Hilda and Richie Hits Forty Percent

Just an update on the Hilda & Richie Kickstarter front – the Kickstarter is now 40% funded and is getting closer to being halfway funded!

As we have passed the 25% funded milestone, all Kickstarter backers are getting a special reward and that is a sneak peek at a BRAND NEW SUNNYVILLE STORIES COMIC! That’s right; it’ll be the first one I’ve drawn in a few years with Rusty and Samantha!

At this time, only anyone backing the Hilda & Richie Kickstarter will get access to this comic. Do you want to see it? Then there’s an easy way to do that.

Just back Hilda & Richie now on Kickstarter for any pledge, even as low as US$1, and the Sunnyville comic is yours!

Well, what are you waiting for? Go back Hilda and Richie now on Kickstarter!

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Fox Eats a Rainbow Kickstarter

Welcome back! The Hilda & Richie Kickstarter is doing well so far; we hit 21% funding! According to my research, Kickstarters that reach that level are very likely to fund – the chance of successfully funding is roughly 74%!!

But it’s not my Kickstarter I want to talk about today – it’s another picture book Kickstarter running that also features foxes. That one is Fox Eats A Rainbow.

This book is the brainchild of the talented Curtis Box II and his daughter Ruby. He has already made his goal and is going to into stretch goals. He even got his book picked up by local news.

I’ve backed it so Fox Eats A Rainbow is worth checking out.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to go back my picture book, Hilda & Richie, on Kickstarter too!

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Hilda and Richie ARE part of Sunnyville!

We are getting further into the Hilda & Richie Kickstarter and keep heading toward the 25% funded mark. At the time oft his writing, the Kickstarter passed the $400 mark and I aim to keep getting that number higher.

But that’s not the only thing I want to talk about. I’ve said that Hilda and Richie are part of the Sunnyville Stories universe but that’s more telling than showing. Today, I’m going to share something with you. I am working on a reward that becomes available to ALL BACKERS once we hit the 25% funded mark. It is a short comic with Rusty, Samantha and Mrs. Von Straussen. This is the first actual Sunnyville Stories comic that I’ve drawn for awhile. If all goes well, this whole comic will also be included in the planned Sunnyville reprint later this year.

Anyway, set just after Sunnyville Stories #2, the wealthy Mrs. Von Straussen is showing Rusty around her mansion with Sam tagging along. They come to a room full of portraits…and look who’s there!

Hilda & Richie Portrait

Yes, there we have it! The smoking gun! Hilda and Richie are officially part of the Sunnyville Stories canon!

Of course, I’m not going to show you the whole comic here. You want this comic? Back Hilda & Richie on Kickstarter now! Once we hit 25% funded, this comic will be available to each and every backer!

Well, what are you waiting for?

Go back Hilda & Richie on Kickstarter NOW!!

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Hilda and Richie Kickstarter now live!

The Hilda & Richie Kickstarter is now live!

Make sure you go back it now!

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Hilda and Richie Kickstarter Press Release

For Immediate Release

For further information, contact maxwestart@gmail.com


Illustrator Produces First Picture Book With Foxes for Kickstarter

Hilda & Richie, the debut picture book of Max West, comes to Kickstarter on Wednesday January 6, 2021!

Remember when children’s books were a madcap romp? This text once more evokes the joyous, amusing books of yesteryear in the tradition of the Berenstain Bears, Little Critter and Richard Scarry’s Busytown!

This picturesque book for children features two red foxes: Hilda Breckendorf, an aristocratic lady wearing elegant dresses and possessing incredible wealth; and Richard “Richie” Sutter, a cuddly fox pup living with Hilda in her voluminous mansion. When Richie encounters Hilda blowing bubble gum bubbles, the intrepid fox pup joins in on the bubble fun. Soon, the remarkable duo decide to have a bubble blowing contest…with messy results!

The creator & illustrator of Hilda & Richie, Max West, is an exalted creator of comics, already having produced Sunnyville Stories and the Wild West webcomic Poison Ivy Gulch. Mr. West’s work has received superior reviews from Amazon and the Midwest Book Review, having received praise such as his work “destined become to a mainstream hit” and even being compared to the comic strip Pogo by Walt Kelly!

Hilda & Richie will run on Kickstarter from Wednesday morning January 6, 2021 through late Friday night February 5, 2021 with its funding goal set at US$3,000.

Visit the page at: bit.ly/HRbook1

More news and information about Hilda & Richie can be found at:  http://hildaandrichie.blogspot.com

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Hilda and Richie Kickstarter launches Wednesday!

Hello, friends! It’s now 2021, a brand new year, and I aim to get this blog running again.

With this particular blog post though, it is to announce my next Kickstarter which is part of the Sunnyville canon. On Wednesday morning January 6, I will launch Hilda & Richie, a Kickstarter for my first picture book.

The goal of this one will be bigger than past Kickstarter projects; the funding goal is US$3,000. It is higher than my past ones but I know it can be done. Succeeding is imperative.

First, Hilda & Richie are part of the Sunnyville universe! They’ve appeared as background characters in Sunnyville comics.

Second, this is not the only book planned with the two foxes. More books are being planned. At the time of this writing, I’m wrapping up a script for a second book with them titled Hilda & Richie’s Wizard.

Third, this Kickstarter is a stepping stone for future projects. I’m planning to print more books over the next few years and the costs will run in the range of US$1,000 to 5,000. After problems, I’m getting the hang of crowdfunding and if I can pull this off, future projects can be done.

Most importantly, this is a testing ground to prepare for the planned Sunnyville Stories reprint I will do later this year. There will be new content and, in fact, it will be established in the comic itself that Hilda is distantly related to the Von Straussen family of Sunnyville!

We will be launching the Kickstarter on Wednesday morning January 6 so make sure you sign up on the page to be notified of our launch! I’ll be giving coverage here of the campaign as we go along.

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Announcing Sunnyville Stories: Beginnings!

I’ve always liked older music and to quote Thin Lizzy, the boys are back in town.

Or more specifically, the Sunnyville crew is back in town!

Sunnyville Stories: Beginnings Teaser Cover

Sometime in 2021, either June or September (still to be determined), I will be running another Kickstarter to fund a print run of Sunnyville Stories: Beginnings. So what can we expect from this new book?

First, this will be replacing Sunnyville Stories Volume 1 and 2 (the latter to a lesser extent; more on that in a moment). As I’ve discussed, the original trade paperbacks are being retired; from now through next year, I’ll be liquidating that stock.

Second, the specifications of the book are still being determined. It will be black & white and printed in a digest size (8.5 x 5.5 inches). This is a portable size and it is more economical. It will have a new ISBN and a new cover.

Third, the content is still under revision. The plan is to have the first four issues (Beginnings, Multiball Madness, the Train Robbers and Don’t Answer Me) collected. To entice existing fans and also make any customer feel like they are getting their money’s worth, there will be NEW content! I will do a few short stories from 2-5 pages of Rusty and Sam together or Rusty interacting with the rest of the Sunnyville crew.

Fourth, the artwork is going to be both retouched and redone. There will not be a massive overhaul in the form of redrawing everything and having my work look radically different. However, some of the art is showing its age; the early stories have drawing that look off-model. These were done when I was just starting out and my technical ability was much weaker. What I will be doing is retouching some elements like removing superfluous parts and redoing some of the lines; some partial pages and whole panels will be redone, using Photoshop to paste them in digitally over the older work; and some pages will be completely redrawn. As a disclaimer, the redrawing of whole pages will be used sparingly; not only is it time-consuming but new pages with new art contrasting with older, weaker art can be jarring. It’s similar to the criticisms against George Lucas with his Star Wars Special Edition.

Fifth and finally, the projected print run will be anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000. In spite of having more fans now, it is best to keep a conservative number for the printing.

If all goes according to plan, I aim to print more Sunnyville volumes. Things are different now. I have more fans than previously, my skills are much better and I’ve gotten the hang of crowdfunding. I know this is a tall order but it’s one I’m up to.

So watch soon for the new Sunnyville Stories books and stay tuned to this blog for more updates.

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Sunnyville Plans for 2021

It’s been awhile since my last update. As a reminder, this blog is on low power mode. You should be expecting sporadic updates for the rest of the year.

Regular updates will resume in 2021 for the Sunnyville Stories blog. As you know, January 2021 will the the official launch of the Kickstarter for my planned picture book, Hilda & Richie. (As a reminder, Hilda & Richie have their own blog so go check that out for more news.) I will be using this blog to help promote the Kickstarter and, as I established before, Hilda and Richie exist in the Sunnyville universe.

There is more though; it is my goal to fund a new print run of Sunnyville books sometime in 2021. Once I can crowdfund higher amounts, my aim will be to fund a new printing of Sunnyville Stories books. The old ones will be going out of print and I will be liquidating my current stock through next year.

The details still need to be worked out but the book size will be smaller. The size will most likely be the smaller manga or digest size. I will also be doing back over some parts and redrawing some things. However, it’s best not to go overboard and make everything look brand new. On the downside, I’m not planning at this time to continue with new Sunnyville comics with Rusty, Sam and the crew. That may not happen at least until 2022.

One more thing: remember Dominic & Claire, the Sunnyville spin-off starring Rusty’s cousin Dominic? I am trying to work out an idea to turn that spin-off into an actual series for the mainstream comic book reader, albeit a short one of around six to eight issues. Humor comics are sorely lacking and I think Dominic & Claire could make it big out there. Unfortunately, I have no more news to share on that; the proposed Dominic & Claire series has not advanced beyond notes.

That’s it for now. Stay tuned here for more news.

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Sunnyville Stories Turns Ten Years Old

This blog is now TEN YEARS OLD!

I can’t believe that it was ten years ago on a hot, humid day that I first launched Sunnyvillestories.com. Can you believe I’ve been going this long?

So…were you expecting something special today? Well, I do have something and that is a lesson learned.

It was in the 2006 movie Rocky Balboa that the title character (played by the immortal Sylvester Stallone) give his son a speech. I think it is notable and pertains to the work I put in with Sunnyville and my other comics. The speech is as follows:

Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you! You’re better than that!

I’ve been drawing comics for several years now. It is something I want to do. I had a lot of failure along the way – I’ve had poor sales with some of my works, I’ve had losers berate me, I’ve had inept basement dwelling nobodies harass me about how “lousy” I draw, I’ve had Kickstarters fail and just last year, I almost decided to publicly announce I was giving up. I was that close to just throwing in the towel.

But I didn’t. Do you know why?

In spite of everything bad, I still plan to keep going.

I am far from finished. Right now I’m more focused on my comic strip and my upcoming picture book but now that I’ve unlocked the secret of crowdfunding, more Sunnyville comics will be in the cards.

We have yet to see the end of Rusty and friends.

So happy tenth anniversary and here’s to ten more!

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Hilda and Richie Kickstarter

Now for my second big announcement today – on Wednesday January 6, 2021, I will be launching a Kickstarter to fund my first picture book, Hilda & Richie. (As a reminder, Hilda and Richie do live in the Sunnyville universe. I do want to see about a possible crossover.)

This Kickstarter will run for 30 days and the final goal has yet to be determined. It will be bigger than my last one; the total we’re shooting for this time is US$2,000 to 3,000. I know – it is more than before, nearly double to triple the previous goal. But I am confident this can be done.

The picture book itself will be a paperback of about eight by eight inches. The planned print run is 1,000 to 1,250 copies.

This book has its own page so you can tune into that for more news.

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