exclusive online screening of the film the day after it premieres. Available via streaming from October 7th through the end of the campaign. More details, a summary, and stills from the film here.
Now screening-on-demand in Update #7. (Backers only.)
AND BECAUSE WE REACHED $2K...
- Backers also get to see a deleted sequence of the comedy short, which didn't fit right with the rest of the completed project, but we liked it enough that the director turned it into a delightful little short of its own.
- Now screening on-demand in Update #7 (Backers only.)
AND BECAUSE WE REACHED $3K...
- I will read "The Time of Reflection" with you/to you, bedtime storybook style on YouTube. There might be a fireplace involved.
AND BECAUSE YOU MADE IT HAPPEN...
- We will translate the story into Portuguese and make a Portuguese language booklet available for preorder (see the $4 Reward Level on the right!). This was a special mini-stretch goal (described in Update #5), which a single backer met within an hour of my posting it!
AND BECAUSE WE REACHED $4K...
- I will create and record one "song commission" parodying or honoring the fan-related subject of your collective choice. Nominations and voting are both now closed.
- The chosen song subject is... FIREFLY (the TV Series)! Complete voting results in Update #15.
AND BECAUSE WE REACHED $4.5K...
- First of all: this means we hit 1,000% funding. So there's that.
- This one's specifically for illustrators: I'll (this is Alex the writer here) offer a short portfolio review to any backer (one review per person, up to 5 pages, sequentials preferred) through the end of 2013. More info about this in Update #12.
AND BECAUSE WE REACHED $5K...
- I'll share (in a series of backer-only updates and Q+As) everything you need to know to find and apply for paid background acting work (as an "extra") on upcoming feature films and television shows, regardless of your location or your past experience (or even interest!) in acting. More details in Update #6.
- Can't promise that you'll get into the Avengers sequel, but I can tell you how to get work, what to expect, and some of my experiences and lessons learned finding and working these very fun jobs (including Iron Man 3, Safe Haven, and two episodes of NBC's Revolution).
CURRENT GOAL: IF WE REACH $5.5K
- All backers $30 and up will receive an ebook of my (Alex's) science fiction/fantasy novelette "Outgoing," which first appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2007.
FUTURE GOAL: IF WE REACH $6K...
- All backers $3 and up will receive a free PDF of my minicomic "You Got Your Schwarzenegger in My President" (more about that comic below). You won't have to download it if you don't want to.
FUTURE GOAL: IF WE REACH $7K...
- My friend, the multimedia artist Ted Hobgood, will adapt "The Time of Reflection into a motion comic. Check out Patton Oswalt's Finest Hour DVD for some of Ted's recent work.
Pledge now to follow along and be a part of this!
Earlier this year, MCM Expos and the Universal Pictures film Snow White and the Huntsman co-sponsored "The Huntsman's Challenge," a special international Eagle Award competition seeking a full color, dark fantasy short story.
With only a month between contest announcement and deadline, Silvio dB and I created our comic The Time of Reflection. Silvio illustrated and colored. I (Alex) scripted and lettered. We crossed the fairy tale of Snow White with the cross-cultural Trickster myth in a traditional high-fantasy setting (think Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Namedropper Trilogy, etc). You can expect a PG-13ish rating because of some violence, and because Snow White in this version... might not fare the fairest of them all.
Judges Steve White, Tony Lee, and Mark Buckingham selected our story as one of only two finalists. It appeared in the London Comic-Con program in May 2012 and, by popular vote (thank YOU!) "The Time of Reflection" won the 2012 Eagle Award/MCM Expo Award for New Visionaries.
Like many of you, Silvio and I haven't yet seen our story in print (that's a test printing you see in the video). So now we could use your help to make our comic available as a standalone booklet on this side of the world.
The booklet (black cover) will be 12 glossy pages including cover, 5.5" x 7.44", which is large for a minicomic: more like a shorter "ashcan" comic, but thicker paper stock, especially the cover. This includes the complete 5 page comic and some character sketches, as well as Silvio's gorgeous concept illustration/portrait of Mirror as the back cover.
We will also be doing a signed and numbered Limited Edition (approximately 6.7" x 9") which, at 28 pages including cover, will include (in addition to the story at its original, larger size) the full script, the complete unlettered pages, the layouts, and some additional commentary on the making of the comic by both of us. I might make a few more available if there's a run on the initial rewards to the right, but even if these become wildly popular, I plan on capping the print run at about 200-250 at most. More likely there will be fewer than 80 of these, ever.
We're doing something a little bit different, because we want to see if we can support and involve local retailers at the same time as we deliver a book direct to you through Kickstarter.
With any pledge of $3 or more, I'll not only send you the "Time of Reflection" booklet (all pledge rewards include shipping within the United States of America or to US Military bases overseas), but I'll also ask you for your favorite LCS (local comic book shop) or any independently owned retail bookstore (must be in business prior to the launch of this Kickstarter, and I must be able to verify the store's existence/phone number/address). And I'll send them a copy as well, at no charge to them.
These stores can do whatever they want with the booklets, including but not limited to selling them for the cover/retail price (there will be an ISBN and bar code), throwing them in the dollar bin, or giving them away to any customers they don't want as customers anymore.
- The five North American shops with the most recommendations from backers will also receive a copy of the signed and numbered Limited Edition. If this Kickstarter reaches 500 backers, I'll bump that to the top 10 shops.
- If any store in North Carolina gets ten or more such recommendations/copies, I'll also offer to travel to that shop for a reading/performance/signing on my own dime.
- Any store in Ohio, South Carolina, or Virginia: I'll be there with 20 or more recommendations/copies.
- Any store in a city outside the above states, but with a train station along the Amtrak routes Carolinian/Piedmont, Crescent, or Silver Service/Palmetto: I'll be there with 30 or more recommendations/copies. (Full list of cities in Update #8)
- And if we reach 500 backers, I'll offer to come to the most recommended store in the lower 48 states.
Anywhere else: I'll... um, maybe I'll make that a stretch reward.
(Oh, and retailers: you can of course say "no" to any of this. See the notes under the heading "Retailers" below for details; backers will have a chance to request an alternative shop.)
I'm a big believer that readings should be fun! So expect both music (see "Song Commissions" below) and some one-man-show-type stuff incorporated into what I do at live appearances. Retailers: send me a note if you want to see a short example of a past live "performance/reading."
Add $2 to your pledge above any base reward level and I'll also send you a signed first printing of my just-released minicomic "You Got Your Schwarzenegger in My President." It's black and white, 16 pages including cover. A bit of hand-coloring on the cover.
This political satire comic first appeared in the West Coast zine Supergrrrrl Adventure Comix #2 four years ago (sort of; I believe the zine had a very limited release at just one or two cons, and there was a printing error in my story anyway where the images came out fuzzy).
NOTE: Early backers get this minicomic free so long as they pledged at least $5 before noon Eastern time on Wednesday, September 26, and kept it there (raising it is fine; just don't lower it below $5) until the end of the campaign.
Let others know about this Kickstarter and I'll also send you a created-for-this-Kickstarter "micro-chapbook" reprinting my 2008 LCRW short-short prose story "A Wizard of Mapquest."
This sudden fiction/story grenade first appeared in Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet #23 from Small Beer Press, and was a finalist for the 2nd annual Micro Award for Very Short Fiction. I wrote the first draft during my first week at the Clarion Writers' Workshop in 2006.
To get the micro-chapbook, backers at any amount (even $1, if you live in the USA*) may send me a note with a link to their Facebook share or Tweet or blog/forum post or whatever social media outlet the kids are using these days (and please do so before the Kickstarter ends, so it will actually, you know, help).
And if you share this Kickstarter within a private post/forum (or... dare I even think it... tell a friend about it offline?!) just let me know what you did. I'll trust you, because the micro-chapbook will be printed using a special ink that's invisible to filthy lying liars, so you'd only be cheating yourself if you're not being honest with me.
(*Those outside the USA: please pledge at least at the $3 reward level and add the $5 flat international shipping bonus to qualify for this freebie; see the "Add to Any Pledge" section below for more about this necessary annoyance.)
Add $25 to any pledge (above the desired reward level) for a T-shirt. Choose white or black designs below. Each has a line from the story on the front, and Silvio's art on the back. Add $50 if you want both tees.
The $52 reward includes four exclusive, freshly made "Time of Reflection" vanilla sugar cookies from Golden Age Bakery in Chapel Hill, each topped with a panel from "The Time of Reflection" in edible icing.
You can find some photos of actual cookies on Golden Age Bakery's Kickstarter page. (Cookies are for backers in the United States only. Includes priority mail postage, shipped on a Monday.) The cookies will remain fresh for up to two weeks upon arrival.
"The Man in the Cellar"
Add $10 to any pledge to receive a DVD of "The Man in the Cellar," an award winning ("Best Horror" at the 2012 Cape Fear Film Festival) short film directed by Dean Garris and starring Alex. Signed by Alex. Also available at the #13 reward level, if you want to make things simple.
In addition to the "You Got Your Schwarzenegger in My President" minicomic for $2 added to any pledge) we have these added-late add-on books (mostly in limited supply!):
Outlaw Territory 2 (a Western anthology from Image Comics, 2008) contains "The Whores in Trinidad Need Witnessing To," my story with Rick Lacy (illustrator of the very fun Oni Press book Labor Days and character designer for the animated series The Venture Brothers).
We share a table of contents with some amazing talent, including Len Wein, Jeff Lemire, Sean Phillips, Francesco Francavilla, Sean Chen, Greg Pak, Kathryn and Stuart Immonen, Robert Kirkman, and more.
Asimov's Science Fiction, February 2007 issue: Includes my science fiction/fantasy novelette "Outgoing." Locus Magazine identified me as a promising new writer in discussing it.
For more about the $25 reward see Update #12 (where you can also find the original/actual cover of Asimov's, before Mr. Hobgood got his hands on it...).
Meridien City #1 illustrated by Silvio dB and written by Georgia Lee (with colors by Cabbral). Signed by both Silvio and Georgia.
Limited number available at a $25 reward level (includes everything at the $20 reward level) and the $30 reward level (includes the Asimov's issue as well).
Hope New Orleans: An anthology which includes my (Alex's) story "Persistent City" with illustrator Mario Boon (Texas Strangers) as well as 35 other stories by 100 different comic creators. A benefit book for the SE Louisiana Chapter of the American Red Cross in 2007. First printing. Cover by David Mack. Signed by Alex, if you want.
Limited number available at the $40 reward level (includes everything at the #20 level).
Futurequake Press #19: includes "A Bigger World Than Yours," my (Alex's) science fiction collaboration with Ben Michael Byrne (Kranburn) as the cover story!
Limited number available at the $29 level (includes everything at the $20 reward level). And a few more available at $38, which also includes FQ#10 (includes my collaboration with illustrator Shaun Gardiner: "Groundbound.")
- Please add $2 to your pledge (above the desired reward level) for each additional copy of the regular "The Time of Reflection" booklet you want.
- Add $1 to your pledge (above any base reward level $3 or higher) if you want the Portuguese translation instead of the original English language version of the booklet. For each additional copy, it's $2, same as the English language version.
- Add $7 to any pledge (above any reward level $10 or higher) for each additional signed (by both Silvio and Alex) booklet. These need to be shipped to Brazil and back to the USA for this.
- You may also add $2 if you want a copy (or additional copy, if you took advantage of pledging in the first three days of the campaign) of the "You Got Your Schwarzenegger in My President" minicomic.
- Add $5 to your pledge (above the desired reward level) to ship any order to an address outside the USA. Does not include "me" at the $1500 level, sorry. (Shipping within the United States or to US Military bases overseas is included at each reward level.)
- Add $10 to any pledge to receive a DVD of the award-winning short film "The Man in the Cellar," directed by Dean Garris and starring me/Alex. Signed by me/Alex. (Also available at the $13 reward level.)
- Add $25 to any pledge (above the desired reward level) for a T-shirt. Choose white or black. Each has a line from the story on front, and Silvio's art on back. Add $50 for both.
- Add $110 to any pledge (above the desired reward level) for the jigsaw puzzle of Silvio's Mirror.
- If you want multiple higher-tier rewards (including multiple copies of the Limited Edition, or if you already have an art commission and want to add a song), please contact me so I can guarantee availability before the Kickstarter ends.
I go over these in a more organized way in Update #16.
"The Time of Reflection" booklets will have ISBNs and bar codes.
And don't worry about receiving unwanted booklets just because one of your loyal customers recommended you for it. I'll contact each store prior to shipping. If anybody tells me they don't want a booklet... if they can't or won't stock it or use it as kindling for any reason, I'll contact the original backer and work with her or him to find an alternative retailer or library who might be interested. (And I have a backup plan if that fails, too.)
Retailers may also pledge $10 and select "no reward" for ten copies of the booklet to resell or do other nefarious things with (we'll clarify what you're asking for over email before anything goes out). This is based on an expected $2 retail/cover price. If the preorder numbers allow me to lower that cover price (it won't be higher), you might get a few extra copies so your cost for the books will remain at or around 50%. (You may also add $10 to an existing base reward level if you also want one of the rewards to the right.)
Retailers may also pledge $10 and select "no reward" (or add $10 to an existing base reward level) for ten copies of the minicomic "You Got Your Schwarzenegger in My President" (see above under "Add a Brand New Minicomic") which doesn't have an ISBN or bar code, but is awesome in other ways.
See the "One for You/One for your LCS" section above for more retailer incentives which don't require you pledging at all.
At the $120 reward level, I will do the musical/"filk"-equivalent of an art commission based on your favorite comic/novel character, story, author, illustrator, editor, letterer, or other fandom-related subject or person. I tend to lean toward humor--both reverent and irreverent--but I've written some serious stuff, too.
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.
Here's an example: a song from half my lifetime ago. If only I could remember the name of the famous film trilogy it sends up...
"Hutt Seeks Slave (Wear My Chain)" by Alex Wilson
Apologies for the sound quality; it was written, recorded, and over-compressed fifteen years ago. Read the lyrics in Update #4.
The sound quality you'll get with these rewards is more akin to what I did for the music in these next two (neither "filk" nor based on a genre property, but two tunes written during my "Hutt Seeks Slave" era/phase):
"Crack" by Alex Wilson
And the following is a more serious song, (sampled in my Kickstarter video). If I recall correctly, this was an extrapolation on the idea that an ancient nomadic culture might have held the carrier of its coal in the highest regard... as steward of the community's source of heat and life:
"Since We Never Could Stand Still" by Alex Wilson
(If you don't see the MP3 players above, try reducing or increasing the text size of the page. Oddly that makes the player appear for me in Firefox.)
I tend to release projects like these with Creative Commons Licenses, so you'll be able to share it with friends as you might share a scan of an art commission you picked up at a convention, or you can learn the chords and play it yourself on filk-nights at conventions and such. If you have a specific purpose in mind and want to discuss it before you pledge, let's chat.
At the $250 reward level, comic book creators, authors, and other creative professionals or aspirants may request works based on their own fictional worlds, stories, and characters. You will need to supply a copy of the work, but a digital format in most cases will be fine: a PDF of a comic, text files/ebook files of prose or poetry, Quicktime or MP4s of film or TV series, or MP3s of songs if... if you want me to write a song about your song.
NOTE: Kickstarter rules prohibit granting/sharing of copyright ownership to/with backers, so we'll start by saying the $250 reward level includes permission to use the recording or derivatives/reimaginings of the song to promote your work online (in book trailers, etc) and live in person. But additional use (reselling, incorporating into a for-profit work like a film adaptation, or broadcasting beyond the free online world, for example) should be discussed. If you want to clarify anything before you pledge at this level, yes, let's do so.
Since this reward is sold out and this page is long enough as it is, I've moved its details to the FAQ at the bottom.
I expect to start shipping these (any physical reward that doesn't include something requiring Silvio to sign or produce) pretty quickly after funds clear.
You can see me holding a test printing in the video up top, so I just need to adjust the size of the initial print run based on preorder numbers, and away we go. Obviously any runaway success will include some delays in getting them all out the door, but I'll do my best to ship in the same order in which you all pledge.
For Silvio's signatures, sketches, and commissions, I'll need to ship these to Brazil and he'll need to ship them all back to me in the States so just assume a big chunk of the time and cost of about any pledge reward $10 or higher is going toward post time and postage fees there and back again.
I expect to be able to write and record those "song commissions" at a rate of no more than one per month and produce those "Starring Role" minicomics at a rate of no more than two per year.
This page has become such a monster that I needed to move this to the FAQ.
Thanks for being a part of this!
And thanks again to the judges of the competition for selecting us, to all the voters who supported us during the open voting phase, to members of the Comics Experience workshop/forum for bringing the contest to my attention (and for the feedback on my initial script), and to Chapel Hill Comics for hosting our upcoming release party (date TBD)!
Silvio is a freelance artist in Brazil. He’s worked since 2008, and his USA work includes Clockwork (Gov't Comics), Meridien City (Alpha Girl Comics), Girls Night Out (Alpha Girl Comics), and the upcoming Outlaw Territory III (Image Comics). @silviodb on Twitter.
Alex is a writer and actor in Carrboro, NC (originally from northern Ohio). His comics and prose fiction have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Florida Review, Outlaw Territory II (Image Comics), and LCRW. A comedy short he co-wrote and starred in will premiere at the International Cycling Film Festival in Herne, Germany in October. He fully expects to be CGI-ed out of the final battle sequence of Iron Man 3. @alexotica on Twitter.
Risks and challenges
I have a foot in the prose-writing world, where until recently the gap between collaborating with a publisher and self-publishing has been much bigger than it is in comics. So I'm stepping forward carefully.
I've treated my creative work as a business for years, but I have never committed to so many deliverables (both new creative works as rewards and actual shipped books and booklets) at once before. We want to be a part of the comics community for a long time, so keeping these commitments is a priority.
We met and produced an award winning comic story in less than a month from inception of idea to finished product, all while both of us were juggling other projects. If this Kickstarter is successful, then that means we found our audience as well. I think we'll be able to handle a few extra trips to the post office.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I'm asking for a flat $5US additional for all international shipments.
Sometimes it will end up costing a bit more, and I'll pay the difference.
If it's significantly less, I'll add some extras to the package.
With this reward level, I'll create a minicomic starring you/your likeness as the lead character. The story will have a minimum of 10 panels, maximum of... whatever the story dictates. No guarantee you'll love the story, but I'm happy to create something within general parameters (you'll get a storytelling genre you at least sometimes enjoy, you won't get an R-rated comic if you ask for something G-rated, I'll check with you about what might make you too uncomfortable, I won't "cast" you in the role of a terrible person unless that's what you want, I won't write a satire making fun of your favorite political candidate or family member, etc.).
I intend to make the produced comics available to others, possibly as both commercial minicomics and as "short stories" to be included in anthologies, periodicals, or collections.
If you'd rather not see that happen with your lovely face (Kickstarter rules dictate that I cannot share copyright/ownership with you regardless), you can decide after seeing the finished comic whether you want me to "recast" your role at the Photoshop level before going public, in which case the only comics to include your likeness will be the copies I provide directly to you (and some unlucky actor friend of mine gets all your glory). Note: this might need to happen anyway if you want a comic created for a minor (for which of course I'd require parental consent regardless).
If you intend to give this reward as "a gift," I'll need that person's consent (or, again, parental consent). If the subject/"star" of the comic can't provide the requested photographs (a bunch of different but specific facial expressions will be all that's required, but actual poses would be welcome and helpful), then we'll try taking some screenshots on Skype or do some seriously terrible photo-manipulating of frowns into smiles, etc. At absolute minimum, I'll need at least two photos of your face (front and profile). More photos and more specifics will mean a higher quality finished product, in which you will look more protagonisty.
If you are within a few hours' drive of the North Carolina Raleigh Triangle area, I might even be able to photograph you for the comic fully in-scene, similar to how we might shoot a independent film short.
I'll also look to Kickstarter backers when I cast some of the "supporting roles" as needed. So you might see requests for a "beautiful bearded man" or a "woman with curly hair, must not be afraid of the color yellow" in future email updates for backers.
As planned, most of this pledge money goes into the rewards themselves. A lot of that is postage costs, but ISBNs and color printing aren't cheap either. I'm using high quality paper stocks for both cover and interiors, so the booklet will feel much more substantial than a typical 12-pager.
I plan on paying for a lot of the greater print run out of pocket even if we meet the initial funding goal. But I do have some fun (and I think unusual) "stretch goals" ready to go if we happen to reach that happy event early in the campaign rather than in the last few minutes, and a good portion of any "excess" will also go toward funding those surprises I've got planned.
Based on the preferred rewards of the first half of the campaign and the possibility of my switching to a local printer, it looks like our high-end target is now only $6.5K, with most of that going toward the rewards it'll take to get us there. This would pay for the entire print runs of both the booklet and the Limited Edition book, production costs, ISBN numbers, promotion of this Kickstarter, and all the rewards (including shipping costs). I talk a bit about the math and choices behind all of this in a Comixtribe interview: http://www.comixtribe.com/2012/10/10/reflecting-on-retailer-outreach-through-kickstarter/
But if we do happen to actually "profit" beyond that, we'll be happy to put that toward promotion, as well as future store events and convention trips, including (fingers crossed) getting Silvio to his first convention appearance in the United States!
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