From beginning to end, this has been an incredible journey because of our amazing backers. People from all over the world, friends and strangers alike, have made this campaign successful, and we can't thank you all enough.
We want to thank a few people in particular that helped us along the way.
Christopher Spencer, who produced the video from start to finish. He's got some artwork you can check out at www.cspencer.ca and there is a link to sites where you can buy some, too.
Dan Piraro, who went out of his way to promote us on more than one occasion. You can check out his daily syndicated comic strip in pretty much every newspaper on the planet, or at www.bizarro.com.
And thanks to our friends and family who were behind us the whole way; spreading the word, putting up posters, and basically doing what we needed to do everywhere we couldn't. Thank you to Irene, Eric, Katie-Anne, Kim, Garrett, Remy, Shonna, and everyone that shared and supported the campaign.
Thank you for making our campaign for The Forever Maps successful!
The Forever Maps begins in 1794 when a young man named John leaves home. No longer willing to suffer the abuse of his father or see his mother hurt protecting him, he sets out on his own and comes across a weak old man who reluctantly asks him for help with a map. When they follow it, they find a mysterious wooden box carved into a tree stump. Inside, another map. The old man smashes the box, angry, infuriated! He wants nothing to do with it, and forces John to take it. When John follows this new map, he finds identical boxes leading him all across the country. For decades he does this, fixated on finding something -- anything -- other than a map, until he realizes that as long as he follows them, he doesn’t get older. And when he stops, even for an hour, his age quickly catches up.
The 72-page comic shows John's struggle to choose between living forever and having a life worth living. The first chapter explores his relationship with his parents; angry at his father, fearful for his mother. In the second chapter, John falls in love and wants to be there for his new family, but he knows that when he does, he'll die. In the last chapter, John learns the hardest lesson of his life as he becomes the father he swore he'd never be, and then has to fight for redemption.
The final project
Our goal is to publish The Forever Maps as a beautiful full colour, perfect-bound, bookshelf-ready graphic novel. It will contain the entire 72-page story as well as 14 pages of bonus material, including alternate artwork, author's notes, and more. It will be printed on environmentally-friendly paper with vegetable-based inks by a local printer.
Upon successful funding, our scheduled completion date is October, 2015. Digital copies will then be released as a PDF that can be easily viewed on all computers and most mobile devices. It will also go into immediate print production, with shipping planned for November. Since everything will be done or overseen directly by us, we will be able to streamline the process and stick to strict schedules. All backers can expect weekly updates right up until you get what you paid for.
What is Kickstarter?
If you've never heard of it before, Kickstarter is a crowd-funding service, allowing people to raise money to create a project. You are not making a donation, you are ordering the comic in advance. Kickstarter is easy to use, it's safe and secure, and it makes dreams come true.
Since The Forever Maps was first conceived, our dream has been to see it in print, which is difficult with the rising costs of everything. With your help, Todor and I will bring this story to life and have it beautifully-printed for you to enjoy. Every dollar will go directly into production and shipping costs, not extra sprinkles on a sundae, and not even a sundae itself. Specifically, here's a breakdown of exactly how your money will be used, in a handy-but-sadly-inedible pie graph:
We have created some special rewards for various contribution levels, and they include original sketches and page artwork and hand-written stories and even serenades. All of these will be created directly by us, as personalized as we can. We are ready to put a lot of mustard into this project, but we honestly can't do it without you. Every dollar goes a long way, and so does every time you share this page! If you are able to help us in any way, we genuinely appreciate it.
Here is a quick visual breakdown of the rewards:
Media and interviews!
More comics by Michael and Todor
The Grave Train Robbery, a short comic about getting a little too greedy... http://www.mrlagace.com/comics/The-Grave-Train-Robbery/
The Mad Trapper, another short comic based on a true story, about chasing a criminal and finding a ghost... http://www.mrlagace.com/comics/the-mad-trapper/
Risks and challenges
The challenges of creating this graphic novel are likely what you'd expect. We will need to meet all our production deadlines and deliver the project on time, while updating all our backers regularly in the process. Since I live in Canada and Todor lives in Bulgaria, we have had to come up with cost-saving measures to ensure reward artwork and autographs are shipped efficiently and under budget. From start to finish, all of the work will be done or overseen directly by us, so any unexpected problems that come up can be handled without delay.
This is our first Kickstarter project, so we will also have the added challenge of learning how to manage a successful campaign as we go. Weekly updates will be crucial to keeping our backers informed about production and satisfied with their contribution. And we aren't satisfied until you are.
Thank you for checking out our project! =)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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