WE MADE IT! Fully Funded with 2 days to go!
As a special incentive to get our funding up a little higher, we are offering a newly reduced stretch goal:
STRETCH GOAL #1: $3500 - Everyone who pledges in the physical copy categories will get the YOUNG ROBIN HOOD trading cards included for free, included with their shipment!
That's right, if we hit $3500 by Sunday October 20, everyone who pledged for physical copies will get a set of Young Robin Hood trading cards!
This just in: Mark Propst Variant cover:
The ADVENTURES OF YOUNG ROBIN HOOD is an all ages tale inspired by the legend of Robin Hood! This 24 page comic is adapted by Jeff Douglas Messer from a story and stage play co-authored with Robert Akers, and illustrated, colored and lettered by 1st time comic book artist Han Strawderman (who goes by Phantomlight Designs).
Based on the classic legend of Robin Hood, this all ages adventure features a teen age Robin Hood as he travels with his father, learning about life, responsibility and honor. These lessons shape him as the future champion of the oppressed.
Check out the artwork being used for the cover:
Robin and his father meet a plucky young Minstel named Alan A'Dale, who leads them into an ambush with bandits from Sherwood Forest. It is revealed that the bandits are all orphaned teenage girls who come from a village where all the men were taken off to war by King Richard, and none of them returned.
A greedy Baron from a nearby estate keeps the village under his thumb, offering protection and giving meager support in return.
Robin and his father must decide if they want to intervene.
(Pages below are not the final versions and still in progress)
Behind the Scenes
Artist Han Strawderman is an up and coming young artist, whose style is visually appealing to all ages, with an animation ready look that brings these characters and stories to life in vivid, yet simple detail. Many people who have seen early pages and character designs have remarked: "Is this for an animate movie?" (Which we're all for, and quite open to discussing. In fact, it has already been discussed with some folks in the film industry.)
This comic is great for kids, adults, students and theatre! That's right! Keep in mind that the scripts were originally written to be performed as live stage plays. Oh, and we did say scripts with an "s." There is another one just waiting to be adapted to comic book form after this one!
This one shot issue will also contain bonus pages with some educational study guides that help to connect the story and characters in the book with society of the era, and the history of 12th century England. This can be both educational and enlightening, as the story explores aspects of Feudalism, how women were treated in Medieval times, how people lived and sustained themselves, and aspects of chivalry and nobility.
As well, get some great behind the scenes glimpses of Han Strawderman's process of taking the art from concept to finished product. And so much more! Plus, every person who pledges will be thanked with a listing in the book!
Be a part of something fun and educational, and get some great perks for being a part of it! Whether you are a die hard Robin Hood fan, a fan of history, or just want to help support something aimed at helping to inspire kids to read, learn and discuss .
What we want to do to give back
This comic book is a labor of love, and we aim to give back to the community as much as possible with it. Our goal is to get these comics into the hands of public school libraries and teachers at little to no cost to them.
As such, we have two options for educators to order books for their classrooms at drastically reduced prices. We also have a category where you can pledge to donate copies to a local school's library or classroom, in your name. Obviously, our efforts must start locally with schools near where we live, but we strongly encourage folks who might find this idea to be inspiring to purchase books under the education package level and donate them to your local schools. Once you purchase the books from us, and donate them to your school(s), your donations then becomes tax deductible for you, and educational for the kids who will have access to the books. Everybody wins, right?
Also, any person who wishes to pledge to our effort to start placing books in classrooms locally, can donate an additional $5 to their pledge for each single copy you wish to donate to a child in school in addition to the copy we are going already match thanks to your pledge - so you will essentially be giving two copies. (The $5 over-pledge amount is based on printing costs - which will vary depending on the number of books we have printed - and if we end up with the ability to print more copies, all extra copies will automatically be added to the school donations, so your $5 could end up supplying even more books when it's all said and done.)
You could be helping us reach a child who may have never read a comic book, or may be a less than enthusiastic reader who might be turned on to reading, history, or even theatre by this comic book. Pledge as many additional books as you wish. And you will get special recognition in the thank you section of the book for your support of our endeavors!
We are not a charity, nor associated with one. We, the creators of this project, are personally going to take copies of these books in matching numbers to all those that you folks pledge, and simply give them school class rooms and school libraries. Much like Robin Hood himself, we are doing it to help without any questions asked or anything given in return for us doing it.
That's the core of what we want to do: spread the word and share this book.
But wait! There's more!
Legendary comic book creator MIKE GRELL donated a fully painted Robin Hood and Maid Marian poster to us for our outdoor productions in 2018 and 2019 (ROBIN HOOD THE LEGEND OF SHERWOOD, and QUEST FOR JUSTICE.) We sold prints at shows to raise money for local charities. All told, we raised over $2500 for local organizations that helped those with food insecurities, youth outreach services, local orphanages, and other causes that we felt were in the spirit of Robin Hood.
HERE'S MIKE'S POSTER:
MIKE GRELL'S epic poster has never been available anywhere else. He doesn't even sell prints at Conventions or at signings. The only place you could get one was if you were at the 2018 live production of "ROBIN HOOD The Legend of Sherwood." Until now...
Mike has given us permission to offer his exclusive poster as part of this Kickstarter. And you can get the original show poster version, a non-logo version, and a VERY limited number of signed non-logo prints, autographed by MIKE GRELL himself. These are super rare and will be unavailable anywhere but here.
The signed MIKE GRELL prints are only available in the Legend of Sherwood pledge category (which is loaded with goodies) and there are ONLY 25 copies available!
Check out Mike explaining the process of creating this poster
It's also fitting to have a comic book legend like Mike Grell be a part of this project, and here's why:
In 2018, Mike visited Jeff in Asheville, NC for a short vacation. Being the tireless creative guy he is, Mike made a few comic shop appearances while there. At the first
appearance, Han stopped by and chatted with Mike. Han, it was revealed, was an artist, and shared his work with Mike, who was impressed and offered bits of encouragement and advice. It was a powerful moment for a young artist to receive praise from one of the greats in the industry. Han found new inspiration thanks to Mike's kindness.
Jeff recognized the moment and the impact of it, and reached out to Han soon after and asked Han to be the artist on the Young Robin Hood project
Everything just felt right, instantly about this project and what it could mean to the people making it, and those it could reach and inspire.
But enough sentimentality for a moment. You want to know about what other cool stuff we have in store, right?
Another great comic book professional artist, Mark Propst, has jumped on board the project with us, providing an exclusive variant cover (image to be added soon!) and prints for the campaign. Keying off of Han Strawderman's excellent character designs, Mark is giving us his take on the cast of characters, and a grown up Robin Hood and friends print (that could come in handy for a future Robin Hood comic project that we have in the works now!)
Mark Propst began his comic book career in the early 80s drawing for the Guild Comics title 'Crusaders' and its follow-up 'The Southern Knights'. At AC Comics in the mid 80s he was artist on 'Femfoce', 'Priority: White Heat' and 'Employers Ltd.'. He was co-creator of 'Aristocratic X-Traterestrial Time-Traveling Thieves.' In the 90s he was an inker on DC's 'Justice League of America', 'Justice Society of America' and 'Atom'.
MARK PROPST BONUS!
Mark is offering to do an original sketch for anyone who donates $100 or more! This offer is only available to any individual pledger who pledges $100 or more to the campaign!! You can pick any favorite character of yours and Mark will draw it for you!
Thanks Mark for offering to do this for the campaign!
Can there possibly be more? Why, yes. There certainly can be!
We're also offering a set of Young Robin Hood trading cards, featuring characters designed by Han Strawderman. This set of 12 cards features the characters from the comic, and a few bonus characters that will be introduced in a future comic book!
Some of the Characters in the story:
Beyond Just Funding It
All right, let's say we easily meet our funding goal. What then?
The more we raise, the more we can give to schools and school libraries. Plus we want to make sure those of you who pledge get lots of other cool stuff as well. We're not being overly ambitious, so there are two initial STRETCH GOALS that we have figured out. There may be moire to come, if we exceed our wildest expectations. And we have some cool, fun stuff in mind, so get ready!
STRETCH GOAL #1: $3500 - Everyone who pledges in the physical categories will get the YOUNG ROBIN HOOD trading cards included for free, included with their shipment!
STRETCH GOAL #2: $4000 -Everyone who pledges in the physical categories will get an exclusive mini-print poster version of the final page of the book, with the YOUNG ROBIN HOOD title in place of the word balloons as depicted on the actual page.
STRETCH GOAL #3: $5000 - ????? (But we'll come up with something great)
STRETCH GOAL #4: $10,000 - ????? (Are you kidding me? We will come up with something epic!! And we'll expand the number of copies of the book we are placing in schools to levels beyond our wildest dreams!)
So, who the heck are we anyway?
Jeff Douglas Messer is a long time playwright, former radio talk show host with iHeart Radio, and a recent nominee for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic Con International San Diego for the book "Mike Grell: Life is Drawing Without An Eraser" (written by Dewey Cassell, with Jeff Messer) published by Twomorrows Publishing. Jeff is also currently the Editor-in-chief and co-publisher of Masterstroke Studios (with Mike Grell, Noel Beitner and Arvell Jones), who have relaunched Mike Grell's creator owned characters under a new publishing banner.
Robert Akers is an accomplished author and musician. In addition to highly successful Robin Hood stage plays, he has written two novels: "12 Minutes" and "Final Fantasy: The Ancients Return" (a journey across the globe to prevent a worldwide cataclysm.) He, along with his wife, Jan, is the co-founder of Harmony Globally, a movement that seeks to bring about change through music and interpersonal connection. Robert is also the co-owner of Stone Key Properties, Inc, which specializes in giving broken older homes a new lease on life.
Han Strawderman is a young, up and coming comic book artist, and the creative driving force of Phantomlight Designs. This is Han's first comic book, but he has plenty of experience in illustration, as can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/PhantomlightDesigns/ and here: https://www.facebook.com/PhantomlightDesigns/
Thank you for considering and hopefully supporting and sharing this with friends who are fans of Robin Hood, comic books, Theatre, education, literature, and just doing something nice for school kids.
We have so many plans beyond this that will continue to grow what we're hoping to start right here with this project. So, don't you want to be one of the first to have your name immortalized in the pages of this book?
Help us achieve this dream, so we can have bigger and even further reaching dreams to come!
And keep an eye out for updates along the way for more goodies that will be added as we go!
Of the funds we are raising, approximately 1/3 will pay the artist for their hard work on the book, 1/3 will go toward printing costs (and maybe a little toward shipping, but it all depends on how many copies we have to print and how much that ends up costing), and the final 1/3 will cover shipping and other art and printing costs, as well as giving Kickstarter their percentage, and other potential costs. At the $3000 goal, we are only looking to break even (and potentially will be losing a little in order to make this work for our school support concept.
Risks and challenges
The book is finished save minor tweaks. Once funding has been made, we will move to make sure that we are ready to print as soon as the Kickstarter ends and funds are transferred. It is our goal to have the books in the hands of those who supported us within 6 weeks of the end of the campaign. And we plan to personally distribute and deliver books to schools starting in January 2020.
Your support of this book, in effect, supports a great cause in addition to being a fun new family-friendly comic book!
- (30 days)