bardbrain: (Default)
[personal profile] bardbrain posting in [community profile] scans_daily

4 pages from my comic book Kickstarter project.

Get ready for some seriously shameless self-promotion...

Late last year, I started working on a comic book with a graphic artist named Eryck Webb. I'd put together pitches off and on over the years but this evolved out of one from a few years back that really spoke to me.

I grew up on a mix of 50s Batman reprints, old Superman comics, Walt Simonson's FF, and (in what was probably a shocking show of lack of awareness on the part of my retailers) a big stack of Grant Morrison Animal Man and Doom Patrol comics I receive for my birthday. I was also really into work by Carl Barks, Mike Allred, and others.

Like many of you, I've had my ups and downs with mainstream super-heroes. I like the big ideas they can evoke when done well. I hate the push towards trigger-y subject matter and I have philosophical issues with some of the realism pushes. This is a book that evolved out of those feelings...

We've got Doktor Bleak, a disgraced college professor who may talk in some cliches but really comes from a sincere place for me, a cynical place but genuine. His arch-enemy is a C-list hero with magnetic powers named Mister Solenoid.

Solenoid -- unlike many big brick heroes -- cannot fly. For that, he must ride atop Ulysses, his friend who is a talking, flying polar bear. He's dating private sector astronaut Vivian Von Valiant. Vivian's half-Indian brother tags along and uses his knowledge of popular culture to help them out as they chart the unknown.

(I'll digress to note here that while Vivian is the damsel-in-distress here, my view of her is not limited to that. I wanted to play out an epic but hyper-condensed classic super-hero story in the first few pages before I start hammering what makes this different. I made her, in very broad terms, a female Scrooge McDuck with a jetpack for a reason. She's not a reporter or a receptionist or a sidekick. She is an adventurer in her own right. It will take a lot for me to really do her justice, which is partly why I have so many stretch goals. This is a comic with too much comic in it and I revel in that but Viv needs more pages to really shine. Here's a tidbit about her though: she has a heart of gold. Literally made out of gold. I want to get to that.)

Solenoid was a physicist who received his powers after he unfolded himself across dimensions and experienced a higher reality. This has left him with a zen like attitude and a desire to make the world more perfect and, from the perspective of some, more absurd.

And Bleak? He just can't stand how unrealistic that premise is. He's determined to crush Solenoid through any means necessary and has broken out with an army of gun-toting gorillas to exact punishment on Mister Solenoid.

I'm pretty open with my inspirations here: Nextwave, Seaguy, All-Star Superman, Uncle Scrooge comics. It's a Saturday morning appropriate Flex Mentallo.

It's not something I can do on my own, which is why I'm on Kickstarter. I'm on my second Master's. Money is tight. Debt is high. I've put hundreds of hours and every spare penny I could into this. As of this post, we're $841 from the finish line.

It may happen. It may not. I want it to. I really want it to.

But either way, I'm happy to share a few pages with you.

I've lurked here for a long time. I started commenting more recently.

I think you guys don't see a lot of people making print comics who post here and I think that's a shame. I see s_d as an influential bloc of people with good taste.

I'll be happy to answer most questions and I REALLY hope that in a few months, people are posting out of context scans. I believe in weird comics. I want to give the world more oddity, both conscious and unconscious.

And I hope someday that my characters will be real enough to you that some of you are shipping them in all kinds of ways I'd never dreamed of.

Sorry for rambling. Thank you!

Here is the Kickstarter:

Date: 2013-01-29 02:05 pm (UTC)
endis_ni: (Default)
From: [personal profile] endis_ni
"Our sentence is up."

The last words of The Invisibles becomes the first words of Ungrounded. I rather like that.

Date: 2013-01-29 02:25 pm (UTC)
lucky_gamble: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lucky_gamble
While I may not be crazy about the art, I like the concept and the writing half of the book. Congrats on a job well done.

Date: 2013-01-29 03:51 pm (UTC)
bewareofgeek: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bewareofgeek
A bit too campy for me. At least in these pages. But there's some potential here.

Date: 2013-01-29 05:43 pm (UTC)
glprime: (Default)
From: [personal profile] glprime
I like the smile Ulysses gives while "seconding that." I like Ulysses in general.

Also, I hate to be that guy, but I am that guy, but Bleak has five fingers, yet his bionic hand has four?

Sounds like a fun series and I hope you get to do some interesting things with it.

Date: 2013-01-29 06:49 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
You know, you've got this proper kind of insanity for a project I'm working on. It's not ready for prime time, yet. And I don't want to promise money or fame.

But I will say that you can help create a superhero world.

See, once upon a time, there was a video game called City of Heroes. And people liked it. It formed a community. And then, quite suddenly, it was shut down. It was aging, sure, but there was nothing else like it in the world.

And then a group of players went 'You know what? We're not going to take this lying down.'

We've got techies and artists and writers and editors and we're making our own darn game.

It's a collaborative effort. We're going to hit alpha before we even look for funding. But if you're interested, we want you.

Date: 2013-01-29 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
You need lines like those. You also need a strong love of Marvel Adventures and DCAU simplified storytelling.

I've maintained consistently that the more players at once, the less story you should _tell_.

Anyhow, as far as your crowdsourcing point, yes, it is made for crowdsourcing, but we're going to need more money. We're going to Star Citizen it: use the leverage from crowdsourcing to get venture capital. I'm not saying we need 100 million like TOR, but we're probably going to want twenty.

Most of the major technical hurdles are, at this point, defined, and viewed as solvable. You'll have your mind _blown_.

As far as secret identities, there's real issues there: the character is who the character is in the player's head. It's _hard_ not to restrict that somehow. You can make a difference here.

But we're not crowdsourcing till it's ready. No vaporware. No false promises. We had maybe a one in a hundred chance to finish this when we started. We've survived group drama, shakeups, and authority challenges.

We're up to a one in twenty chance, I figure, back of the hand calculation.

I'm still dreaming. And I'm still working hard.

What's best for you to meet the crew? We're mostly on Skype these days. Text chat, not video or voice. Our Lore lead and Story lead are also on irc.
Edited Date: 2013-01-29 08:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2013-01-30 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
Still trying to 'hit you up.' Possibly for six.

Date: 2013-01-29 08:02 pm (UTC)
big_daddy_d: (Default)
From: [personal profile] big_daddy_d
Flying. Polar. Bear! Who doesn't love that!?

Date: 2013-01-29 08:42 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
Aquaman doesn't love that.

Date: 2013-01-30 04:01 pm (UTC)
lieut_kettch: (evil)
From: [personal profile] lieut_kettch
But he does. Which is why he wants to give every polar bear the opportunity to fly.

Date: 2013-01-29 08:11 pm (UTC)
greenmask: (Default)
From: [personal profile] greenmask
Good luck!

Date: 2013-01-29 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] thandrak
Commentary on the story: "Ridiculous is wonderful." Yeah. It is. It's full of wonders.

And then in the next panel, the bear speaks. Really good beat there, a bridge across writing and art.

Date: 2013-01-30 01:23 am (UTC)
kenwyn89: Luke Skywalker (Default)
From: [personal profile] kenwyn89
*happily scrolls down main page, double takes and sees flying polar bear* Scans-daily, I love you.

Date: 2013-01-30 04:02 pm (UTC)
lieut_kettch: (Lumberjack)
From: [personal profile] lieut_kettch
You had me at "talking, flying polar bear" and "female Scrooge McDuck with a jetpack."


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