Undad graphic novel trilogy: a zombie-family-drama epic
Dark secrets, mental illness and horrific cravings in a series that wears its heart on its sleeve... and down the front of its shirt.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, May 31 2019 1:45 PM UTC +00:00.
"I'm still a dad. Nothing, not even death, can ever change that."
Undad is more than just another zombie story.
It's the story of one man who struggles to keep his own darker nature at bay and his family together, while being (literally) dead inside.
My name is Shane W Smith. I'm a two-time Aurealis Award finalist, and the creator of the Undad comic series. Thank you for checking out this project!
I'm really excited to bring to unlife my ninth and most asked-after graphic novel project, Undad Volume Three, launching here exclusively on Kickstarter, alongside the first two books in the series.
Ever since the first two Undad graphic novels landed in 2015, the most common question I receive (by far) is: "Will there be a third volume of Undad?"
Well, it's taken a few years to get off the ground, but thanks to the generosity of ArtsACT and the brilliant work of my amazing collaborators (writers Katie Walsh-Smith, Miranda Richardson, Big Tim Stiles, and Ryan K Lindsay; and artists Karissa Moloney, Matias Lazaro, Anna Foubert, Mitchell Collins, Simon Robins and Anthony Salinas), I'm finally able to deliver this book to you.
I'm really excited to be returning to the Undad universe. Undad is a graphic novel that wears its heart on its sleeve. And its other sleeve. And down the front of its shirt. It's the most meaningful book I've ever written about my personal relationships, and is the title that's resonated most strongly with my readers too.
All backers at any level will receive:
- Set of 4 Undad digital prints;
- The Lesser Evil (353 pages);
- Peaceful Tomorrows (620 pages);
- The Game (390 pages); and
- many more announcements still to come!
The original Undad graphic novel miniseries was shortlisted in the 2015 Australian Shadows Awards and was highly commended in the 2016 ACT Writing and Publishing Awards (the first graphic novel ever to receive that accolade).
It's also the most popular of my published work and has struck a chord with readers, who praise its fresh and character-focused take on what many see as a tired genre, and appreciate its use of monster metaphors to represent the challenges of depression, shame, compulsive behaviour, and the trials of juggling those issues against the daily demands of family life.
The first volume of Undad was written entirely by me, partly to chronicle my personal experience grappling with depression as a parent, the difficulty I faced in asking for help from those closest to me, and the ways that this fractured and divided my most important relationships. But depression - and mental illness in general - takes many forms, and my story is just one among millions. The underlying metaphors that already exist in the story make the Undad universe particularly well-suited to a much more widely spread creative collaboration.
To that end, I've hired a team of brilliant writers to collaborate with me on Undad Volume Three. Each of them already has at least one title under their belt using metaphors to represent depression and mental illness visually upon the page.
- The long-awaited continuation of the acclaimed Undad series
- 650+ pages of full colour comics
- A series about mental illness, told through the lens of a zombie-family-drama story
- A brilliant writing team consisting of Katie Walsh-Smith, Miranda Richardson, Big Tim Stiles, Ryan K Lindsay, and yours truly.
- An amazing art team consisting of Diego and Andrea Lopez Mata, Joseph Canave, Team Diaverik, Dima Derzhavin, Deborah Carita Holland, Paul Schultz, Karissa Moloney, Matias Lazaro, Anna Foubert, Mitchell Collins, Simon Robins, Anthony Salinas, and yours truly.
- Live forever by getting your likeness into the third volume
- Bonus exclusive signed bookplates available!
- Exclusive unpublished Undad content available
- Free trial: download the entire first volume of the Undad series!
- Free shipping worldwide for all reward tiers!
- A book underpinned by a money back guarantee!
Parental warning: this book contains some supernatural violence, coarse language and sexual references.
Who will love Undad?
You're in the right place if you enjoy:
- character driven drama;
- long-form graphic novels;
- genre fiction with deeper meanings;
- illness metaphors in narrative; or
- zombie tales with pathos.
If you're not sure, check out our free Undad preview below!
Here's a short scene from Ch2, in which the recently undead Brett wrestles with the concept of life after death.
And from Ch3, when he attempts to gain control of his cravings.
You can download and read Undad Vol 1 (all 220 pages of it) right here for free, for the duration of this campaign. Just click this image to begin reading instantly!
WRITTEN BY: Shane W Smith
ART BY: Diego Lopez Mata, Andrea Lopez Mata, Joseph Canave, Shane W Smith, and Anthony Salinas (cover)
A chance encounter with a ragged homeless man leaves Brett Buckley with deep teeth marks in his arm, and a sudden ravenous hunger for living flesh. Unable to control these urges, he consumes the hamster that belongs to his son's class.
Fearing that losing his family might cost him the last of his dwindling humanity, Brett must win back their love and respect, all the while attempting to find his new place in the world and reconcile his vegetarian morals with his insatiable appetite for live meat...
More than just another zombie story, Undad is about the challenges of being a husband and father while being (literally) dead inside.
Undad Vol 2 (2015)
WRITTEN BY: Katie Walsh-Smith and Shane W Smith
ART BY: Team Diaverik, Dima Derzhavin, Deborah Carita Holland, Paul Schultz, Shane W Smith, and Anthony Salinas (cover)
Brett Buckley was a normal family man once. When he unexpectedly turned undead, he found himself struggling to regain the love and respect of his wife and kids.
Now, not only is Brett in trouble with the law, but his family, his safety net, is starting to pull away from him. Suddenly alone and destitute, Brett begins to question whether he really can still have a place in his kids' lives without being a danger to them.
More than just another zombie story, this stunning continuation of the Undad saga is about the challenges of being a good role model while being (literally) dead inside.
Undad Vol 3 (2019)
WRITTEN BY: Katie Walsh-Smith, Miranda Richardson, Big Tim Stiles, Ryan K Lindsay, and Shane W Smith
ART BY: Karissa Moloney, Matias Lazaro, Anna Foubert, Mitchell Collins, Simon Robins, Shane W Smith, and Anthony Salinas (cover art)
Brett Buckley was a normal family man once. When he unexpectedly turned undead, he struggled to regain the love and respect of his wife and kids... a struggle he ultimately lost in a single moment of weakness that cost him everything.
As we begin Undad Volume Three, Brett, stuck in the limbo between life and death, has been estranged from his family for some months. And then one day, in the most horrific way imaginable, he is propelled suddenly back into family life to face his greatest challenge yet: becoming the primary carer for his children.
More than just another zombie story, Undad Volume Three is about the challenges of facing down what really scares you, while being (literally) dead inside.
Brett Buckley, struggling to reconcile his undead status with his vegetarian morals, is determined to keep his family together and be a good role model for his children, even if it means lying to them.
Part-time nurse and full-time family woman, Veronica Buckley wants nothing more than to reconnect with her increasingly distant husband, Brett, though fears the repercussions for the safety of their children.
Exercising her fiercely independent streak, Katrina Buckley (14) has distanced herself emotionally from the family unit because of the tension between her parents.
Highly inquisitive Jason Buckley (8) doesn't have a complete understanding of the emotional complexities that threaten his parents' marriage, and is often turned by accident against one parent by the other.
The world-class creative team for the Undad trilogy has worked for almost every major comics publisher out there.
Here are just a few:
Meet the team producing Undad Volume Three!
KATIE WALSH-SMITH has a Bachelor Degree in Philosophy and Literature, and is currently working on her first novel.
Katie co-wrote Undad Vol 2, and is the writer for the first chapter of Undad Vol 3.
MIRANDA RICHARDSON joined the comics industry with Hail, a superhero comic about a woman whose anxiety physically crushes her into shards of glass (Shortlisted, Ledger Awards 2017). She contributed to Shane W Smith’s previous anthology All the King’s Men with Sinking Ship, and received the Banksia Project mentorship in 2018 to begin her most recent comic miniseries. With a focus on illness narrative, Miranda enjoys relating grand scale fantasy from an intimate perspective. She also loves practicing ballroom and pole dance.
Miranda is the writer for the second chapter of Undad Vol 3.
BIG TIM STILES is an Australian writer and actor who has been working in the creative arts for over two decades. After four years of writing comic book reviews he dove into writing his own comics, starting with his paranormal investigator/monster hunter Cthulhu Williams before venturing onto his webcomic Gorilla my Dreams.
Tim is the writer for the third chapter of Undad Vol 3.
RYAN K LINDSAY is an award winning Australian comic writer. He has partnered with artist Eric Zawadzki to produce: Eternal through Black Mask Studios, and Headspace, with Sebastian Piriz, through Monkeybrain Comics/IDW. He has partnered with artist Sami Kivela to produce: Beautiful Canvas through Black Mask Studios; Deer Editor through his own ‘Four Colour Ray Gun' imprint and a handful of Kickstarter successes, and Chum through ComixTribe. He was selected as a participant in the DC Writing Workshop group of 2016.
Ryan is the writer for the fourth chapter of Undad Vol 3.
KARISSA MOLONEY is an illustrator based out of Saskatoon, Canada. An experimental artist, Karissa is always dabbling in new media and formats when it comes to visual storytelling, such as using watercolours in her most recent work. Whether it's improving her manga drawing skills or honing her more Western styles, she strives to bring as much artistic variety as possible to any project she takes on. In addition, she tries to inject as much emotion and heart in to her art as she can. Characters that make you laugh, cry, or maybe even hate! In her spare time, Kari loves to hit the gym with friends… and treat herself to chocolate after.
Karissa is the artist for the Undad Vol 3 prologue.
MATIAS LAZARO is an artist from Rosario, Argentina. He has been working in comics for five years, and has a passion for science fiction and horror.
Matias is the artist for the second chapter of Undad Vol 3.
ANNA FOUBERT is a self taught digital and traditional artist. Born and raised in Canada, she has drawn her inspiration from a variety of films, cartoons and comics; always looking for something new to explore and experiment with. She is the creator of the webcomic 'Progeny' and is ready to bring new and exciting stories to life.
Anna is the artist for the third chapter of Undad Vol 3.
MITCHELL COLLINS is an illustrator living and working in Melbourne, Australia. As an Illustrator he works to deliver any story in a thoughtful and engaging way through narrative illustration. He has an eye for design and format, which is an important underpinning element in illustrative storytelling. It's an area in which he strives to push and develop with his design skills, in comic books and visual storytelling.
Mitchell is the penciller/inker for the fourth chapter of Undad Vol 3.
SIMON ROBINS is a graphic designer and comic creator, letterer and colorist with twenty years experience. He has a Fine Art degree majoring in Photography as well as a Masters of Design, and has loved comic books since an early age. Simon's other creative passions are calligraphy, hand lettering, photography, illustration, and 3D Modeling/animation.
Simon is the colourist for the fourth chapter of Undad Vol 3.
ANTHONY SALINAS has been drawing ever since he could hold a crayon. He attended the Illinois Institute of Art and graduated with a BFA with a major in Media Arts and Animation. He has been working as a professional for 8 years as a character designer, animator, illustrator and digital painter, and for several years as a 2d artist for a video arcade development company in Illinois, U.S.A.
Anthony is the cover artist for all three volumes of Undad.
That's me, SHANE W SMITH, a graphic novelist based in Australia, and the creator of Undad. Four of my books have been shortlisted for awards, including twice for the first volume of Undad. I've got a Bachelor Degree in Creative Writing, and have delivered 1.5 million pages of comics to readers over the last few years. I might also be the only person in the world to get a comic published in a refereed academic journal.
I'm happily married with four young children, and my family is by far my best work.
I'm the editor and letterer of Undad Vol 3, and will be writing the final chapter of the book and producing artwork for at least one chapter.
In 2018, I delivered my millionth comic page into the hands of my fans. My awesome (and growing) fanbase is incredibly supportive of my work. I'm so appreciative: we only crushed this milestone because of you.
I've got a tonne (a literal tonne) of fulfilment experience, and have completely delivered five successful Kickstarter campaigns prior to this one.
- 2014 Undad
- 2015 Undad Vol 2
- 2016 All The King's Men anthology
- 2017 The Lesser Evil/Peaceful Tomorrows (remastered)
- 2018 Triumviratus hardcover
And here are some reader responses to previous projects:
I want you to be able to back this project with confidence. My prior experience delivering high-quality books and the money-back guarantee I'm offering are two examples of my commitment to backer satisfaction.
And now for the fun part: rewards!
You can order your copy of Undad Volume Three through this campaign, of course, as well as a discounted bundle of the whole series. Also on offer is a whole bunch of digital behind-the-scenes content, some of which has never before seen the light of day.
And don't forget for non-Australian visitors that all this is in $AU! Your own currency may go even further.
- $9 (~$6US) Dad and Loving It will get you a copy of Undad Volume Three in PDF format.
- $19 (~$13US) Wanted Dad or Alive will get you a copy of the entire Undad trilogy in PDF format, and a copy of the unpublished Undad Journal!
- $29 (~$20US) Braaaaaaaaaain Food will get you the Undad trilogy PDFs + the Undad journal, and a whole slew of behind-the-scenes content, including scripts, concept art, and much, much more.
Every paperback reward tier includes ALL DIGITAL REWARDS from the $29 Braaaaaaains tier and FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING.
- $39 (~$27US) Grave New World will get you a paperback copy of Undad Volume Three.
- $54 (~$38US) Deaddy Issues will get you any two paperback books of your choice from the Undad trilogy.
- $69 (~$49US) Zombody to Love will get you a paperback copy of the entire Undad trilogy.
- $199 (~$140US) Dad on Arrival will get your likeness into Undad Volume Three for a significant speaking role, and paperback copies of the entire Undad trilogy.
- $399 (~$279US) Deadicated Fan (1 only) will get you everything in the $199 Caught Dead-Handed tier, as well as: getting your likeness into Undad Volume Three; and a one-of-a-kind piece of stunning Undad original art by Diego and Andrea Lopez Mata, artists for the first volume of Undad. This piece of artwork is approximately A3-sized, and will be very well protected in transit.
Here's a closer look at that stunning original artwork by Diego and Andrea Lopez Mata!
Behind the scenes content ($29 + tiers)
Let's talk behind-the-scenes content for a moment.
Every pledge of $29 or more will get you an absolute treasure trove of behind the scenes content from all three volumes of Undad, a huge amount of value for the interested fan and prospective creator alike.
We haven't skimped on this - there are hundreds upon hundreds of pages here.
Here's a partial list of what you'll get, based on the content that already exists for Undad and Undad Vol 2.
- Detailed scripts for every chapter (including some scenes and lines that never made it into the final versions)
- Two successful grant applications. The Undad series has attracted funding from both Creative Partnerships Australia (2015) and ArtsACT (2018). You'll get both successful applications as part of this reward.
- Concept art, thumbnails, and unused art. Designs, reference material and work-in-progress from the many artists who have worked on Undad over the years.
- TV bible and draft pilot script. In 2017 and 2018, Undad was adapted into a TV concept document. Here's the fruit of that labour, just for you.
- An unpublished comic strip. Because we love our Undad puns.
- Trivia and behind-the-scenes information about the creation of the book
- And much, much more!
- $89 (~$63US) Fortune Favours the Grave will get you 5x copies of Undad Volume Three, including postage to anywhere in the world.
- $149 (~$106US) Megabites will get you 3x copies of Undad Volume One, 3x copies of Undad Volume Two, and 3x copies of Undad Volume Three, including postage to anywhere in the world.
Note: these reward tiers don't come with any bonuses, behind-the-scenes goodies, or other content, and also exclude stretch goal bonuses, digital books, and other perks available to other tiers.
Note #2: you don't have to be a retailer to take advantage of these bundle deals. Get together with a cabal of friends, family, colleagues, enemies and strangers to save on your copies of Undad!
If you back this campaign at any level, and have either:
- backed one of my previous campaigns; or
- bought Undad Vol 1 and 2 online, or from me in person; or
- currently support me on Patreon/Drip...
...then you are a SUPERFAN.
And as an expression of my gratitude for your ongoing support, you'll receive a whole bunch of amazing (and exclusive) content, including:
- a lengthy digital audio commentary for Undad Volume Three; and
- an Undad artbook, which contains Undad-related art from over forty different artists!
This commentary will run for a minimum of forty-five minutes (fair warning: the commentary for my last project, Triumviratus, went for more than two hours). It will cover topics like themes, creative processes, writing and artwork processes, publishing trivia, answers to FAQs re the book, and much more.
I might even be able to get some of my creative collaborators to add their perspective!
For every volume of Undad to date, I've commissioned sample artworks from prospective artists, and have amassed a collection of fifty different pieces of Undad artwork, some of which has never been seen in public. This artbook will collate all this artwork.
ARE YOU A SUPERFAN?
This is an exclusive offer for my superfans who are coming back to support my work for a second (or third [or more-th]) time! You guys take really good care of me, and I'm going to do the same for you.
If you aren't sure if you're a superfan, please get in touch with me. I'm more than happy to be flexible regarding eligibility.
October, 2018: ArtsACT funds the creation of Undad Volume Three
November/December 2018: auditioning artists for Undad Volume Three
January, 2019: writing commences on Undad Volume Three
May 13, 2019: the Undad trilogy Kickstarter campaign launches
May 31, 2019: the Kickstarter campaign ends
May/June, 2019: Undad Volume Three writing is completed
June 21, 2019: Kickstarter processes payments, and delivers money
June/July, 2019: work commences on Undad Volume Three artwork
November, 2019: artwork is complete, publication process begins
November/December, 2019: rewards are shipped out to backers
Hitting our funding target on Kickstarter means that this campaign will fund fulfillment costs (that's printing the books and shipping them, basically).
The production of the book has already been covered by a grant from ArtsACT. This grant funded fair page rates for the writers and artists who worked on Undad Volume Three.
We've got some amazing stretch goals planned, but we'll announce them later on, should we reach those lofty heights.
I want you to be able to back this project with confidence, and I'm committed to delivering a high-quality product to you. And to back that commitment up, I'm offering a money-back guarantee.
If I haven't met your expectations, or you're not satisfied with what you've gotten, I'll do what I can to resolve the issue. And if I can't, simply return your reward to me, and I'll refund your pledge amount.
The Undad trilogy Kickstarter campaign offers a huge number of exciting and exclusive perks.
- A long-awaited continuation. Fans of the Undad series have been waiting years for Undad Volume Three. And now, thanks to your support, it's finally happening.
- A high-quality product. Undad Volume Three is a large, full-colour book put together by some of the sharpest minds in comics today. And the specialised matte covers feel amazing.
- Value for money. With a range of digital and hardcopy bundles on offer, catering for all budgets, collecting the Undad series will never be cheaper than it is under this campaign.
- Exclusive content. All backers at all pledge levels will receive some Undad digital wallpaper, as well as a whole slew of other exclusive bonuses to be revealed later. And higher tiers have access to a huge amount of content, some of which has never been released before. Other perks on offer include signed bookplates, which can't be obtained any other way.
- Get behind the scenes with scripts, concept art, adaptations, correspondence, grant applications, and much, much more!
- Live forever. Get your likeness into Undad Volume Three and live your very best unlife as a fictional character in the book.
- Extra bonuses. My superfans (new and old alike) will receive some additional exclusive high-value content, not available by any other means.
- No risk to you. I'm a six-time Kickstarter creator, and have a tonne of fulfilment experience (literally a tonne - over a million pages worth, in fact!). In addition, I'm offering a guarantee that you will receive what you pledged for, or you'll get your money back.
- Free worldwide shipping!
Thank you very much for checking out this campaign to bring the entire Undad trilogy to print. I'm incredibly excited to bring these book to you, and am more than happy to answer any questions you might have.
But we need your help to launch this book, so if you'd like to see it come to unlife, please click the green Back This Project button.
Risks and challenges
The production of this book is being funded by a generous grant, and is well under way. The creative team for the book has been finalised, contracts have been signed, and down payments made.
We've allotted five months for the production of the artwork, which should be more than enough time, and we've built in contingency time into our delivery estimates as a buffer against the unexpected.
This is my ninth book, and sixth Kickstarter campaign. I'm confident that fulfilment for this project on or around the estimated delivery date will not be a problem.
And this whole campaign is underpinned by a money-back guarantee for all backers, too.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter