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$7,450 pledged of $10,000 goal
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About this project

Sidekicks #1 was successfully funded through a Kickstarter campaign last year.  The money raised was used to complete the artwork for Issue #1 and begin production on Issues #2-4.

Issues #2-4 are completely penciled (by the incredible Bong Dazo) and currently being inked (by the equally amazing Rick Ketcham).

This Kickstarter is to raise enough money to complete the artwork for issues #2-4 (inks, colors, and letters).

MISSED THE FIRST ISSUE?

If you need to catch up on Sidekicks, then these Reward Tiers are for you:

$20: Catch Up #1 - Digital Only: You will receive a PDF copy of Sidekicks #1 plus PDF copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 (with Kickstarter exclusive Bonus Materials).

$30: Catch Up #2 - Physical: You will receive a PDF copy of Sidekicks #1, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 as well as the PDF copies (with Kickstarter exclusive Bonus Materials).

You can also increase your Pledge Amount by $5 for any Reward Tier to receive a PDF copy of Sidekicks #1.  Just send me a message to let me know you did it.

See the "ADD-ONS" section toward the bottom of this page for even more "Add-On" options.

Sidekicks Issue #1 is a 23-page, fully colored comic book.

ABOUT SIDEKICKS

In a world where Super-Heroes are celebrities, egos rampage out of control. Five of Chicago’s most dependable Sidekicks are faced with the reality that despite their dedication, they will invariably be disrespected by the Heroes they work with and the citizens they protect. Taken for granted by society and ignored by the media, how much can the Sidekicks endure before they decide they’ve had enough?

Sidekicks #1 Cover by Miguel Mendonça
Sidekicks #1 Cover by Miguel Mendonça

SIDEKICKS is a 4-issue comic book mini-series created by Russell Brettholtz and Miguel Mendonça.  It follows the lives of five super-hero sidekicks as they get mistreated by their respective heroes and ignored by society at large.

Sidekicks Issues #2-4 are 22 pages each, and will be fully colored.

PREVIOUSLY IN SIDEKICKS

Disrespected by the Heroes they work with...

Sidekicks #1 - Page 11
Sidekicks #1 - Page 11
Sidekicks #1 - Page 19
Sidekicks #1 - Page 19

Ignored by the media...

Sidekicks #1 - Page 17
Sidekicks #1 - Page 17

 And taken for granted by society...

Sidekicks #1 - Page 10
Sidekicks #1 - Page 10

 Chicago's most dedicated and dependable Sidekicks have had enough.

Sidekicks #1 - Page 23
Sidekicks #1 - Page 23

 IN ISSUES #2-4

The Villains have taken notice.

Sidekicks #2, Page 16 - Pencils by Bong Dazo
Sidekicks #2, Page 16 - Pencils by Bong Dazo

 Crime is on the rise.

Sidekicks #2, Page 6 - Pencils by Bong Dazo
Sidekicks #2, Page 6 - Pencils by Bong Dazo

 Heroes start to fall.

Sidekicks #2, Page 20 - Pencils by Bong Dazo
Sidekicks #2, Page 20 - Pencils by Bong Dazo

 Will the Sidekicks save the day?

Sidekicks #2, Page 14 - Pencils by Bong Dazo
Sidekicks #2, Page 14 - Pencils by Bong Dazo

 Or turn their backs on the city and its people.

Sidekicks #2, Page 22 - Pencils by Bong Dazo
Sidekicks #2, Page 22 - Pencils by Bong Dazo

MEET THE SIDEKICKS

PHANTASM

Richard is having a bad week. Not only did his fiancée leave him two months before the wedding, but as Phantasm, he is the sidekick to Mr. Marvelous, Chicago’s most popular super-hero. Unfortunately for Richard, Mr. Marvelous suffers from an inflated ego, and pulls no punches when reminding Richard of the Hero / Sidekick dynamic: Mr. Marvelous is beloved; Phantasm is replaceable. Anyone who has ever been mistreated, underappreciated or disrespected by their boss should be able to identify with Richard.

Powers: Phantasm can create and control solid light projections.

MUSTANG

Dan is the de facto leader of the Sidekicks group. Attractive, smart and easy going, as Mustang he is the most popular sidekick in the city. Dan is relatively oblivious to the difficulties shared by his fellow sidekicks. Dan is on course for a major life lesson as Mustang’s popularity threatens to overshadow that of Captain Celerity, the super-hero he sidekicks for (yes, I used sidekick as a verb).

Powers: Mustang can shoot plasma blasts from his hands.

JOLT

Al is the youngest sidekick at 22. The recession is hitting Al particularly hard as he struggles to keep his finances above water. But when his car dies he can’t even get a loan from the Flying Fox, the hero he’s been working with for five years. A hero who also happens to be a millionaire. Al is forced to get a job at a fast food burger joint in order to make ends meet. He is living on the edge and coming dangerously close to falling off. The stress is getting to be too much for Al, as he lashes out at those he has spent years protecting.

Powers: Jolt can generate electricity and shoot electric blasts.

ATLAS

George is the conscience of the Sidekicks. A devout Catholic, he spends most of his free time working in a soup kitchen, feeding the homeless. George truly believes that helping people is its own reward. But when Atlas leaves the side of the hero he works with to save an innocent bystander, he gets an earful about to whom his assistance lies.  

Powers: Atlas is super-strong.

FROSTBITE

Mild-mannered and cool headed, Walter is the assistant editor at the Chicago Herald newspaper. While Heroes get the front page and glowing praise, their sidekicks don’t even merit a footnote. Every day Walter is reminded of how the media ignores the sidekicks and how society in general takes them for granted.

Powers: Frostbite can freeze objects near him and shoot ice blasts from his hands.

MEET THE VILLAINS

Not much is known about the secretive cabal of villains known as The Board of Directors.  Largely believed to be a myth, these five villains work in unison to control Chicago's underworld.  An undertaking which proves quite profitable for their legitimate and illegitimate businesses alike.

The Board of Directors - Character Concept Art by Jeff Bonesteel
The Board of Directors - Character Concept Art by Jeff Bonesteel

MEET THE CREATIVE TEAM

WRITER (Co-Creator): Russell Brettholtz

Russell Brettholtz started reading comic books at the age of eight, when his grandmother gave him an Archie. At twelve he graduated to the X-Men which he collected for over twenty years. Russell’s road to writing comics began with X-Men fan-fiction in high school and college, and finally a story submission to Marvel (it was not published). When he realized that finding an artist and self-publishing were realistic possibilities thanks to the internet, Russell put serious effort into creating his own comic book. Sidekicks is his first full length comic book with original characters. Russell lives in New York’s capital region with his wife and two daughters.

During the Kickstarter campaign for Issue #1 last year, he wrote an article for BleedingCool.com about how getting fired from his job as a financial planner's assistant gave him the idea for Sidekicks.

It was originally published on 2/22/14, and can be read here.

COVER ARTIST & ISSUE #1 ARTIST (Co-Creator): Miguel Mendonça

Miguel Mendonça graduated in Design and has been doing mostly design related work.  This Portuguese artist has always had a special bond with the world of illustration, the comics and art in general. He is now working more and more with comics and doing several projects in this field. His pencils can be found in Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales, Oz, Warlord of Oz, and The Little Mermaid.

PENCILER: Bong Dazo

Bong Dazo is a comic book professional with years of experience.  He has worked for Marvel comics, adding his pencils to Deadpool: Merc With a Mouth, Avengers: The Initiative, Shadowland: Moon Knight, and War of Kings (among others).

INKER: Rick Ketcham

Rick Ketcham is also a comic book professional with years of experience.  He has inked some amazing comics including Runaways, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and currently Conan Red Sonja for Dark Horse.

COLORIST: Sara Machajewski

Sara Machajewski is an artist and colorist based out of Portland, Oregon.  She has done color work on Red Sonja (Dynamite), and The Army of Dr. Moreau (MonkeyBrain), among others.  And her illustrations can be found in works such as Brooke Burgess' Shadowland Saga.

LETTERER: HdE

HdE has been lettering since 2010, with credits including the acclaimed 'Legend of Oz: The Wicked West', 'Ursa Minor' and 'Shahrazad' for Big Dog Ink, as well as the UK small press sensation 'Lou Scannon'. There are rumours that he lives in a palatial abode with his wife, the actress Rachel Nichols, where they subsist on a diet of rare game, caviar and fine wine. However, this *could* be completely baseless, and the management take no responsibility for any claims made on the internet founded on little more than delusional, sweaty-fingered fantasy.

Besides, have you ever HAD caviar? It ain't that nice. Really.

AN EXPLANATION OF REWARDS

Thank You: Your name will be included in a "Thank You" note on our Facebook page.

PDF Copies: PDF copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4

(Each PDF will come with character concept art and bios for the Heroes and Villains who appear in Sidekicks.  This bonus material will not be included in future releases of the Sidekicks PDFs).

Physical Copies: Physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4

(the Covers of these copies will include the "Kickstarter Bug" which will not be on future printings.  Only Backers of this Kickstarter will receive a copy with this cover)

Kickstarter Bug
Kickstarter Bug

Printed Thank You:Your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4.

Behind the Scenes PDFs: PDFs of of the scripts and all of the artwork that went into the creation of Sidekicks Issues #2-4; Rough Pencil Layouts, Final Pencils, Inks, and Colors.

Behind the Scenes: See the Progression from Rough Pencils to Colored Page
Behind the Scenes: See the Progression from Rough Pencils to Colored Page

Writer-Signed Copy:All physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 will be signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz.

Advanced View JPG: As each page of artwork is created (including all stages from rough pencils to lettered pages), you will receive a JPG of that page.

Poster #1: An 11x17 poster of the cover of Sidekicks #4.

Poster #1 (Issue #4 Cover) by Miguel Mendonca
Poster #1 (Issue #4 Cover) by Miguel Mendonca

Poster #2: An 11x17 poster of ??? 

(This will be Page 22 of Issue #4, and I would just hate to give away the ending - But if you just MUST know - Spoiler Warning - Poster #2)

Bonesteel Art Commission: You will receive an 11x17 full-color commission of ANY character YOU choose drawn by Jeff Bonesteel (concept artist for ALL of the Sidekicks villains).

To view a gallery of Jeff's work, Click Here.

Original Art & TPB: You will receive an original page of penciled art from Issues #2-4 selected on a first come - first serve basis.  You will also receive a "1 of 30" signed (by the writer) and numbered Trade Paperback of Sidekicks #1-4 (with the Kickstarter Bug).  This TPB is exclusive to Backers of this campaign only.

To view the gallery of pages to choose from, Click Here.

Original Penciled Art by Bong Dazo
Original Penciled Art by Bong Dazo
"1 of 30" TPB Cover (with KS Bug)
"1 of 30" TPB Cover (with KS Bug)

Issue #1 Cover: You will receive the original hand penciled and inked cover for Sidekicks Issue #1 by Miguel Mendonça.

Sidekicks #1 Cover - Hand Penciled and Inked by Miguel Mendonça
Sidekicks #1 Cover - Hand Penciled and Inked by Miguel Mendonça

ADD-ONS FOR SALE

In addition to the above Rewards you can also "add-on" any of the following to any Reward Tier (you can also combine add-ons):

$5 - Sidekicks Issue #1 PDF

$10 - 11x17 Poster of the Cover from Issue #1 OR Mr. Marvelous battling Inferno (Issue #1, Page 8)

If you are already pledging a Reward level that includes a Poster, only increase your Pledge Amount by $5.

$15 - BOTH of the above Posters

If you are already pledging a Reward level that includes a Poster, only increase your Pledge Amount by $10.

(International Backers please add an additional $7 for shipping - no additional shipping necessary if already receiving a Poster)

$100 - 11x17 full-color commission by Jeff Bonesteel (concept artist for ALL of the Sidekicks Villains)

See Jeff's DeviantArt page (JBonesteel) and Facebook page (Bonesteel Art) for more examples of his work.

(International Backers please add an additional $11 for shipping)

The PDF, Physical Copy and Posters will all be mailed within a week or two of the successful funding of this campaign.

The Jeff Bonesteel commissions will take a bit longer and be drawn and mailed in the order they were received.

To include the additional money for your Add-On, when you select your Reward Tier, on the following Back This Project page, there is a box for your Pledge Amount.  Simply increase the amount in the box by the cost of your Add-On.  Then Contact Me with which Add-On you would like to receive.

If you have already Pledged this project and would like to include an Add-On, click on the Manage button at the top-right hand side of the screen (just underneath the Backer information for this Kickstarter).  Then simply increase your Pledge Amount and Contact Me with which Add-On you would like to receive.

WHAT IS THE MONEY FOR?

Comic books are expensive to make.  I have spent the last several years selling my personal comic book collection to fund this project and to keep costs for Backers as low as possible.

Last year, I brought Sidekicks - Issue #1 to Kickstarter and raised enough money to pay an art team to finish that book (and have a little left over to put towards Issue #2).

To date, the pencils on all four issues are complete, and the inking has begun on Issue #2.

But I'm now out of money. To finish this mini-series, I brought Sidekicks back to Kickstarter.  The $10,000 Goal amount represents the money needed to finish paying my art team, printing costs for the physical copies of the comic and posters, and shipping costs.

I am not keeping any money for myself.  This campaign is all about the production of the comic.  All extra funds will no doubt go toward a future comic book (or Stretch Goals depending on by how much we exceed the initial Goal).

THANK YOU

Thank you for taking the time to explore my Kickstarter campaign.

Any contribution you can make to this project is greatly appreciated (and if you can't do it with money, consider helping by spreading the word).

Just click the following link to Tweet about Sidekicks to your Followers:

"Become a super-hero #Sidekick by backing the #comic on @kickstarter. Help fund the 4-issue mini-series."

If you decide to become a Backer, please consider leaving a Comment letting me know where you heard about this project (Facebook, Twitter, Website Forum, a Friend, My mom, etc...).  Marketing a comic book campaign for Kickstarter is very difficult and time consuming.  Any information on what worked will help tremendously  in the future.

Thank you. 

Risks and challenges

The biggest risk to this project is a delay in production. We experienced a lot of delays and setbacks in the Campaign for Issue #1, and I have worked hard to create a schedule that will avoid those complications.

Once the Campaign is financed, the completion of the project will fall almost entirely on the shoulders of the creative team. A setback at any stage of development will trickle down (and sometimes compound) and delay the completion of the comics.

Just as an example, during the penciling of Issue #1, Miguel fractured his arm and couldn't draw for nearly a month. It was simply not something we cold have planned for.

Beyond that, there are the typical risks of printing cost increases, shipping cost increases and shipping delays (not to mention the unknown costs of replacing lost or damaged Backer Rewards).

I have done my best to build these unknown costs into the Pledge Goal, but there is always a risk.

After running a successful Kickstarter campaign for Issue #1, I am quite confident that I can produce all of the Rewards offered and deliver them in a timely manner.

A look at the Updates from that Campaign will also show that I update Backers regularly (weekly or bi-weekly) so that there are no surprises.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thank You: ALL Backers will have their name included in a "Thank You" note on our Facebook page.

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    The Toe-Dipper: Not ready to commit to the full 4 issue mini-series? Then this Reward is for you. Get a digitial copy of Sidekicks Issue #1.

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    Digital Only Tier #1: You will receive PDF copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 (plus Kickstarter exclusive Bonus Materials).

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    Digital Only Tier #2: Your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of Issues #2-4.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Catch Up #1 - Digital Only: You will receive a PDF copy of Sidekics #1 plus PDF copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 (with Kickstarter exclusive Bonus Materials).

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    Physical Copy: You will receive physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 as well as PDF copies.

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    Printed Thank You: Your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 as well as PDF copies.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Digital Only Tier #3: You will receive a Behind the Scenes PDF for each issue (#2-4) featuring the script and all of the artwork from the comics (rough pencils, final pencils, inks, and colors), your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Catch Up #2 - Physical: You will receive a PDF copy of Sidekicks #1, physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 as well as the PDF copies (with Kickstarter exclusive Bonus Materials).

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Writer-Signed Copy: You will receive physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4, each signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Digital Only Tier #4: You will receive an Advanced View of the comics. As each page of artwork is created (including all stages from rough pencils to lettered pages), you will receive a JPG of that page. You will also receive the Behind the Scenes PDFs, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Behind the Scenes: You will receive a Behind the Scenes PDF for each issue (#2-4) featuring the script and all of the artwork from the comics (rough pencils, final pencils, inks, and colors), physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4, and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Digital Plus Tier #1: You will receive an 11x17 poster of the cover of Sidekicks #4 (the Team shot), the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Digital Plus Tier #2: You will receive an 11x17 poster of the last page of Issue #4 (no spoilers) and an 11x17 poster of the cover of Sidekicks #4 (the Team shot), the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Advanced View: You will receive an Advanced View of the comics. As each page of artwork is created (including all stages from rough pencils to lettered pages), you will receive a JPG of that page. You will also receive the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks Issues #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Poster #1: You will receive an 11x17 poster of the cover of Sidekicks #4 (the Team shot), the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Poster #2: You will receive an 11x17 poster of the last page of Issue #4 (no spoilers) and an 11x17 poster of the cover of Sidekicks #4 (the Team shot), the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Bonesteel Art Commission: You will receive an 11x17 full-color commission of ANY character YOU choose drawn by Jeff Bonesteel (concept artist for ALL of the Sidekicks villains). Plus both 11x17 posters, the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    Original Art & TPB: You will receive an original page of penciled art drawn by Bong Dazo from the comic. You will also receive a "1 of 30" signed and numbered Trade Paperback of Sidekicks #1-4. Plus both 11x17 posters, the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $215 or more About $215

    Original Art: You will receive an original page of penciled art drawn by Bong Dazo from the comic. Plus both 11x17 posters, the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Issue #1 Cover: You will receive the original penciled and inked cover for Sidekicks Issue #1. Plus both 11x17 posters, the Advanced View JPGs, the Behind the Scenes PDFs, physical copies of Sidekicks #2-4 signed by Writer/Co-Creator Russell Brettholtz, your name will be included in the "Thank You" section in Issue #4 and you will receive PDF copies of the comics.

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Funding period

- (32 days)