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A mix of superhero comics and humor, In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry is a comedy/sci-fi novella written to give the future the stink eye.
A mix of superhero comics and humor, In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry is a comedy/sci-fi novella written to give the future the stink eye.
55 backers pledged CA$ 2,834 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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CA$ 2,834

55

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!

In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry issue 1: Serial Fiction Sideshow chapter 1

Master Asinine loves the new robot sentries.
Master Asinine loves the new robot sentries.

The What

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.

Sweet! Front cover action!
Sweet! Front cover action!

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.

Major Legion is not too happy with the state of affairs around here.
Major Legion is not too happy with the state of affairs around here.

The Who

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.

Jeff is a very outside-the-box thinker and you should encourage his resourcefulness.
Jeff is a very outside-the-box thinker and you should encourage his resourcefulness.

The Why

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.

Master Asinine engages in critical thinking. Stand clear of the mess.
Master Asinine engages in critical thinking. Stand clear of the mess.

The How

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.

Stretch Goal

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.

Legion looks a gift horse in the mouth when his mother's lawn needs watering.
Legion looks a gift horse in the mouth when his mother's lawn needs watering.

The When

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.

Jeff thinks embezzlement is a topping.
Jeff thinks embezzlement is a topping.

The Where

On computers and paper. Stone tablets are for suckers.

Master Asinine didn't check the thesaurus before he left the house.
Master Asinine didn't check the thesaurus before he left the house.

The Extras

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.

Mark is wary of Jeff catching fire.
Mark is wary of Jeff catching fire.

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.

Master Asinine is proactive in the dating scene. He's single, ladies!
Master Asinine is proactive in the dating scene. He's single, ladies!

Reviews

"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.

Master Asinine is very strict about initiation rituals.
Master Asinine is very strict about initiation rituals.

FAQ

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).

Patton knows the enemy's drinking habits all too well.
Patton knows the enemy's drinking habits all too well.

Updates

January 6, 2015

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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

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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!

Avengers + Futurama
Avengers + Futurama
X-Men + Star Wars + Seinfeld
X-Men + Star Wars + Seinfeld

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.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Awry issue 1: Serial Fiction Sideshow chapter 1

I'd like to have made a kickoff video, but time and responsibilities have nixed that idea. Expect a video this weekend though.

Jacob now knows there's only so much a stomach lining can take. Good luck, Jacob.
Jacob now knows there's only so much a stomach lining can take. Good luck, Jacob.

February 17, 2015

Finally, the launch video is up! Two weeks late, but better late than never.

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Backed by BackerCub.co
Backed by BackerCub.co

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.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About $0.79

    * Good karma.
    * A spring in your step.
    * My undying gratitude.
    * A smile and nod that says you done good, kid.

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    Pledge CA$ 2 or more About $1.57

    [New to this level]

    * An e-mail to your mother telling her how much of a kind and decent humanitarian you and an mp3 of me giving you an extra special thank you. *Extra* special.
    * How about photos of the houseplants I own? Hey, I'm not judging.

    [From previous levels]

    * Good karma, a spring in your step, and my undying gratitude.

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    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About $4

    [New to this level]

    * Exclusive 8-page PDF story (unrelated to the series but still an awesome read).
    * A crude JPG rendition of the cover with dramatic stick figures in place of the characters! I kid you not, those stick figures are gonna rock you out.

    [From previous levels]

    * Good karma, the spring, and gratitude. In this case, it's *golden* karma. You can't get better than that. Wotta deal!

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    Pledge CA$ 10 or more About $8

    [New to this level]

    * Copy of the e-book: estimated 92 pages of pure hilarity. I mean, it's not Macbeth or anything, but it's good. We can pretend it's Macbeth. Okay, it's Macbeth.
    * An awesome JPG copy of the cover with my face Photoshopped over the characters's faces. And I'm a terrible Photoshop artist. Be the first to take advantage of this deal! Your friends will positively drool with envy. Snorkeling gear for excess drool not included.
    * Post-campaign YouTube updates on the publishing process.

    [From previous levels]

    * Also good karma, a spring in your step, and my undying gratitude. Some assembly required.

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    Pledge CA$ 15 or more About $12

    [New to this level]

    * One copy of the paperback edition, of which, like the participants of the $10 reward group, you can be the first of all your drooling friends. Steer clear of the drool or wear the aforementioned unincluded snorkeling gear. Oh, the bragging rights you'll have! You can finally stick it to that smug Chad.
    * Exclusive sketch version of the cover in JPG format!

    [From previous levels]

    * YouTube video updates on the publication process after the Kickstarter campaign is over.
    * Also get a big helping of good karma, spring thing, gratitude, all that jazz.

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $20

    [New to this level]

    * Copy of paperback edition but with a customized autograph, because nothing's better than something I put my signature on.
    * Exclusive sketch version of the cover.

    [From previous levels]

    * YouTube video updates on the publication process after the Kickstarter campaign is over.
    * Good karma, a spring in your step, and that gratitude thing. Those are also fine and dandy.

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    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About $20

    [New to this level]

    * Two--count 'em, one, TWO!---copies of paperback edition! No siggie on these ones though. :/
    * Exclusive sketch version of the cover.

    [From previous levels]

    * YouTube video updates on the publication process after the Kickstarter campaign is over.
    * Good karma, a spring in your step, and that gratitude thing. Those are also fine and dandy.

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    Pledge CA$ 50 or more About $39

    [New to this level]

    * Copy of paperback edition but signed by me and a mention in the acknowledgements section of the book and web site JUST FOR BEING YOU.
    * Who knows? I might even e-mail you a description of what my five-year-old niece plans to do to Hans from Frozen.

    [From previous levels]

    * YouTube video updates on the post-campaign publication process.
    * Exclusive sketch copy of the cover.
    * Of course, be the first on your block to receive good karma, a spring in your step, and my undying gratitude. In fact, I'll throw in double the undying gratitude.

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    Pledge CA$ 100 or more About $79

    [New to this level]

    * An Ask Me Anything session by e-mail, limit of 10 questions!
    * Two signed copies of the paperback edition!
    * All three exclusive versions of the cover: stick figure, my Photoshopped face, and the sketch copy of the cover.

    [From previous levels]

    * Your name in the book's and site's acknowledgements.
    * Post-campaign video updates on YouTube.
    * Good karma, a spring in your step, and my undying gratitude.

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    Pledge CA$ 200 or more About $157

    [New to this level]

    * Edits on the first ten pages of the manuscript! You get to get inside my head! Until now, I've only let the taxman in there.
    * Exclusive one-of-a-kind cover: I'll fire up Photoshop, use no fewer than five filters, and see what I come up with! Everyone at this level is guaranteed to get a different cover, but I'll make sure each is discernible.

    [From previous levels]

    * Ask Me Anything session, limit of 10 questions.
    * Two signed copies of paperback edition.
    * Exclusive versions of the cover.
    * Post-campaign video updates on YouTube.
    * Mention in the acknowledgements.
    * Good karma, a spring in your step, and my undying gratitude. You know the drill by now.

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    Pledge CA$ 500 or more About $393

    [New to this level]

    * Sneak peak at the plot for issue 2.
    * Deleted scene that may never otherwise see the light of day.
    * ZIP file of all used and unused promotional material!

    [From previous levels]

    * Ten-question Ask Me Anything session.
    * Two autographed copies of paperback edition.
    * All three exclusive covers plus the one-of-a-kind manic version, on your e-mail's doorstep.
    * Post-campaign video footage on YouTube.
    * Mention in the acknowledgements.
    * Yup. Good karma, a spring in your step, and my undying gratitude.

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    Pledge CA$ 1,000 or more About $786

    [New to this level]

    * Two-hour chat with the author for your friends or group at a forum you arrange in your hometown. Since airfare is unpredictable what with rates to different areas, please provide that airfare separate from the pledge amount or directions to the nearest high-powered trampoline. You know what? Forget the trampoline. Last time I traveled by 'line, I lost my luggage in Honolulu.

    [From previous levels]

    * Two signed copies of the paperback edition.
    * Mention in the acknowledgements section.
    * Post-campaign video updates on YouTube (I'll even let you eat fine caviar while you watch).
    * All three exclusive versions of the cover plus that one-of-a-kind version.
    * You thought I'd forget but, to my biggest fans, a spring in your step, my undying gratitude, and the best, sunniest karma I can offer. The *best*! I'm cool like that.

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    Pledge CA$ 7,500 or more About $5,891

    [New to this level]

    * I'll throw a one-float parade in your honor. Let's face it: the parade will be me driving around in my car.
    * I might weep for joy a little, though. Maybe dance in the streets for you. If you want, I can film it.

    [From previous levels]

    * All that other stuff from the $1,000 level. Don't think I forgot about all that.

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Funding period

- (33 days)