About this project
Sometimes good and bad aren’t exactly black and white.
Weird western yarn Next Town Over needs your help unraveling its first four chapters’ worth of steam, sorcery and secrets!
Updating like clockwork since autumn of 2010, Next Town Over’s webcomic incarnation has picked up readers, popularity, and its fair share of kind words.
- "If you haven't read Next Town Over before, then you may have just found your new favorite webcomic." -- Aaron Colter, Comics Alliance
- "Next Town Over is an all action webcomic — with shoot-outs, chases, lassoing and the like — and it ain’t ashamed of what it is. It’s for folks who swill Tennessee whiskey and are in the mood for some rootin’, tootin’, shootin’, gun-totin’, sassafrassin’ Texas-sized brawls.... 4 stars." -- The Webcomic Overlook
- "The comic’s artwork is gorgeous ... a must read." -- Shawn Gustafson, The Specialists
- "Some comic book artists are great artists, but great comic book artists understand their medium and transcend drawing and move into storytelling... Mehlos really owns this in Next Town Over." -- Slap Bookleather
- "I was immediately in a really unconventional astonishment state as soon as I saw the quality of the art of this comic. It didn’t take long for me to click that beautiful “First” button in order for me to start from the very beginning." -- Webcomic Alliance
What the comic hasn’t picked up a whole lot of is revenue, which is why I need your financial support to collect its first four chapters into a new book, chronicling the curious rivalry ‘twixt Vane Black and John Henry Hunter through Lookback, Sun Prairie, Whiskey Bend, and Baron's Crossing.
Who I Am & Why I Need Your Help
I’m Erin Mehlos, an independent comics creator from the farflung northwoods of Wisconsin. As such, I don’t get to many big cons and network as much as I probably ought to. I’m about to be a first time mom, and I just plain can’t afford to print the book out of my own pocket right now.
A minimum run of 1000 trade paperbacks of this first ever Next Town Over volume, when you factor in printing, shipping, ISBNing, etc. – nevermind my time collecting and prepressing the book – is going to run upwards of $5000 when all’s said and done -- $5000 my husband and I just spent replacing the boiler in our house. Not to mention Kickstarter funding is taxable income so the government'll surely take their share, and, of course, I'd like to thank you all with some cool incentives like exclusive T-shirts, prints and bookmarks, and that stuff doesn't come cheap, either.
But I can count on you guys to help me out, can’t I? A pretty middlin’ contribution basically amounts to a preorder of the book, and I've tried to throw in a little something special at every level.
As mentioned above, this book would collect the comic's first four chapters (which are already in the can, making this project a pretty safe bet!) into a quality trade paperback. I intend to pack this thing with extras, including guest pinups, conceptual sketches, bonus artwork, the short story Snake, in-depth guides to Next Town Over locations & characters, all the fantastic entries to the 2012 Next Town Over Art Contest, and more!
I will also be printing a shorter run (500 copies, total) of a hardcover edition, all of which I'll be signing & numbering and which will never be reprinted.
$7,500 - UNLOCKED! - I'd love to gussy up the covers of both the soft- and hardcover books with a little foilwork, and possibly turn the hardcover into an even nicer clothbound edition with a bound-in limitation page for serious book collectors. If you help me make it happen you'll not only get shinier (and/or clothier) books, but everyone over the $10 level (basically, anyone who's already getting something in the mail) will also receive a signed, exclusive print.
$8,500 - UNLOCKED! - The hardcover edition will gain a matching cloth slipcover and everyone will get a second signed, exclusive print.
$10,000 - WOW! UNLOCKED! - I can't even fathom this kind of generosity on your part but with $10K I could also print a 100ish page black and white digest of my 24 Hour Comics and offer it to everyone over the $25 level as an extra special thank you.
What do you say?
Help me pay for the book, guarantee yourself an early copy, and guarantee the future of Next Town Over.
Risks and challenges
With virtually all the material set for inclusion in this project long since finished and the collection of it into a book already begun, the only real hurdle I face is the nuts and bolts of getting it printed. I've got a fair amount of prepress in my background and have printed a ton of comics via print-on-demand outlets but this is my first stab at full-on self-publishing. Armed with a pretty exhaustive spreadsheet full of quotes from printers both overseas and here in the U.S. I'm ready to do this, but simultaneously aware that there may be delays involved -- possibly relating as much to the coincidentally timed birth of our first kid as to overseas shipping.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
D'oh. I should have been more specific about this reward level, apparently, but KS won't let me edit rewards to sneak in additional deets so my oversight is archived for the ages.
I'll happily do non-NTO characters for the $100 level's sketch rewards (you may have to furnish references), but these are all 8.5x11" on Bristol, penciled & inked with limited marker toning/color. Sorry; I'm not going to have time for custom or large sizes!
Yet to be determined! It includes all 4 current chapters of Next Town Over and the Snake short, totaling 118+ pages of actual comics, but as I haven't finished assembling all the extras I don't have a definite page count on the final book. There are at least 30+ pages of additional material. I am guesstimating the final book at around 150-160 pages but it may run nearer 200 when all is said and done. I'll keep you posted.
Hey! I'm a Goldstaker! I gave you a ton of money already with very little in return! I want my fair share!
I hear you and appreciate your ongoing support! Goldstakers, pledge at either the $25 or $35 (softcover/hardcover) levels and I'll be sure you get the T-shirt to boot. Pledge at the $50 or $100 levels and I'll draw you an extra 8.5x11" sketch (yes this means you get two original sketches of your choice at the $100 level).
I'll verify your Goldstaker login email when the campaign is over and I survey everyone for T-shirt sizes, etc..
Absolutely. In fact you're pretty much who I had in mind for this pledge level.
Sure, absolutely. If you've paid for a physical copy of the finished book you're auto-entitled to a digital version.
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