Swan Song is a massive, 12x12 anthology of comics about music and life and changing the world. We've got over 20 cartoonists from British Columbia and beyond working on full-colour stories to make you smile, cry, or get up and dance.
Swan Song will be Cloudscape's biggest and best book yet. It will be our twelfth anthology in ten years. It's Cloudscape's tenth anniversary! Swan Song will also be the last anthology edited and arranged by members of the Cloudscape board of directors. We want to end on a high note, so this project is a big one. It won't be Cloudscape's last book or even our last anthology. We'll have new teams of editors in the future. The players will change but the band will go on. Whether you've been with us since the beginning or are just joining us now for the first time, however, Swan Song is the book that will stand in for our world tour.
The Cloudscape Comics Society is a non-profit comic collective based out of Vancouver, Canada. Cloudscape seeks to promote and publish independent comic creators in British Columbia.
Swan Song will feature a cover by Renee Nault, and the artistic and creative stylings of:
- Ed Appleby
- Arden Belfry
- Anthony Biondi
- James Brandi
- Emily Cowan
- Jonathon Dalton
- Jesse Davidge
- Monica Disher
- Jeff Ellis
- Drew Gilmour
- Annalise Jensen
- Sam Keating
- K. Kelsay
- Yashaswi Kesanakurthy
- Reetta Linjama
- Riley Masters
- Tamiko Masters
- Oliver McTavish-Wisden
- Angela Melick
- Sfé R. Monster
- Hannah Myers
- Alina Pete
- Jess Pollard
- Anat Rabkin
- Simon Roy
- G. C. Joseph Seiler
- Karen Shangguan
- Bevan Thomas
- Ian Thomas
- Jason Wilkins
- Jeri Weaver
- Klara Woldenga
- Patrick Wong
Our goal for this project is $32,000 Canadian. Which is about $25,000 USD. The biggest portion of that, about 37%, will go to printing the book. It's very big. The second biggest portion (29%) goes towards paying our contributors for the use of their stories. The band would be nothing without the performers. Then comes shipping costs. Supporters of previous Cloudscape projects on Kickstarter will be pleased to know that we've made a deal with a shipping company that will greatly reduce our shipping costs, at least for North America. Nevertheless we've budgeted ourselves 26% for shipping because it's always the part that entails the biggest risk of blowing up. The remainder goes towards Kickstarter and credit card fees, as well as producing the additional rewards listed.
There's no grant to help fund Swan Song this time, but Cloudscape has earmarked some of our revenue from previous anthologies to bring the total down a little bit as well.
The list on the side has details for all the rewards you can pick from, but here's some pictures to go with a few of them.
Swan Song Out of the Blue
If you like music, you'll like this reward.We have a limited number of vinyl albums we can give away from Sleuth, Cloudscape's favourite Vancouver indie band. Sleuth provided the music for our new Kickstarter video, and Oliver McTavish-Wisden is both a contributor to Swan Song and a member of Sleuth. Sleuth's new album Out of the Blue Period is their best work yet.
Swan Song Deluxe Edition
The Deluxe Edition comes with a few extra treats. The enamel pin with the official Cloudscape coat of arms was designed by Jonathon Dalton for a previous anthology, but now you can own it in pin form. There will also be a set of six post cards with art from Swan Song contributors, and we're really excited to include a set of "gig posters" designed by Kathleen Jacques, creator of Band Vs Band, based on some of the bands that feature in Swan Song stories.
Swan Song Secret Santa
With the "Secret Santa" you get two books delivered. You'll get Swan Song, of course, some time in the new year. But as soon as the Kickstarter finishes we'll ship out a book that SHOULD get there before December 25th. The Secret Santa book will be either 21 Journeys, Mega Fauna, Waterlogged, or Fir Valley by Jason Turner. Any of these books would make a great gift for even a casual comics reader. The mystery book will also go out with a card drawn by Jonathon Dalton. You can ship both books to the same address, or to different addresses, if one of them is a gift.
Artist Commission Tiers
We've just added three sets of artist commissions. Each of these comes with the hardcover Swan Song as well as all of the rewards from the Deluxe Edition (the pin, the posters, and the postcards). You can also commission one of our artists to draw a one-of-a-kind illustration on a subject of your choice. The artists who are available for this include Simon Roy, Jesse Davidge, Monica Disher, Anat Rabkin, Jeff Ellis, Hannah Myers, and Jonathon Dalton. Check out the list of contributors above for links to their work.
Cloudscape Library (EP Version)
The EP Library includes a sampling of some of Cloudscape's best and most recent books. Giants of Main Street is our "urban fantasy" anthology; Waterlogged: Tales from the Seventh Sea has stories about pirates, sea monsters, sailors, and mermaids; and Mega Fauna is our all-ages anthology about pets, wild animals, and monsters. Kathleen Gros' Last Night at Wyrmwood High is a graphic novel about a grad prank gone wrong at a magical high school, and Steve LeCouilliard's Una the Blade collects stories about a barbarian single mom in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Jason Turner's graphic novel Fir Valley is about a surreal mystery in a fog-shrouded West Coast suburb, and Sean Karemaker's Feast of Fields is a medium-bending memoir of his mother's childhood in Denmark.
Swan Song Artist Compilation Library
The Compilation Library includes a stack of books from some of our artists' personal ouvres. You get the first two volumes of Sfé R. Monster's celebrated series Eth's Skin, the final two volumes of Angela Melick's auto-bio series Wasted Talent, and the first four volumes of Teach English in Japan by Jeff Ellis and Jonathon Dalton. You also get Anat Rabkin's It Rained Then Too, Jesse Davidge's Mathemagick, Jonathon Dalton's A Mad Tea-Party, and Reetta Linjama's mini-anthology Everyweather Hat. That's a lot of comics! You'll also get this colouring book from Jeri Weaver:
Cloudscape Library (Platinum Version)
Get ready, because this one's a big one. This is the last time Cloudscape will be able to offer every single book we've ever published. Robots, Pine Trees and Broken Hearts, and Epic Canadiana Volume 1 are technically out of print, and Bones of the Coast was so popular last year that it's nearly gone as well. But we've managed to scrape together enough copies to offer a few sets that include these books. You'll also get all of the books from the LP Library, Epic Canadiana Volume 2, plus our older anthologies Historyonics, Funday Sunnies, Exploded View, and 21 Journeys.
EDIT: We managed to track down a few additional copies of Robots, Pine Trees, and Broken Hearts, allowing us to increase the number of sets to ten!
Hey, let's finish this set before we start planning the encore, alright? We'll release some stretch goals as they become unlockable. I'll tell you right now, though, that most of the stretch goals we propose will involve paying our contributors more. We've got to make their well-being our priority.
Risks and challenges
The anthology is being designed and assembled this month, and the stories are ready to go pending funding.
The biggest challenge for this anthology is the funding itself. Cloudscape has years of experience and seeks to promote & support independent cartoonists in whatever way it can, but this is the largest amount of money we've needed to set as a target for a Kickstarted anthology.
That said, our target is actually about $7000 less than what our backers generously put up for our last anthology, "Bones of the Coast," and we're counting on readers being up for more comics from the talented list of creators we've put together for this book.
Making the shipping happen in a timely fashion proved to be an unexpected challenge for "Bones of the Coast." But Cloudscape learned a lot during that campaign, we have a third party shipping company to support us now, and getting these books into your ready arms should go a whole lot smoother this time.
Thank you tremendously for your support and encouragement, and we hope that you love "Swan Song" as much as we do!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)