IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU! 10 Years of Creatures, Comic Conventions & Chronic Illness
--A love letter to the arts, industry, and people that keep me going--
Collecting personal comic strips, photography, illustrations and commentary on the extreme lows, and equally extreme highs I've experienced during a decade in Chicago, living with chronic illness, creating art and traveling the country exhibiting at comic conventions.
- 9x12, Softcover, Color/B&W, 120 pages - Target Publication Date: March 2020 -
Will Contain Mature Content: Strong Language / Horror Art / Figure Studies (Nudes) / Descriptions of Illness, Symptoms & Treatments
From the author:
Hi there, my name is Jonathan La Mantia (waves),
I haven't always been able to get around to conventions like I do now. Due to my health issues, there was a time when I couldn't even walk two blocks from my apartment.
When I first moved to Chicago I dealt with a myriad of health issues. Some of which I already had experience with, but others were new to me and I found them difficult to cope with. I became isolated, hardly leaving the apartment, and when I did venture out I usually ended up having some kind of anxiety episode. I was already underweight on account of having Crohn's disease, but I lost even more as my anxiety of food that would cause inflammation flare-up turned into a full-blown eating disorder. Sleep apnea, circulatory issues, agoraphobia -the hits just kept on coming.
After a while I resigned myself to the notion that I would probably never be well enough to do much of anything ever again.
Then it all changed. Not overnight. Not even quickly. Eventually though, I got through it.
My goal for this book is to bridge the gap between what I was going though in those early years of declining health and attitude, and where I am now. To examine the importance of having different artistic outlets for the kinds of feelings I have about my body and the situations I've been though.
I still can't believe everything that's happened over the last few years -all of it- I'm incredibly thankful for all the people who have helped me get to where I am now and continue to support me and my work -I hope this book will be a reflection of that.
Content Examples From The Book
Comics gave me an outlet to experiment with sequential storytelling, something I hadn't done much of previously. Mostly weird or silly gag strips, I would occasionally approach my health situation and discuss what I was going though, but I found that to be very difficult.
Photography helped me find a new level of comfort with being outside by myself again. For months I incrementally expanded the area where I would take photos. This practice helped build a mental and physical stillness, the necessary elements to capture the images I sought out, and was a vital part in my recovery from the worst of my agoraphobic period.
I can honestly say I don't think I'd be as well as I am today without comics, comic creators, and comic conventions. This is largely why I decided to post this book in the 'comics' section of Kickstarter. All of these things have been invaluable for my recovery, and being able to be well enough to get out to conventions and share my work with others is amazing!
I've been drawing for as long as I can remember -but it was hard to keep going and be creative when was ill. Several years went by with barely a sketch here or there. Eventually I decided to make a more concerted effort to to improve my illustrations and experiment with new styles and techniques. Once I was well enough to exhibit at comic conventions it helped push me to further my efforts.
I plan to include as much process material as I can. With my earlier works I didn't take many progress pictures but over the last few years I've tried to get a lot of coverage while working on larger pieces- and sometimes I remember to take shots of the pencils for the smaller pieces.
- $1--THANK YOU!! Every dollar helps with these campaigns and with this tier you will have my gratitude for supporting this project!
- $7--Digital Sketchbooks & Prints: A collection of digital download editions of my sketchbooks from 2014-2018 (five books total). Plus an additional 10 8.5x11 digital prints (one print for each of my 10 years in Chicago)
- $15--Digital Copy Of The Book: Digital downloadable copy of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!
- $20--Digital Book + Digital Rewards: Digital downloadable copy of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!, all the items from the previous 'Digital Sketchbooks & Prints' reward tier and an additional all new 2020 digital sketchbook.
- $35--Physical Book + Digital Rewards: Signed physical copy of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!, plus all of the previous digital download rewards and a signed mini-print of 'CATBOT'
- $40--RETAILER - Physical Book Bundle: (FOR RETAILERS ONLY) 3 signed copies of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!, and a folded promotional display poster.
- $55--Physical Book w/Sketch + Digital Rewards: Signed physical copy of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU! with an original b&w ink 2.5x3.5 sketch card that can be removed from the book for display. Plus all of the previous digital download rewards, and signed mini-prints of 'CATBOT' and 'Frontier 2600'
- $150--5.5×8.5 Commission + Book + All Digital Rewards: A 5.5×8.5 black & white ink commission of the subject of your choosing. I'll be working to complete the commissions throughout the year and they will be delivered along with your physical rewards once they're all available to ship. Includes a signed physical copy of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!, the digital edition of the book, signed mini-prints of 'CATBOT' and 'Frontier 2600' and all the digital rewards previously listed.
- $300--9x12 Commission + Book + All Digital Rewards: A 9x12 black & white ink commission of the subject of your choosing. I'll be working to complete the commissions throughout the year and they will be delivered along with your physical rewards once they're all available to ship. Includes a signed physical copy of IT'S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!, the digital edition of the book, signed mini-prints of 'CATBOT' and 'Frontier 2600' and all the digital rewards previously listed.
A Note About This Campaign:
This won't a full-blast pro-campaign. I honestly don't have the bandwidth to run it that way. I work freelance, and March is full of conventions, and as much as I wish I did, I just don't have the energy to do ALL THE THINGS.
This mostly just means I won't be as frequent with posts and campaign updates as you might be used to. One of the topics I plan on talking about in the books is coming to terms with the finite amount of energy I have, being aware of it, and not getting down on myself when I need to rest.
I'm thankful for with whatever support I can get to make the book a reality! I will greatly appreciate any signal-boosting anyone has to offer -So if you happen to know anyone you think would be interested in this book, please let them know about the campaign!
Risks and challenges
My funding goal of $8,000 is for an initial print of 250 copies of the book, with room to cover shipping, fees any unforeseen issues along the way. With luck I'll be able to look into a larger print run and additional formatting extras if the goal is met!
I have some fun stretch goals I'm excited to look into if I am able to raise more funds- but I am also looking forward to the possibility of not just breaking even on this- I would like to make a little bit to be able to cover expenses while I'm working on the book!
Because this is my first Kickstarter campaign I'm trying to keep things as simple as possible for rewards -I tend to over-complicate things -so it's HAAAARD!
The good news is that the majority of this book's artistic content has already been created -though I will be leaving some room for the inclusion of pieces created this year. The written portions will be the thing I need to make sure to keep on track for the schedule. I'll also be working on the sketch cards throughout the year, so I can them ready for inclusion in the limited editions as soon as they arrive.
With the target delivery date being March 2020, I'm aiming to have the majority of the written content finalized by late November 2019, so I can lock down the art and layout by late December to be able to send it off the printers at the beginning of 2020. With a good two month window for shipping from printers, I hope to have plenty of time to maintain my goal of shipping books out early March.
I think that about covers everything for the moment. I'm sure I'll end up needing to send out some updates along the way, so I will be sure to communicate any issues, delays, or better yet- good news(!) as it comes up!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)