Franko, Fables of the last Earth is a 120 page collection of six comic stories about Franko, a precocious lion living on the Atacama Desert of Chile with his friend Shin, thousands of years in Earth’s future. Theirs is a vibrant world of animal characters, where humans are long gone, along with much of their technology. Life on this desert, the driest in the world, is difficult, but also full of adventures and mysteries. In each fable, Franko and Shin encounter challenges and riddles that they must solve, and in the process they learn a bit more about themselves, and others. Not every fable ends with an obvious lesson, but each one is thought-provoking and full of surprises.
This book is suitable for readers from age 7 to 700, according to its creators!
Franko was originally published in Chile in its native Spanish by Amapola Editores, Ltda. as Franko, Fábulas de la Última Tierra. We at Sofawolf Press fell in love with Franko, his friends, and his gorgeously-illustrated world, and we want to share his stories with a much wider audience. The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to fund the printing of an English translation of the original book.
Franko is the result of a collaboration between scriptwriter Ángel Bernier and illustrator Cristóbal Jofré, both of whom live in Santiago Chile. Ángel is best known for his work in Zombies en la Moneda, a series of comics published in Chile since 2009 by Mythica Ediciones. Cristóbal is an illustrator, cartoonist, and lawyer whose work has also appeared in Zombies en la Moneda, and who has worked on several projects with Sofawolf Press. The vivid colors in this comic are the combined work of Cristóbal Jofré, Danitza Urra, Felipe Gaona and Érika Pino. Lettering of both the Spanish and English editions is by Sebástian Castro.
Sofawolf Press, Inc. is an independent publisher of great stories about anthropomorphic animals, in the form of novels, anthologies, graphic novels and also artist sketchbooks. We have already successfully funded two graphic novels via Kickstarter: the Digger Omnibus and the Anubis Dark Desire Anthology. We look forward to funding the initial print run of Fanko while also growing his enthusiastic fan base through the Kickstarter community and platform.
The English translation is the result of a collaboration between individuals in Chile and the United States by: Cristóbal Jofré, Jane Taylor, Jorge Rubio, Andrea Soto, Gonzalo Gorigoitia, Leo Magna, and Dale Trexel.
The Fable of Mana and the Treasure
Franko meets Mana, a character from Shin’s past, who sends the hungry lion on a mission to find a new source of food in the harsh desert, one that will help them survive as long as they tend it well.
The Fable of Cobrafrog, the Merchant
Franko encounters a traveling merchant who tempts him with powerful enchanted items, mysteries of the universe that can be his...for the right price.
The Fable of Megaboss
Franko and Shin endure a series of challenges in hopes of gaining employment at a giant saltpeter factory (a historically significant industry in the Atacama desert), but are surprised to learn what the real purpose of the challenges turns out to be.
The Fable of the Host of Midnight
While Franko and his friends tend to mundane tasks of life in the desert, gods and demons fight in a once-in-a-millennium battle that takes place on a completely different plane.
The Fable of the Slave Master
Shin’s vice for gambling lands himself and Franko in the gladiatorial ring along with other slaves, who work together to make a daring escape and to teach their slave master a lesson or two in the process.
The Fable of Behemo, the Hermit
Franko’s world comes alive, literally, and he uses his riddle-solving skills to help send an ancient soul on its final journey.
What have people been saying about Franko? Here are some reviews of the Spanish edition, translated to English.
“It is difficult to define a work like Franko, Fables of the Last Earth. Not because it is bad or good, but because of what is hiding in the pages of its six stories. So much so that each time I open the book I discover something new or am surprised by something that I interpret differently, because I find something that perhaps I had been wrong about. Or perhaps not… That’s the strength of this work, that it has not just one interpretation, but dozens… It’s almost interactive, because what we read on the first pass is not necessarily what it truly means… Franko is a comic that breaks the mold… It’s the best I’ve read in recent times, entertaining, novel, and with subject rarely explored.”
— Yorick Allen, loseternatuas.com
“This is a very rare comic… Bernier’s scripts have a sort of shamanic lyricism, from a certain magical realism (more magical than realistic), to very extreme situations difficult for young audiences to digest. To his credit, I must say that the adventures of Franko and Shin are rarely resolved through violence, but on the contrary, the battle between Good and Evil is de-emphasized in favor of other ways of handling conflicts.”
— Andrés Accorsi, 365comicsxyear.blogspot.cl
“I’m sure that as a child I would have loved to read Franko, Fables of the Last Earth because now, as an adult, I was mesmerized with this comic...like a child.”
— Carlos Andueza, mesagrafica.cl
“One of the best titles of the year… Highly entertaining.”
— Fabián Sáez, guioteca.com
This English translation edition will be quite similar to the original Spanish edition in terms of size and content. The main difference will be the new English dialog (plus any additions made through stretch goals). The book will also include new chapter cover images by a series of guest artists.
The book dimensions will be 16.8 cm x 24 cm (9.5" x 6.5"), and slightly larger for the hardcover edition if we make that stretch goal. It will be approximately 120 pages, again possibly more depending on stretch goals, printed in full color. The softcover edition will be perfect bound with french flaps. The hardcover edition will be printed overwrap case bound with printed end sheets. Both will be 4-color offset printed on 80 lb gloss interior paper.
We will not be able to ship all the books to Chile for signing, so we plan to have Cristóbal and Ángel sign bookplates that will be included with each copy of the book sold.
In addition to the printed book, we are offering:
Experience Franko's life in the Atacama Desert digitally! We will make a PDF copy of the book available as part of a digital-only reward level, and it will be available to ALL other levels, which include printed copies of the book. We will also offer desktop wallpaper images as part of the digital-only reward level, and will make them available to all other levels, too.
Collected Curiosities - UPDATED
This reward collection will include a suite of sweet goodies to show off your appreciation for Franko and Shin. The collection will include:
- Two high quality full-color vinyl stickers, one each of Franko and Shin
- Two cloisonne pins, one each of Franko and Shin
- One bandana, designed to be worn as a mask
- NEW: One copper rhombus coin, inspired by the comic
The collection may be expanded through stretch goals! We will also offer the collected items individually as add-ons, but you'll get the best deal buying the collection. See below for add-on pricing.
Spanish Language Edition of the Book
Curious how the original Spanish dialog compares to the new English translation? Want to share Franko with your Spanish-speaking friends and family? We will have copies of the original Chilean edition available as a reward level and also as an add-on. Buy the two editions together in the bilingual reward levels for a discount over the add-on price!
As an added bonus, Cristóbal and Ángel have offered to sign each copy of the Chilean edition before shipping them to us!
Handmade Franko and Shin Plushes
Limited edition, soft plush versions of Franko and Shin have been made available through the talented work of Dracani hand made plushies by Kylie Trupp (Facebook & FurAffinity). They will be available separately or as a pair. Prices are extremely reasonable compared to her standard custom plush pricing! A completed example of Franko is available (see below), and a prototype for Shin is in progress.
The plushes will be approximately 28-30 cm (11-12 inches) in height. They were designed by Érika Pino, who was also one of the colorists for the book.
The plush reward levels will include the full set of Collected Curiosities as well as a copy of the book. If we meet our hardcover stretch goal, the book included in this reward level will get an UPGRADE from softcover to hardcover at no extra cost!
Own a piece of original art by Cristóbal! A limited number of rewards are being offered in a variety of formats, with varying numbers of characters. All images will be rated PG-13 at most. The illustrations will be on Canson's watercolor paper, 250 grams.
The following reward levels have been updated!
B&W Drawing, $250: At this level you'll get an inked sketch of one character of your choice from the book.
Digital Color Pair, $350: At this level you get to chose two characters from the comic that will be sketched and inked. The image will then be scanned and digitally colored. You get the original inked sketch, a color print, and a digital copy of the art.
Color Trio Painting, $500: You get to join in the fun at this level! Include a personal character of your choice to appear alongside two characters from the comic. Your character will be rendered in a style fitting within Franko's world. The image will be painted in gouache and will include a certificate of authenticity from the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes of Santiago, Chile.
Note: We initially offered a two-character, full-color reward level at $250 that has been claimed by one supporter. The price was a mistake on our part. We will honor this pledge, but have closed the reward level from any additional pledges.
These reward levels will include a copy of the book and the full set of Collected Curiosities. If we reach our hardcover stretch goal, these rewards will add a BONUS hardcover copy of the book in addition to the softcover copy that is part of the base reward.
Please don't wait until the campaign is over to consider add-on items! Help us reach our stretch goals now by including these amounts to your pledge for any items you want to add above and beyond the pledge level you have selected!
(The concept of "add-ons" is not built into Kickstarter itself, so all you need to do at this point is increase your pledge by the appropriate amount. Once the campaign is over you'll be directed to a form where you can specify how you'd like to spend your extra pledge dollars.)
- NEW: Additional English Edition (hardcover)...$30
- NEW: Copper rhombus coin .........................$8
- Additional English Edition (softcover).......$15
- Additional Spanish Edition.....................$25
- Franko Pin........................................$5
- Shin Pin.........................................$5
- Franko Sticker............................$2
- Shin Sticker.............................$2
Add-on items will not incur any additional shipping. However, if you purchase a bunch of additional heavy items like books to be shipped overseas, we may ask for a bit more if the cost to ship to you is considerably more than what your reward level covers.
Our goal is to have the book printed and ready for sale this summer at Anthrocon (June 30 - July 3, 2016) and Comic-Con International (July 20-24, 2016). We understand that our timeline is tight, but if all goes well, it is still possible! We will be printing this book through a local printer, so we don't have to worry about shipping and other issues that slow down print jobs done overseas.
If we succeed, backers will have the option of picking up their rewards at Anthrocon and Comic Con. Because we can't guarantee delivery at these conventions at this time, all rewards will be charged a shipping fee at the conclusion of the campaign. The fee would be reimbursed at the time of pickup at either of the conventions.
We plan to begin shipping out rewards in July or later, assuming no significant delays in production.
Last Week Boost
We decided to add the hardcover edition the last week of the campaign, which was previously our $10,000 stretch goal. The conditions of the stretch goal have been applied to existing top-tier reward levels, and the $10K goal has been updated.
With this last week boost, (1) we added new pledge levels for upgrading the basic book and Collected Curiosities reward levels that offer hardcover instead of softcover editions; (2) we UPGRADED the plush levels from softcover to hardcover at no extra charge; and (3) we added a BONUS hardcover book to the custom art levels, on top of the softcover English edition already listed for those levels.
ACHIEVED: $8,000 Base Goal
This is where it all starts! If we meet our minimum goal, we will print the English edition in softcover format. NEW: now with hardcover option!
UNLOCKED: $10,000 Kickstarter Edition Book Augmentation
We will make YOUR copy of the book(s) special! All copies of the English edition purchased through this Kickstarter campaign will have a special foil seal/sticker on the cover that proclaims the book a special Kickstarter edition, with a thank you to all our backers. Hardcover copies will also get a special Kickstarter-only dust jacket, featuring a new, original painting of Franko and Shin by Cristóbal Jofré.
UNLOCKED: $12,000 Extra Stories
The stories in Franko, Fables of the Last Earth are not the only ones that have been told and illustrated! Some old comics have appeared online, and a collection of black-and-white comics was also recently released in Chile. We will augment our English edition of the book with one or more of these comics if we reach this stretch goal. More details to come as we get closer to reaching this goal!
Due to our production schedule, we have decided not to offer any more last-minute stretch goals. You can read more in our latest update. We have achieved what we came here to do, raising over 150% of our base goal, and we're extremely grateful to everyone who has backed our project already. (We're grateful enough to not keep pestering them to help us bring in more backers!) We have plenty of work to do in the coming weeks, and we are already turning our focus towards that.
We still welcome any new backers who wish to join us! There are plenty of reasons to back the project now, rather than waiting to buy the books at conventions or through distributors: the exclusive Kickstarter edition of the books, campaign-only rewards such as the bandanas and copper rhombuses, signatures that you might otherwise have to travel to Chile to get, etc.
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk for this project is our self-imposed deadline of having the books ready for Anthrocon. It's an ambitious goal, but still possible if all goes well and on schedule. We have been publishing books for over a decade, and we've already run two successful Kickstarter campaigns.
There is always the chance for delays in production. For the Digger Omnibus, printing the softcover edition was delayed due to mechanical problems at the printer, and the books were still being bound during the time that Ursula Vernon had flown in to do the Kickstarter signing. Our sales rep at the printer ended up loading his car with boxes as they were filled, then running them to our warehouse for the signing through the last day that Ursula was in town.
Fortunately, the worst case scenario for us this time around is that we may miss our Anthrocon release date, in which case we'll be shipping out all the books sometime later in the summer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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