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Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists's video poster

Drawn between December '13 and July '14, Gum Wrappers collects my recent journal comics - full of cold weather and quarter-life crises. Read more

Chicago, IL Comics
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This project was successfully funded on September 1, 2014.

Drawn between December '13 and July '14, Gum Wrappers collects my recent journal comics - full of cold weather and quarter-life crises.

Chicago, IL Comics
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About this project

Lets make Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists a real book.

What is Old Gum Wrappers about? How does it relate to those earlier books?  

Short answer: a 166-page black and white collection of daily journal comics.

Longer answer: Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists started as a return to comics after a few big lifestyle changes. I got my own apartment, I changed jobs, I gave myself permission to be more confident, to leave the house more. By thinking differently my drawing style changed. I was devoting more time to capturing the moments each day that made me want to keep enjoying where I'm at in life.

Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists follows the unconscious arc of my life, so it's related to my previous books in that sense. It stands on its' own, though, as a full chunk of time translated into drawings. You'll read about my crummy cafe job, how cold Chicago was last year, how lonely things get sometimes, a trip I took to Portland, and some other things. Each comic was inked and watercolored in any one of several 5.5x8.5 sketchbooks, carried in my backpack all year-round. The comics were all scanned, and available to read on my website.

If these comics are online why would you spend so much effort putting them in a book?  

Though I publish most of my work online, I draw my comics with the hope of someday seeing them in print. Since I was a 3rd grader, copying strips out of the newspaper, I've wanted to be a cartoonist. I've been lucky enough to meet a whole community of comics-makers and cartoonists who share this dream and understand what it feels like to have a real, physical book to show for themselves. What happens after the book comes out? Once funded the project, I'll send the book to be printed. Any copies owed to donors will be mailed, or available for pick-up (to save on shipping). The extra copies will be available for sale online, or directly from me as I'm hoping to start the next step in my career - I'll be bringing them to comic conventions and small press shows, which will help open my work to more readers.

Who is Kevin Budnik? What are his comics about? What does he have to say for himself?

I've been making journal comics since 2010, as a student at Columbia College Chicago. My first book "Our Ever Improving Living Room" was a comic-a-day chronicle of my last year in school, learning to be on my own and dealing with pressures of life after school. Here's an excerpt from Rob Clough of The Comics Journal: "Budnik gives voice to his loneliness, his wanting to connect but often feeling uncomfortable with others, nostalgia for a comforting childhood and difficulty accepting adulthood."

Additionally, OEILR was reviewed as "Posessing a self-effacing sense of humor and an appreciation for the minor victories and miseries of life." - Chris Mautner, Robot 6

Following that first year of comics and the release of OEILR, I spent a lot of time handling my own personal anxieties. My personal struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder and disordered eating crept into my comics without me knowing. My most recent Yeti Press books "Dust Motes Part 1 and 2" were released last year, collecting an unintentional story arc involving my descent into and confrontation with Anorexia, among other things.

Rob Kirby, Xeric Grant recipient and writer for The Comics Journal reviews Dust Motes: "Budnik has a gift for capturing the essence of a moment or an emotion, and he can spin angst into poetry."

The comics that comprise Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists were a return to journaling after a little bit of a break and some time to learn to cope with those problems that were addressed in Dust Motes.

Additional Rewards!

I'll draw your portrait!

I have a million little pieces of bristol board (heavy illustration paper) laying around my place. I'll draw your full body portrait in a mixed media of watercolor and marker (roughly the size of a playing card) and mail you the signed original drawing!

The gift of a .gif

Send me your picture and I'll make you a silly little animation!

about 12 frames, resulting in a black and white animation of you doing something. You can request an action, or I can make one up. Off the top of my head: you popping out of a toaster. That's a thing I could draw.

The Sketchbooks

Should you find it in you to donate $1,000 or more to help fund the printing of Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists you will receive one of three sketchbooks I used to draw all of the comics in the book. These are 100% original art, and contain extra doodles, writing, notes for other projects, and dungeons and dragons character stats.

Here's a little video of what's they look like. You'll be able to see some panels that were crossed out and re-drawn, some comics that were completely re-started, etc.

's video poster


Flower Grow - Collected Stories

24 pgs 8.5/11 color & b/w

Between the time Dust Motes and Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists were being drawn, I was working at a YMCA and drawing comics on and off. It was a really gross, humid summer. A lot of friends got married in that period, and I was stressed out a lot of the time from my job.

If Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists is able to fund an additional 1,000 by September 1st, I'll use the money from that to print Flower Grow a collection of journal comics and one page stories (several of which were originally printed in New City, a Chicago-based weekly free publication).

Anyone who pledges $20 or more will receive a copy of Flower Grow: Collected Stories

Here's a preview:

The comics in Flower Grow are a mixture of FULL COLOR and black and white  water color and are presented in semi-chronological order.

Flower Grow also collects Good Weather for Bad Poetry, a series of strips partially created for The Columbia Chronicle, Columbia College Chicago's student newspaper.

Friends, Family, and Shelly Duvall!


Additional thanks to PrintNinja - I'll be using their print to order service to print the book. They are ninjas. They will assassinate you, with savings.

Risks and challenges

As far as risks go, I suppose there are few.
I'm personally very nervous about doing something like this all on my own.
I've printed books before, but never something this massive.
It's a risk of simply my pride. It would mean so much to keep producing physical copies of my work.
I can't not make comics, because making comics keeps me balanced.
Anyone who's read my work in the past is already owed a huge debt of gratitude for just being a fan. I hope, with your help, I can give them something to hold in their hands as a thank-you.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    6 backers

    PDF Copy of The Book!

    You'll get a pdf copy of Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists emailed to you as soon as bandwidth dictates. THE BOOK IS ALREADY DONE! So it's just a matter of getting your email and sending you the file!

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    1 backer

    Buddy List!
    your name will be added to a special list in the book thanking everyone who helped fund Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists - does not include a copy of the book.

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    Pledge $20 or more

    64 backers Limited (186 left of 250)

    Your name in the book + Signed Copy!
    $20 gets you one copy of Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists, signed and sketched in.
    Also, your name will be added to the donor list in the book.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
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    Pledge $35 or more

    33 backers Limited (17 left of 50)

    The Scraps of Bristol
    One copy of the book, signed, your name in the back + I'll draw you! Email a picture, full body and I'll draw your full-color marker and watercolor portrait on a trading card sized piece of illustration board.
    (It doesn't have to be you, send a picture of your pet, your grandmother, your favorite president, etc. I'll draw it).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    10 backers All gone!

    .Gif Gift:
    One copy of the book, signed, your name in the back + Send me a picture of yourself and I'll draw a looping animation of you. That's right, your own personal cartoon! I'll post it on my site, as well as send you the file for your own fun use.

    Estimated delivery:
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    Pledge $170 or more

    1 backer

    The Quimby Level:
    A donation of $170 gets you 10 copies of Old Gum Wrappers an Grocery Lists, unsigned. Perfect for comics retailers!

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    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $225 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Original Cover Art - If you pledge $225 or more, you can own the original cover drawing for Old Gum Wrappers and Grocery Lists. A 5.5x8.5 inch pen and watercolor illustration on 8x11 inch Bristol

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  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Parental Level Donation
    Anyone who finds it in themselves to donate $1000 or more will receive one of the actual sketchbooks containing a third of the comics collected in this book, among other random doodles, writings, and embarrassing secrets.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (32 days)