Beasts of the Black Hand is a horror/adventure tale set in the waning days of the first World War, when dieselpunk technology is making for a very different world. The 64-page hardcover graphic novel, created by sculptor Paul Harding, written by Ron Marz, drawn by Matthew Dow Smith, and colored by Neeraj Menon, will debut early in 2018, laying the groundwork for an epic multi-volume story.
The time is December, 1916. War rages across Europe, some empires collapsing, others being born. In snow-covered St. Petersburg, Russia, the mad monk, Rasputin, is invited to dinner at Moika Palace by Prince Felix Yusupov. Among the dinner guests is a British secret agent named Oswald Rayner. This much is historical fact.
Despite the monk's supernatural might, Rayner succeeds in assassinating Rasputin. But his death only presages far darker events. The secret cabal known as the Black Hand is plotting to unleash otherworldly horrors upon Europe.
It falls to Rayner to stop the Black Hand's insidious plot. But standing in his way is Maria Rasputin, daughter of the mad monk and agent for the Black Hand. Their paths cross with near-fatal results in St. Petersburg...
...and then again in 1919 Paris, as world peace hangs in the balance at the Versailles Conference. Joined by allies like his aide Biffy Dunderdale and American war hero Henry Johnson, Rayner again must face Maria Rasputin, leading to confrontation that yields shocking revelations and deadly consequences. If Oswald Rayner fails, the Beasts will be unleashed.
Best known for his work as a sculptor of statues and action figures for clients including DC Collectibles, Gentle Giant, and Sideshow, Paul Harding is giving full vent to his imagination as the creator and concept artist of Beasts of the Black Hand.
A veteran of the comics industry, writer Ron Marz has worked for every major publisher, including Marvel, DC, Dark Horse, IDW, and Image. He's penned acclaimed runs on Green Lantern, Silver Surfer, and Witchblade, among others.
Dual threat Mathew Dow Smith is known as both an artist and writer. As an artist, he has amassed credits at Marvel, DC, IDW and Dark Horse, including Batman and Wonder Woman tales, and lengthy runs on Doctor Who and X-Files.
A concept artist and colorist, Neeraj Menon has worked for publishers including Image, Dynamite, IDW, Disney India, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. His unique palette has graced many titles, including The Protectors from AthlitaComics.
Kana Harding (Page Designer, Video Producer and Animator)
Sean HusVar (CEO, Publisher)
Bart Sears (Chief Creative Officer)
Ron Marz (Editor-in-Chief)
Andy Smith (Art Director)
Production & Administrative Team
Sean HusVar (Publisher, Producer)
Chris Scioli (Project Co-Manager)
Jason Spooner (Social Media / Advertising Director)
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Your participation is the driving force of this campaign. We very literally cannot do this without you. Our sincere thanks for considering us, and supporting us.
Risks and challenges
The experienced creative and production teams have worked in the comic book, collectibles, and sculpting industries for more than 75 years collectively.
A portion of this project's production is pre-funded, so we have made made substantial progress, but we need your help to get to the finish line.
Paul Harding, Ron Marz, Matthew Dow Smith, and Neeraj Menon have been working on the concept design, story, script, artwork, sculpting and production of the graphic novel and 3-D prototypes for the last few months. Approximately 75% of the project's work has been completed. This jump start helps reduce campaign risk significantly. We want to make sure the presentation and product are the best they be for our backers.
Our administrative team, as well as our publishing partner Ominous Press, have been preparing and implementing the Kickstarter campaign, including wide-ranging outreach plans. Ominous Press, Bart Sears, and Sean HusVar will deliver their first successfully-funded Kickstarter campaign, the art instruction book Drawing Powerful Heroes: Brutes & Babes, before the end of the year.
Paul Harding, Sean HusVar, and everyone on the team understand the trust that it takes for you to back our work. We will do everything we can to complete and ship the project on time. However, there is always a risk that unforeseen circumstances could delay the shipping date for a short time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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