November 2015. That was the time that all deliverables for the Lone Wolf Kickstarter, a project in support of Redwall illustrator Gary Chalk, were scheduled to be distributed to project backers: a total of 404 individuals who collectively pledged $36,000 in December 2014.
If you've been following along in our other updates, you've likely noted that the whole thing imploded months ago. After poor decisions, miscommunication, fighting and wasteful spending, backers of the board game were asked to pay very expensive shipping costs if they expected to receive it.
Meanwhile, those who backed the Gary Chalk artbook (38 individuals with $1140 total, as well as 53 game + artbook backers, with $4240 total), were left hung out to dry as progress on it had seemingly halted.
Three months ago I contacted the publisher, Greywood Publishing, to find out the status, and was told that the artwork was being "drip-fed" to them.
I contacted them again earlier this week for an update, and was informed that they mysteriously were no longer involved.
So I wrote the other team members in an attempt to find out what the heck was going on here. It doesn't seem like anyone's in charge; at least, no one is really stepping up as a leader to just get everything finished.
What's been made clear is that after this Kickstarter was successfully funded, completing the rewards was not exactly made a priority, with aspect after aspect sidelined as those involved had other projects they were working on.
That is not what people who gave you $36,000 want to hear. When you ask for thousands of dollars from everyday people, they want to hear you have been and are working hard for that money. They want to hear a sense of urgency.
Regarding the artbook, I'm informed that Gary half-completed it, went on to work on other projects, and then when the money disappeared and social issues arose, he just stopped because it couldn't be financed any more.
I'm going to hazard a guess that this was a year or so ago. I've reached the conclusion, now, that the search for the rest of the artwork for the book - which was to include Redwall art, is not going to resume at all.
Many months ago, when it seemed that the status of the artbook was unknown, I suggested that after it's been completed, if printing would take a bit longer, that it be distributed to backers in a PDF/eBook format.
Receiving the artbook as an eBook would have been a great way to earn goodwill that had been lost, and allow backers to see what the printed product would eventually look like.
Today, backers are informed that Gary will "think about" releasing the artbook as just a PDF. That's right, we paid $30 to potentially receive a computer file.
I highly doubt that's going to happen, now that it's been over 18 months and the book is incomplete. I've reached peace with effectively setting my $30 on fire.
If for some strange reason, Kickstarter allows Megara and Greywood Publishing to continue using their platform despite the fact that they've violated the Kickstarter Terms, I'd urge anyone considering projects from these businesses to stay far, far away.
I don't expect to post any more news about this project going forward, but I'm happy to be proven wrong.
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