The true story, 65-page graphic novel of a cunning wolf, a tireless hunter, and his legacy of redemption.
Latest Updates from Our Project:
Journey to the National Scouting Museum.
about 1 year ago
– Mon, Oct 03, 2022 at 11:18:19 PM
Daniel here. I thought I’d chime in on my recent trip back to the US (it was great) and share with you all my fantastic visit to the Philmont Boy Scouts Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. The ranch is not only one of the training canters for Boy Scout leaders in the US, but is also home to the NationalScoutingMuseum. What does this have to do with our graphic novel? Well, it happens to have a fantastic exhibit on both Lobo and Ernest Thompson Seton, and is the final resting place of Lobo’s pelt.
My trip back to the US has been a long time coming and much anticipated event, since I hadn’t been back to my home in New Mexico since 2016 (thanks, COVID). During our Kickstarter campaign, I learned that the Boy Scouts Museum was located in Cimarron, New Mexico, and after considering my time and itinerary, I realized I could make a serendipitous stop by. I mean, it would inconceivable to NOT go to a whole museum dedicated to Ernest Thompson Seton and his experience with Lobo.
Without giving away any spoilers about book, I will just say that the museum is a fantastic place, set amongst a stunning New Mexican country side and rich with information about ETS and Lobo. It was a great experience to see and learn so much more about this great characters of history. But I was interested in one thing in particular: Lobo himself.
It was an eerie experience. I was both amazed and intrigued to see the actual physical body of this mythical wolf. But it was also sad and heart breaking. For all his cleverness and skill to survive, this was what the great King of the Currumpaw had been reduced to.
But in another way, I think it also serves as a different kind of trophy, one to the fool heartiness of human savagery, and as the moral fulcrum upon which Ernest Thompson Seton’s life would pivot. It shows that even if only one person changes their heart and mind about their deeds, they can also change a whole nation.
Seton was deeply changed after his encounter with Lobo in New Mexico, so much so that he would go on to strongly advocate for better understanding and protection of the wild places and its animals in America. This came at a time when more and more voices were crying out for the same thing, the protection of America’s natural legacy for future generations. Seton became very successful as both a writer and artist, but also as a founder of youth education groups, such as the Woodcraft League and the Boy Scouts of America.
Before our campaign, I had been in contact with the museum to try and rouse some support for our book from their organization. Understandably, they couldn’t make any promotional post on our behalf, but that they were very interested in what Robert and I were doing. While at the museum, I was fortunate to meet with one of its directors, Harold, who gave me some great information and insight into the events between ETS and Lobo over those fateful winter months in 1894.
The museum is a great source of information and artefacts from Seton’s life. Finished artworks and paintings, as well as quick sketches and observations from his time hunting Lobo in New Mexico, its a treasure trove and I highly recommend it to all interested in furthering their knowledge on the subject.
That’s all for now. I’ll have another update coming soon about some changes to our production timeline, but for now, thanks again for your support, patience, and interest in this great story.
Ideas Are Cheap
about 1 year ago
– Sun, Sep 18, 2022 at 04:34:21 AM
Ideas are cheap: a dime a dozen. Everybody has them. It's what you do with the ideas that makes the difference. That's the hard part. It's also the most exciting.
My idea was to tell the Lobo/Seton story. I was determined to see this through. But first, I had to decide the medium for telling it. The story seemed too narrow for a regular novel and too violent for a picture book. Graphic novel, a combo of the two, seemed like the best option. I settled on that.
Trouble was, although I had 28 published books to my credit, none of them were graphic novels, and I had no idea how to write one. So, I went to my local library and started reading all the graphic novels I could lay my hands on, especially true stories (which are not that common). Doing this was very helpful from a story standpoint, but I still needed help in how to actually format the writing, since it involves illustration descriptions, captions, and dialog.
Searching online for formatting guidance helped somewhat, but the suggestions were often at odds. I needed some real-world help. Fortunately, a writer friend (Kurt Cyrus – check out his books, they’re great!) introduced me to one of his friends, Mark Fearing, another awesome writer. Mark has had great success creating graphic novels as well as picture books, and he was very generous in sharing his experience and insights with me. Many writers are like that, and I am so thankful.
Then came the researching, the writing, and the rewriting. Weeks, months, a year shaping the story, pacing it, attending to details and checking them out with knowledgeable sources. David Witt, curator of the Seton Legacy Project, was a shining light. So was Julie Seton, the granddaughter of Ernest Thompson Seton.
Once the manuscript was ready, I started sending queries to publishers. And waited. And waited some more. Most of them I never heard from. No response – that’s how they reject these days. The few I heard from said I needed to send artwork with the manuscript. Ugh!
Now, the journey changed from finding an interested publisher to finding a talented (and willing) artist. Easier said than done. The artists I spoke with wanted upfront payment. That’s understandable, but it wasn’t something I was able or willing to do, especially given that I didn’t have a deal with a publisher. I wanted to find an artist who believed in the project enough to do some work (not the whole book!) upfront to show prospective publishers.
After a year of searching, I found my artist: Daniel Becker. I found him through Kickstarter, in which Daniel successfully raised money for a graphic novel project. It clearly demonstrated his entrepreneurial spirit and motivation. And, it showcased his artwork, which is excellent.
Although Daniel lives in Australia, he’s from New Mexico, where the Seton story takes place. He connected with the story right away and began drawing in earnest. He also offered editorial suggestions, which really helped to improve the manuscript.
As much as some writers may be reluctant to admit it, we all benefit by the help of others. Whether it's formatting suggestions, fact-checking, or editorial feedback, collaboration is essential for success. I am so grateful for the help I got, and will continue to get as this project moves forward.
Here are some of Daniel's early sketches:
It Started with an Idea
over 1 year ago
– Wed, Aug 24, 2022 at 11:17:49 AM
Daniel and I can’t thank you enough for your belief in our project and your generous support. We couldn’t be doing this without YOU! While the completion of the book is a ways off, we want to stay in touch with you, both to let you know how things are progressing and to provide some insights into this undertaking.
Let’s start at the beginning, with the idea of writing about Ernest Thompson Seton and Lobo. That came to me while researching another book I was working on, Friends of the Wolf. This book is a kids’ introduction to these amazing animals, an inside look at a wolf sanctuary, and a call for preservation and protection. (Some of you will be receiving this book as part of the Kickstarter - thank you!)
This happens a lot. You’re working on one project and you come across fascinating facts and stories that you want to pursue. But, hard as it is, you put on the blinders and keep the focus on your current project. You see it through to the end.
And that’s what I did. But, what I had learned about Ernest Thompson Seton and Lobo was still in my head. I learned that Seton was one of the most influential people in America during the 20th century. He was a naturalist, prolific artist, and best-selling author. He was also an expert wolf hunter.
Interesting stuff, but what really drew me in was finding out about Seton’s dramatic encounter with a legendary wolf that became known as Lobo. This encounter had a profound effect on Seton. It changed the course of his life. And it changed America too.
This story compelled me to share it.
Deciding to write about something is just the beginning. There’s more to follow. Lots more. I’ll be telling you about that in upcoming messages. Stay tuned…
over 1 year ago
– Sat, Jul 30, 2022 at 09:42:44 PM
Thank you everyone for your patience while I've been sorting out BACKERKIT to send out post-campaign surveys. It was a little bit of 'recreating the wheel', having to match up a lot of what was built for Kickstarter with Backerkit's platform, but alas, it is finished and SURVEY'S ARE SENT!!!
Now, 'Survey' is a misleading term. I think of it more as a 'Complete your Order' form, and something I think Kickstarter should just automatically do after a campaign ends successfully (but lets not get into that). This form is where you get to review your pledge, and make any additions to your order. That's right, if you missed grabbing an extra copy of the graphic novel, or really wanted to check out that other great graphic novel "Master & Apprentice" as an add on (wink wink), you can do so with your 'Survey'.
Once you fill out this form and send us your POSTAL ADDRESS, that's pretty much it. BUT, in case you change your mind or your postal address between now and when we are about to ship orders, don't worry. You can always come back and make any changes before we LOCK POSTAL ADDRESS and send out orders. Again, DON'T WORRY, we'll let everyone know before this happens.
*A NOTE ABOUT POSTAGE OVER CHARGES AND CREDIT*
You may have pitched in a little extra with your order, because you're just an awesome person. This will, however, look like "CREDIT" with your Backerkit Pledge amount. If you want to apply this credit and grab some extra goodies, GO FOR IT!! Otherwise, it will be used as was intended, to help fund the project.
IF you find that you have a little extra as credit, like $5.oo or $15.oo, that's probably because I adjusted a few shipping charges with add-ons with the Backerkit platform. The new shipping profiles I set up are not as high as they were with Kickstarter (again, my bad, a weee miscalculation). That overcharge may actually be just the right amount when it comes time to post things, but if we find that backers ended up paying MORE for shipping than they should have, good news is IT WILL BE REIMBURSED TO YOU AFTER THE BOOK HAS BEEN POSTED!! If its $2-$5, welllll...we might keep that as a 'processing fee' (and believe me, there's LOTS of extra charges and time spent just posting things). This might turn into a lot of work on our end, but I endeavour to be fair and honest with any business I do with supporters in order to keep your trust and confidence.
And again, if you have any questions or if something isn't adding up with your order in Backerkit, JUST LET ME KNOW and I will sort it out. Thank you all again SOOO MUCH! Check your inboxes (possibly SPAM folders) for that Backerkit Survey, and fill it out. Once that's done, that's one less thing to worry about, and you can sit back and relax.
Thanks again everyone, stay safe out there and be well.
Post Campaign F.A.Q's
over 1 year ago
– Mon, Jul 11, 2022 at 05:41:41 AM
So... Now what?
Kickstarter can be a little confusing to some people, and I don't blame them. If you're new to this, don't worry, I'll try to sort you out with some answers to a few frequently asked questions. But, even if you're a seasoned pro, you'll still want to read through this to get an idea of what to expect for fulfilment and a general timeline for when to expect the goods. Hopefully this will address MOST questions about the fulfilment for your order, but if you have any others, please feel free to message me and Robert or I will try to answer them.
'Why haven't I been charged yet for my pledge?"
Kickstarter has likely already charged your card for your order. HOWEVER, if there were insufficient funds or your card on file has expired, Kickstarter will notify you. Check your email that you used with this Kickstarter order to see if there are any notifications about your payment details.
Kickstarter will keep trying to charge your payment details and/or notify you of success/fail for 2-weeks, but if they are unsuccessful at that time, then YOU WILL MISS OUT ON YOUR ORDER! That would be a total bummer! IF, however, things have just gotten out of your control and you missed your payment window, you will STILL be able to pre-order your copy of this book with add-ons and pledge tiers through BACKERKIT (more on that below), so don't worry too much. NONETHELESS, best to settle up now and avoid any confusion or missed opportunities.
'When do I get my goods and will they all be together?'
Tentatively our due date for completing this graphic novel is NOVEMBER 2022. HOWEVER... as we should all know by now after the last 2-years is that life, and global pandemics, can sometimes get in the way of best laid plans. And I'll be honest, November is also a VERY optimistic goal, even for myself who is usually pretty good at meeting deadlines. With that said, that's what I'm aiming for, but if that turns out to not be the case, all backers will be kept in the loop on when to expect their purchases.
When the book is finally complete, printed, and orders are assembled with all the various perks, everything will be bundled together (carefully) and shipped to you all in one. There will be more on this down the line closer to mailing out orders, but everything should be sent together. If for any reason separate things need to be packaged and sent, we'll let you know.
'What are Backer Survey's and why are they important?'
Backer Surveys will be VERY important for organizing and delivering your order, as it is how you can provide us with your postal address. I will be sending out surveys through BACKERKIT, which is similar to Kickstarter but allows us to do some extra special things that will help backers out more than Kickstarter (currently) does. With the survey, please enter your POSTAL ADDRESS where you receive mail. If you are only getting DIGITAL REWARDS, please enter the BEST email address you want your reward sent to.
I will be setting up the backer surveys on Backerkit over the week, so expect them in the following weeks. Its best to fill those out sooner than later, but you can always make changes to your shipping address and order right till we 'lock' your pledge before shipping (more on that below).
'What if I move house before you send my order?'
We wont 'lock' backer's postal information till right before we are about to ship rewards, so don't worry. Between now and completion, if you move residence, you can always change it in Backerkit by going to 'manage my reward' and changing your postal information there. Alas, if there's any problems and we need your information, we'll let you know!
'What the heck is Backerkit?'
Good question. Backerkit is a third party site designed to help Kickstarter creators (me) fulfil rewards, send surveys, allow backers to adjust their pledge by adding more items, change their postal information, and receive refunds for overcharges on shipping. Why Kickstarter doesn't do all this on their own site (at least not yet) is beyond me. But don't worry, Backerkit is used by a LOT of other Kickstarter creators and offers both creators and backers extra opportunities that Kickstarter currently doesn't.
Through Backerkit, I'll be sending out backer surveys sometime in the next couple of weeks after I get everything set up (you'll be notified). If you want to add another copy of the book to your order, or add on any extras you saw with the campaign that you now REALLY want, you'll be able to do that with your survey.
Though you've entered your PAYMENTDETAILS already with Kickstarter, you'll need to enter themagain with Backerkit if you want to add extra stuff to your order.
'How do refunds for OVER CHARGES on SHIPPING work?"
The amount you have already paid for shipping is the 'average' amount we calculated and anticipate needed to send your order. HOWEVER, if you added on an extra book or item, you were charged for shipping again (my bad). What you've paid for shipping now will be compared against the ACTUAL price to ship your order when we package it and are ready to ship. If you've paid WAY over, then you'll be reimbursed the difference (how good is that?!)
Some campaigns charge for shipping through Backerkit AFTER the campaign (not through Kickstarter when you make your pledge) and before they are about to ship. I considered this, but decided against it because I didn't want backers to get confused as to why they were suddenly being charged again, and by something called 'Backerkit'. Also, I didn't want to risk shipping funds not being available because backer's lacked funds in their accounts or cards expired. This way, we already have what we anticipate we'll need, and if its too much, you'll get back the difference (without needing to file a lengthy document *ahem, IRS*).
'I have more questions, but I don't know what they are yet. What do I do?!?!"
I also suffer from this dilemma far too much. For starters, don't worry. That's probably something we should all try to do more of anyways. But if you DO have any other questions not addressed here, please feel to pass them along when they come to you, and I'll do my best to answer them. As always, I will be keeping all backers in the loop on the progress of the book and their orders, its now just a matter of getting to it.