On Making Awesome Things Happen

Most people know my storytelling and art through the series of illustrated novels I created, The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, but not all of my readers realize that this series was not my first extended work of fantastic fiction. More than twenty years ago, I began writing and illustrating a massive graphic novel I called StarChild. Released first as a series of comic books, the stories were later collected into two volumes: AWAKENINGS, and CROSSROADS. A third volume, MYTHOPOLIS, was never completed.

I always wanted to go back to complete the stories I started, and many readers clamored for more – but I discovered that over the two decades since I began, my work had also changed, and I faced a dilemma. I had changed too much as a writer and illustrator and storyteller to finish the stories in the same way I began them. So, I decided that I would revisit and complete those stories in another way, as a series of illustrated novels called Fool’s Hollow, where the entire story will be retold and then fully completed within 2 1/2 years. The Fool’s Hollow novels are going to be pretty lavishly illustrated and so all the comics shops who carry StarChild will be carrying the books, too. They’ll also be in pretty much EVERY bookstore, as my publisher, Shadow Mountain, has awesome distribution.

There are things in the comics I can’t do in novels, and things that were too cool to have out of print. That’s why I did a Kickstarter project called The 20th Anniversary Nearly Complete Essential StarChild.

It has funded, actually quite over-funded, but there’s still one stretch goal we want to happen – a heavy, matching slipcover for this 700+ page Spider-Whomping Door-Stopping Massively Awesome (or Awesomely Massive) hardcover book – slipcases that will only be available to Kickstarter backers. Those slipcases will happen if the funding total reaches $48,000 or we have 650 Backers, whichever comes first … in the next 4 days. We’re already close to $42k and over 560 Backers, so this is totally doable.

Existing rewards that can be pledged for at various levels include signed exclusive prints, a headsketch in the hardcover, Artist Proofs of the two Fool’s Hollow art prints (The Gatherum, Old Tom’s Study, each 28″ x 40″), a 10″ x 14″ pen and ink fully-rendered finished illustration commission, AND … if you pledge at the $100 level and higher (Libri Fresco, all Hat Tricks, Überfan, and Michaelangelo Pledge levels), your hardcover could be the one chosen to have an original, remarqued, four-page (both sets of endpapers, front and back) handwritten STORY, which may contain elements of the ENTIRE epic that I’ll be sharing in the Fool’s Hollow novels that come out in 2014. Which hardcover I write the short story in will be chosen at random after the Kickstarter project ends (Note: does not include hardcovers in the Bookseller’s Pledge).

My family, my friends, my fans, and my readers are some the most awesome people on earth – readers who have loved my books for twenty years and readers who have just discovered me have come together to help me publish this huge StarChild book which represents my career to date, as well as the direction of my future.

There are 4 days left on the StarChild Kickstarter and I promise to make this a truly special, extraordinary book. I hope you’ll come along for the ride.


James A. Owen - On Making Awesome Things Happen

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