Reklas Signing Event Photos

On the 16th of July we hosted a book signing at Ryan James Fine Arts but have only just now had a chance to blog about it! Anyhow, it was great fun – the first time either of us had done anything like this before – and we had a good turnout. Here are some photos:

Reklas Signing 2014 1  Reklas Signing 2014 4

Many thanks again to Ryan James Fine Arts for graciously hosting our event! Check out their site and great artwork!

We are now back in the UK, recovering from jetlag. Before we left we signed a box of Reklas books and – in addition to prints and tshirts – we hope to get them on our own online store soon. And remember, Reklas Abandon is available to be purchased through Amazon (USA and UK), the links are to the right.

There is much more to come for Reklas and our upcoming project, so keep a watch on our site!

Reklas Abandon Book Signing in Seattle, WA

We (Natasha and Lindsay Kennedy) are currently in Washington state and will be signing copies of Reklas Abandon, selling signed prints, and drawing free character sketches at Ryan James Fine Arts on the 16th of July at 7pm. Join us with Reklas Abandon (and we’ll sign it).

Directions are below:

Here’s your chance to meet us and get a signed Reklas Abandon! If you want to preview the book, check out the link on the right. We hope to see you there!

A Review from Living Myth Media

See original review here.

I am deeply honored and humbled by the fact that someone picked up the graphic novel to review it. When Lindsay and I decided to make Reklas Abandon in our spare time while our new-born was taking naps, our intention was to take a break from our other bigger art projects and make something fun together. Both of us being complete amateurs in the realm of putting together a graphic novel, we decided to make something super bite-size, satirical and caricatured. We started the story poking at comic book stereotypes and it morphed into something that ended up going a bit deeper than a total make-fun satire. It was a dangerous step mixing comedy and satire as well as mystery and drama, but we figured for our first venture we could go bold and throw it out there to see what happens.

That said, it was an exciting thing for me seeing a review from someone who doesn’t know me and could critique my art in an unbiased way. I feel the review does Reklas Abandon justice and points to both strengths we were hoping to achieve and weaknesses we were either well aware of (and hope to grow in) or that were slightly intentional (for example, the characters being stereotyped and odd interactions). Here is the review:

“You can tell this was written by an artist; there’s something unreal about the way everyone in this comic reacts to everyone else and the characterization is a little stilted. That said, the art actually makes the deficiencies of the writing work for it in this weird way that I need to pick apart to better understand. The story follows a rich young woman who buys a house that is the abode of a vampire and his servant, who comes with the house. Also, there’s a techie. There’s always a techie. The art is all block colors with little in the way of shading, but it makes the comic feel like a forties dining lounge. This is sort of addictive, once you get a few pages in. I can think of several people I know that would love this, and I’ll be passing it on to them.”

I would like to thank Aaron Golden for his review and kind words. May this be the first of many helpful reviews!

Comicon weekend a success!

1512420_10152732794477538_752175184_n For three long days…

My family manned the Varida P&R booth at the Emerald City Comicon. (Picture on the left: My sister Katy-holding a tribble, my sister Toni and my brother Steve passing out stickers) I cannot stress enough how jealous Lindsay and I were feeling because we could not be there. If it wasn’t already clear, we live in England and couldn’t make it out for the release of our first graphic novel. We owe everything that happened this last weekend to our amazing American family who put in so much of their work, money and lives to promote Reklas Abandon.

Every day we would be texting and skyping them to get updates and in a way we felt like we were there. We are deeply sorry we could not have met all of you who came to our booth in person! We also want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for those of you who bought books. Please do not hesitate to comment and let us know what you thought!

I am getting an email set up so you can write to me personally about your thoughts/questions about the book. It has a unique story and I am eager to dialogue with anyone who has questions or insights. I take pride in the great care that I put into not only in the creation of unique characters, but also unique story lines. I recommend to anyone who has bought or will buy the book that you read it more than once before forming an ultimate opinion.

What we gained from having our booth at Comicon

I would say that the benefits from participating in comicon will be long lasting. We initially hoped to sell out and make a financial profit but soon learned that promotion was of bigger importance at an event like this. My family, after talking to lots of other vendors, learned that sales were quite low for most of them and that considering this was our first-ever event, we did quite well. With this in mind we decided to get as much of our stuff out there as possible. Here are the things we did that seemed to go really well:

  • We gave out several thousand stickers for free with “Reklas Abandon” and our website to passers by.
  • We bought a half page ad in the Comicon booklet about our booth. We advertised there about our free T-shirt giveaway every hour. We had lots of people come check out our booth and even buy merchandise simply because the saw the ad.
  • T-shirt giveaways! This was one of our biggest successes. By the end of the weekend we ended up giving away 20 free T-shirts through our hourly raffles. Lots of people came to our booth to win, and afterwards we had winners wearing our shirts which worked out as great advertising. Not only that, but there were a few T-shirt winners who ended up buying a book to go with it! We loved how it not only brought people to hang around, but it gave us a chance to dive into the awesome community of like-minded geeks like ourselves.
  • Selling books was our main source of income, and the number one thing I was hoping to happen. Ultimately, we didn’t make Reklas Abandon to make money. We made it because we had a story to tell and a unique way to do it. We ultimately wanted to do this event so we could get the book out there and let it be experienced. All in all we sold around 50 books which completely blows my mind! Thank you!
  • I think that having family members run the booth gave us a unique vibe. I don’t know how many people can say their mom writes sci-fi and enjoys comicon events, but I sure can. The entire weekend the booth was entirely manned by my family members who just had a great time hanging out and showing the spirit of what our community is all about. Though seeing us and our hearts, we hope that we gave off the vibe that we are not about fame or money, we are about community and promoting eachother’s unique art.

At the end of the day, kicking off Reklas Abandon by participating in a big event like Comicon was a great way to get the ball rolling for bringing out more art… not only for me, but other members in my family who are gifted writers, artists and visionaries. Please subscribe to the blog if you are at all interested in our progress!

Stay tuned for a post with pictures from this last weekend T-shirt winners!

Books and Booths!

Today is Friday, the first day of Comicon. It is morning for Lindsay (my husband and co-writer) and me, but the middle of the night for my family who will be manning the Varida P&R/Reklas Abandon booth at the Emerald City Comicon. It is hard to believe that the little make-fun comic strip I did for my sister in the car back in 2009 is now a completed, published work that is premiering at the 2014 Emerald City Comicon. Today, it finally feels like it is happening!

The only thing left is for me to be holding the book in my own hands.

200 Limited Edition Copies PRINTED, and I have an awesome family to thank!

photo 1 Yesterday, at 3:45 Seattle time, my family went to pick up the 200 Printed copies of Reklas Abandon to be sold at Comicon this weekend. (Photo on the left: my brother Steve carrying the books out to the car) They literally picked them up on their way to set up the booth the day before the event! Everything has been down to the last minute, yet everything seems to be coming together! It’s just how God always seems to work.

Because we had a few problems getting books from our main printer in time we decided to go to a local printer in Woodinville for the copies we needed this weekend. These 200 copies we are calling our ‘Special First Edition’ copies as there will be none others like them in the future. These are the only books to be printed here and will only be sold at Emerald City Comicon. We will keep a few for ourselves of course, but if you buy a book that has a note about it being Special Edition, you should keep it. It might be special one day! I believe my publisher will also be numbering all 200 books, so if you find a number, its your lucky day!

photo 3From what my family has told me, the quality looks awesome, and so I am going to have to take their word for it!

That is my sister, Toni, on the right. You have her to thank for this Graphic Novel’s existence. (And if you want to know more about that, you can check out the page I did about the making of Reklas Abandon when I started it last year.)

I am sure you have noticed my family’s heavy involvement both in the publishing and the promoting of this book. That is because we are extremely family-oriented and we are each other’s inspiration in more ways than one. My mom, Suzanne Hagelin, President of Varida P&R, started her publishing company as a way for our family, and others like us, to get our works out there. Mom is a writer herself and has several works (including some amazing Sci-Fi!) on their way to being finished and published. Steve and Toni are both also writers and artists, as well as my oldest sister Katy whose creative outlet is dance (a link to her dance company based in Seattle.)

All that to say, Reklas is the first fruits of the Sci-Fi/fantasy fiction that will be coming out of Varida P&R, so if you like Reklas Abandon at all, there will be more like it coming!

Like I said, these books traveled straight from the printers, into the car, and right to the set up of Booth 3006 at the Emerald City Comicon…

Booth #3006!

Please welcome, the coziest, awesomest, best-kept secret at the 2014 Emerald City Comicon! The heart we have behind it is a sort of ‘safe-haven’ duck-in during the mad house event. We know we are tucked away in the most un-visited floor away from the majority of foot traffic, but we see this as the perfect opportunity to hide away from the bigger booths that might over-power us and have a quieter location to meet/make friends. While we are professional and take our work seriously, we are also a family business and we want it to feel like that when you visit our booth. Most people helping out with the booth will be family, including my parents, my siblings (Katy, Toni and Steve), my cousin Mary, my uncle E. Eric, and some of my close friends. I see this as one of our strengths and hope many will find their way to the best booth at Comicon. BOOTH 3006!!!

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Introducing the Varida P&R booth with the premier of Reklas Abandon.

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Steve and my Mom (the Mastermind of all this)

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My cousin Mary hiding behind one of the T-shirt designs.

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… And the other T-Shirt design to be sold. (Please note the awesome wine boxes on display most likely donated by E Eric the wine specialist! …yes, we have class.)

 

Come see us at Emerald City Comicon!

website-booth-mapFind us on the map!

Reklas Abandon fans, please Click on the map to see the location of our booth at the Emerald City Comicon 2014! To see the full map of the Emerald City Comicon event for a bit of context, just click here. At our booth you will be able to get Reklas Abandon stickers, buy the newly released book and buy one of our two T-shirt designs which at the moment are being sold exclusively at Comicon!

Update on the Printing Crisis:

Things are getting intense as we approach the final countdown to the big event. We are still having trouble with our main printer (who just can’t seem to get our proof copy printed!), and so we have gone with a local printer for the Comicon copies. They will look slightly different, I am assuming, to our main copies which will be sold on amazon, etc. So think about it this way: if we ever get famous, and you buy one of these limited edition copies, they might be worth something one day!

Live Preview:

If you haven’t already noticed, we have put up a bit of the book for you to get a sneak preview. Please feel free to read it to get a taste of what the book will be. If you like it, please consider buying it and supporting our art.

Pre-ordering the book:

If you live in the continental USA, you have the opportunity to pre-order the book now for $15 (which is free of tax and shipping!). If you live outside of the USA, please email books@varida.com to find out your extra shipping costs. Because of the trouble with the main printing company, we do not yet have a release date, but it should be somewhere around early April 2014.

Reklas Abandon is finished!

… and Emerald City Comicon is just around the corner!

About a month ago Lindsay and I finished the last page of the graphic novel and shortly after that we finished the layout of the book, copywrite pages, and lastly, the cover! I was really surprised at how much work and time was needed in these last steps. To me, when I finished the final page of the graphic novel, I was done. Well, I was wrong! There was weeks left of work to do. It was like I had enjoyed the 9 months of growing a baby, but the final labour in bringing this book into the world had caught me off guard. After all of the editing, emails back and fourth with our publisher, reworking and reformatting, we finally sent the book in for our proof copy.

That was over a week ago and we are still waiting. We called the printers and it turned out they had lost the file on our book and are only just today printing the thing! They are sending us the copy on next day delivery, so I hope to skype with my publisher (who will receive the copy in the states) and see the book for myself! If it is everything we meant it to be, we will barely have enough time to send for the 200 copies that we hope to sell at Comicon. We hope and pray that these copies will be delivered in time as a rush order would cost around $600! (Which is not happening…)

Emerald City Comicon

The main way we are promoting this book is by hosting a booth at the comicon in Seattle from March 28-30. I wasn’t expecting to do much promotion with my works, especially as my main motivation was to do it for the fun of it, but if we had not had the comicon deadline, Reklas Abandon would not have been finished by now. It is all my publisher’s and my family’s work that has brought this about. My husband and I live in England, and so there was no way we could have done any of this if my family wasn’t working their butts off making this event happen. We are so blessed by this and hope they know how thankful we are for all their hard work!

To support their work in bringing this about and our work in making this graphic novel, I encourage you to do any of the following:

  • Buy the book when it comes out! (And if you just aren’t interested in this kind of a graphic novel, no pressure!)
  • Pre-Order the book at: books.varida.com
  • Show up at our booth at Comicon and buy some merch (Booth #3006)
  • Visit Reklas Abandon Blog posts and write comments
  • Share with your friends who might be interested by Sharing Reklasabandon.com website on facebook/twitter/etc
  • Keep us in your prayers!

Page #50!

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I thought I would make a new post commemorating the completion of Reklas Abandon’s 50th page! With our estimate, this makes us about 25% done.

Of course, the page above is not the 50th page; I figured that it would be giving away too much to post the real thing. You will just have to wait until the book comes out!

The race is on! We hope to complete the final page by January so that we can have it published and ready to bring copies to the 2014 Seattle Comicon! We haven’t done much advertising for Reklas Abandon, but hopefully by bringing copies to the Varida P&R booth at the comicon we can sell some copies!

We are not trying to make a name for ourselves, or sell a ton of copies, we just want to bring this story that we love into being and let anyone who wants to take part in it do so through reading our graphic novel.

I will try to post more about the book soon!