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$16,257 pledged of $30,000 goal
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By Kieron Dwyer
$16,257 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About

This is you.

You get some very troubling news…

 ...and suddenly...

 ...you're here.

And here.

 And here.

And here.

Are you going mad?

  Or ... is something more sinister afoot?

Find out in West Portal, the new creator-owned monthly comic series by Kieron Dwyer and Todd Rinker!

West Portal is the story of Dexter Allen, a struggling artist with a failed marriage and a young daughter. 

After he's diagnosed with a strange brain anomaly, Dex finds himself transported into bizarre worlds from popular fantasy and fiction.

One minute, Dex is reading a comic strip featuring Glint Granger, a space-faring sci-fi hero in the mold of Flash Gordon...

...and suddenly, Dex is Glint Granger, trapped on some far flung planet, fighting for his life against evil alien Space Squids!

In another of his episodes, Dex is cast into a world of illustrated bible tracts in the mode of Jack T. Chick...

With the boundaries between reality and fiction so tenuous, can Dex survive even this two-dimensional Judgment Day?!

Artwork by Kieron Dwyer, with coloring by Keith Garletts.

THE SKINNY: 

Here’s what West Portal is “about.” 

West Portal is intended to be an ongoing monthly comic book series, chronicling the adventures of Dexter Allen, a man who can travel into fictional realms as if they were real...because they are! 

Remember in Calvin & Hobbes, when Calvin would dream himself as Spaceman Spiff, or a hard boiled noir detective? Now suppose it wasn’t his imagination, and those were real places with real consequences! Super cool, or scary as hell? Probably a good dose of both, and that’s the crazy world(s) in which Dexter Allen lives. 

So what’s our goal here? What is our “ask?” 

We’ve completed issue 1 of the series in our “free time,” a feat that’s difficult to accomplish with two very unpredictable freelancer lives. We’ve also got scripts for issues 2, 3, and 4, and a very detailed outline for the first 16 issues of stories. We wanted to have a lot of foundation laid on this structure before asking for help financing the next section. 

And that’s where you come in. We need to start producing the next 3 issues ASAP. We don’t want this series languishing on the back burner forever, but we need help to do so. Neither of us can afford to turn down paying work without some kind of buffer, which is why we’re asking for the $30K. 

$30,000 is a lot of money. 

We know this. But after the Kickstarter fees, and shipping fees, and other fulfillment related costs, as well as the costs of producing some of the original West Portal-specific Rewards, frankly, we’ll be lucky to clear $20K. We’ll also be paying our colorist Keith for his efforts. So, when all's said and done, the remaining amount will just barely help us with some padding to move forward on the next several issues. But it will help, and we will be indebted to those who chose to help us in this worthwhile endeavor. Help us create a very original ongoing comic book series about a man exploring the very nature of creation and creativity. Thank you. 

And now…THE FAT:

First of all, WE ARE MAKING SOMETHING COMPLETELY NEW. It did not exist before NOW. We are not merely collecting previously available material; this is a brand new series, with no previous market testing or guarantees. It could be a smash hit, or it could fall on its face. We don't know which yet. 

Todd and I (along with Keith Garletts, our amazing colorist) have worked very hard for the better part of a year to produce a complete first issue, as well as full scripts for 3 more issues, and a plot that covers the first 16 issues of our vast and ever-unfolding tale. So, we are fully invested in the venture already, with plenty to show for our efforts, and this book will be a reality, eventually. 

But there's plenty of work yet to do, and we want it seeing the light of day as soon as possible, rather than "whenever we can find the time." And while we have some publisher interest, we have no publishing deal in place yet and may well have to release the comic books ourselves. 

For all intents and purposes, our book is 100% creator-financed, and that is a huge load to carry. With your help, we can complete this first four-issue arc before we solicit the first issue of the series to comic store retailers. Why do that? Well, once we commit ourselves to the monthly deadline of an ongoing comic series, there's no turning back, unless the series is a complete flop. 

As independent contractors with no guarantee of work or income, it's exceedingly difficult to balance a full time freelance work schedule and a time-intensive side project. Your generous backing will give us some leeway to stay at work on the next several issues and weather any other financial hardships which may unexpectedly befall us in the coming months. Our Kickstarter goal is meant to be enough to bridge the gap so we can share West Portal #1 with readers later this year and then a new issue each month after that, until...well, FOREVER, hopefully. 

Oh, yeah, and some of the money will allow us to lavish some nifty rewards on our backers. As with all Kickstarter campaigns, you'll only be charged if ours succeeds. 

Artists Harper Jaten, Jeff Johnson, Dan Panosian, and Dan Brereton have graciously created some amazing West Portal reward prints! Get 'em while they're hot!

By design, most of our rewards are preexisting ones, to keep our focus entirely on producing this exciting but complex new series, and keep our costs to a minimum. We know you could get many of these books elsewhere, and for less money, but we hope you see that that isn't the point of this fundraising effort. 

We hope you look at this not as a place to get a bunch of stuff from us, or to get some kind of bargain, but instead as a way to help us produce this very exciting project, to be an instrumental part of its creation and hopefully its success. As a bonus, you'll get some cool stuff from us!

Choose from a selection of West Portal-specific rewards, like Original Art, Limited Edition Prints and Bookplate Sketches, as well as bundles with many of Kieron Dwyer's prior works, including Remains, Night Mary, Last of the Independents, and more!

All contributors will be thanked both on our website and in both the first issue of West Portal as well as the eventual TPB collection of issues 1-4.

Kieron Dwyer (story, artist) is a longtime comics fan favorite whose mainstream comic book works include Avengers, Captain America, Superman: The Dark Side, and Action Comics. Among his creator-owned projects are LCD: Lowest Comic Denominator, Last of the Independents, Remains, Night Mary, and XXXombies. 

While it has been several years since his last comic book project, Dwyer has been busy helping ad agencies create some of your very favorite TV commercials, most notably the Cannes Lion winning Old Spice ads featuring Isaiah Mustapha as "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like." Thus the overused reference to his famous phrase, "I'm on a horse!" referenced in the West Portal video.

Todd Rinker (story, writer, letterer) is a contract graphic designer who's worked with IDEO, Nokia, and Google. West Portal is his first major comic book, having created a number of self published comics in the early 2000's.

Keith Garletts (colorist) is a multi-talented coloring genius who has worked many a long and ridiculous night working on Kieron's advertising storyboards. 

-----

Thanks to Liam Dwyer and Kathryn Rinker for their invaluable help on the video, especially holding the camera during many blown takes (sorry, Liam!). Love you guys!

Risks and challenges

Our main challenge is determining whether to use a dedicated fulfillment service -- or to simply press-gang our loved ones for the job instead. Again, it's going to come down to the best use of our time and whatever money we've brought in from this (hopefully) successful campaign.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

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    • West Portal Digital Wallpaper

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    • West Portal #1 Digital Edition
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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
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    • West Portal Signed Volume (Issues 1-4)
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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
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    • West Portal Original Print by Harper Jaten
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    • West Portal Original Print by Dan Brereton (final design pending)
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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
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    • West Portal Volume (Issues 1-4) with Signed Bookplate Sketch
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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
    • Last of the Independents Signed Graphic Novel/T-Shirt bundle
    • Shirt Sizes & quantities limited, please inquire
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    • Coffee and Sweets with the creators at the place where West Portal was conceived and created!
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    Hang out with Kieron and Todd at Peet's in NE Portland! Travel not covered.

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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
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    • West Portal Exclusive Gala: A special West Portal backers-only party in Portland, Oregon.
    • West Portal Digital Rewards

    Travel not covered.

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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
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    • 600+ pages of material

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    • West Portal #1 Signed Issue
    • Crawl Space Omnibus Hardcover, Signed
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    • 600+ pages of material

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    • West Portal Signed Limited Edition Print (image TBD)
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    • West Portal Original Artwork
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    • Limited quantities available from first 4 issues of West Portal

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    • Personal Adobe Illustrator Lesson
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    West Portal Print Combo Pack, includes:

    • West Portal Signed Limited Edition Print by Kieron Dwyer (image TBD)
    • West Portal Original Print by Dan Panosian
    • West Portal Original Print by Harper Jaten
    • West Portal Original Print by Jeff Johnson
    • West Portal Original Print by Dan Brereton

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    • West Portal Background Role
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    • West Portal Creator Visit
    • Have Kieron and Todd appear at your store with all travel and other expenses covered by them!
    • Includes bonus West Portal swag for stores and their customers
    • US and Canada only.
    • Dates TBD

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Funding period

- (30 days)