Update - Let's DRM-Free This!
The project is over 60% funded but that still leaves quite a bit to go, sooooo... (drumroll)....
As a little extra incentive, for anyone pledging $10 or more, I'll make the book DRM-free, which is a fancy way of saying, you can give it away to friends, family, or anyone you know (Like every friend on Facebook). So your contribution not only buys yourself a book, it could potentially buy ALL your friends an entertaining book!
And I'll make it incredibly easy to share. You won't have to email a large file or dropbox it yourself. I'll give every pledge a link on Mows.com with the option to download either the iBook format or PDF.
About the Mows
From 2003 to late 2008, I made about 1300 Mows comic strips (if you’re curious about the pronunciation, “Mows” rhymes with “cows” and the “M” is not silent). Thirteen-hundred sounds impressive, and for anyone that hasn’t written that many comics, or even read that many, I guess it is. I posted them online and built up a hearty little following of fans over the years. If you aren't familiar with the strip, I'll scatter some fun ones throughout this page...
Unfortunately, Real Life crow-barred it's way between myself and continuing this comic. Specifically, I had a kid. Then another, and another kid. My comic-writing time is now spent hanging out with children. But they are partly why I'd like to bring back this comic in book form. It would be nice to one day show them "Hey look, Dad was a cool dude once, he had a sense of humor before he lost all his hair worrying about things like holding hands while crossing an empty parking lot".
So before these kids realize I'll never actually be "cool" no matter how many comics I write, I'd like to collect some of my favorite strips in one place. I'll be compiling these in iBook Author, which exports to both PDF and the gorgeous Multi-Touch eBook format. You'll be able to view the book on your PC, Mac, Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Android device, or really anything that supports PDF (or iBook).
The Work Ahead
You might be thinking, these comics are already written and in a digital format right? So how hard is it to make a super sweet collection of them. Well, it's not hard, but it is time-consuming. Here's what needs doing...
- Each of them needs finding (not always easy)
- I'm adding newly shaded backgrounds to most of them
- Adding speech bubbles (previously the comic did not use speech bubbles)
- Changing the font (I've fallen out of love with the old font I used)
- Exporting each as a high resolution image.
- Last but not least, I can't resist changing the punchline (or entire strip as sometimes happens)
What's an HD comic? Well, like your MacBook Pro, iPhone or iPad with a Retina Display, it is one with double the resolution. So instead of being 72dpi, it is 144dpi. That extra resolution looks really gorgeous. Once exported, take a look at how big these comics will actually be (you might have to zoom in after clicking the image below)...
Where's the Funding Go?
This comic has always been a labor of love. During it's initial run it was an unpaid gig (I had zero ads on the site and I never turned a profit on those stickers I bought). Writing and illustrating a comic is the ultimate Time-suck. Really. It sucks time from your life. With some fan-funded support I can justify that Time-suckage and bring this project to the forefront of everything else I have to do. That whole Real Life thing that halted this comic is still ongoing.
The book will be approximately 75-100 pages with at least 120-150 strips FOR SURE. The more funding it gets, the more comics will be included (see the Stretch goals below for more details).
This comic was about a litter of 3 cats (Tigey, Nonie and Indy) that my one-time wife and I owned in Bayville, NY. And as any cat-owner knows, you don't really own them. They come and go as they please. At least ours did. They had the freedom to do whatever. And that's mostly what this comic was about. The freedom to either do nothing or do something. And let's face it, doing "something" in Cat World isn't really doing much at all.
This comic is NOT about celebs, technology, current events, politics, or anything that a cat wouldn't know about.
This comic IS about bugs, rocks, dirt, sitting in boxes, hiding, sneak around, spin kicks, birds, neighborhood crushes, hunting, cat doors, smells, litter hierarchy, and anything else a cat would know about.
Aside from the "main cast" (the three cats I co-habitated with), this collection will feature plenty of Minxy, whose real-life counterpart lived next door and had easy access to our house. Cat doors don't exactly protect against cat-sized intruders.
Why Bring Them Back from the Dead?
Great question reader. They aren't really dead, but they are in a kind of web-comic purgatory. After my first son was born production eased down to a dead-stop. Once-a-week updates became once-a-month updates, and then once-a-month updates became never-a-month updates. Like many web comic artists I didn't exactly quit (at least in my mind), but after a few years of doing nothing, well, what else can I call that? "Permanent hiatus" I guess.
In that time, every one of the real-life counterparts to these characters has actually died (even Minxy, she lasted many years longer). So I suppose there's one more reason to bring back this strip in eBook-form. The ultimate homage to a great litter and neighbor.
The Deluxe-version of the collection will include an extra chapter with...
- The Making Of
- Original Concept Art
- Unsolicited Advice from a Happily Retired Web-Cartoonist
- Characters that never made it into the comic
- A Map of the Mows neighborhood
- And More!
Anyone that pledges $20 or more will get this well-worth-it bonus chapter of goodies.
Anyone pledging $10 or more, gets the PDF or Multi-Touch eBook.
Anyone pledging $15 or more, gets the "Deluxe Edition" PDF or Multi-Touch eBook with a super fun extras chapter. Well worth it believe me.
Anyone pledging $40 or more will become famous (within the book) by sponsoring a strip. What's that mean? You will get (along with the book) an original signed hand-drawn sketch of the comic strip you'll be sponsoring, PLUS your name (or optionally your cat's name) will be listed underneath the strip as the sponsor.
Risks and challenges
This book will be made. If you put up money for it (and this Kickstarter is a go), you're getting a great collection.
For me though, the risk is simply re-exploring The Mows. If you all can kickstart this collection, then others could follow. And that's all it takes to bring The Mows back from the dead.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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