About this project
"Someday Mars will have its own Laura Ingalls Wilder to tell the tale of growing up on the new frontier. But with 'Generation One: Children of Mars,' we can experience some of that story now. It's going to be great."
—Dr. Robert Zubrin, Mars Society President and author of "The Case for Mars"
In 2051 AD, when a war between the United States and China plunges two peaceful Martian colonies into a miniature cold war, it's up to the first generation of children born on Mars to restore peace to their planet and set a positive example for Earth.
(It's all very serious.)
Gen One is a 3-issue limited comic series created with the goal of getting kids and young adults excited about the possibility of Mars colonization. We're really hoping to show how:
1) Mars colonists might live happy, productive lives full of meaning without ever setting foot on Earth,
2) humanity can avoid making the same mistakes on Mars as it has on Earth, and
3) Mars is an interesting place worth discovering!
The story tears down
the artificial barriers of race/nationality and encourages people from
all countries and backgrounds to work together in the pursuit of a
positive future for humanity in space.
The amount of content we produce will will vary a lot depending on what stretch goals we meet. Whatever the length of the book, we want to leave you feeling satisfied, like you've experienced a complete story with all its ups and downs.
As with everything we do, our primary goal is to tell a great story full of humor and tension and characters the reader can care about. If you don't laugh or cry or stay up too late, we haven't done our jobs!
Because we care about transparency, here's a quick breakdown of where the money goes:
Be aware, each stretch goal we meet will add some time to the estimated delivery date. (Learn more in this update.)
We have lots of great reward levels for backers who want to own the comic. Whether you go with the PDF, the standard paperback, or an official signed and numbered edition, you'll be getting the complete story, including any content unlocked in our stretch goals. There are some good ones, so scroll up and check them out if you haven't already!
There are also lots of goodies to be had in the various reward levels. Take a look!
Some of our backer levels also include a digital download of the song heard in the Kickstarter video; this theme (written by Tim Stewart and Josh Howard) will be expanded and mastered for maximum Mars-related daydreaming.
Become a Colonist - [This reward level is no longer available.]
Have you ever wished you could be a Mars colonist yourself? Do you think you have what it takes to face the harsh realities of life on a distant planet? Well, either way, you can be in our comic! Our artist, Tim, will work closely with you to design a comic book version of you; he'll even let you help design your suit by choosing your color and a personal touch of your choice! Picus has his woodpecker emblem. Xiao has his punk-rock spikes. What's on your suit that defines you?
You'll receive a print of the full-color illustration of you as a colonist, as well as an official certificate from the Martian powers-that-be proving that you are, in fact, a resident of Mars. We'll also work you into the comic as an extra where you'll be a small but permanent part of the Gen One universe!
You'll receive a signed, numbered copy of the comic book, as well as all previous extras. (Unfortunately, this doesn't include signed original concept art.)
Adopting Ada - [This reward level is no longer available. Rest assured, she found a wonderful home.]
This is my favorite reward level. I'm dead serious, this is awesome. You and your spouse/partner can be drawn into the comic as Ada's parents! You'll even have a handful of speaking lines in the comic, and you'll have the privilege of becoming a Mars Colonist and a permanent resident of the Gen One universe!
If you're lucky enough to grab up this reward level while it's still available, you'll have this to look forward to:
1) Our artist and writer will personally work with you to develop a comic-book version of you and your significant other.
2) We'll subtly tailor Ada's appearance and situation to match your own. All ethnicities and sexual preferences are welcome. Single parents are fine too. We can tweak the story and designs to make literally anything work!
3) You'll receive a signed, numbered copy of the comic book, as well as all previous extras. (Unfortunately, this doesn't include signed original concept art or a colonist photo/certificate.)
4) You'll receive an official adoption certificate, legal under current Mars law. ;) You'll even get to choose Ada's last name!
5) You'll receive a one-of-a-kind print of an illustrated family photo featuring you and Ada. We'll work closely with you to make sure the picture is as "you" as possible.
6) Finally, you'll have the joy of knowing Ada is yours. Yours! She's your daughter! No matter what she does or where she goes in her life, no matter what adventures she undertakes in the Gen One universe, you'll always be her parents. And if she happens to visit her parents in future comics, guess what?! It'll still be you! I think that is super cool.
(Note: We will need your permission to use your likeness. We hope that's cool.)
(Other note: Heart below not included. Anywhere. Ever. Ew.)
Here's a look at the brand-spankin'-new Chinese Base Poster!
To add an add-on to your Kickstarter pledge, follow these steps:
Go to the Gen One Kickstarter page and press the Manage Your Pledge Button. (If you have not pledged yet it will say Back this Project.) Increase your pledge in the Pledge Amount box by the total of the add-ons you want to add.
Do not change the tier you are currently pledged at, unless you also
want to change it while you are on this screen. You will then need to
add the total of your add-ons onto the amount of the new tier you chose.
After the end of the Kickstarter campaign you will receive a survey that will allow to explain how you would like the add-on money assigned, the size of T-shirts, etc.
Note: All add-ons require a $20 pledge level or above.
Risks and challenges
Creating Generation One is going to be a lot of work. Our artist, Tim Stewart, takes his own reference photos, drafts his own pencils, then inks and colors each page--alone. To meet the deadline, he will have to complete nearly two pages a week, pages that will take him 10-20 hours a piece. In addition, he'll be working full-time counseling troubled kids and attending to his primary job as a family man. Tim is one of the hardest-working and conscientious people I know, and he's fully committed to getting this project out on time. That said, if he ends up needing a little extra time, we hope you'll be patient with us; it's a lot to take on.
(Be sure to keep an eye on the adjusted delivery dates in our Stretch Goals section!)
Another difficult challenge is physically producing the print books and getting them into the hands of backers ASAP. Because we care deeply about the quality of the work, we've decided to work with local printers we trust here in the United States. This will allow us to examine physical proofs at each stage of production and ensure the book comes out looking as gorgeous as humanly possible and free from errors. Printing locally is more costly than printing overseas and (in addition to shipping) accounts for a huge chunk of our financial need.
Finally, the greatest challenge (and most important!) is making sure we're telling a great story! We believe we have something very special in Generation One, and we can't wait to share it with all of you. :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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