Hollow Monsters is my attempt to move the graphic novel into new territory, by creating something ethereal, disturbing, challenging and profound, something which could only exist via Kickstarter.
Set in the eighties, it concerns horrors real and imagined lurking in a suburban forest frequented by a gang of kids from a nearby estate, and how what happens there echoes through the decades with disturbing effect. It's a very personal and spooky semi-autobiographical story: an unsettling commentary on the nightmares at the heart of society, and how lives are shaped by them over time.
It's subtle, original and highly ambitious. It can only be willed into existence by the support of comic book fans like you, people yearning for something more than high concepts and genre thrills. Much as I love the best of those, as a comics nut it frustrates me that nothing like Hollow Monsters exists. I feel a burning obligation to make this, and simply can't rest easy until this project is completed.
Like my previous comics, Hollow Monsters is funny, scary, thoughtful, shocking, and surprisingly lyrical. It exploits the full potential of comics in a way rarely seen before. And if that sounds like bullshit let me break down some of the specific areas I'm exploring.
Specifically, I'm trying to convey human experience vividly by depicting memory, reality, and imagination interchangeably. Comics are the perfect medium for this, exploiting the area between the visual and verbal - between images and words - creating emotions in ways which can't always be achieved in films or books. I won an academic award for my academic work in this area, so as well as being a great story Hollow Monsters is a proving ground for some interesting new ideas.
This ambitious and somewhat mysterious comic will be delivered to you in a sequence of six mind-expanding thirty-two-page issues, the first of which I'm raising funds for today.
And the good news is, the first of these comics is already completely finished! I just need to raise enough here to press 'print', make your bespoke rewards, and cover postage and packaging.
Hollow Monsters deals in nostalgia, for a very particular purpose, repurposing iconic symbols from 80's Britain such as Adam Ant, Pac Man, the test card, Vic-20's, Raleigh Choppers, and Tiswas to complex effect. In a world changing so fast that it's causing anxiety and depression, it explores the power of our imagined past greatness and why we cling to it with such passion.
I recommend this comic if you enjoyed any of my previous work, or the atmospheric stylings of Moshin Hamid, David Aja, Josh Middleton, or David Lynch.
It is, in short, weird and a little bit magical. Rather like you, I suspect.
What's exciting about this for me is being able to lavish love and attention on a comic in a way that only works on Kickstarter. A project this ambitious simply wouldn't be possible anywhere else. I also really enjoy the close relationship with readers and backers that Kickstarter allows, where we all share the same enthusiasm and watch the comic develop together.
Here are the some of the things I'd be honoured to make in return for your backing.
COVER EXAMPLE BELOW: (NOTE: Back this Kickstarter at any reward level in the first 24hrs and receive the cover art below as a free A4 Art print.)
£300: THE PUT ME IN A COMIC MONTY Edition (see the 'Rewards' section on the right for details of how to star in your own comic).
Risks and challenges
As this is the first Kickstarter I've made I thought it best to finish the comic before asking for people's backing. As you can see from the video I've had a test printing done and it looks good. The printer is very experienced and I've personally used him before to print my own comics, which went very smoothly.
I will be making some changes to the test printing shown in the video, and making the rewards. All the rewards that I've offered are things I've been paid to make before (like covers, prints or commissions) for readers of my other comics. I know how long each task takes and I have all the software and art supplies ready. I've worked as a professional freelancer for a long time and never missed a deadline.
I also have tests of all the prints I'm offering, which look and feel great.
As it's my first Kickstarter I've tried to keep everything fairly simple, and allowed plenty of contingency time to account for any unforeseen problems or circumstances that could pop up.
The main unknown for me is the logistical side of mailing out all the comics and rewards. For that reason, I've interviewed lots of creators who have run successful Kickstarters to discover all the potential problems and factored those into my plans. I've also spoken to the post office, and had them weigh different types of reward with the relevant packaging. I'm as well prepared as I can be, and will be enlisting help and a number of spiffy looking spreadsheets to make sure everything ships on time. I'm also really looking forward to interacting with backers personally to share my progress throughout.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)