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$76
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Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Apr 10 2019
$76
pledged of $5,000pledged of $5,000 goal
4
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Apr 10 2019

About

It's about 500 pages of action, romance and comedy. Sample Dark Matter chapter here

Return To Eden is a sci-fi fantasy that mostly takes place in 2035. It focuses on young Memphis DJ, Gabriele Kendall, and her amazing journey that culminates in the return of Elvis Presley on his 100th birthday at the end of Volume 1. Volume 2 will end with the ascension of mankind (only those that qualify should apply). Gabby's funny and uplifting quest is filled with earth-altering miracles, narrow escapes from danger, and a confrontation with a fanatical President known as The Preacher. Joining her on the journey are a quartet of wise-cracking flying droids, a talking car, her retro-loving genius of a dad, an android housekeeper who becomes something of a superwoman, and the Archangel Michelle, who insists the Beatles song is about her.  

The angel said, “We don’t do miracles—we do science.”

The story is a retelling on one of my books published back in 2010. In that story, A Canticle For Elvis, I posed the questions, what if Heaven was both supernatural—and technological? What if we do have a choice of how we will spend eternity? The idea was, and remains in this graphic novel format, that our scientifically advanced civilization might very well recognize Heaven today. As the characters that inhabit this story will testify: Many people had every right to be pleased. Some had every right to be terrified. 

This book has a very wide audience. Anyone who enjoys sci-fi and fantasy, comics, graphic novels, and a good emotional journey, should enjoy it. And every Elvis fan around the world should be excited to see the King back in action. Heck, he even sings six new songs. Elvis makes a brief appearance at the beginning and end of Volume 1. In Volume 2 he is active in virtually every panel on all 250 pages. What more could anyone ask for?

"That's me," Annie said.

This graphic novel contains the original 250 page novel, now spread over 500 pages of newly edited text, dialog, and 3,000 illustrations. There are over 50 speaking parts, and nearly 100 3D characters in some scenes. Bringing the story to graphic life required over 100 sets and environments, four planets, Adam and Eve, and a partridge in a pear tree

Seriously! A partridge in a pear tree! 

First one to find the partridge in volume 1 wins a special reward. A character will be fashioned after your likeness for a scene with Elvis in Volume 2.

I could use a miracle or two right about now.

I have always written stories that are very visual due to my background as an artist and designer. So it seemed obvious to my wife that I should do a graphic novel. "Sure. Why not", I said. I was between projects and I could probably knock one out in a couple of weeks. That was five years and a boatload of illustrations ago. And I’m still not done.

That is why I am turning to you for backing to complete, what my lovely wife says will be, my magnum opus. That is, until I start the next one. Yea, that’s right. I’m dusting off a fantasy story I wrote decades ago. This time it’s going to be serialized. But first...

To paraphrase the Elvis song—"Somebody greater than I..."

Your generous backing will allow me to enlist the aid of a freelance 3D artist to help me complete a number of sets and models by August to be used in Volume 2. I should note that Volume 1 is complete, and Volume 2 is planned for a fourth-quarter release this year. 

Your backing will also be used for promotional copies of Volume 1; production of the hand-painted collectibles; and marketing Volume 1.

I thank you for your consideration, and your hard earned dollars, euros, pounds, yen, francs, etc. 

You can learn more about this project below and at artragland.com/eden.html

Cover art for Volume 1. The book format is 8.5" x 11", soft cover, 248 numbered pages, four-color, full bleed throughout.

Return To Eden volume 1 cover
Return To Eden volume 1 cover

The following video presents 25 page spreads from Volume 1. 

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Gabby is a young Memphis DJ. Her hit weekly show, The Book Of Elvis, is based on a journal she was given in 2033. It was delivered to her in a hat box by a stranger named Michelle. Included was a letter addressed to her from Gladys Presley—written in 1958.

Compilation of Gabby responses in various scenes. The letter is from the chapter, "The Angel's Gift".
Compilation of Gabby responses in various scenes. The letter is from the chapter, "The Angel's Gift".

The archangel Michelle is guardian to both Gabby and Elvis. The angel pops up frequently to protect, and occasionally annoy them. Michelle can be a little showy at times, and is absolutely convinced the Beatles song, Michelle, is about her—"Because I was there when John and Paul wrote it..."

Scenes from the "Deadzone" chapter where Michelle rescues Gabby (edited).
Scenes from the "Deadzone" chapter where Michelle rescues Gabby (edited).

"In honor of the 35 Star Trek movies and because we are on a journey of exploration we wish to be called Treks." they announced. Gabby just calls them her "boys", even though one of them changed its name to Doris. They squabble all the time, are always in trouble, and keeps everyone laughing. They were designed by her dad as flying holographic recorders. They have their own room where they binge on classic TV. 

Scene from the chapter "A Boy Named Doris", where John presents the droids to his daughter.
Scene from the chapter "A Boy Named Doris", where John presents the droids to his daughter.

Annie begins as Gabby's housekeeper. She soon becomes gabby's sister, thanks to some well-meaning tinkering by the TREKS and some amazing science from Gabby's dad. The new Annie is gorgeous—and a kick-ass superhero.

Scene where Annie's memories and personality are transferred into and EVE body. Headshot is from a following scene.
Scene where Annie's memories and personality are transferred into and EVE body. Headshot is from a following scene.

John Kendall is a mid-century renaissance man. A retro-loving scientist, inventor, and the wealthiest man in the world—thanks to some Heavenly assistance.

Part of an early action segment where the gang is escaping up a hydro-lift.
Part of an early action segment where the gang is escaping up a hydro-lift.

in the first 10 pages of the prologue we find Elvis frolicking about as a dolphin in an alien sea when he is visited by an old playmate, the Archangel Michelle, who is delivering an important message. Elvis returns in the closing chapter of volume 1.

Scenes on an alien planet, from the prologue (edited).
Scenes on an alien planet, from the prologue (edited).

 PRIMARY REWARDS

The graphic novel, Return To Eden Volume 1: 250 pages. The soft cover print version. The standard PDF version. The premium CD PDF version. The PDFs will include a preview of volume 2.

Volumes 1 and 2 contain practically every word from the original 250 page novel, now spread over 500 pages of text, dialog, and 3,000 illustrations. There are over 50 speaking parts, and nearly 100 3D characters in some scenes. There are over 100 sets and environments, seven international locations, and four planets to visit.

Two of my other fiction thrillers, Perfidy and The Chosen, are part of the rewards.They are offered in both PDF and paperback versions. You can read more about them at artragland.com. The Chosen is a newly edited and reformatted version of All The King's Men family of books (first 3 on left). Those editions are out of print. Sorry. In addition, everyone will receive a PDF copy of the original A Canticle For Elvis novel that this graphic version is based on.


BONUS REWARD

Please don't forget to look for that pesky partridge in a pear tree. First one to find it in volume 1 wins a special reward. A 3D character will be fashioned after your likeness for a scene with Elvis in Volume 2.

EXCLUSIVE REWARDS

There are a number of rewards that include collectible figurines. They are still in development and may be somewhat different than pictured due to production requirements. The figurines are based on characters and scenes from the novel.

Collectible figurines
Collectible figurines

Below is an example of a finished, hand painted collectible figurine from the production house.

Example of actual figurine
Example of actual figurine

Elvis: 7" hand-painted bronze color figurine (still being refined). 

Annie: This 7" hand-painted figurine is from a scene that takes place in the White House. Annie is the android housekeeper that becomes almost-human.  

Archangel Michelle: 7" hand-painted bronze color figurine with hellhounds.

Eve: 9" hand-painted bronze color figurine. 

Elvis: 7" hand-painted figurine sitting on base (this is a tribute to the 1950s Alfred Wertheimer photo).

Risks and challenges

This book has a very wide audience. Anyone who enjoys comics, graphic novels, sci-fi and fantasy, should enjoy it.

And then there are the Elvis fans. Elvis has sold more than one billion song units worldwide. This is made up of 600 million US Sales and 400 million sales for the rest of the world. There is no way to know just how many people that comes to, but if you quote the title from his second gold album: 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong. I can only hope.

One of the challenges is, how to reach this audience beyond social media platforms. A great agent couldn't hurt. Mine recently retired, so if anyone knows someone who knows someone, please give me a jingle.

Getting Volume 2 finished by the end of the year depends solely on the success of this campaign. Hiring additional talent will go a long way to completing the goal. Making Volume 1 a success won't hurt either.

Another challenge is finding a good publisher who believes in this project and my future goals of a hardback set of volumes.

With time and angels like you on my side, what could go wrong.

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    My wife thanks you. Our two dogs thank you. Our postwoman thanks you. And I thank you.

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    PDF VOLUME 1

    The complete 250 page graphic novel VOLUME 1. Includes preview of Volume 2, which will be released in late 2019.

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    PDF VOLUME 1 — PLUS

    The complete 250 page graphic novel Volume 1. Includes preview of Volume 2, which will be released in late 2019. Plus your choice of one of my other fiction novels, Perfidy or The Chosen.

    Includes:
    • PDF VOLUME 1: 250 page graphic novel, plus preview of Volume 2
    • Your choice of Perfidy or The Chosen PDF
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    PDF VOLUME 1 + PERFIDY paperback

    The complete 230 page graphic novel VOLUME 1. Includes preview of Volume 2, which will be released in late 2019. Plus a paperback copy of PERFIDY 260 pages, ($15 value).

    Includes:
    • PDF VOLUME 1: 250 page graphic novel, plus preview of Volume 2
    • Paperback of PERFIDY 260 pages
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    PDF VOLUME 1 + THE CHOSEN paperback

    The complete 230 page graphic novel VOLUME 1. Includes preview of Volume 2, which will be released in late 2019. Plus a paperback copy of The Chosen 564 pages, $25 value.

    Includes:
    • VOLUME 1: 250 page graphic novel, plus preview of Volume 2
    • Paperback of THE CHOSEN 564 pages
    • PDF of THE CHOSEN
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    CD EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION—PLUS

    CD Includes the complete 230 page VOLUME 1, with preview of Volume 2. The 450MB PDF is in stunning 300 ppi resolution. This version is only available on CD. Also includes 3D portraits of Elvis and Marylin Monroe, and the RTE poster. This reward also includes paperback copies of both PERFIDY and THE CHOSEN.

    Includes:
    • VOLUME 1 in a gorgeous 450MB PDF
    • View in stunning 300 ppi resolution
    • Your choice of any two full scale artworks from Return To Eden
    • 20 x 30 digital copy of the RTE poster
    • Includes both PERFIDY and THE CHOSEN paperbacks
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    Signed BOOK Volume 1

    Softcover VOLUME 1 of RETURN TO EDEN graphic novel, including a preview of Volume 2. Contains 250 pages of full color, edge-to-edge, illustrations and 3D renderings in a large 8 1/2” x 11” format. The entire novel, V1 and V2, includes over 75,000 lines of text and dialog.

    Includes:
    • Signed GRAPHIC NOVEL Volume 1 (250 pages)
    • PDF of Volume 1
    • PDF of PERFIDY
    • PDF of THE CHOSEN
    • Your choice of any two full scale artworks from Return To Eden
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    Signed BOOK + ELVIS Collectible Figurine

    This offer includes the LIMITED EDITION ELVIS 7” COLLECTIBLE FIGURINE featuring the King wearing a Vegas jumpsuit with guitar. The figure and base are bronze color. It is custom hand painted, numbered, and limited to 100. Reward also includes a SIGNED softcover VOLUME 1, described above.

    Includes:
    • ELVIS 7” Collectible Figurine
    • Signed GRAPHIC NOVEL Volume 1 (250 pages)
    • PDF VOLUME 1: 250 page graphic novel, plus preview of Volume 2
    • Your choice of any two full scale artworks from Return To Eden
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    Signed BOOK + EVE Collectible Figurine

    This offer includes the LIMITED EDITION EVE 9” COLLECTIBLE FIGURINE featuring the golden angel on a bronze base. It is custom hand painted, numbered, and limited to 50. Also includes Softcover VOLUME 1 of RETURN TO EDEN graphic novel, including a preview of Volume 2. Contains 230 pages of full color, edge-to-edge, illustrations and 3D renderings in a large 8 1/2” x 11” format. The entire novel, V1 and V2, includes over 75,000 lines of text and dialog.

    Includes:
    • EVE 9" Collectible Figurine
    • Signed GRAPHIC NOVEL Volume 1 (250 pages)
    • PDF VOLUME 1: 250 page graphic novel, plus preview of Volume 2
    • Your choice of any two full scale artworks from Return To Eden
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    Signed BOOK + MICHELLE Collectible Fig.

    This offer includes the LIMITED EDITION MICHELLE WITH HELL HOUNDS 7” COLLECTIBLE FIGURINE featuring the winged angel with two hell hounds on black base. It is custom hand painted, numbered, and limited to 10. Also includes softcover VOLUME 1 of RETURN TO EDEN graphic novel, including a preview of Volume 2. Contains 230 pages of full color, edge-to-edge, illustrations and 3D renderings in a large 8 1/2” x 11” format. The entire novel, V1 and V2, includes over 75,000 lines of text and dialog.

    Includes:
    • MICHELLE WITH HELL HOUNDS 7” Collectible Figurine
    • Signed GRAPHIC NOVEL Volume 1 (250 pages)
    • The CD EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION
    • Includes both PERFIDY and THE CHOSEN paperbacks
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    BOOK + ELVIS 50s Collectible Figurine

    This offer includes the LIMITED EDITION ELVIS 50s 7” COLLECTIBLE FIGURINE featuring Elvis sitting on base (this is a tribute to the Alfred Wertheimer photo). It is custom hand painted, numbered, and limited to 5. Reward also includes softcover VOLUME 1 of RETURN TO EDEN graphic novel, including a preview of Volume 2. Contains 230 pages of full color, edge-to-edge, illustrations and 3D renderings in a large 8 1/2” x 11” format. The entire novel, V1 and V2, includes over 75,000 lines of text and dialog.

    Includes:
    • ELVIS 50s Collectible Figurine
    • Signed GRAPHIC NOVEL Volume 1 (250 pages)
    • The CD EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION
    • Includes both PERFIDY and THE CHOSEN paperbacks
    • Advanced PDF copies of VOLUME 2 chapters (21 total)
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    BOOK + ANNIE Collectible Figurine

    This offer includes the LIMITED EDITION ANNIE 7” COLLECTIBLE FIGURINE featuring Annie fighting the droids in the White House. It is custom hand painted, numbered, and limited to 3. Reward also includes the SIGNED SOFT-COVER VOLUMES 1 & 2 described above.

    Includes:
    • ANNIE Collectible Figurine
    • Volume 1 available shortly after funding goal is reached
    • Advanced PDF copies of VOLUME 2 chapters (21 total)
    • PDF Volume 1 available shortly after funding goal is reached
    • PDF Volume 2 available late 2019
    • Volume 2 will be released in late 2019
    • The CD EXCLUSIVE COLLECTION
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Funding period

- (45 days)