Is this your first time with Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check!?
- Click here to read the first chapter pages.
- Click here to read the whole comic as it's uploaded as a web comic a page a day at tavicat.com.
The world of Reality Check! was written by Rikki Simons and illustrated by Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons in the 1990’s and it was about the faaar future of 2012. Okay, not that far, but it was a numerous attempt at absurdist speculative fiction, which we jokingly referred to at the time as “Appliance Fiction” due to the story revolving around the advent of a single appliance, the True Virtual Reality Helmet — oh, and a boy and his cat.
We first self-published Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check! as a black and white "floppy" comic book series in 1995. In 1996 the series was picked up by a publisher and we decided to do the series in color. 12 single issues and then a trade paperback collecting the first 6 issues were published by 1998. However, issues 7 thru 12 were never gathered together in a color trade paperback. The series was republished by another publisher in two separate black and white volumes in 2003. In the black and white 2003 volumes we added clothes to Catreece at the request of the publisher. Though these editions were published in black and white we did the clothes edits in color. After a hard drive crash in 2005, these color clothing editions are all we have, but really, we think Catreece’s outfits are very cute.
To sum it up, the story is about a computer enthusiast named Collin Meeks whose cat, Catreece sleeps under a virtual reality helmet and believes she is human online. Havoc follows.
The whole series is currently being uploaded daily at tavicat.com and we plan to have all of the pages up for everyone to enjoy over the course of the next three months. Take a look and feel free to binge read the whole comic to prepare you for the the new color book!
The book we are Kickstarting here, Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check! The ROM Edition is the "cute clothes" version. It will be hardback and over 320 pages of color. We expect to print by the end of January or middle of February. We expect to ship between March and April.
We’ve decided to switch up the Stretch Goals because we really want to guarantee that we will make the new 24 page Reality Check! story (titled Inarguable Augmented Unreality) and include it with this collection. If this Kickstarter is successful, we wont't wait for a Stretch Goal achievement to make the story, instead we will make the new story as part of the $20,000 goal! We’ve had this new story floating around in our heads for years and we want to make sure you get to read it! This will make the book 348 pages, which fits perfectly within our print quote. So there’s our promise to you: NEW REALITY CHECK 24 PAGE STORY NO MATTER WHAT!
In the 1990’s, the Internet was new and exciting, full of strange potential, new words and ways of doing things, extremely slow modems and photos that loaded so slowly from the top down you could decide if you wanted to see the whole image before it finished. In creating the world of Reality Check! we were trying to predict where some of these new machines and ideas would take us by the time we reached 2012. We tried to look at concepts like Moore's Law that said computer power would double every 18 months, the size of files and functions of hardware vs. software and write a foundation of plausibility into an otherwise completely farcical look at the future of the user experience. We decided on a Virtual Internet System, the VIS and RUN-a-MUCKS as the web domains where people spend their time.
As far as the characters, everything began with Catreece. Tavisha first drew Catreece in 1987 but she remained a character without a story until 1995. It was after we bought our first computer (a Mac LCIII with 2MB of RAM and 80 MB of hard drive space and an external 1200 baud modem) when when Tavisha had a brainstorm about Catreece and her role in the new online world. It seems that cats and the Internet were always meant to be together.
So began our story about Collin and his cat, Catreece:
In the world of Super Information Hijinks; Reality Check! tenth grader and deep geek, Collin Meeks thinks he’s a very smart boy – that’s until he purchases a True Virtual Reality (TVR) Helmet, the most important tool for plugging your mind into the VIS. What Collin expects is total VIS access to adventurous RUN-a-MUCKS where is opportunities for scientific research are unlimited. What he forgets is that he is a cat owner. Offline, Collin's little kitty Catreece is an ordinary house cat. Online, Catreece is a little sister with a knack for trouble and mischief. From adventures with virtual ghouls and online super heroes to the hungry Puffy Cat computer virus, Collin and Catreece blunder into the virtual world where no one knows you're really a cat.
Collin is a hyper-focused teenage boy with scientific aspirations living in the early twenty-first century. He is peaceful, sensitive and very intelligent, and what he wants most is for his family to notice his good grades. Unfortunately, his father is an inarticulate couch potato, his mother daydreams about the 1980s, and his brother is usually so spaced out that he doesn't even know what planet he's on. Sometimes Collin feels that only his cat, Catreece really understands him. He has no idea how true that is.
Catreece’s virtual transformation to a humanoid sister is confusing and somewhat terrifying to the overthinking Collin Meeks. What if the world were to find out? Would they take her away from him and experiment on her? He panics and decides to lie to his friends about her true identity. But it's hard to check a cat's curiosity when all of the Internet is yours to explore.
Catreece is Collin's cat (or is Collin Catreece's boy?). She is mercurial and naive in the ways of human custom, but secure in her knowledge that she is a member of the dominant intelligence on the planet. Basically, she has cat-brain. These traits are awfully cute when she's a fuzzy little housecat, but they make Collin panic when she's a fuzzy teenaged girl on the VIS, where no one is supposed to know she's a cat! Try as he might, Collin can't seem to keep her offline, since she is also remarkably intelligent. And being feline, Catreece is an expert at getting into places she shouldn't be, and, er, rearranging things a bit. She doesn't ask questions, she just has fun. Humans are too uptight, anyway.
Collin’s Two Best (human) Friends, Erk and Maiko
Erk is one of Collin's friends at school. Some would say that sixteen is a bit young to be a cynical fatalist, but Erk would reply that it would figure if he were the only one. There hasn't been an app written that Maiko hasn’t rewritten a bit to suit it to her very specific, if completely esoteric, needs. To Maiko, the world is a fresh and amazing place and she will make sure it stays that way OR ELSE.
The Puffy Cats
The PUFFY CAT VIRUS is possibly the most dangerous and silly computer virus ever unleashed upon an unsuspecting VIS. The small, cute, Technicolor appearance of the PuffyCats belies their menace, as all they want to do is eat data!
Loopy is the world's youngest Super-Encrypted Virtual Superhero, a ten-year-old Super Hacker Harlequin who uses her considerable programming talents to fight injustice, censorship, and nasty viruses. She has programmed most of her super powers into her hula-like Hoop, which she will tell you is very reasonable.
Riggi Rabbit is, in a word, the Singularity, as a cute cartoon bunny.
Mr. Bunwah is an abandoned virtual pet gone horribly wrong. He became a lawyer. He’s very angry about it.
Ranklechick and Pumpernick
Ranklechick and Pumpernick are the stars of a "live" Interactive TV show created on the fly by a supercomputer AI.
Mr. Pandawiener is a giant and angry virtual panda who is out to settle an old score with Riggi.
And many more!
See the Add-Ons section for different print sets!
Can I get more than one book?
Yes! Once you've made your pledge, please add $40 for each additional copy. We will send a survey at the end of the campaign to make sure we get your order right.
Can I get more than one Cloisonné Pin?
Yes! Once you've made your pledge, please add $10 for each additional pin. We will send a survey at the end of the campaign to make sure we get your order right.
Can I combine Reward #13 FRIENDS OF CATREECE LEVEL WITH other rewards?
Yes! Once you've made your pledge on either Reward #10 KUDDU-KUDDI-PAW LEVEL, Reward # 11 PUFFY CAT LEVEL, or Reward #12 CUTE SINGULARITY LEVEL, please add another $400 to have Tavisha draw you as a background character in the new 24 page Reality Check! story (titled Inarguable Augmented Unreality) that will be debuting in this book. We will send a survey at the end of the campaign to make sure we get your order right. By pledging this reward you give us (Rikki Simons and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons and our heirs) permission to use your likeness in at least one panel, to be reprinted forever. This will not be a recurring character and may or may not have dialogue. We are not granting character rights with this pledge, but neither shall we use your likeness again in any other work but this one story. Your likeness will be used in a comedy scene.
Can I combine Reward #14 INTRUDER LEVEL with other rewards?
Yes! Once you've made your pledge on any reward, please add another $40 for each parody GIR sketch you would like. We will send a survey at the end of the campaign to ask you what you would like your sketch mashed up with.
Can I get a different set of prints or more than one set?
Yes! The default set is Print Set A. We will send a survey at the end of the campaign to make sure we get your order right and then you will be able to choose which Print Set you would like. If you would like more than one set of prints, once you've made your pledge, please add $20 for each additional print set you would like. Here are the Print Sets you can choose from:
$25,000 Character development design section. Early drawings of Catreece and friends.
$30,000 New Puffy Cat story!
$35,000 New RC! How-to comic page “Catreece Explains” + we’ll print 2000 books instead of 1000 so retail and future orders will be available.
We decided that it's best to go with a minimum order of 1000 printed hardcover books and setting the cover price at $40 US. Factoring in shipping, materials and other losses we arrived at a safe goal of $20,000.
1000 Books Printed = $15,250 in printing costs with pallet shipping
500 Cloisonné Pins = $560
Shipping on at least 445 books = $2,781.25 (Liberal estimate of 75% US shipping ($1,668.75) and 25% international shipping ($1,112.5))
General Estimated Loss = $2,000
Rosearik Rikki Simons is a voice actor, writer, and artist. He is most famous for being the voice of the robot in a dog suit, GIR from Invader ZIM. As a writer he is known for the science fiction and fantasy novel Hitherto a Lion. Original illustrated books and comics that he created with Tavisha-Wolfgarth-Simons under the studio name of Rikkitikki Tavicat include Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check!, Ranklechick and His Three Legged Cat, ShutterBox, and Rhumbaghost, now The Trinkkits. He is also a background painter in animation (color design on Invader ZIM and The Jackie Chan Adventures) and comics colorist (I Feel Sick for SLG, Invader ZIM for Nickelodeon and Oni, Edward Scissorhands for IDW, Kid Gravity and Little Gloomy for Disney, and many others). The original comics and books he creates with Tavisha can be read and purchased at tavicat.com.
Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons is a German-Japanese American artist who produces her art and stories under the studio name of Rikkitikki Tavicat. During her two decades of publishing manga-influenced comics in the American market, Tavisha's comics and illustrations have been published by Nickelodeon, Tokyopop, Digital Manga, Fox, Disney and SLG Publishing, among many others. Original illustrated books and comics that she created with Rikki Simons include Ranklechick and his Three-Legged Cat, Super Information Hijinks: Reality Check!, ShutterBox, and now The Trinkkits. @ Tavicat, a comic about her cats, can be read and at tavicat.com.
Risks and challenges
The book is completely finished and laid out. Before we make any more adjustments or add more story or art, the book currently stands at 320 pages. If we make the stretch goals and add more story, it could increase the page count to between 344 to 352 pages. Our printer can work with these additions and still keep us around a comfortable price. We have each published comics and art professionally for over twenty years and between us we have nearly three thousand pages of comics experience and over a thousand painted animation backgrounds. There are always risks, but we believe we’ve worked very hard to minimize them for this project.
As Catreece would say, "Just say nya!" (We don't know why she says it. Cats are weird.)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)