Tales of Hopeless, Maine
Do you like adventure stories? Steampunk? Monsters and magic? Dashing heroines, doughty heroes? Do you like Verne, Wells, Lovecraft and Burroughs? Well here are two cracking yarns that you are going to love, both based around the popular world of Hopeless, Maine and both with illustrations by Tom Brown himself.
Why are there two books in this Kickstarter? Because printing them together will cost less overall, and we can still give you the choice to buy one, or both of the books.
Hopeless, Maine (for those of you who have not yet visited) is an island lost in time. Haunted and tentacle beset, it is home to strange creatures and even stranger people.
"But then, seconds later, there was an ominous grinding noise. And Jason was no longer sure that the armoured iron would be enough. Should he try to swim to shore? How deep was he? Would he survive the swim to the surface? He could feel the island calling to him."
Sea monsters, mysteries, a quest, danger and strange-goings-on in an English mansion – don’t miss this thrilling tale!
The Oddatsea is a set of four short stories that tell the tale of a Victorian adventuress; Lady Alison Pettigrew, who sets out in her steam-powered submarine to investigate the rumours around a mysterious island. Will she survive the perilous voyage? What befalls her? What does her dashing nephew Jason do? And how will it all end?
The first of these two Tales of Hopeless, Maine is written by Keith Errington, a professional, published author who writes comedy and adventure in equal measure. (You might also know his very best friend Count Rostov?)
New England Gothic
"The moon hadn’t risen, but starlight showed Annamarie the way. She saw well enough, and the island by night held no terrors for her. She had been running away to its wilder places for as long as she could remember,"
New England Gothic is the story of Annmarie Nightshade, an orphan who becomes a witch on the island of Hopeless, Maine. There are betrayals, heartbreak and many dangers to overcome but there are also wonders, near escapes and strange journeys. You will meet dark sorcerers, a mad inventor in a lighthouse and the strangest familiar in the history of witchcraft.
This second tale is written by Tom’s partner and co-creator of Hopeless, Maine, Nimue Brown. It goes back in time to reveal the childhood and origin story of one of Hopeless, Maine’s most famous magical inhabitants – Annamarie Nightshade.
This is a prequel to the steampunk graphic novel series Hopeless, Maine. It stands alone but fans of the series will find much that they did not know, which will cast the events in Hopeless, Maine in an entirely new light.
Each book will consist of the printed text beautifully laid out, Tom's wonderful colour illustrations on featured pages and a number of smaller, page doodles too, all wrapped up in a thicker, four page cover.
Both books can be read without any knowledge of Hopeless, Maine, but if you are a fan of the graphic novels, then these two tales will tell you more of the Island’s story and offer clues to past and future events. The Oddatsea tale takes place during and after, the Inheritance graphic novel and links into it. New England Gothic takes place before the events in the graphic novels.
And if you like the Hopeless, Maine RPG game, then these books can also give you some great ideas for campaigns and scenarios.
If we hit £3,500, then backers who pledged for any printed reward, will receive a set of four A5, high quality, art cards featuring some of the best steampunk illustrators in the UK. Each with their unique style, they will be offering alternative versions of some of the characters in the books.
If we hit £3750 then our stretch goal is TWO downloadable exclusive songs from TWO LEGENDS of the steampunk music scene – both songs inspired by Hopeless, Maine.
The first is by chap hop and fighting trouser legend Professor Elemental – if you are a steampunk and you haven’t heard of the good Prof. then you really should look yourself in a mirror and sternly utter “tsk tsk”. For anyone else – check out Professor Elemental’s YouTube channel. His song is the one that features as the soundtrack to our Kickstarter video.
The second is by the amazing and wonderfully creative Walter Sickert & His Army of Broken Toys. They may be less well-known in the UK, but their brand of rock, punk, vaudeville, and eccentric music is very steampunk and very Hopeless, Maine. (Tom reckons it’s the soundtrack to the Island). Check out their live performance at Sofar Boston.
Both of these will be available as stretch goals to ALL BACKERS who pledge £5 or more, when we hit £3,750.
Third (and final) stretch goal announced!
If we should reach £4,000 before the end of the campaign, then all backers who pledged for any printed reward, will receive something special – an item of Hopeless, Maine jewellery you can wear (or give as a gift – we should deliver before Christmas don’t forget!).
It's a hand-crafted Hopeless, Maine necklace with a glass-domed cabochon featuring a character from Tales of Hopeless, Maine, drawn by Tom Brown.
This is a fabulous physical reward that will be a great way to end the campaign in style! So keep pledging!
Follow the project (or pledge!) and read the updates for more details.
Tom is the artist that gives the graphic novel series, Hopeless, Maine such a unique look. He is a comics artist and illustrator originally from the US but now living in the UK with his wife and partner in crime, Nimue Brown.
Lots of books are partially his fault. For instance, the Hopeless, Maine graphic novel series (and the multitude of things spinning off from that), book covers too numerous to mention (though I understand that he is rather proud of that book with Nimue Brown and Professor Elemental) and then there was that one with Thomas Sniegoski - The Raven's Child, a two hundred page epic graphic novel which was published by Penguin/Random House. He has also left his filthy fingerprints on magazine cover art projects, CDs, greeting cards, and one tea label design (as well as other things that have slipped his mind).
When not getting paper dirty he walks with Nimue, drinks coffee, sings in public and is the originator of the very first UK zombie football event. He is addicted to books and considers himself to be raised by authors (in much the same way that Tarzan was raised by apes, but with less dramatic results). He has a tin whistle and is not afraid to use it.
Nimue writes across a number of forms and genres. With artist husband Tom Brown, she creates graphic novel series Hopeless Maine, and is involved with the Professor Elemental comic. Nimue writes books on Druidry for Moon Books, and fiction for various houses. She tends towards speculative and magical realism, but about the only thing she hasn't tried is writing for television, and political thrillers.
Her influences are diverse – Hayao Miyazaki, George Eliot, Neil Gaiman, Isabelle Allende, Michael Ondaatje, Clive Barker, Charles de Lint Robert Holdstock... to name but a few. She is drawn to mystery, to the numinous and to work that has the power to uplift and inspire.
Nimue Brown is a practising Druid, taught by OBOD but feral in her instincts. She spends a great deal of time out of doors, reads omnivorously, is fascinated by everything, plays mournful tunes on her violin and daydreams a lot.
Keith has been writing stories since his schooldays, winning competitions and writing for a variety of publications and anthologies. He has been a magazine designer, typographer, art editor, editor, trainer and technical consultant to many creative consultancies.
He is currently a professional marketing blogger and publisher of SteamPaper, the monthly email newsletter for UK steampunks. There's also an unsubstantiated rumour that he dresses up as a mad Russian steampunk and performs 'comedy'.
He lives in a small village surrounded by an inordinate amount of Lego and piles of board games.
The Hopeless, Maine world
"Hopeless Maine, is an island off the coast of Maine, unshockingly. It’s been our occasional home for some years now, and during that time it has been a webcomic, and a paperback as well as a busy blog. It's become a roleplaying game, tarot deck, a cuddly spoonwalker and all manner of things we could not have imagined when we started out. We’ve added Hopeless, Maine related performance to our bag of tricks (and tentacles) now as well, including songs (as heard on BBC radio) readings and other sorts of performance with the growing Hopeless, Maine creative family. And now we are very excited to bring you these wonderful new tales of Hopeless, Maine in a great new format."
The Hopeless, Maine song song you can hear on our video is penned by no less a personage than Professor Elemental himself and is used by kind permission.
Become our new friends!
Please help us to print these wonderful stories by pledging. And we have some truly awesome stretch goals planned if we reach our goal early!
Both books are written and illustrations nearly complete – so the hard part is all done, unfortunately the easy part – the printing of the books – requires a considerable sum of money, and that’s what this Kickstarter is for – to raise the money needed to print the two books.
Most of the money will fund the printing, but a fair bit will also go on packaging and posting out the rewards, with the rest being taken up by Kickstarter fees, including payment processing. (We will only be able to pay ourselves a bit for the writing and artwork if we exceed our target).
We aim to use eco-friendly packaging wherever possible and we will use an internationally recognised shipping company. (At the moment we are looking at Royal Mail, but we intend to review that when we come to dispatching the rewards.)
Risks and challenges
The stories are written and the illustrations are almost complete, so we are ready to go. We have a great deal of professional experience with printing and delivering projects on time - experience we'll be making use of in this Kickstarter. The printers we are using are tried and trusted and can turn the printing around quickly. The only real risks are any unforeseen circumstance with the printing that might delay things by a few days or with the postal services.
There is one risk or challenge we would love to have - you pledge so much that we have to print thousands of books! (In which case we might struggle a bit with the delivery, but we would get it sorted!)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (37 days)