Imagine within each of our minds there exists a universe. And that universe and reality is unique and specific because it is shaped and molded by our personal thought processes. Now imagine that this universe in which we exist, this perceived reality… is simply in the mind of another in an alternate existence. What if humanity’s notions of an apocalypse are just the suicidal thoughts of our own god? This is a story of connected consciousness and one person who is given the opportunity to convince our “creator” to live again and save existence as we know it.
Though I love traditional style of comic art, I wanted to present this story in a way that was unique to me. I like to maintain a nice balance of refinement and restraint with chaos and freedom, and I let my art reflect that. Some lines are smooth and seamless, while others are sketchy and rough. The original pages (available as a reward) are shaded in cool and warm greys, giving the art more depth, and provide an excellent base for digital coloring. The first four pages have a different shading effect than the subsequent pages because they were created years apart from the rest of the book. I chose to intentionally leave them as they are, because not only does it represent a rekindled project, but it also parallels an inner change within the character.
The book will be a run of 250 limited edition copies (500 copies with available funding), with a large format of 13" x 10", and have 52 pages printed on 85# (medium weight), matte finish paper in black & white. The cover will be a durable, 14pt softcover but will have an upgrade to hardcover if enough funded is available. The final upgrade will be a full CMYK color printing.
Where The Money Goes
- Printing & shipping of graphic novel - 81%
- Printing of special edition art prints - 4%
- Art supplies (lots of pens and paper) - 7%
- Kickstarter fees - 8%
- $3,200 - 250 Black & white softcover - COMPLETE!
- $4,200 - 250 Black & white hardcover
- $5,320 - 500 Black & white hardcover
- $6,515 - 500 Full-color hardcover
The majority of the funds raised will go directly to printing the physical books, as well as the fees for Kickstarter, and a modest supply of pens and paper to complete the project. Any money funded beyond the upgrades will go to myself, as a full time artist, and those of you who know me know that any money I come across goes right back into my art - whether that is to help pay rent for my art studio, gas to go to the next art event, or supplies to create more art.
The idea came to me over a decade ago. I was drawing, almost as if in a trance, when suddenly I was overcome with an intense feeling of connection to all consciousness. Tapping into this connection I realized the massive effect of thought, and the obvious effects we all have on one another. I was then compelled to share a story that expressed the effects of conscious and subconscious connection. My fascination with micro/macro aspects of existence and my being raised in an apocalyptic cult religion eventually led me to the conceptualization of this story.
Over the next few months I developed the storyline, main characters, a few key conversations, and the first several pages. I even submitted some sample pages and a story synopsis to NMB Comics and received two handwritten letters back from the president, with some very useful constructive criticism. This was quite an uncommon feat for me, being 18 and unschooled. Not only was my art and style under-developed, but also the very concept was just about over my head, so I put the project to the side until I felt I was ready.
In 2006, over a year later, I received the devastating news that changed my life forever. A friend that was very close to me had taken her own life. I had had my own challenges with suicidal thoughts since I was only 12, but experiencing a loss in this way, from the other side, changed my thought process permanently and I was never the same again. I had lost a certain luster for life, but I had also gained some resilience for it.
Though the concept of the story never left my mind, it wasn’t until 2013 that I actually picked it back up again. In the year prior I had the first out-of-body and paranormal experience of my adult life and from it I had obtained yet another new outlook on existence. I had considered myself a nihilist before the experience so this change in thought pattern, or awakening if you will, was the perfect catalyst for reviving the graphic novel I had hoped to create. This time I drew partially from personal experiences in life, love and pain, connection and abandonment, but once again I was overcome with the feeling that I was still not ready.
Within the past year I’ve experienced another shift. By letting go of old pain and energy that did not give back, I was left with room for positive growth, which has given me additional strength and a newfound sense of willpower. With these new attributes I was driven to finish the story I was compelled to tell so many years ago, and this time, I’m ready.
As I write this now, I have a fully written script, every page storyboarded, am 2/3 of the way complete with original pages drawn and inked, and have already decided on a company to publish the physical copies. Though it is a lot of work to be solely responsible for all aspects of the project, I am fully dedicated and consider it a life goal to complete within the year. This story is obviously very special to me so I want everyone to have the opportunity to read it if they would like, which is why I’ve been uploading the pages onto my website (nataliemckean.com) to view for free. I hope this does not affect funding, as the printed copies will allow you to see the original high-resolution artwork.
Please visit my website for more of my work: nataliemckeanart.com
Risks and challenges
Though I’ve put this project on hold before, I am completely and utterly dedicated to completion this time around. I have everything already planned and written, which makes that notion much more feasible this time. Based on how much I have accomplished already, I estimate that I will be near to completion once the campaign ends. The only thing I predict that could set me back is the amount of time it will take me to finish digitally coloring the pages if that upgrade is unlocked. If that does happen, I believe it would only push me back by one month tops, but I am making sure to allot time for designing, placement and a little bit of perfectionism. Other than that, I am fully confident that I can release this graphic novel by the time stated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)