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A Nick Butler and Greg Stolze webcomic about low-rent supers in a crapsack future. It's set in Tacoma!
A Nick Butler and Greg Stolze webcomic about low-rent supers in a crapsack future. It's set in Tacoma!
199 backers pledged $4,125 to help bring this project to life.

About

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This project is about the future.

The subject matter of A Softer Apocalypse is Tacoma, Washington after disastrous changes to America's economy, ecology and politics. There was no Armageddon event -- no nuclear exchange, asteroid impact or global pandemic. But everything just got worse and worse, along trajectories we can chart from today's headlines.

But there's a spark in this darkness. While the promise of biotechnology has largely gone unfulfilled, there are a few who are passionate enough about their causes to embrace self-transformation as a means to their ends. Of course, installing untested biological super-weapons in your own body is fraught with risks, which is why they're limited to people who are true fanatics, or truly crazy, or who have nothing left to lose.

The story starts with two people buying illegal biotech, and it rapidly escalates from there.

# # #

Doing this as a Kickstarter is also about the future. In the old 20th century, you needed a comic company to publish a comic, and many companies only published comics they thought would sell. Then came the internet, and you could put it up, free, for everyone. This was great for the readers, not so great for some artists who wanted to get paid.

We want to combine the best parts of the old models. You pledge to support the project and, if the interest is sufficient, we put it up for everyone, releasing a page every week for 24 weeks until the first episode concludes. Hopefully, by then we have enough fans to fund the second episode, and so on.

Pledgers can get the full-color, completed story in less than the six months of weekly release, but our primary focus is creating a great graphic story online.  We believe in this, and we've put in our time and effort. If you can put in the money, together we can make something great.

Thanks.

-G.

UPDATE

It was suggested that showing some of the actual art might help, so here's a screencap of page 3 (without dialogue).

 Uh oh, it looks like someone's feeling sad and/or disappointed. Is this going to be one of those stories where people only get hurt emotionally? Let's check out page 5 and see.

Now people are running and brandishing firearms and/or umbrellas! Is someone, perhaps, going to say "A hard rain is gonna fall"? Only one way to find out!

END OF DAYS UPDATE

Now that the hours are ticking down instead of the days, I'm nervous! You've waited me out skillfully, so, fine. I'll crack. This is me cracking!

If this project funds, I'll put up a short story entirely for free. It might be related to the comic. It might be a spinoff of something else I wrote. (You can get a good sense of my fiction at http://www.gregstolze.com/fiction_library/ if you're not already familiar.) I might even take YOUR suggestion about what to write! But it won't cost extra, it'll be formatted for Kindle, ePub and PDF, and it'll be on my site, for everyone, permanently. So please, come on and help us finish this thing!

-G.

Risks and challenges

We've tried hard to limit the risks in this endeavor. As of right now, the scripts for the first two episodes are completed, as are the first twelve pages. I've seen many online comics that started strong but went into long, updateless dry spells when the artist moved or broke a wrist. Our goal is to always have a substantial 'strategic reserve' of completed and unreleased pages to smooth out the release rate.

By the time this project ends, we plan to have all 24 pages complete, so that we can roll straight into release and fulfillment with minimum delay.

We've priced out color prints, and in these small runs they are NOT cheap. A 24 page full color comic runs you about $15 if you only print a single copy, so the pledgers at the Early Adopter level are getting it basically at cost. That's why the numbers are limited there, and why the other tiers with color prints escalate in price and have later delivery dates.

The money goes to Nick, the artist, first. Then it goes to pay for fulfillment and postage. Only after that does Greg get paid for the scripts. Neither of us are planning to quit our other jobs and move in order to work on this, no matter how much we beat our financial goal.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    POST-ECONOMIC LEVEL: If you just want to enjoy a webcomic full of guns and poverty and vengeance, while generously making it available to everyone else, this is the level for you! Thanks!

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    THE PATCHED-TOGETHER LEVEL: As a gesture of thanks for your support, you get a lovely blue-series Schröedinger's Cat Press patch mailed to your home.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THE EARLY ADOPTER SPECIAL: You get a bound, printed, FULL COLOR edition of the first 24-page chapter mailed to your home and signed by the artist. At these levels, you're getting this at near-cost, so this should go fast.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE NOT-SO-EARLY ADOPTER SPECIAL: It's like the previous tier, a full-color hard copy of the first edition, signed by the artist and mailed to your house... it's just later and costlier. But some times the late bird can still get a pro-rated worm!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE "I GOT UP AT NOON" SPECIAL: We could only sell it cheap for so long, but you can still get a signed, full color version of the first issue, mailed to your home, in a reasonably timely fashion.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE UNLIMITED APOCALPYSE LEVEL: For $25, you can get the full-color tangible object mailed to your home, and if this tier runs out we'll open it at the same price - just at a later date to accommodate shipping and fulfillment.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE "GAME? WHAT IS GAME?" LEVEL: 'A Softer Apocalypse' is based on a game Greg wrote, called 'eCollapse,' and he's got some leftover copies from its first, dirty, punk-rock, DIY print run. Pledge at this level and he'll send you one!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE DRAWN-IN LEVEL: Just what it sounds like. You send Nick some reference photos and he puts you (or a post-apocalyptic Tacoma version of you) in the comic. Hell, you could wind up recurring!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    THE "ALL THE BOOKS! ALL OF THEM!" LEVEL: If your bookshelf's conspicuously naked, order at this level to get the early edition of 'eCollapse' from the $25 tier as well as one of the full color comics from the other $25 tier. Two tiers in one!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE MURDER VICTIM LEVEL: Someone's gruesome murder sets the stage for much of what happens, but the victim has yet to be named in the script. Back this tier, and your name (or a reasonable nickname) can be given to that crucial character in Episode 3. (Please though, don't buy this and then try to foist off some enemy's name or your state Senator or something.) In addition to the name drop, you also get a signed version of the full color Issue One.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE "I WANT TO SEE ME SUFFER" LEVEL: This is a combination of the 'drawn in' and 'hard copy' levels. You get your picture added to a crowd scene or police lineup or something, and you get a full-color hard copy to show everyone.

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Funding period

- (30 days)