Support this project for a Scooby Snack!
Update: Want more copies? Have more copies!!
For anyone who has already pledged enough to receive a paperback copy of the book, I'm sweetening the deal. Get extra copies, each for only $10! That's right, for each ten millionth of a hundred million dollars, you can get an additional copy. Haven't pledged yet but want to get in on this mathematical headache of a reward? There's no time like the present! Just click that amazing green button and start finger-bashing random digits until an impressive number comes out.
How do you get these extra copies? Just add to the total of your pledge and send me a message that says, "No no, Liam. I don't need to jump to the next reward tier. Just send me more fantastic copies. I love the smell of paper *that* *much*." And then ride off into the sunset on your steed.
Incredible, Spectacular, Fantastic, Amazing, Uncanny Update!
Want to see what you're buying into? Yes, you do. I can tell by the look in your eyes. Your Internet eyes. That I can't see over the Internet.
Anyway, check out the first chapter, here for your vision holes! Yes, that's right, the entire first chapter ready for my amazing public!
Galactic military agent Matross Legion hasn't had the happiest past. A helicopter beanie in the fourth grade and that stomach bug on his first date both formed awkward memories. But there was more. Much more.
Legion witnessed his best friend Sopher's execution at the hands of another best friend, Lowensland. Months later, eccentric Lowensland, now calling himself Master Asinine, resurfaces with a plan to merge the galaxy's largest crime families, a plan that will leave the military crippled. Legion must now take charge of a new military group to stop Master Asinine before that idiotic madman takes control of the galaxy and refits it in his rule. And Master Asinine’s plan reaches full throttle in four days.
Can Legion control his guilt over Sopher's death, his loathing for his ex-best friend Master Asinine, and the fact that the galaxy's official sport is ultimate couponing? On top of that, can he stop Master Asinine before that maniac unleashes his secret weapon?
People will die! Civilizations will crumble! Press conferences will be held! Popular teen hangouts will be closed for renovation! Stuff will happen to other stuff!
And nothing is more dangerous than an idiot who controls all crime.
The Elevator Pitch
In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry is a manic series of novellas best described as The Uncanny X-Men and Futurama pureed together, but without a cameo appearance by George Takei or The Harlem Globetrotters (can't win 'em all, I guess).
Set in the 91st century, it takes everything that makes the superhero mythos fun and adds an obscene helping of one-liners and tomfoolery. But don't worry. I told the characters you’re not laughing at them, you’re laughing because of them.
The series draws inspiration from Spider-Man, The Uncanny X-Men, Batman, Nova,The Avengers, and a slew of others, while taking elements of humor found in Spaceballs, Mystery Science Theater 3000, Futurama, Married...With Children, Seinfeld, Family Guy, and Ghostbusters. Add a dash of 1980s Transformers and you have a good idea of the succulent casserole you're about to taste: a superhero series in prose format. It's not a comic series, it's not a graphic novel, it's not presented in visual format. It's a superhero comic in literary format.
This crowdfunding campaign represents the series' kickoff issue, Serial Fiction Sideshow. This starts what I hope will be a universe about which you'll be reading into your drooling old age.
My name is Liam Gibbs. I’m the guy steering the tour bus on which you're riding, and I’m glad you’re coming with me. After all, you’re good conversation.
What makes me qualified to write this? On the science fiction side, I've had a lifelong adoration for/obsession of/unhealthy appetite for superhero comics, science fiction, and its quirky characters. I've always loved the superhero genre: the colorful costumes, the different abilities, and the funky codenames all contributing to a theme and enhancing a personality.
On the comedy side, I've always appreciated a good awkward phrasing from Philip J. Fry, or the way Jerry Seinfeld can make a laugh out of a situation while every other comedy resorts to petty insults at another character's expense. These are things I've incorporated into my personality and, by extension, this series. I'm the guy who has to inject a joke into every situation. And here is where you get to read the best of them. It was either this or be a stand-up comedian, and I don't like the odor of rotten tomatoes.
On the authoring side, I’ve been writing since the age of four. My first story was about a cow eating grass, and it was parentally acclaimed. Since that story, I’ve honed my skills by taking classes on storytelling and language, including a two-year college program from which I graduated with honors. I’ve been using my time to teach others about the skills of creating a story, about self-editing, and about the rules of our language.
I’ve been writing novels, novellas, short stories, and articles nonstop, some published, some not, for audiences like you. My crowning achievement is In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry, the series I’ve spent years refining, improving, and cutting my teeth on. This is the event in which you’re participating now.
Simply put, I can string together an electrifying, funny sentence without the use of LOL, ROFLMAO, and other things I hope you do when reading this series.
First, the fun. I've had a blast writing this crazy ongoing dance of good versus evil. This series has been a passion of mine since before I can remember, and I've finally decided to let that passion off its leash and allow it to sniff around the world, starting with you, my loyal contributors. And I wouldn't want to do that if I didn't sincerely believe one hundred percent that this is amazing work. I want to show you astounding people the things I've seen these characters do and to what government organizations they do those things. And when you catch up to the point to which I've written, I want us to experience their next moves together. Maybe we’ll hold hands and frolic in the grass while we watch them. Or not. It was just a thought.
Second, while this is a series with a literary narrative, I hope this will push more attention to the visual art form. If you’re anything like me, you love superhero comics. My favorites were always the Spider-Man group of books and The New Warriors, but I read tons of others. Unfortunately, comic sales have been slagging since the late 1990s. Video games and blockbuster movies have taken over. Marvel and DC tried using those media to draw more awareness to comics, but that hasn't worked: the moviegoer has stayed at the movies, and the video gamer has remained loyal to PlayStation. I hope these books give comics that extra helping hand. After all, I'm not transforming a moviegoer into a reader. I'm transforming a reader into another kind of reader.
Essentially, I want to give back to the comic art form as much as it gave to me Superhero comics gave me a give ol’ fan-boy hug when I was a young buck. This series is my way of hugging back.
You. You’re the how. You can take part in this elevator ride with me from the lobby to the penthouse. You’re the parent watching this baby grow into adulthood, the start-up crowd watching a corner store become a chain, the lucky few who get to grab the first beers from the party fridge before all that’s left is the lite stuff, half-melted ice, and a DJ plays "Closing Time" to kick you out. You are the wheels putting this street car in motion. You are the initial contributors, and I want to make you as excited by this as I am.
While this campaign is about the very first issue, let's look at the big picture. This is a series for which I've already written up to issue 17. Yes, issue 17 and counting. You're investing in much more than this one book. You're investing in a universe's history!
And here’s where your contributions go. First of all, your karma supply. And who can argue with shiny, happy karma?
After your hungry karma beast has been sated, you’ll be helping in the following areas:
$400 shakes the hand of a lucky copyeditor: technical issues, punctuation, sentence structure, and such
$200 satisfies the appetite of formatting: ease of reading, font selection, and proof
$80 makes the people at Kindle happy: e-book formatting
$250 greases the wheels of on-product marketing: back blurb, tagline, category selection, keywords, and description
$155 makes my cover artist and colorist happier and better fed
$25 lines the pockets of the people at the Library of Congress: an LCCN
$210 for fees to Kickstarter and Amazon
The rest is for you, my tremendous backers, in the form of some flavorful rewards. (No, the books aren't filled with bacon, but if you'd like to run one over your frying pan, let me know how it tastes.) To say thank you, I've got some amazing rewards planned for my first supporters. We'll get to that in another section, but for now, since I can't hug every one of you tremendous people in person and tell you how much this dream means to me, the rewards will be my embrace.
If you fine folks help me reach my stretch goal of $3,500, I'll kick that $350 copyediting up to a full editing makeover: a structure, plot, characterization, and tone revolution. That sparkly gem will run a tad bit more than just the four-karat copyediting. It's like the manuscript visited the spa and got talked into buying the whole mani/pedi package! That's what manuscripts get at the spa, right?
Any additional funding will go toward either (1) extras that help flesh out this ride for you fine people with excellent taste, (2) issue 2, or (3) into other Kickstarter campaigns as a pay-it-back way to give to the community that helped make this dream tangible.
After I receive the funds, publication will begin with copyediting. This process should take two to three weeks. Once that's done, the manuscript will be ready for formatting and that will take an extra week.
After formatting is complete and the manuscript is wrapped up with a nice pretty bow, we have liftoff: publication happens. Your rewards and my eternal thanks will be in your hot little hands shortly after publication, give of take a brief moment due to the mailman. This will allow me time to order the reward copies, get them, sign them, and send them out to you amazing folk. Allow for delays due to foreign customs and angry ninjas. Bear with me, though, since these timeframes are only estimates. The ninjas aren't, though.
On computers and paper. Stone tablets are for suckers.
For a sample of my writing, feel free to try my novella Not So Superpowered, published by DYK Publishing, on for size at http://bit.ly/notsosuperpowered in Kindle format. Or you can check out my snack-size fiction, available at http://bit.ly/threeflashfictions in PDF format.
Can You Find This Concept Anywhere Else?
Not that I've seen. In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry is unique for three reasons.
First, there's a gaping hole in prose fiction for absurd comedies. We have Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but other than that, any author who claimed to write a comedic story either missed the mark or added humor only as an afterthought. (Just one man's opinion, of course, but I always felt something was missing.) In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry fills that hole. The comedy comes full speed ahead, and it doesn't just regurgitate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Just as I did while crafting this series, I hope you'll experience a unique feel, a new flavor, a performance you've never seen before.
Second, this series truly is a comic book in prose form, with each novella representing an issue. The James Bond and Harry Potter stories include characters you can watch grow, all contained in one series. I've never seen that concept with superheroes outside the visual art format. Yeah, some prose books show Spider-Man, Wolverine, Batman, and any other spandex enthusiast with lasers shooting from their eyes (your grade school principal maybe). But those were the side stories, the one-shots, the fractions of the whole. I wanted to bring the Harry Potter concept of series to the superhero genre, something you could read in one single series with no offshoots. In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry is a series you can watch grow right from the start without worrying about one-shots, crossovers, or guest appearances elsewhere.
Third, ’cause I said so. That’s why. (That reason tends to stick in court.) But, seriously, the other two reasons.
"I'm still not clear on what this is. Are you coming for dinner tonight? We're having stir fry." - author's mom
"You want me to read what's on this slip of paper?" - random guy on the street
"No. Get away from me." - same random guy on the street
"Amazing. Simply superb writing. Can I get my $10 now?" - acquaintance to the author
"In 1959, he received decent reviews when he took on the role of Lomax in the Broadway production of The World of Suzy Wong." - Wikipedia entry on William Shatner
Join My Other Parties At...
And to all a good night!
From the bottom ventricles of my hearty heart, contributors, thank you for your help.
Is this a graphic novel? You sound like you're describing a graphic novel.
While passing out promo material to the excellent stores and establishments who have agreed to help spread the word, I've been asked this question. And I can see where the confusion comes from, so I'll give some clarification. I've added this to the description above, but I want to highlight it here.
It's a series of literary books based on superheroes. It's a novel written as if it were a comic, taking as many comic characteristics as it can. But it's neither a collection of visual comics nor is it a graphic novel. It brings the greatness of the superhero stories and describes them with words instead of art. Essentially, it's not visual superhero storytelling. It's literary superhero storytelling. Think of it as a highly detailed, written plot summary of a comic.
You cited it's a mash-up of existing properties. So you're using pre-existing characters and settings? Are you selling fan fiction?
No. This is an original work. I cited those other properties only because I'm drawing a comparison between my story and them to give a clearer idea of what snacks I'm serving at this shindig. Spaceballs, Futurama, The X-Men, and others inspired this series, but you won't find Colossus fighting Dark Helmet. One day that tango will happen, but not today. It would be illegal--and sleazy--to sell a book using characters I don't own without permission from their trademark holders. Unless it's a satire, then all bets are off (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Robot Chicken).
January 6, 2015
Thanks to these awesome places and fantastic people for spreading the word! Your help is key to the success of this campaign.
Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, 35 Broad St., Red Deer, NJ
Elite Battlegrounds, 299 Route 22 East, Green Brook, NJ
Amazing Heroes, 966 Stuyvesant Avenue, Union, NJ
Comic Fortress, 59 West Main Street, Somerville, NJ
January 13, 2015
More thanks to all the great places and supportive people who've been helping me lately!
Kobold's Corner: 430 Hazeldean Rd., Kanata, ON
Wizard's Tower, 3350 Fallowfield Rd., Ottawa, ON
The Hobby Centre/The Cave, 33 Roydon Pl. #6, Ottawa, ON
The Comic Book Shoppe, 1400 Clyde Ave., Ottawa, ON
The Comic Book Shoppe, 228 Bank St., Ottawa, ON
Anime Stop, 1400 Clyde Ave., Ottawa, ON
Monopolatte, 640 Somerset St. W., Ottawa, ON
Silver Snail, 391 Bank St., Ottawa, ON
Carta Magica, 1179 St. Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON
Entertainment Ink, Place D'Orléans Dr., Orléans, ON
January 22, 2015
Hey, just in case you want to see some of my promo material, check it out here!
February 2, 2015
Campaign launch date! I'm incredibly excited that, after all these months, the campaign is finally underway. As a reward for everyone, I've posted the first chapter. Check above or click on the link below to whet your literary appetites.
I'd like to have made a kickoff video, but time and responsibilities have nixed that idea. Expect a video this weekend though.
February 17, 2015
Finally, the launch video is up! Two weeks late, but better late than never.
Risks and challenges
Each issue is already written, edited, re-edited, re-edited, edited by friends, and re-edited until my brain wept for clemency. So they're all ready to go.
The last obstacle I see in this is not so much in bringing this specific novella to you, but in repeating the success enough to show you the rest of the series. That requires marketing, getting the word out, making sure I do everything right each time. Can I repeat this success? This Kickstarter is just the beginning.
I have several strategies to overcome any funding hurdles, but which I use depends on how this campaign goes. If this campaign makes enough money to fund the next, I’ll try to repeat that success over and over until this has enough of a following that I won’t need crowdfunding at all anymore. Sales will cover each subsequent issue. If this campaign doesn’t fund the next issue, I’ll restart from crowdfunding square one, but this time I’ll go into it knowing what to expect.
There are a bunch of ways the results of this campaign can play out, and I have a strategy to use for each of those ways.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)