Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Kickstarter Project: Zombie Ranch, a Tale of a Weird New West: Volume One

About this project

Meet Susannah Zane. She’s a rancher. She raises livestock.
Only thing is, her stock isn’t technically live.
The Great Zombie Plague wiped out a fair portion of civilization, and humans weren’t the only victims of its ravenous hunger. But that was years ago, and where cattle, pigs, and sheep got scarce, practical sorts found a new herd to market: the zombies themselves!
Now a crew has come out to film a new reality television series on the subject. To the viewers in the Safe Zones, it might be an eye-opener; but for Suzie and her compadres it’s just another day in the unlife.
Welcome to the Zombie Ranch.
Howdy! We're looking to put together a 200-page definitive print collection of the first seven chapters of our ongoing webcomic, Zombie Ranch.
Over the years we've had fans ask us if and when we were ever going to collect the story into a single trade volume. We were willing, for sure, but there were two big obstacles:
     1) Enough content to make such a collection worthwhile.
     2) Enough money to cover costs.
Obstacle 1 is taken care of. Obstacle 2 is what this campaign is about!
The Intended Product
The Intended Product
We already have a quote from a reputable printer so it's just a matter of meeting their price, plus covering our estimated costs for creating and shipping backer rewards (including the books!) and accounting for Kickstarter's processing fees which can take up to a 10% bite out of the pledges right from the start. This isn't about enabling us to quit our day jobs, it's about allowing a husband and wife team to celebrate our fifth year of comic creation with a high quality, physical culmination of all our work, and sharing that work with fans both old and new.
All the pages are done and can be read on the webcomic site, though if successfully funded we are also planning on
  • Reworking the lettering to make our early pages more consistent with our later ones.
  • Including several pages of extras that might be of curiosity to the reader - such as concept art, script and storyboard samples, and more - showcasing how all this weirdness came about.
It's not your usual zombie story, and there's additional detail on our TV Tropes entry and our Setting FAQ page if you feel the hankering to learn more.

Let's say I find that interesting. Who are you?

Oh! Just a moment...
Your Humble Proprietors
Your Humble Proprietors
I'm Clint Wolf, the writer. Next to me there is my wife, Dawn, the artist.
Dawn is the one without facial hair, in case that wasn't clear. Together we make up a little independent outfit that we eventually agreed to call Lab Reject Studios.
Dawn is a former employee of Nickelodeon and I've written in the past for publications like Games Workshop's White Dwarf Magazine, but Zombie Ranch represented our first comics offering to a wide audience. Since we began this tale of a Weird New West in October 2009 we've produced nearly 250 full-color pages detailing the trials and tribulations of our ranchers. We had a lot to learn, but we've persevered and gathered an international audience along the way. We've exhibited at San Diego Comic-Con, been interviewed in print and on podcast, and in general don't seem to be in danger of going away any time soon. We've even published several limited-run print comic issues, as you can see by this lovely spread.
More than one fan has declared that they're hooked on the story even though they don't usually like zombies. We've even had someone swear her appreciation even though she said she doesn't like comics (go figure). And though I wouldn't go so far as to call it an All Ages offering, we haven't really found a need for nudity or an excess of gore and swearing to tell the tale. Approximately PG-13 by U.S. film standards, though more of a 1980s PG-13 since we don't shy entirely away from blood. Or smoking. In general I'd say if you're okay watching the movie Jaws, you should be okay with this.


  • "There's a tried and true method to telling a zombie story, so I have to appreciate a comic that not only has a new spin on the genre but tells it well... Dawn Wolf's art excels at portraying character emotions and is a critical part in the series' world building, making every piece of media or bit of tech look as good as it sounds when described." - Fanboy Comics
  •  "The series is well-written, delves into interesting ideas about capitalism and necessity and the character design is strong and varied..." - Girls Like Comics
  • "...entertaining, lively, and often unexpected. If you're into westerns or zombies or farming or just enjoy weird $%^&, you need to take a look at this comic." - Comic Related
     All physical reward tiers include domestic shipping in the US. If you live outside the US - and yes, this includes Canada and Mexico - there will be an additional charge on any tiers not marked otherwise. We're sorry to have to do that, but international shipping is expensive!

Stretch Goal #1: $3700 - Uncle Chuck's Secret Stash

All backers at the $30 tier or higher will receive a free grab bag of swag including Zombie Ranch stickers, buttons, bookmarks, temporary tattoos, and maybe even a little somethin' shiny!

Stretch Goal #2: $5000 - Tales from the Zombie Ranch

Clint writes an all-new short story based in the world of the Weird New West. All backers at the $15 tier or higher will receive a PDF of the results.
T-shirt Samples
T-shirt Samples
Zombie Horse Plushie Samples (No Two Alike!)
Zombie Horse Plushie Samples (No Two Alike!)

Risks and challenges

We deliberately built this project with the idea of minimal risk; if we don't get our funding, everyone walks away with no harm done save disappointment. We'll still continue as we have for five years and counting, producing Zombie Ranch online and in small runs of single issues.
But we don't want disappointment, we want a book! And since we have every last story page of that book already produced, all that's really left is to get it printed and distributed, along with any extra material we decide to include. There are no worries about collaboration problems or delays, there is no lofty-but-as-yet-unrealized vision. We have our content, we have our price quotes, and we've done our homework on the kinds of pitfalls Kickstarter campaigns can experience. Heck, we even have a lot of our reward items already present and accounted for. As long as we reach our minimal funding goal, this project is happening!

For questions or to make a pledge, click here! 

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