Do you like your science fiction brightly coloured, like a psychedelic collision of Valerian, X-Men and The Yellow Submarine?
If so, Universe Gun may well be up your alley!
I've tried to create here a superhero comic that's progressive and inclusive, and above all as much fun as possible.
I've been making this comic (writing, drawing, lettering and publishing) for five years now, first as a webcomic and then printing and selling them at comic conventions and comic shops around Australia.
Last year I decided to move to trade paperbacks to suit modern comic readers and their reading habits. The first trade paperback's been a success, and things only get better in the second one. The cast are established, and the story's moving of its own volition. The artwork is better, and I'm more settled in my style. I'm doing much more ambitious things here, from a brief tour of the 37th Century globe in #5 to the ultra-trippy depictions of virtual space in #8.
The second book, Amazing Inequality, collects the middle four issues of what will be a 12 part series. The book's title comes from looking at the growing wealth inequality in our world, and feeding it through a superhero sci-fi lens. What would happen if superpowers could be bought and sold?
The third and final chapter will be out this time next year.
Advance Comics had this to say about the first book:
"The future world of Universe Gun is one seen through the optimism of the 1970s, when the moon landing and the future it promised was fresh in our collective unconsciousness. It’s a link back to iconic Science Fiction staples like 2001 A Space Odyssey, Dune (the David Lynch version especially), 70s Doctor Who and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
It’s a Science Fiction universe free and unfettered by the iron chains on 1980s Techno Fear and 1990s Millennial Angst.
It’s a story that could have just easily appeared in the pages of Heavy Metal or in a millennial VERTIGO Comics miniseries alongside books like TRANSMETROPOLITAN or Peter Milligan’s Rogan Gosh.
Its spiritual brothers and sisters and movies like the 5th Element and Jodorowsky’s Dune, Animation like Aeon Flux and comics from creators like Grant Morrison, Moebius and Brandon Graham."
I'll just have to agree with them!
If you want to decide for yourself, head over to my website and have a read of the webcomic. Its free, and I intend to keep it that way, since I know a lot of people don't have much disposable income these days. It also seems kind of hypocritical to rail against inequality and then completely paywall my work.
I've set up a number of rewards, suitable for a variety of budgets.
In addition to the comic itself, I'm offering t-shirts and mugs for the hardcore Universe Gun lifestyle enthusiasts this time round!
There are the two mug designs.
The Rainbow mug shows the 8 main characters in a lovely spectral sequence. The Mars mug focusses on Cyberius, Princess Amtora and the night skyline of New Mumbai for those who really like the inhabitants of the fourth planet!
Made from solid 21st Century ceramics, they're ideal for tea, coffee, hot chocolate, and also Amazing Cocktails or Red Orgone energy drinks, once our laws of physics are capable of supporting them!
The t-shirt designs include 3 variants of the Universe Gun logo - blue pink or gold gradient disc.
I've also made logo t-shirt designs for Star Girl 3000 and Coriolis Boy, in case anyone wants to get in touch with their inner atomic rebel or uptight telekinetic boy-scout!
You choose the t-shirt colour and size, of course, from the standard Redbubble range.
What Ms. Amazing said!
If I reach 200% funding, all backers get a free eight page mini-comic thrown in, either a physical copy for backers with a physical reward, or a digital version for PDF backers.
I've produced several black and white comics for the 24 Hour Comics Challenge while making Universe Gun, and would quite relish the chance to work on something monochrome at a slightly more leisurely pace!
Risks and challenges
This project is already done!
As you can see in the video, I'm holding a proof copy of Book 2.
T-shirts and mugs have all been created and tested.
Book 1 launched smoothly and all pledges were fulfilled in a timely manner.
- (30 days)