Six years ago I decided to get serious about making comics after a lifetime of dabbling in the medium. I've been a lifelong fan of both superheroes and comics, and felt I had my own spin on the genre waiting to burst out on to the page.
Universe Gun is the end result. It's a high-density, high-color work of speculative fiction that celebrates the "super" in superhero. Super-humans can be much more than just policemen and soldiers, as they're usually portrayed.
Within these pages you'll experience mega-intelligence in visual form, as conceptualised by a physicist and games programmer! You'll see what it's like to pilot multiple bodies with one mind! You'll meet super-gardeners, and experience Amazing Cocktail mixing!
It's a heady mix of the character-driven long-form story-telling and social commentary of the X-Men, the wild ideas and Euro space fashions of The Fifth Element, and the whimsy and art style of The Yellow Submarine!
The first two volumes introduced the stagnant solar system of the 37th Century. Superhuman powers are illegal, and the inequality between an overpopulated Earth and the high tech paradise of Mars is massive. A group of misfits and rebels managed to assemble and start to lay plans for their continued survival, leading to a rebellion to overthrow the corrupt status quo.
In Book Two the true power behind this regime was revealed, and we discovered how the solar system had slid into its increasingly polarised state over the last four centuries.
In Book Three all this comes to a head, as the Universe Gang have finally made it to the defunct alien satellite called The Life Star, ready to learn the secrets of how the worlds were changed in the 21st Century, and how to bring back that golden age.
As always, I've tried to keep the rewards affordable, mainly covering my own costs in delivering high quality square-bound printed volumes.
The comics themselves are obviously the main focus of this project, but there's some cool merchandise available as well.
The basic rewards above can be supplemented with the following items. Just increase your pledge by the amounts below and say which extras you want.
Say you want Book 3 and a t-shirt: pledge for Book 3 ($25 + postage) and add $30 to your pledge, leaving a comment that you want the t-shirt.
We'll confirm all details in the Backers Survey at the end of the project, such as which trade paperbacks you'd like, which mug or t-shirt designs you'd like, and so on.
The card game collects the 36 trading card pinups that have appeared in the comic, and turns them into a playable card game. The game itself is based on "Top Trumps", a simple 1970's game that featured cars, ships, and even a deck of Marvel superheroes!
Each card features a Universe Gun character, illustrated by guest artists from around Australia and a couple of international guests! So as well as a card game they act as a nice snapshot of the indie comics scene radiating out from Adelaide between 2014 to 2019.
The mugs come in two designs - "Rainbow" featuring the 8 main characters, and "Mars at Night" for fans of the fourth planet and its inhabitants! There may be a couple of other designs on the way, so collectors of psychedelic porcelain should keep their ears close to the ground!
The t-shirts are delivered through Redbubble, so you can expect their usual quality and range of colours and sizes. The Universe Gun logo comes with blue, pink or gold discs. The Star Girl 3000 and Coriolis Boy t-shirts allow you to have your own t-shirt just like the Mc2 twins wear in the comics.
Book 3: Anyone Can Be Amazing
Book 3 collects issues #9 to #12 of the series, running at a mammoth 144 pages!
The title "Anyone Can Be Amazing" is a riff on the punk slogan of "Anyone Can Be a Rock Star" or the earlier Dada one "Anyone Can be an Artist". It's a meta-fictional shout-out to the appeal of indie characters over repeated exposure to the same old corporate properties.
The previous volume saw the Universe Gang finally arrive on the alien satellite known as The Life Star.
#9: 1,000,000,000 Other Worlds is the "physics issue", explaining the secrets of the extended multiverse around the solar system of Universe Gun from the very first page!
#10: Binary Star deals with an impossible love triangle, and its even stranger resolution!
#11: Blue Sun is a giant-sized double issue. Six superstar guest artists were recruited to tell the story of Wundastar, the solar system's new guardian! Her virtual reality origin story acts as a trip through the evolution of science fiction, from Flash Gordon to Bladerunner and beyond!
#12: Saturn is the final showdown between the Universe Gang and Gloriana J, the secret queen of the Solar System, and ultra-rich hoarder of all superhuman power!
Recommended for Mature Readers!
Universe Gun is recommended for mature readers, as it may contain traces of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll!
It does so, however, in a way that is always inclusive, positive and progressive!
$1500 - Toby and the Magic Pencil #2
I've teamed up with my pals at Reverie Publications to offer a free copy of Toby and the Magic Pencil #2 to all backers who order a trade paperback from me. Toby's an all-ages fantasy adventure series that oozes surrealism and charm. And why am I offering the second issue? Because I drew a variant cover for it - that's why!
$2000 - A new exclusive mini-comic!
I produced an exclusive 8 page A6 black and white mini-comic for the Book 2 Kickstarter. The Emperor's New Moon shone a spotlight on Ms. Amazing in the 21st century. This time around I'm thinking of balancing that with a spotlight on another Ms. Amazing, set after the events of Universe Gun. I'll be announcing more details on this project soon.
If we reach this goal, all backers with physical products get a physical copy, and all digital backers get the PDF.
Risks and challenges
Amazing Risk Mitigation is one of my powers!
The pages are all drawn. The printing templates are all made up, ready to be sent off to my printer once the Kickstarter ends. I've done this twice successfully before.
And the story ends here, so you're buying a completed series with no worries about whether future volumes will get done.
- (30 days)