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What two scientists find below the surface of Mars will change them forever. The award winning sci-fi comic, in print for the 1st time.
What two scientists find below the surface of Mars will change them forever. The award winning sci-fi comic, in print for the 1st time.
2,275 backers pledged $140,452 to help bring this project to life.

Project update and Artist feature #1: Monarobot

Posted by Der-shing Helmer (Creator)

Happy Monday!

A little update to start the week: the campaign is going... really well! When I started this KS I expected it would earn $65k max... 4 days after launch, we're sitting at ~$64.7k, HA HA. I've learned a lot from this experience, mostly that I'm the absolute worst at estimating interest in my work, and should never do it again.

Since launch, we've unlocked guest artists, reward add-ons and book upgrades, and will likely be unlocking a lot more as the remaining 28 days progress! That said, I'd like to take a moment and focus on some of the artists who have kindly allowed me to hire them, starting with our incredible pin designer Monarobot.


Hailing from Chiapas Mexico, Monarobot has one of the most distinct art styles you'll see online today. Her work is strongly influenced by Maya culture and designs, and she's applied this style to creatures ranging from Pokemon to Godzilla to Aliens.

I was lucky to meet Mona online a few months before I started working on Mare Internum, and was blown away by her aesthetic from the start. Since then her online popularity has soared as her work continues to develop and become more colorful and refined.

Last year I was lucky enough to hire her to design a Limited Edition Kallakore pin to be the crown jewel of the Friends in Dark Places Kickstarter... check out some of her original concepts below!

Mona's original Kallakore pin designs... figuring out that crest was tricky
Mona's original Kallakore pin designs... figuring out that crest was tricky

Mona is one of the hardest working artists I know, and as I recently found out, does her work completely on iPad... Since the Kallakore pin design was limited to 150 copies, I'm likely going to add stickers of her designs to the Premium and above tiers in a future unlock so that everyone can share and enjoy her work further (and also to pay Mona more/ get her closer to a place where she can buy a more powerful computer to make art with). She also has a beautiful Maya Thrip design sitting around... would anyone like one of those added to their order?

Thank you all so much for supporting my project, and by extension supporting my good friend and up-and-coming indie artist from Mexico! Please feel free to check out Mona's work and various websites below~


Where to commission her and/or buy Mona's work: Patreon | InPrnt

Where to connect with Mona: Twitter | Tumblr | Carbonmade

Where to support Mona: Patreon | Ko-Fi


Weston L. H., Rachel, and 26 more people like this update.


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    1. NJGR - Bard of Phoenix Rising

      Um, YES, to the Maya Thrip sticker! I'd honestly love to have prints of all three (and more). Her work is absolutely gorgeous!

    2. Missing avatar

      Lynne on

      Monarobot's work is beautiful! Super excited to get a shiny new Processor pin so my Kalla will have some (antagonistic) company. Flat-out gorgeous designs. (And YES Maya Thrip, please!)
      Those Kalla pin drafts are neat to see, too; #4 is such a majestic loaf.

    3. Der-shing Helmer 4-time creator on

      @Dan the future Thrip design would probably be in sticker form rather than a pin, since the tiers are kind of where I want them. Plus side: it would be a free ad-on for all the applicable reward tiers :]

      There is actually already a Thrip pin, I'm thinking of making it an optional add-on for after everything is done with and the surveys are being sent out.

    4. Missing avatar

      Dan Bando on

      Could you make the Thrip pin an unlocked reward for everyone? I'd love to have my own Thrip, but the Pledge tier I signed up for tapped me out.

    5. Missing avatar

      Akiyo N.

      Maya Thrip would be awesome!!!!
      Thanks for showing the designs for Kalla, they're all wonderful :)

    6. DukeBG on

      That kalla#4 draft... I like that

    7. Der-shing Helmer 4-time creator on

      @Arteopteryx Nice work, you called it XD Glow-in-the-dark was the next stretch goal, now unlocked for all Processor pins!

    8. Arteopteryx on

      “Heck, YES!” to the Maya Thrip!!

      I love love love my Kalla pin! (Though I do need to find some safe cleaner/polish for the copper part since my skin oils are discoloring it a bit.) I’m very much looking forward to having a companion for her! Though she and the Processor don’t really have a “healthy” relationship in-comic, maybe they can redeem this somewhat in their metal-and-enamel manifestations.

      (I really hope the glow-in-the-dark feature happens!!)