I first met Paul Schultz around 1989 or 1990 in another life for me. When I ran into him at a Motor City Comic Con in 2013, we reconnected and became Facebook friends. As I saw more and more of his artwork (I didn't even know he was an artist when I first met him) I said, "Why aren't you a household name?" Paul's artwork was simply amazing and I invited him to work with me on a Solution Squad story. After all of my writing work on Solution Squad was done, I visited Paul and we came up with a project we could work on together based on the kinds of comics that we loved as kids. I wanted something different from my math-themed heroes that I could point to when people's eyes glazed over at the mention of the m-word. Hence, Poe and the Mysteriads!
The young woman known as Poe was once the crime-fighting sidekick of Corvus, the raven-themed vigilante who patrolled the streets of Charm City. Rescued from an abusive household by Corvus and his junior partner Red Raven, Poe fought for four years by Corvus's side against child abusers and archvillains alike, until Corvus's increasingly extreme violent behavior forced her to walk away. Now Corvus lies dead in the city morgue, and it falls upon Poe to not only solve his murder and to retake her place as the city's deterrent against child abuse, but to keep a lid on the powder keg of rampant crime caused by Corvus's absence.
Issue #1 is our all-ages introduction to the world of Poe, and delves into motivations and betrayal, and the mystery of how Corvus's greatest enemy, The Red Death, is seemingly alive again after being presumed dead for years. It features a 24-page story along with eight pages of extras, including character profiles, design sketches, and behind-the-scenes work.
Poe and The Mysteriads was co-plotted and drawn by Paul E. Schultz (Serial Squad), colored by Rose McClain (Gene Ha's Mae, Scoundrels) and co-plotted, written and lettered by me, Jim McClain (Solution Squad).
The work is almost all done. The completed black and white story is available to read at this address! Sixteen of the 24 pages have been colored, with the last eight on the way. Here's a sample:
Here is just a sample of the rewards coming your way as the Kickstarter rolls! The cool thing is that I can change the designs at a whim. Just let me know if there's something you want made for you! We'll work it out!
Add-On! You can add to your pledge to have an original drawing done by our colorist Rose McClain! Message me for details!
Paul and I initially did this as a weekly noir webcomic that we posted on Facebook every Sunday, and that's how we hope it reads. The addition of subdued color by Rose McClain, we think, is reminiscent of the coloring in Hellboy purposely avoiding a bunch of unnecessary gradients, and we couldn't be more pleased with the results. We hope you will be too! But even if you prefer the stark contrasts of black and white, we're offering that version of the book as well!
One of the coolest things about this Kickstarter is that several of the rewards were created by my students in my 7th grade math problem solving class. They were designed during class as a way of encouraging entrepreneurism. Students costed out the items and set the reward levels. They will also be following the progress of the Kickstarter on a daily basis and using the data in the dashboard to project the success or failure of the project.
Paul and I both grew up in the 70s and our take on our detective's story is very much informed by our love of Bronze Age Batman comics. We hope you'll enjoy your visit to Charm City!
For every day in October/Inktober, Paul and I will post an inked sketch card on our Facebook pages (and I will update here as well). Two people each day who pledge for a physical reward will receive the sketch card of the day along with their comic shipment, for free, as long as their pledge clears after the campaign ends! The first pledge of the day gets my card, and the highest pledge of the day gets Paul's card, which will be much nicer!
Risks and challenges
Like every project, there's a possibility that this won't get done. But it's slim-to-none. Paul and I have published several comics between us, and we know how it's done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)