About this project
A special thank you to everybody who has contributed to this project and helped to successfully fund it within a matter of weeks! It really is a great feeling to know that people like you are out there supporting endeavors like this. Now, let's talk stretch goals. You can find stretch goal details in the posted update here. These are the goal rewards:
$3,000 - Stretch Goal 1 - ONE hand screenprinted and signed creature mini-print (done by yours truly) to be included for all backers pledging the $16 physical BOOK REWARD and above.
$6,000 - Stretch Goal 2 - THREE hand screenprinted and signed creature mini-prints to be included for all backers pledging the $16 physical BOOK REWARD and above.
$8,000 - Stretch Goal 3 - You like me, you really like me. If we reach this level I promise to finish a second book of Fantastic Creatures. All backers at the DIGITAL REWARD ($6) and above will receive a free pdf download of this second book!
What is this all about?
Some of my earliest exposure to art came in the form of the black and white illustrations found in the early role playing game creature manuals. The artwork of David C. Sutherland III, David A. Trampier, Tom Wham, and Jean Wells will always hold a special place in influencing my development as an illustrator and artist. I often found myself enthralled with the simple yet distinctive line-work of these drawings, imagining the beasts themselves and what they would look, smell, and move like if they were able to leap from the pages in front of me.
As early as I can remember, I have always found myself illustrating strange monsters and creatures. I would like to the opportunity to share my illustrations and unique creatures with you, in a bestiary which I will also write, with statistics and descriptions enough to adapt to your favorite RPG.
This is essentially an illustrated love letter to those early books and influences.
About the book:
The Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures will be a small, but thorough, collection of some of my illustrated creatures created in the last year. The bestiary will be written in such a way as to make the creatures easily adaptable to most tabletop role-playing games, rules and stats will be based on adapting the Open Gaming License and retro-cloning. The creatures will be a combination of completely new creatures and variations of already existing creatures. Some will be ridiculously bizarre, others uniquely clever (I hope), and still others with just a splash of dark humor.
My intention is to make the creatures accessible enough that any game organizer may easily insert them into many different role-playing campaigns, such as a Random Encounter. With minimal effort, game organizers can instantly transform their favorite campaigns into something new, different, and pleasantly strange. They will have detailed statistics, descriptions, backgrounds, and even ideas on how to introduce them into the campaigns.
If the funding goal is reached, the funds raised will be used to publish a minimal print run of the bestiary through a quality professional printer.
I have updated with project with the first example of a creature, you can view it here. I have not firmly decided what stats will and will not be included, but the ones in the example will be included at minimum. I am open to suggestions regarding stats and what would be helpful or not to be included. If you wish to leave a comment or send me a message, I will certainly take it into consideration.
I am estimating anywhere from 2-4 pages per creature (1-3 illustrations each), with 12 already completed, I plan on adding as many as can be completed within the project's timeline. So, I am roughly guessing that the final booklet is likely to end anywhere between 24-48 pages.
A bit about me:
I am a cartoonist, illustrator, and printmaker. Last year my illustrations were featured in the first printing of James Joyce's "The Cats of Copenhagen", which has since been translated into six international editions also with my illustrations. The second book featuring my illustrations titled "Finn's Hotel", again with posthumous collaborator James Joyce, was recently published by Ithys Press of Ireland (and also recently published in Italian). I also have been creating webcomics online in one form or another for nearly a decade. I attended Michigan State University, where I studied English, Painting, and Printmaking (a skill I will utilize to accomplish the reward goals). Some examples of my past work can be seen on my website here.
The chosen publisher name is a tongue-in-cheek take on the phrase "cock and bull story", Bull Cock Press (see rewards below). If successfully funded, further volumes may be published. But one step at a time, horse meet cart...
- BOOK REWARD - - A physical copy of the Bestiary of Fantastic Creatures, signed by the illustrator himself (I know where he lives!). Also, a couple of lovely stickers to make the deal just a little bit sweeter.
- T-SHIRT REWARD - - Includes: One t-shirt from our publication house (Bull Cock Press) featuring the logo as seen above, size S-2XL.
- SCREENPRINT REWARD - - A signed and numbered limited edition screenprint of one of the monsters from the bestiary (as seen above). Direct from the artist himself! All prints are being produced by myself in my studio via screenprinting techniques. This print will be approximately 8x11, printed on 60lb cream manila paper (as seen), suitable for framing.
- GLOW-IN-THE-DARK REWARD - - A glow-in-the-dark signed and numbered print of one of the monsters from the bestiary. Direct from the artist himself, extremely limited edition! Only 50 will be printed of this version. All prints are being produced by myself in my studio via screenprinting techniques. This screenprint will be approximately 8x11, printed on 90lb white acid free paper, suitable for framing. (reward limited to 40)
- SKETCH COMBO REWARD - - I will do a pencil sketch of one of the monsters in your copy of the bestiary. It will be signed, numbered, and personalized if you wish! (reward limited to 6).
- NAME THAT MONSTER REWARD - - You get to name one of the creatures in the bestiary! You will be given several creatures to choose from and will be able to choose one to name. Please note, the name must be unique and fantasy oriented (i.e.: no Mikes or Teds please), and final approval and /or rejection will be at my discretion. I will work with you to make sure the chosen name fits within the fantasy rpg genre, and is not being used by another game or project. You will be given credit in the book as well. (reward limited to 4)
Risks and challenges
Illustrations for the book are nearly complete, the writing has already begun. I would expect the risks of completing the book within the timeline I predicted to be extremely minimal.
The rewards themselves will also be of minimal risk, as I have already begun test printing in my studio, as seen in the pictures. Barring any unforeseen acts of nature or accidents of a devastating nature, I expect the project and rewards to be easily completed and printed within the timeline I present.
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