About this project
Did you miss the Kickstarter? Go to www.skyheartcomic.com to stay up to date on the project!
I'm Jake Parker, and I'm making SkyHeart Book I: The Star Seed.
- SkyHeart is an all-ages graphic novel inspired by my favorite movies and comics. If you liked Miyazaki's Nausicaa, Star Wars, Tokien's The Hobbit, and Indiana Jones, then you just might become a fan of SkyHeart.
- SkyHeart will be a 7.5 x 10 inch 100+ page book that comes in both soft and hard cover editions.
- The book is being written and drawn by me and is scheduled to be finished in May of 2016, and shipped out to backers in October of 2016.
For years I've been developing this project on the side, but it was so big, and so involved that it scared me! I felt I wasn't ready to create this book.
After years working in animation as a concept artist (Horton Hears a Who, Rio, Epic) and comics (Flight, Missile Mouse, Rocket Raccoon) my skills as an artist and storyteller got better. I feel like I'm finally at a level now where I can take on a project like this and do it justice.
So...I'm going for it!
The Idea for SkyHeart was planted in my imagination over 15 years ago while on a road trip though the Arizona desert. I imagined the desert floor vanishing, leaving only an abyss of clouds with the rock formations suspended above them in the air.
From that seed of an idea grew an entire world of characters and their struggles, with mythologies, cities, and technology fleshing out the rest of this universe.
I love classic tales of adventure, of good versus evil, and struggles with real consequences. Which is why I look to films like Star Wars, Nausicaa, Castle in the Sky, and Indiana Jones, and books like the Hobbit for inspiration. Just because a story is all-ages, doesn't mean I can't enjoy it as much as my kids do!
SkyHeart takes place on Airth, a world literally torn apart by a pre-historic war between the gods who created it. That war left the planet divided into 4 realms:
- The Stratos, a chain of islands high in the sky where the Sylph people live.
- The Rimland, a massive ring of continents and giant islands where most of the inhabitants of Airth live. Wake, our main protagonist, lives here.
- The Abyss, a stretch of atmosphere filled with incredible cloud formations and tiny floating islands. Limberg and Grimm are from here.
- The Core, an ocean covered rocky sphere filled with colossal caves. The Tengru, monsters and beasts, and the Dark Lord live down here.
In that great ancient war, the beings of Light were able to defeat the Shadows and banish them to the core, but not without a great cost. Losing most of their godly energy, they left Airth to search the universe for more power. Their children stayed to protect what was left of Airth from the evil trapped in the core.
Thousands of years later these pre-historic events have become myth, and the inhabitants of Airth are consumed with their own wars for power.
However, deep in the core, the Shadows have not forgotten, and have begun sending their agents to the surface to harvest the people of their life force. Once enough of this power has been taken the Shadows will rise again to destroy the rest of Airth and start a new world.
Wake and his crew set off to find the Star Seed with the hopes of both saving Wake's mother, and the world of Airth. That is, if they can beat Malsang and his sinister tengru to it's secret location.
How Do Add Ons Work?
I'll be using Backer Kit to handle rewards and add-ons. Here's what you do:
- Add up the total of your selections (plus shipping if it applies)
- Click "Manage Your Pledge" in the upper right corner (blue button)
- Add the total of your Add Ons to your pledge amount. You don't need to change the tier you've selected
- You are done! Later you'll get a backer survey asking how you spent your add-on dollars and for other pertinent info.
- Thank you!
I'll be updating the add ons and adding more if the project funds and we hit stretch goals. I want to add a map of Airth, a poster, and more, so check back.
I'm asking for A LOT of money. I've got a great youtube video here that outlines where all this money is going and how I arrived at this number. Basically, half the funds are going to the production of the content, and the other half is getting the books printed and shipped.
Here's a breakdown of where the funds are going:
Printing: $12,000 This covers getting the books printed and shipped to my house. (15.4%)
Production: $42,000 This covers my time writing and drawing the book, paying a colorist, editor, and building the book and getting it ready for print. (53.8%)
Fees: $8000 This covers Backer Kit, Kickstarter and Amazon fees. (9%)
Shipping: $16,000 This covers packing up the books and shipping charges. I will be shipping the books PRIORITY MAIL to US backers to ensure the safe delivery of each package. International orders will all be sent FIRST CLASS. Orders will be packed in a bubble wrap sleeve, then put into heavy duty cardboard case. I talk all about how I ship things in this video. (23.4%)
This book will be produced in the spring and summer of 2016 and will be delivered to backers in September of that same year. Here's a rough timeline of the production:
November: Run the Kickstarter
December: Finish the SkyHeart manuscript
January - June: Drawing and coloring
July: Building the book, and prepping for print
August - September: Printing the book
October: Packing and Shipping
Hi I'm Jake Parker, and here's a little bit about me written in third person to sound official:
Jake Parker is an illustrator and cartoonist. For the last 17 years he's worked on everything from animated films to comics to picture books. His credits include the animated films Titan A.E., Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Horton Hears a Who, Rio, and Epic.
He illustrated the New York Times bestselling book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man, and went on to also illustrate The Girl Who Wouldn't Brush Her Hair, The Tooth Fairy Wars, The Little Snowplow, and most recently finished his first children's book that he also wrote, Little Bot and Sparrow which will be available in fall of 2016.
Along with children's books Jake also draws comics, and recently finished five issues of Marvel's Rocket Raccoon. His Missile Mouse graphic novel series, published by Scholastic, have sold over 100,000 copies. His own self-published comics anthology The Antler Boy and Other Stories was funded through Kickstarter at over $85,000.
Jake is the creator of the Inktober challenge and World Art Drop Day, with both initiatives involving thousands of artists across the world. He's taught at Brigham Young University and is the co-founder of SVSLearn.com, an online art school specializing in visual storytelling.
He and his wife Alison live in Provo with their five kids, two cats, and five chickens. You can learn more about Jake and see his work at www.mrjakeparker.com
Risks and challenges
This is my third Kickstarter and I fully recognize that unforeseeable problems might pop up. From production delays to collaborator mishaps to malfunctions with the printing press any number of setbacks could arise and push the delivery date of this project back.
However, with my experience in self publishing and comics I'm confident that any potential obstacles will be dealt with swiftly and professionally.
I understand the faith that backers have in me and my project so I'll be very transparent with everything that goes into the production of this book by posting frequent and timely updates, and being quick to notify backers of any setbacks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Shipping art over seas can be risky and expensive so I wanted to limit my liabilities and only offer that reward level to people in the States. I might do a new overseas original art tier if I can get enough interest.
There's a good reason for it that I can't go into right now. I might explain later. I hope you understand.
Unfortunately, no. I'm afraid the costs to hire translators and do multiple print runs in different languages is a little much for this particular self-publishing venture.
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