Farlaine the Goblin is a 7-volume graphic novel series about a friendly tree goblin shaman who's trying to find a forest of his own. He's been looking for years, gone through hundreds of lands, and only has 10 left to explore. That's where the story picks up, those final 10 lands...
Every land he visits is an adventure, a unique place that's quirkily different from anywhere you've been. His constant companion on this journey is his best tree Ehrenwort, slung over one shoulder, his partner in magic and a nagging voice in his ear.
I write, pencil, ink, letter, and publish the series solo, the only help coming from the amazing Jean-Francois Beaulieu who amazingly colors the covers.
I started the series in 2012 when I took a year off from the cubicle world and wrote and drew Books 1-3, The Tinklands, The Saltlands, and The Racelands - three complete adventures and more than 110 pages of Farlaine awesomeness!
Over the last couple of years I published those books through Diamond to comic shops around the world. Folks slowly started to find them and read them and like them. Some even reviewed them(www.farlaine.com/p/reviews.html) or collected them:
I wrote and drew Book 4: The Twistlands around the day job I'd returned to, releasing a 50-page romp in the fall of 2015 to some of the best reviews of the series.
Now I'm ready to finish the series, another year's worth of expenses saved up and a serious craving to see Farlaine's tale of adventure to its proper conclusion with the final 3 books.
It takes time to do it all and I draw slow, but my goal is to make the best story I can. I'm not on a monthly timetable or a page count - I'm after a great read.
To get you started, here's a FREE PDF of Book 1: The Tinklands. Give it a read and see what you think!
The first 4 books can be found all across the internets and the back issue bins of cool comic shops(or easily acquired through this Kickstarter!).
- Book 1: The Tinklands - COMPLETED - FREE READING COPY!
- Book 2: The Saltlands - COMPLETED - Basic Reward
- Book 3: The Racelands - COMPLETED - Basic Reward
- Book 4: The Twistlands - COMPLETED - Basic Reward
- Book 5: The Vaultlands - Writing - *This Kickstarter!*
- Book 6: ??? - Plotted - *This Kickstarter!*
- Book 7: ??? - Plotted - *This Kickstarter!*
Here's my timeline for how I think the next year will go.
It's a pace of a month to write a script, followed by 3 months of drawing, averaging a page every other day. I like to edit my books when I'm done and get peer reviews, revising and polishing the pace and the dialogue, so I won't even solicit the series through Diamond until each book is fully drawn and I have a couple of months in front of me to revise and edit it.
All the books will be shipped together once the 7th book has been printed. I will send PDF copies of the new books to all backers as soon as the book is locked, generally the day I send it off to the printer.
- Until June ~ Writing, Character Designs, Kickstarter, Winding Down Day Job
- June-August ~ Drawing Book 5
- September ~ Writing Book 6/Soliciting Book 5
- October-December ~ Drawing Book 6
- January 2017 ~ Writing Book 7/Soliciting Book 6/Book 5 Hitting Stores
- February-April ~ Drawing Book 7
- May ~ Soliciting Book 7/ Book 6 Hitting Stores
- September ~ Book 7 Hitting Stores
My target is mostly focused on covering printing costs, which have to be fronted and get expensive for thousands of books.
But I'm also after readers! I'll take every reader I can get and am confident that with enough of em, Farlaine can grow to the next level.
Your support helps keep my spirits high and my printing costs manageable for the year+ it'll take to write, draw, and publish the final 3 books.
Anything raised above $5k would reach towards things like:
- Selling fewer of my belongings or organs ($$$)
- Reprint previous volumes that run out ($$)
- Diamond advertising ($$)
- Convention appearances ($$)
- Coloring the series ($$$$$$)
- A followup series ($$$$$$)
Thanks to anyone who contributes, even a little(and especially a lot).
OK, after only 24 hours we've officially passed the target! This is great news since it means everyone will be fulfilled now!
But $5k was the base goal, the minimum, so it's time to talk stretching!
I'm thinking stretch goals need to help everyone and grow Farlaine. I think that every additional $5k should get split between these below. More info at the top:
- Treasure! - Every new stretch goal reached should mean more goodies for the backers! (see below)
- Printing Costs - The more people that back the project, the more books we need to reprint. For instance Book 2 is running low. That would cost $2k to reprint.
- Marketing - Putting ads in Diamond/Previews is essential for the comic shops to know the book exists. They cost more than $1k for the B&W ads. Color is even more. I'd love to take out a full page for Skottie's cover. I'd love to take out an ad for each book as it comes out. These things add up on costs but drive store sales.
- Conventions - I'd love to do more conventions and meet more people! I'm currently doing Heroes in June and Boston in August. I'd love to continue to spread Farlaine as far as I can! The big ones like NY and Baltimore are expensive for lodging and table space but are great shows.
Everyone that backed a reward for physical books will also receive the following for free:
- COMPLETE - $10k - BEST 5"x7" PRINT - The best 5"x7" drawing I draw for this Kickstarter I'll get colored and make a mini-print everyone will get. Will also attend HARTFORD COMIC CON.
- $15k - DRAWSTRING BAGS FOR ALL - We'll get orange drawstring backpacks made for everyone to hold their books! Will also attend BALTIMORE COMIC CON.
When I drew the first 3 books my only audience was my dog, but I started a blog at farlaine.com about the process. Feel free to go back to the start and follow along with the birth of the first four books:)
I expect to be posting updates regularly once I'm knee deep in drawing and writing. I'll include in-progress prelims, pencils, inks, character designs, and who knows what else. These updates will be split between the farlaine.com website, the Facebook page, Twitter, and this Kickstarter, with each getting it's own unique content(with some overlap).
Here're some links and comments from a few of the reviews out there about Farlaine. By all means, Google away and read for yourself!
"Farlaine The Goblin #4 is, in all honesty, and without any exaggeration, probably the best comic I’ve read all week." ~ Graphic Policy (http://graphicpolicy.com/2015/09/17/review-farlaine-the-goblin-4/)
"Oh, what can I say about this wonderful graphic novel... It's delightful, it's funny, the artwork is great, the story is so creative and compelling! I just love Farlaine the Goblin! He just warms my heart." ~ Chick With Books (http://chickwithbooks.blogspot.com/2016/03/farlaine-goblin-fairy-tale-about.html)
"It is a great example of all-ages material because it is both intelligent and exciting without ever resorting to foul language or violence." ~ Bleeding Cool (http://www.bleedingcool.com/2014/10/10/indy-spotlight-featuring-the-cask-of-amontillado-horsemen-farlaine-the-goblin-and-the-tales-of-mr-rhee/)
"I’ve not had a comic tug at my heart strings like this since Book 1 of Farlaine. Rarely does a comic have the ability to truly make me feel sad, alone, pain, but the unknown author of Farlaine certainly does. He perfectly captures each moment in both words and pictures." ~ Destroy the Cyborg (http://www.destroythecyb.org/farlaine-the-goblin-a-fairy-tale-about-finding-your-forest-book-4-21583.htm)
"Never before has a black and white comic been quite so colorful, in both creatures and prose. It’s also one of those rare books where no matter what age you are you want to root for the goofy looking hero." ~ The Fandom Post (http://www.fandompost.com/2015/10/22/farlaine-the-goblin-the-tinklands-the-saltlands-the-racelands-review/)
"The black and white Farlaine the Goblin is so worthy of being published by a big company" ~ Comic Book Bin (http://www.comicbookbin.com/farlaine004.html)
"Farlaine the Goblin: The Twistlands is a great book that is well-conceived and taps into a more heartwarming sentiment than fantasy adventure stories typically do." ~ Omnicomic (http://www.omnicomic.com/2015/09/review-farlaine-goblin-twistlands.html)
- Digital copies of Books 1-4 will be sent as PDFs following completion of the Kickstarter. Digital copies of Book 5-7 will be delivered as completed, likely the day they're sent to the printer.
- All printed copies are delivered in one shipment, when the series is complete.
- Copies of Book 1 are 3rd Printings. Copies of Books 2-7 are 1st Printings. Books will be reprinted as needed.
- Original Pages of Artwork and unique stuffed goblins can be shipped now separate from the books.
The core goods are the books themselves, Farlaine the Goblin 1-7, The Complete Series, available in print and digital format. These will be available to people outside of the Kickstarter.
- Books 1-7 (print/digital editions)
- Books 4-7 Alternate Covers (print edition)
There will be fun alternate covers for Books 4-7.
The wonderfully talented Charles Paul Wilson III did an alternate cover for Book 4. Total home-run on his part, watercolors and everything! That man has magic skills!!
Skottie Young & I bartered for years on an art trade and he came through with this beast of flying colors, still glorious in B&W. This'll be an alternate on one of the upcoming books.
Larry MacDougall is painting a third, likely woodland and colorful. I think his take will be wonderful and I'm quite excited to see it.
I'm on the lookout for the fourth cover artist still...need to find the right fit!
Everyone will get a set of digital prints. About 20 total, all the covers in the series, B&W and color, regular and alternate covers. We'll mail these out in two sets, with the current books now and the future books in the future.
There's also a set of 11x17 prints available with the same images in high res physical format, signed by yours truly, on some thick cardstocky kinda paper.
Here are some rarities and exclusives, early first printings, one of a kind original pages of art, a stuffed goblin in a bunny costume - goodies only available through this Kickstarter.
The first printing of Farlaine the Goblin #1 was in 2013. I printed a bunch of copies. I sent 400 of them off to retailers in advance to get some word of mouth going. I got 300 copies sent to me and sold most of them at cons I went to. The remaining copies sat at the printer to be used to fill orders from Diamond...but a fire at the printer destroyed them before I could fill orders. A 'Fire Printing' was what was reprinted and released to readers on the stands, and I even I took the chance to fix a bunch of mistakes. I have a few of the very first printings still around, full of mistakes and page numbers, and they're included in this Kickstarter.
The coolest rewards of all! The amazing Porcelin Doll crochets some wondrous little Farlaines for me. We have a bunch of them for this Kickstarter, unique twists ranging in color, outfit, and cuteness! I expect these will go quick...
I'll do one quick doodle like these in each set of printed books!
Some of the rewards offer finished drawings. Drawings I'll do on 5"x7" Bristol board in pencil and I'll ink it with a nib. Generally 1 character, minimal background. Sometimes I'll make jokes.
I draw out all the poses and panel elements on paper ahead of time and then assemble and move things around to compose the shot for what becomes the final panel in the comic. A lot of the real drawing and bones are done here. I end up with a handful of prelims for each panel.
You can pick which panel from Book 4 you like, and if I still have em, the stack is yours.
I draw old school. Bristol board, india ink, and a nib. My originals are on 11" x 17" Strathmore 500 Plate, I use a Speedball 102 nib or a Deleter nib, and I use a Japanese ink that's thick with some kind of lacquer.
The result is that the original pages of art stand out, the ink so thick on a smooth surface that you can read it with your fingers. They're very fun originals.
I haven't parted with ANY art from the series. Not a single page. Even my mom doesn't have one.
This Kickstarter is the first time any original pages are leaving my hands.
UPDATE 4/26 - We sold out of all 10 original pages of art in the first 5 days. Since the KS has 22 days to go I felt I should add a couple more pages for the stragglers so we added 3 new pages to the mix. Pages 1, 9, and 10.(NOTE: Page 1 is incomplete and on strange paper)
A new reward tier was added with 3 spots for picks 11-13 at $400.
For the 10 people already getting a page of original art, you now have 13 pages to choose from instead of 10:)
I'm offering up a nice mix of 13 pages of original art from Book 4: The Twistlands.
Since these are the originals you'll notice notes in the margins, pencil marks, whiteout, mistakes, and even changes from what was drawn to how it was organized in the final book(there are 2 page 7s included, which I consolidated down to 1 page in the final book to speed the story up).
The art will be offered up in a fun way - people will take turns picking 1 page. From the highest price to the lowest, in the order you backed the project.
There are 3 reward levels:
- $600 - (1x) - 1st Pick of the 13 pages, Premium Price
- $400 - (7x) - Picks 2-8 of the 13 pages - Average Price
- $350 - (2x) - Picks 9-10 of the 13 pages - Discounted Price (for leftovers)
- $400 - (3x) - Picks 11-13 of the 13 pages - Straggler/Average Price
Simple enough? These are the 13 pages I've made available. I hope you like them.
Risks and challenges
This is my first Kickstarter, so there are likely mistakes I'll make. I'll do my best to resolve any that come up as fast as I can!
I have successfully published the series for 3 years and 5 books(including the TPB), dealing with Diamond, Amazon, and two different printers to always get the books to hit the stands the day they were meant to. The scope of the project should be fine. I have a well trained pug to assist in packaging.
The major risk is that one of the books gets too long or detailed or I need to rewrite something and drift past my deadline. I expect to be editing the book and publishing as I go(as opposed to waiting until all 3 books are done, like I did in the past). There is extra work, covers and reviews, the press side of comics, etc.
So I'm trying to streamline other phases. This is a single Kickstarter for 3 books at the beginning of the project so I can focus on the books, not on raising money. I want to get my momentum and keep it going!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)