Kickin’ it with Paul Jenkins – Fairy Quest 2 – Outcasts
Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos are back for another go at Kickstarter, and they want to make Fairy Quest 2: Outcasts a reality.
4cr: Welcome! We’re joined today by Paul Jenkins for this episode of Kickin’ it with. First things first – time for introductions!
Hi. I’m sitting here with a cup of tea. That is what you get when you interview a British person. As for the “about me” part of the introduction, I’m an Eisner Award winner and two-time BAFTA nominee, the writer of Inhumans, Sentry and Wolverine: Origin for Marvel, and have worked on just about every major comic character in the US market. I’m also a prolific creator and writer for some larger games, and my credits include Twisted Metal: Black, The Darkness and many others.
4cr: You’re no stranger to Kickstarter since a while ago you and Humberto Ramos completed a very successful campaign for a special print run for Fairy Quest Book 1 (Outlaws). Now you’re back for Book 2 (titled Outcasts), and we want to know what is going on this time around with Red, Mister Woof, and everyone else.
When we left off, Red and Mister Woof had barely escaped the clutches of the sinister Mister Grimm, a Fascistic ruler of the world of Children’s Stories. When characters don’t tell their stories properly, Grimm wipes their minds in the dreaded mind eraser! But Red and Woof love each other very dearly, and have decided to escape the tyranny. And at the end of Book One: Outlaws, they were about to enter the dreaded Dark Forest.
In the upcoming issue they will run afoul of a very sinister version of a character we know and love: I’ll give you a hint – she lives in a high castle! They also try desperately to escape from Grimm’s Think Police, who are intent on bringing them to “justice.” And we begin to expose the darker side of the children’s stories, showing them as they were intended: dark and difficult fiction.
4cr: The campaign had a very interesting start that got it to the 80% funded mark within a week, and it’s now fully funded. With the way things are going, I’d like to talk about stretch goals. What is on your mind for extra goals to improve the book or provide backers with extras or new items as add-ons?
Well, we have a lot of really nice planned extras. One thing we looked at from our first campaign was giving away free stuff, so if we hit certain goals we’ll do that again! But we also want to add to the book, and one thing we’ll do is provide a glimpse of the bigger picture, the entire world of Fablewood! This world was something I created many years back, and which we wrapped Fairy Quest into. But there are many other genre-bending stories to be told, and we’ve been sneaking in a few previews as this campaign has gone along.
At the same time, we’ll also enhance the main book with more of the high end production values, and we’re looking to do a couple more exclusive variants and release those as we go upwards. The raise is looking pretty healthy at the moment so the trick is to get it over the first goal and then really build it to be able to give everyone the new stretch rewards! I think rather than free cheap cell phone covers and so on, fans seem to like enhancements to the main book. So we’ll be looking at a lot of things that add on, and make their book better and more unique.
On top of that, since we’ve hit our first goal, everyone who is pledging for a physical copy of Book 2 will now get a PDF of Outlaws as a way of saying “Thank you “ to all of the backers! That is awesome. We have more surprises in store but, again, none as important as creating the “World of Fablewood” feature in the back of the new book as a gift to our awesome backers.
We feel very strongly about our readers being our publishers. So if we go high enough, we’ll a new section with a list of every backer inside the back of the book!
4cr: I noticed that none of the rewards offer an original page of art from Fairy Quest Book 2. With how popular Humberto’s original art is as soon as it is out for sale, will you consider offering a few pages to some very lucky backers at the really high tiers?
Not a chance. We want to keep the art intact.
4cr: Fairy Quest: Outcasts is being offered as a regular hardcover and as a limited Deluxe Edition. Knowing this, what makes the Deluxe Edition so deluxe?
Well, it has a high level of Deluxity! But seriously, we see that the fans and backers love the limited editions – it’s a big part of what makes Kickstarter unique. The Deluxe version comes with a matte embossed slipcover, which is really beautiful and stylish. Inside, we do a signed plate and a little authenticating sticker, and the books are numbered. I guess the bottom line is that we try to make the book into something that we ourselves would want to own.
4cr: Is there a way for those that missed out on Fairy Quest: Outlaws to get a copy of the first book?
Yes, of course! We still have a number of the first book as a part of the current campaign. But they’re limited and will soon be out of print. If a new reader wants to come in, they can read #1 if they get the first hardcover, or they can pledge for the PDF version, or they can also get the BOOM! Studios softcover comics, which are also being offered. And finally, should readers miss all of this there is a softcover version in comic stores, also published by Boom!
4cr: Backers for Fairy Quest Book 1 received a digital file with a preview of a new story set in the same universe as Fairy Quest. Can you please tell us more about the Fiction Squad, and how the character designs for Marlie and Watson came about?
Well, Marlie and Watson are actually peripheral characters in the new Fablewood story, which is called Fiction Squad. The Fiction Squad book is part of the larger Fablewood saga, and it’s currently being created in super secret fashion. I’ll be releasing exciting news about the new book very soon. But trust me, if you like Fairy Quest you will love Fiction Squad! It’s a similar kind of story to Fairy Quest, using some of the same characters, and it’s set in a city called Rimes where all of the nursery rhyme characters live. But this place is a pretty unpleasant place to live. The queens and the witches are the most powerful people in this realm, so they are a bit like the Mob!
4cr: I absolutely love my Red and Mr. Woof statue, and I was wondering if you had any plans for doing another statue for Fairy Quest 2 or 3? I’m sure Humberto has a ton of designs sitting around at home waiting for such an occasion, right?
You know, we have talked about that but in part that would be up to the designer, Rabia.
4cr: With Fairy Quest: Outcasts becoming a reality in the second half of 2014, are there already plans for a third book in the series?
Oh yes. And the most important thing to know is that as I stated at the very beginning, if Kickstarter fans want the book to exist then I will want all Fablewood stories to be created here first. Kickstarter is a unique and exciting way for fans to vote with their dollars. We’re bringing the books here first, so that the Kickstarter backers become our publishers.
4cr: And we’re done. Do you want to say anything else to our readers before we go?
The most important thing I can say is how grateful I am for the fans backing us and making this and future books a reality. Fairy Quest and Fablewood seem to be universally loved. Without Kickstarter, the book would not have been published; not here, or in Spain, or in France. I think it would be an incredible shame if books like this did not exist. And the more I work with Kickstarter and build up a fan base in this specific place, the more books I want to do here. It’s a truly unique form of creation, and so honest and genuine because of this. The backers are our publishers. They can take pride and ownership in making something like Fablewood a reality.