A Redtail's Tale or What Does the Fox Dream?
September 30, 2013 9:17 AM   Subscribe

A REDTAIL'S DREAM Two years ago, Minna Sundberg was an art student who aspired to write and draw graphic novels so she decided to create a 'practice comic' while still in school. It was a fantasy adventure based upon Finnish mythology - not like Norse Gods, the omnipotent entities here were spirit animals, including an irresponsible young fox spirit who messed up the Northern Lights (also known as 'Fox Fire') and pulled the population of a rural village into a Limbo-like 'dream bubble' between Life and the Afterlife.

The task of helping them all return home (through a series of tasks ranging from odd jobs to death-defying feats) fell to a pair of unlikely heroes, Hannu, a young man who still had some growing up to do, and Ville, his faithful dog, who would become much more than 'just a dog'. When Minna began publishing pages to the web, its beautiful art and interesting characters (human and animal) were far better than you'd expect from a 'practice comic', and it gained quite a following, making the semi-finals of this year's ComicMix.com webcomic tournament. The encouraging response prompted Minna to expand the tale from a planned 150 to 550 pages (with no loss in quality), and now, after nearly two years of daily pages, the end of the tale is less than two weeks away. But please, read it from the beginning, because, you know, SPOILERS. (But by page 444, you will believe a swan can have fur and four legs.) Any comparisons to Ursula Verson's Hugo Award winning "Digger" (which ran 800 pages over 4 years and was in black and white) are welcome.
posted by oneswellfoop (12 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite
Commenting here because this looks amazing and I will read it when I get home from work.
posted by gauche at 9:57 AM on September 30, 2013

Seconding that thought. Also I'm glad for the timing.
posted by immlass at 10:24 AM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh yes, I've been following this comic and it's great. Very nicely drawn. Good post!
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:34 AM on September 30, 2013


posted by livejamie at 12:03 PM on September 30, 2013 [4 favorites]

Singularly and utterly charming.
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:04 PM on September 30, 2013

Semi-related: "reMIND" (previously here) just ended its online run after 4 years and only 160 pages in weekly two-page spreads with some long hiatus-ing. So if you gave up on it before, or just never read it, start here... but do it AFTER "A Redtail's Dream".
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:31 PM on September 30, 2013

This is great.
posted by deludingmyself at 5:53 PM on September 30, 2013

Absolutely amazing.
posted by bfranklin at 6:30 PM on September 30, 2013

Man, the print drive is almost over (in the next few hours) over at Indiegogo. I'm not done reading but really tempted.
posted by deludingmyself at 6:43 PM on September 30, 2013

(yeah, I was waiting to post this until after the print drive for fear of the Kickstarter Rule, but the Decrypting Rita post survived, ARTD was showing up in several other places in my RSS, and yes, I have bought the book (a birthday self-gift) - so I went for it. The least you can pay for a copy is $90* - the most I've paid for a pre-order - but based on everything Minna Sundberg has done, it'll definitely be gorgeous! The original funding goal involved selling about 250 copies so she could do a print run of 500 and sell the rest when they're ready (5-6 months away)... right now I count just over 1000 hard-copies sold, so there will be at last 500 more printed. There are a few pages not yet online, but when you get to the latest couple pages... they are OMG. But NO SPOILERS)

*another thing to compare with Digger, which put its whole 800 pages in one volume for $60 (and I bought that too), but it was softcover black-and-white, this is fancy hard-cover and color...

posted by oneswellfoop at 7:35 PM on September 30, 2013

And ARTD has finished its Print Drive with 1057 books sold and $151,684 raised (with the help of some PDF sales and that old Kickstartin' standby 'custom art'). That makes this the 2nd highest funded "Comics Related" Indiegogo campaign ever, just $1000 behind a DC-sponsored charity fundraiser with Batman-related swag, and $100,000 more than the next 'pure webcomic' campaign, for Romantically Apocalyptic (previously here), one of the very few webcomics more awesome-looking than ARTD, but mostly selling PDFs because the hard copy was too expensive for even me.

And as one of the 'stretch goals', Minna has added an 'epi-epilogue' that increases the book length to 608 pages and adds another week before the end-ending of the story. But still, she has promised to begin her new 'this-is-the-really-serious-one' webcomic, titled "Stand Still. Stay Silent" in early November, of which she reports that she has already made 34 pages, putting her two-thirds through the 'Prologue'. Yep, it's gonna be Extra Epic. And she held a Fan Art Contest that featured some other fine artists (and spoilery images, so view the winners' gallery with care, or just wait until you get to page 536).

BTW, there are disagreements as to the proper acronym for A Redtail's Dream. The artist prefers 'aRTD' while I've seen other references to 'ARtD'; me, I'm going all caps.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:11 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you're still catching up with the story, today Page 541 just dealt the biggest twist, half WTF? and half FYeah! Minna's storytelling is even better than her art (and got better throughout the story - maybe that was where she considered this a 'practice comic').
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:18 PM on October 3, 2013

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