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An illustrated storybook about a young Pet Reaper who ventures to solve the mystery behind her Overworld roots.
An illustrated storybook about a young Pet Reaper who ventures to solve the mystery behind her Overworld roots.
435 backers pledged $19,658 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$19,658

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Check the UPDATES section for a FULL PREVIEW video of the book!

New rewards added!

For getting us over $13k, we want to give you guys a few reasons to up your pledges:

  • PIN SET! A new $40 reward has been added which will give you a set of 4 collectible Gwendolyn Pins that you can use to show your Gwendolyn love! These pins are available at all levels above $40 as well.
  • NEW PRINT! The $100 reward level has been adjusted to be two DIFFERENT art prints. There will be one standard print (available at the $75 level) and a new, different print that is only available at the $100 level.
  • MUTT! Every pledge of $80 or over includes a copy of M is for Mutt

WE DID IT! In just a week we reached our goal! BUT WAIT! There's more!

If we continue to raise money until the end of the project, we have a bunch of new options open to us:

  • First off, we can print more copies of the book! 
  • Second, we would love to get started on an interactive iPad version of Gwendolyn. With Ian and Bill's background in film and animation, we hope it will be pretty epic.
  • Promotional materials: We are taking Gwen to a lot of conventions and shows, including San Diego Comic Con. Extra funding would allow us to pay for a booth, awesome banner displays, table runners, etc. 
  • Merch! We'd love to offer t-shirts, pins, stickers, posters, and maybe a plushie or vinyl toy.

Like Gwendolyn on Facebook for sneak peeks of art!

Beneath cemetery twigs and barbing brambles, down through the rottens and the coffins and the roots, is the winding upside down Underworld…

Gwendolyn and the Underworld is an illustrated storybook about a young Pet Reaper (think Grim Reaper + dead pets) who ventures to solve the mystery behind her Overworld roots.  She uncovers a rotten conspiracy with her corpulent corpse aunt, a sidekick Peacodgehog, an army of Skellies, and slew of part-this and part-that creatures.

The first edition!

  • Hardcover(case-bound) matte lam with spot-gloss 
  • Full color on matte paper
  • Illustrated endpapers
  • Foil Stamped Title
  • Spot gloss on front and back covers
  • 64 pages (double a typical storybook)
  • Concept Art section displaying early sketches and process
  • Available this July, in time for San Diego Comic-Con

Who are these guys?

Author Ian Samuels and illustrator Bill Robinson.

We met at the age of 7 and formed a nerdy creative team with Ian leading the storytelling and Bill on the visuals. Since then, we've collaborated on puppet shows, theater performances, short films, and another kid's book. Ian studied Film Directing at Cal Arts and has worked at Sesame Street and The Jim Henson Company. Bill studied Animation at RIT, and has worked as a concept artist for video games, toys, and books with clients like Fisher-Price, Huckleberry Toys, and Universal Studios.

Four years in the making. 

That's a long time to work on one project, but Gwendolyn and the Underworld is pretty epic for an illustrated storybook. The original idea sprouted four years ago, and Bill soon began character design and page layouts.

FAQ

  • Yes!

    Last updated:
  • First off, $8,000 won't actually cover the printing costs. It's more like $9,000, so any extra is certainly welcome. Depending on the amount, extra funding will probably be used to bring aninteractive iPad version of the book to life. This includes costs for music, sound effects, animation, and programming. Extra funding would be very helpful for promotional materials for Gwendolyn - we'll be bringing her to some large shows, including San Diego Comic Con, and would love to deck out the booth with some sweet banners and table displays. Extra funding would allow us to create some great Gwendolyn merch, including t-shirts, pins, stickers, and maybe a plushie or vinyl toy!

    Last updated:

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A great big THANK YOU for helping to fund our book!

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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Three Gwendolyn and the Underworld collector's bookmarks and your name on the website's Donors page.

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    5 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PDF copy of the book, your name on the Donor page, and a set of 3 Gwendolyn bookmarks and a Gwendolyn postcard.

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    26 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    THE HARDCOVER BOOK! A numbered, first-edition copy of Gwendolyn and the Underworld signed by Bill Robinson and Ian Samuels, plus all previous rewards.

    Add $5 for shipping to Canada, $10 to other countries outside the US.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    PIN SET! A deluxe set of 4 Gwendolyn buttons that you can use to show off your Gwendolyn love. You will also receive the previous rewards of the hardcover book, the bookmarks, postcard, and your name on the Donors page.

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    12 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    TWO signed copies of the book and the previous rewards. Save $5! Add $5 for shipping to Canada, $10 to other countries outside the US.

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    42 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    ART PRINT! A 13x19" Gwendolyn and the Underworld limited edition art print, plus the previous rewards.

    Add $5 for shipping to Canada, $10 to other countries outside the US.

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    10 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    M is for MUTT! Get TWO signed copies of Gwendolyn, plus a FREE COPY of "M is for Mutt" by Ian Samuels and Bill Robinson. Also the bookmarks, postcard, and your name on the Donors page. Add $5 for shipping to Canada, $15 to other countries outside the US.

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    10 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    THREE signed copies of the book and the previous rewards. Add $10 for shipping to Canada, $20 to other countries outside the US.

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    4 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TWO signed copies of the book, TWO art prints, 3 bookmarks, the postcard, the PDF, and your name on the Donors page.

    Add $5 for shipping to Canada, $10 to other countries outside the US.

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    13 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    ORIGINAL ART! Get an 8x10" original watercolor/ink bookplate painting by Bill Robinson. Includes previous rewards, plus a BONUS copy of the book for a total of FOUR books.

    Add $15 for shipping to Canada, $25 to other countries outside the US.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MEET THE ARTIST! Are you an artist looking for a little direction? With this reward level you will have the chance to meet Bill in person (or over the internets, if you are not local) and get a chance to pick his brain, learn about the process behind the book, get a painting demo, have him look at your work if you want some feedback...he's all yours for a few hours! Includes all previous rewards, plus a BONUS book, for a total of FIVE books.
    Add $15 for shipping to Canada, $25 to other countries outside the US.

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Funding period

- (30 days)