SECTION ZERO 1959!
ATOMIC MUTATIONS! FLYING SAUCERS! COMMIES! Karl Kesel & Tom Grummett's SECTION ZERO returns— in an ALL NEW graphic novel set in 1959!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, March 15 2019 4:00 AM UTC +00:00.
SECTION ZERO is not a secret section of the United Nation's charter. It does not fund a team of experts and explorers to investigate the strange and unknown. This team is an urban myth— as "real" as the UFOs and monsters they're "protecting mankind from."
And in 1959— they didn't know how much they didn't know.
Glad you're here. I'm Karl Kesel, writer and inker on, well, a ton of comics the past 35 years, but most importantly: this project.
SECTION ZERO 1959 is the second graphic novel featuring the popular team of hi-octane adventurers co-created by myself and Tom Grummett.
It's also the first all-new SECTION ZERO graphic novel ever!
Our baseline idea is "Jack Kirby does the X-Files." So all those cool, creepy creatures Mulder and Scully faced… but with lots more punching and explosions. This time we're focusing on the original team, back in 1959. When men were men, and aliens were Little Green Men.
We're Kickstarting the SECTION ZERO 1959 ULTRA-COOL COLLECTORS' EDITION, which will look a lot like this:
- Oversized— 7.5 x 11 inches. Larger than most trade paperbacks.
- 124+ Full-color Pages
- Introduction by Mark Waid. I hear he knows a few things about comics.
- Pin-ups by Erik Larsen! Steve Rude! Ron Randall! Leila del Duca! And more! With their creator-owned characters teaming-up with Tom and my SECTION ZERO characters! How cool is that?
- "Zero Secrets"— behind-the-scenes sketches and stories about how the book came together.
- Spot gloss on the cover? Ribbon bookmark? Full color endsheets? Fingers crossed. See Stretch Goals.
I want to make sure up front that you know POSTAGE WILL BE CHARGED LATER.
BACKERKIT is handling our surveys (I'm very happy to say) and they will collect your postage when they send out those surveys. This doesn't mean you'll pay more, only that you'll pay for your rewards now, and pay for postage later.
This is better for everyone. I don't get drained by underestimating postage, and you don't get dinged by me overestimating postage.
Take the Mysterious Bag of Special Edition Swag, for instance— we don't know how much will be in it yet, so we don't know how much it'll weight, so we can't know how much it'll be to ship. Charging postage later takes out all the guesswork.
While I can't make any promises or predictions on postage, I think shipping one copy of the SECTION ZERO 1959 book should run right around:
- $10 USA
- $15 Canada
- $45 Rest of the World
Multiple copies of books, and Sketches and Original Art, will be somewhat more.
SECTION ZERO 1959 is Tom and my love letter to both Kirby's Challengers of the Unknown, and those early Marvel monster stories that filled titles like Tales to Astonish. For better or worse, those comics definitely left a mark on me!
The main story— with the characters in their SECTION ZERO uniforms— will be presented like any other comic, but there will also be four solo stories of the characters before they joined the team. These stories will undergo "1959-ization" to better capture the feel of comics from that time…
You can read the rest of "I HUNT MONSTERS!" right now! The entire 8-page story is in SECTION ZERO 1959 UPDATE #1, available to everyone who backs this project.
Again: only the four solo stories will be presented this way. The rest of the book will look like a normal comic.
BTW: TUNNTA was named by my 6-year-old son, Isaac. One day he asked me "Dad, what does Tunnta mean?" and pointed at the word TNT. I instantly knew I had my monster's name!
Okay, you've met Everest Pike— professional Monster Hunter even before he joined SECTION ZERO. But who else makes up SECTION ZERO 1959... ?
Before you ask— yes, these pin-ups will be in the book.
If you've read comics in the past 30 years, chances are you've read something Tom and I have worked on— separately or together. We're career cartoonists— too late to save us now!— and have written or drawn almost every major character at every major company, from the Avengers to Zatanna.
We tell rousing stories that can have you cheering on one page, and tearing up on the next. We believe you should enjoy reading comics, and that even though darkness is important in a story, hope is essential. That sometimes when things are at their worst, you need to laugh the most.
We co-created the 1990's Superboy, a fan-favorite who's enjoying a nice resurgence today. And make no mistake: Superboy was a joy for us to work on— but SECTION ZERO is a labor of love.
But we're not working alone here! Our creative team wouldn't be half as awesome without:
- BILL CRABTREE— colorist on such great books as Robert "The Walking Dead" Kirkman's Invincible, Paul Grist's Jack Staff, and Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt's epic weird western The 6th Gun.
- COMICRAFT— a font-force to be reckoned with, Richard Starkings and JG Roshell's Comicraft has lettered almost every comic book you can think of at one time or another. The first monthly they stretched their digital legs on back in the 90s? Oh, a little comic called… Superboy!
- L JAMAL WALTON— artist behind the wonderful KIRBY KRACKLE! energy-dot design which he so graciously allowed to be used in this campaign, and you're seeing everywhere here. I can't think of anything else that so perfectly reflects SECTION ZERO 1959's sense of raw, bursting-at-the-seams energy!
The truth is: Tom Grummett and I were both born in 1959. Which means, as unbelievable as it seems— especially to Tom and me— we turn 60 this year! And it just felt right to mark the occasion by doing a book that repaid in a small way what we owe some of the comics that, well… okay: scarred us for life! But in a good way… right?
In a sense, SECTION ZERO 1959 is a birthday gift to ourselves. Where else can we do comics like this? Nowhere but Kickstarter! I think you can see the joy on every page.
And that's our gift to you.
The MYSTERY BAG OF SPECIAL EDITION SWAG is our Swag Bag. It is the only reward that will change as the campaign goes on. As we reach certain milestones and pass certain points, more things will go into the bag. Cool things. Things you want. Starting with:
ADDED AT $12,000—
ADDED AT $24,000—
See? We like making you happy.
We'll add more to the bag as we hit $36K and $48K. KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVES such as wallpapers, stickers, print sets, maybe a cloisonné pin if you're good. All items will follow Kickstarter guidelines. And things really heat up once we unlock Stretch Goals! We'll be posting new images and information RIGHT HERE, so "watch this space."
BTW: That brown paper MYSTERY BAG OF SPECIAL EDITION SWAG looks cool, right? Just a mockup. You're not going to get one with all your swag inside. It doesn't really exist.
And by that I mean: LOTS of rewards. Just for you.
YOUR DIME, MY PLEASURE…
SPECIAL EDITION "KIRBY KRACKLE!" PRINTS…
YOUR MOMENT IN THE SPOTLIGHT…
Basically, once we cross the finish line— we keep running!
I'll alternate between book enhancements— spot gloss, color endsheets, ribbon bookmark, etc.— and adding cool things (very cool things) to the BAG OF INFINITE MYSTERY & INTRIGUE. For example…
That's right— you get us this far, we'll get you an actual, brown paper MYSTERY BAG OF SPECIAL EDITION SWAG to keep your swag in!
Hey, we need to save a little mystery to put in that bag!
Tom and I still have the vast majority of the book to draw, write and ink. We have families to support and bills to pay, and simply cannot work for free. (Just ask any Federal employee.) The SZ59 Kickstarter will allow us to get by— just get by— while we finish this pet project.
But we've done this before. It took us over a year to finish the first SECTION ZERO book— longer than any of us expected or wanted— but we did it. So if you backed us before, you know we can do it again.
And we know we can do it better. That's why we're not promising the finished book until January 2020. But you will get continual updates on our progress PLUS—
YOU WILL RECEIVE A PDF OF EACH CHAPTER AS IT'S COMPLETED!
So you won't have to wait a year to read the SECTION ZERO 1959 story. It should only be a few months.
One word (I'm talking about the first word, obviously):
Yes— BACKERKIT will be handling our surveys. (Crowd goes wild!) This means fewer headaches for me, and more options and opportunities for you.
For example: if I wanted to offer you 2 copies of the book, I would have to create a new reward for each level I wanted to offer those 2 books with. My head hurts just thinking about it! For BackerKit: piece of cake.
Most reward items will be available as add-ons through BackerKit:
- $25 — SECTION ZERO 1959 book
- $25 — SECTION ZERO, VOLUME 0 book
- $35 — SECTION ZERO 1959 book with signed Kickstarter exclusive bookplate
- $35 — SECTION ZERO, VOLUME 0 book with signed bookplate
- $100— Extra SKETCH, 8.5"x11", pencilled by TOM GRUMMETT, inked by KARL KESEL
You can either:
- Add the price of the desired add-on(s) to your pledge. This will be counted towards our goal. Any amount beyond the basic pledge level will appear as a credit on your BackerKit survey, and may be used towards any SECTION ZERO items available. No messages get lost or overlooked! Nothing slips through the cracks!
- Wait until you get your survey. BackerKit can take credit cards or PayPal for any additional SECTION ZERO items you want. No messages get lost or overlooked! Nothing slips through the cracks!
BackerKit will also be handling our postage, taking the guesswork out of the most expensive part of most comics and graphic novel campaigns. (Postage is far more expensive than printing.) This way, I don't get drained by underestimating postage costs, and you don't get dinged by me overestimating. Win-win!
This doesn't mean you'll pay more, only that you'll pay at two different times— your pledge now; postage later.
And while I can't promise any postage rates— no telling what tariffs or trade wars might be around the corner— chances are your rates will be pretty close to these:
- $10 — United States
- $15 — Canada
- $45 — Europe, Asia, African and Australia
If you're receiving Sketches or Original Art, rates will be slightly higher.
From the very beginning, I knew I wanted "Kirby Krackle"— those pulsating dots of uncontainable energy created by Jack Kirby, the man who created so much of modern-day comics— to be the "look" of SECTION ZERO 1959. And Tom and I could have come up with a great looking design.
But we didn't need to. L Jamal Walton had already done it. And done it perfectly.
I'm happy to say Jamal agreed to let us use his wonderful Kirby Krackle! as part of the SZ59 "brand."
I'm even happier to say that this and other, equally wonderful designs by Jamal are available as limited edition prints.
And I'm happiest to say we're offering a new, special edition of Kirby Krackle!— limited to ONLY 6 PRINTS! Signed by Tom, myself, and Jamal!— as one of our rewards!
Anyone who was here for the first SECTION ZERO campaign knows I vowed to get a tattoo for every successful KS campaign I run. I stand by that vow! Except this time I've already picked the design:
Only YOU can desecrate (or sanctify, depending how you look at it) my body! Make sure SECTION ZERO 1959 gets funded!
My first SECTION ZERO tattoo is on my left forearm. Not sure if I should get this one on my right forearm to balance things out, or maybe keep all my SZ ink on one arm? Hmm…
From Tom and myself, and from our families. We simply couldn't do what we love to do without you. True fact.
Risks and challenges
I learned a LOT on my first Kickstarter, and am working hard to not make the same mistakes again. We have a much more realistic deadline this time. We are using BACKERKIT to help with our surveys— so that your pledge is not overlooked, misplaced, or forgotten. And we will continue to use BLACKBOX for fulfillment— possibly the most respected fulfillment service out there. (We did have some shipping problems last time— but BlackBox was quick to take full responsibility and make amends, reaffirming to me that they deserve their excellent reputation.)
I'm sure there will be other stumbling blocks. But we will overcome them all. And I will keep you updated and informed every step of the way.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!