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THE MONKEY KING Graphic Novel Saga by Chaiko

Created by Neurobellum Productions

A fresh and faithful retelling of the classic “Journey to the West” exquisitely adapted and illustrated by Chaiko.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Orders have Locked! Plus: Paperback pix!
12 days ago – Fri, Jan 20, 2023 at 11:21:08 AM

Hi everyone!

As promised in last Friday's update, we have pressed the LOCK ORDERS button on Backerkit! You should soon receive an email from them with one final 48-hour window to make any final changes to your order (or to complete your survey if you still haven't yet... I'm looking at about 187 of you...) 

So around this time on Sunday, they will charge credit cards for any outstanding balance based on the contents of your cart at that time (eg. shipping or additional add-ons).

If you wish to make any further adjustments after that date, send us a message and we'll see what we can do. We can make most adjustments manually up until Quartermaster is ready to start shipping, so please don't fret if you aren't sure where you'll be in 3-4 months. (They will also send a final Address Verification Notification a week or so before they start shipping, so you will have an opportunity to update the address closer to actual delivery.)

Things are starting to come together quickly! The factory in China has closed for Chinese New Year, but they were able to finish the Trade Paperback edition and send us two advance copies -- they look great!

Shiny spotUV
Front French Flaps
Back French Flaps

We were hoping to also have advance copies of the finished hardcovers and slipcase set, but a measuring mishap at the factory led to them having to reprint the slipcase boxes, which they simply could not re-do in time to beat their holiday. We should get those the first week or so in February, and we'll share pix of those once in hand.

We also received the majority of the weapon replicas -- we're still waiting on the stands, and then we'll have to assemble them into barcoded bundles, but we'll hop on that as soon as we're back from Angouleme. 😎

Hundreds of tiny weapons to be sorted...

Did we mention that we're going to Angouleme next week...? If you're not familiar with the reference, there is a big comic book festival (FIBD, or "Festival International de la Bande Dessinee") in Angouleme, France, which we have attended for the past 10 years (minus the last two due to COVID). It is where we get to meet with authors and publishing partners, and where we have found many of the wonderful books we've released over the years. This year, we will have our first small display table in the Rights Tent to show off our premium, deluxe editions, so it feels a bit like "leveling up"... Not sure what to expect after three years away, but at the very least, we're looking forward to a (hopefully) pleasant and relaxing trip! God knows we can use a little time away from the stress...

So we may not be able to post any updates while we're gone, but we'll try to respond to any questions, comments, or messages if possible. Otherwise, we'll be back at the desk first thing February 1st.

In the meantime, if you haven't checked it out already, we would love for you to take a look at our current campaign for MEZKAL and CONVOY that launched on Tuesday. It is a pair of beautifully gritty and explosive noir/SF tales by Kevan Stevens and Jef that we’ve been excited to share for quite a while…

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/neurobellum/mezkal-and-convoy-an-explosive-graphic-novel-double-feature

That's all for now. More exciting updates to come!

An extra week to complete your Backerkits! Plus: MEZKAL!
19 days ago – Fri, Jan 13, 2023 at 04:29:25 PM

Happy Friday, everyone!

In the previous update, we mentioned locking the Backerkit orders today, but we then got very distracted (with an exciting announcement further below) that we failed to give you the 1-week notice that we promised... so consider THIS your 1-week notice! We WILL be locking Backerkit orders NEXT FRIDAY January 20th, probably around 5pm CST.

There are still 252 of you who have not completed your Backerkit survey yet. If you have not received the email with your link, go to https://the-monkey-king-graphic-novel-saga-by-chaiko.backerkit.com/ and log in with your Kickstarter-related email address. If that doesn't work for you or you need your link sent to you again, please message us directly.

Next Friday, we will lock orders, which will, in turn, initiate a 48-hour countdown before Backerkit actually collects any payment that is due (shipping fees, additional add-ons, etc.). After that countdown (~5pm that Sunday), they will charge whatever payment method you provided with your order. If your payment method fails, they will reach out with a notification to please correct the matter! It is important that you address any problems with payment before February 3rd -- on that date, we will export all of the order data that has successfully cleared and begin processing them for shipping.

This means that if your order hasn't cleared by February 3rd, your shipment will fall into a 2nd wave of shipping later in the year. We cannot say exactly when that wave will ship, but it will not go out until after all initial orders have shipped, including international orders. That means wave 2 might not go out until August. So consider yourself warned!

Not only will we be locking MONKEY KING orders next week, but we will also be launching our first campaign of 2023! Check it out!

We're pretty good at cherry-picking the very best graphic novels from around the world, with a keen eye for amazing talent and unique visual styles, and we've been watching artist Jef for quite some time... We are absolutely over-the-moon excited to be able to present not one but TWO awesome graphic novels in what we're labeling a "grindhouse double feature"!

Vananka Darmont’s life has sucked since his Indian father stuck him with such a weird name before disappearing. When he comes home from his soul-draining job to find his mother dead from an overdose, he decides to abandon the $31k in debt she left him to find a new life in Mexico. But trouble follows him like a shadow, and he soon finds himself wrapped up in a world of drug smugglers, white supremacists, and federal agents. In the middle of all that, however, is perhaps the one good thing ever introduced to his life: Leila. And when she’s kidnapped, rescuing her becomes his single purpose.

A psychedelic mix of BREAKING BAD, DESPERADO, and a just whisper of APOCALYPSE NOW.

It’s 2074, and the Earth is an abused ruin, a landscape of desolation thanks to mankind’s inability to live in moderation. Pockets of makeshift civilization are spread out like islands in a sea of wasted misery, a distance that only the craziest and most desperate madmen dare to traverse. Alex and Fonzie are two such individuals, and they are about to take the contract of their lives leading a convoy of misfits and mercenaries on a mission to deliver a cargo of precious medicine across the desolate plain. They’ll face lawless hordes and competing agents, and their fleet will winnow before they reach their destination, but none of those opponents will be prepared for Alex and her wily ways…

A gonzo collision of MAD MAX and FEAR AND LOATHING IN LAS VEGAS.

Put the kids to bed early: THESE ARE RATED-R TALES (violence, nudity, drug use, and other after-dark thrills...) 

If you're looking for hard-hitting noir and explosive satirical sci-fi action, these books will blow you away. It's like if Quentin Tarantino and Luc Besson took a crack at remaking MAD MAX and DESPERADO... 😎

Of course, we will have a beautiful campaign-exclusive limited-edition DELUXE BOXED SET with extras, so you will want to pledge early to beat the madhouse demand that MONKEY KING experienced... 😉

Pledge on Day-1 or visit the pre-registration landing page to sign up for a FREE bonus mini-movie poster added to your pledge!

https://www.magnetic-press.com/early-access-mezkal-convoy/

Thanks for all of your support, everyone! YOU KEEP US GOING! Have a great weekend!

End of the year update! Farewell 2022 -- onward to 2023!
about 1 month ago – Sun, Jan 01, 2023 at 07:48:30 PM

Hello everyone!

We were set to apologize for the silence of these past two weeks while we were out of town and offline traveling for the holidays, but in catching up on the 300+ messages and emails that piled up while we were gone, we were shocked and embarrassed to realize exactly how long it has been since our last update here... YOW! Huge apologies!

These past six weeks have been a whirlwind of activity: year-end financial reports, 2023 budget projections, inventory reconciliation... you know, the fun part of publishing comics. </sarcasm> 😜

In all seriousness, we did manage to squeeze in one last Kickstarter campaign for the year (the recent, successful SHERLOCK HOLMES), and that put us in a really nice position to enjoy the holidays. Next year is promising to be twice as exciting, with some big projects coming together that we can't wait to reveal in the weeks ahead!

In the meantime, here's where things stand with THE MONKEY KING:

  • All of the books have been proofed and approved with the printer. While the plant is closed for the holidays, they have everything queued up for printing first thing in the new year.
  • We have received wet proofs and an unprinted dummy of the slipcase set... and they look really nice. 😊 Here are some pix of the unprinted dummy assembly:
Produced with the actual specs of the MONKEY KING hardcovers and slipcase materials.

As you can see, we are adding corner protection to each slipcase set at the factory. Each set will have the corner protectors applied inside the shrinkwrap, which should significantly minimize the risk of bumps and dings in transit.  Granted, there's no guaranteed way to insure pristine perfection in delivery when there are literally dozens of faceless individuals handling your package between points A and B (and when those two points are literally on opposite ends of the globe), but we believe this added measure will be a big help. 😊 It costs a bit more, but we think the peace of mind is worth it.

We also received printed wet proofs of the slipcase design, complete with foil printing and linen textured graining -- check it out!

We hope to have fully assembled copies in the next few weeks to show, but the factory does have a lot to do before Chinese New Year, so we can only hope for a speedy run (but not at the risk of quality...)

We will be designing and ordering the other ancillary bonus items in the weeks ahead -- prints, etc. We will share updates as those come together. 

We are also getting ready to attend the FIBD (Festival International de Bande Dessinée) in Angouleme at the end of January -- it is a huge European comic book festival that rivals San Diego Comic-Con -- and we're hoping Chaiko might be there... we haven't heard whether he will, but we're hoping so! We have attended the festival numerous times -- it is where we have found the majority of our awesome titles -- but this year will be extra memorable, as it will be the first time Magnetic Press will have a table in the Rights Tent! We're excited to show off our beautiful editions to the European publishing community (and maybe pursue some new business opportunities, perhaps even some European distribution options... we'll see...)

Timeline

We're still looking at Locking Backerkit Orders on Friday, January 13th. We will explain what this means in more detail a week or so before that date, but in short, that is when we will need all surveys to be complete so we can finalize our item counts and begin preparing for fulfillment. If you still haven't filled out your survey (I'm eyeing about 300 of you as of this writing), PLEASE DO SO IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS! 

If you haven't received or can't find your Backerkit link, please log into https://the-monkey-king-graphic-novel-saga-by-chaiko.backerkit.com/ with your Kickstarter-associated email address, or message us directly here on Kickstarter for your personal invitation link. 

As of today, things are looking good to begin domestic shipping in April, with international inventory leaving for their respective regional hubs at that same time. We will, of course, keep you posted along the way. It does seem like much of the delays and congestion that have plagued international shipping over the last two years are starting to clear up, and we've been pleasantly surprised by a few unexpectedly speedy deliveries recently. Not all of them (Quartermaster's hubs are still catching up to close out 2022), but enough to make us optimistic that things are hopefully moving in the right direction. 😊

That's it for now. Thanks for your support, and have a wonderful New Year!

Shipping Credit added to Backerkit + slipcase update
2 months ago – Wed, Nov 23, 2022 at 11:33:07 PM

Hi everyone!

Just a quick update to mention a few things:

1) Shipping Credit: We have awarded/applied the bonus shipping credit from the final stretch goal to everyone's Backerkit balance. You will see that in your cart as "Complementary Credit":

Please note: If you are a digital-only or no-reward level backer who has not completed your survey or indicated a shipping address, you will not see the credit yet. If you upgrade your order to a physical shipping tier, let us know and we will add your credit appropriately based on your location.

2) Slipcases: We have messaged the 12 Slipcase backers whose pledges were not collected by Kickstarter and given them until December 1st to complete their survey/pledges in Backerkit. After that date, if any of those surveys are left incomplete, those pledges will be formally canceled and any remaining Slipcases will be made available on Backerkit. We will announce a specific time when these will be added in an update so that everyone has advance notification.

Granted, those 12 backers may all come through by that deadline and there may be none left to offer, but that is our plan, and we'll see where we stand on December 1st.

3) Replica add-ons: We believe that the technical issues with adding replica weapons and other add-ons have been resolved. We haven't gotten any messages from backers running into trouble since Backerkit fixed some of the wiring, so we hope that means things are working correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience! We are indeed sold out of the Circlet Rings, but there are still a few replica weapons available. We just received some advance copies at the office, and they look and feel pretty sweet...

Quarter not included.

There are still 816 of you who have not completed your surveys!

Please take a moment and go to https://the-monkey-king-graphic-novel-saga-by-chaiko.backerkit.com/ and log in with your Kickstarter-associated email address. We know the holidays are distracting, but it will help us immensely to have as many surveys finished as possible soon so that we can have everything ready to go quickly.

If you have any questions about anything in this update, please comment or message us directly.

Thanks, everyone!

Backerkit surveys are on their way
2 months ago – Sat, Nov 19, 2022 at 12:47:43 AM

Hi everyone,

Just a quick note to say that the smoke test went off without any issues, so we just sent out the rest of the campaign surveys. Please watch for an email from "no-reply@s.backerkit.com" -- this message contains your personal link to your pledge account. Check your spam folder if you don't see it in the next few hours. They send them out in batches to prevent their system from getting overloaded, so they may roll out over the next several hours / over the weekend. If you haven't received it by Monday, message us here on Kickstarter and we'll be happy to look up your personal invitation link.

Another note worth mentioning: if you have your heart set on one of the replica weapons or circlet rings, ACT FAST! We had to lock down our order quantity, and only added a limited number of extras that we thought were reasonable. But we thought 500 slipcases was reasonable, too, so... 😜

We are still sorting the data to see if any Slipcases have become available -- it doesn't look like it at first glance, but we need to confirm some data with Backerkit. We are a bit confused by some of their item counts, so we have asked for some clarification. It might just be a matter of giving the surveys some time to distribute and be confirmed by the backers themselves.

The same holds true re: the shipping credit -- we need to clarify a few things with Backerkit tech support first.  Rest assured, however, as mentioned in the previous update, that the credit will be distributed well before credit cards are actually charged in early January.

As usual, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments or message us directly.

Thanks, everyone!