About this project
WHAT IT IS!
SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS is a graphic novel using classic Christmas characters as the basis for an assembled superteam who fight off a conspiracy of powerful villains. It's a comedy retcon of Christmas itself! The story brings the world of pop-culture Christmas characters -- think Rudolph, the Grinch, and even those beloved people from "It's a Wonderful Life" -- into the universe of comic book superheroes.
This story-within-a-story opens in a dive bar on Christmas Eve, where a bitter comic book writer tells his fellow drinkers how he plans to revamp the Christmas characters he grew up with into something action-packed, dark, cynical and sexy, to suit the times we live in. He bets his long-suffering partner that he can win the barflies over to his version of Christmas, and proceeds to tell the story that begins by introducing its hero, the lone vigilante hero Red Avenger...
Red Avenger has been fighting the criminal empire H.E.R.O.D. by himself for a while, barely keeping one step ahead, barely staying alive. But as H.E.R.O.D. and its alien cohorts make a final push to enslave the planet, some unlikely super-allies emerge. Can they band together and stop this global tragedy?
I've always leaned towards comedy in my writing, and often leaned so far I fell overboard. So SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS is work of comedy and satire, for sure. But I also hope that it has something to say about storytelling and mythmaking, in its own modest way. Along with the reindeer poop jokes.
WHO WE ARE!
Hello. My name is Bill Corbett, and I'll be writing Super-Powered Revenge Christmas based on a stage play I wrote last year (see "History of the Project." below). You can check out my bio on the side (--->), but briefly:
I'm a writer and performer for RiffTrax and previously on the TV show MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. Also a playwright, actor, screenwriter for many a year!
But I'm not drawing this comic, because that would come out looking... sad. And I don't want to depress anyone for the holidays. SO! I'm hiring amazing illustrator Len Peralta to bring his awesome skills and fantastic sense of humor to the project.
I've long admired Len's work on projects like Geek A Week, Monster by Mail, 50 vs. 50, and my MST3K cohort Trace Beaulieu's book "Silly Rhymes for Belligerent Children." He's also done some cool work for RiffTrax over the years. His talent and playfulness is EXACTLY what this project needs.
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
I wrote a theatrical version of SUPER-POWERED REVENGE CHRISTMAS that was performed in Minneapolis in November-December 2010. It was an idea I was kicking around for a while, and finally pitched it as a Christmas show to my friend Joseph Scrimshaw, a writer and performer who runs the Joking Envelope production company.
I wrote and directed the play knowing that the actors would have to do the entire thing the story-theater style, narrating their own action, switching characters, and telling the entire story mostly without costumes and props. But I had five wonderful actors who really made the show come alive, switching between heroes, villains, and the patrons of the dive bar where the story is being told.
This was the stage version's press release:
"Joseph Scrimshaw's production company, Joking Envelope, presents Bill Corbett’s new holiday show, “Super-Powered Revenge Christmas #1”. In a dive bar on Christmas Eve, a disgruntled comic book writer fights with his collaborator (and ex-girlfriend) about his grand vision: a giant comic book reboot of Christmas. Thrill to tales of a brooding Santa! Shudder at the untold might of George Bailey! Question the relevance of Frostina the Snow-woman! Playwright and comedian, Bill Corbett (of Rifftrax and Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame) tackles the age old question that plagues both comic books and the holidays: "Does this all make sense? I mean, really?" This December, it's on like ret-con."
I love that description!
Here are a couple of reviews from that production:
I was very pleased with the reaction of crowds and press, and my first thought was: cool, people seem to like this. It looks like this play can get some more productions! But then I got a Facebook message from a young woman who had just seen the show and was inspired to do some artwork based on the play. She sent me a drawing of the characters as she imagined them, and it really thrilled me. It's not that she was a very seasoned artist (as she was quick to say herself), but her enthusiasm for wanting to see these characters come to life made me realize: THIS HAS TO BE A COMIC BOOK NOW. And that is when I dashed to my Len Peralta hotline!
I sent Len a copy of the theater script, and luckily he agreed to try making a comic book version work as a Kickstarter project.
My work from here will be to do a thorough adaptation of this material from its origin as a stage play inspired by comic books, into an ACTUAL comic book. That will mean some radical changes, but also opportunities to expand the story and imagine it in completely different ways. I can't wait!
WHERE THE FUNDING WILL GO
1) To pay for an enormously talented professional artist to do the work I could not -- and should not be allowed! -- to do myself. It will make the difference between a great comic and a kinda sad one. Len has done a lot of excellent work over the years for which he has not been paid much, or anything, so for this project it was important to me that it not come to life at his expense.
2) To cover expenses of publishing, rewards, and postage for said rewards.
Thank you thank you THANK YOU for supporting this. Len and I think it's going to be great fun. We can't wait to get to work so it's all done before Christmas 2012!
The description uses both "eBook" and "PDF" to refer to different files in the finished product. Should we assume that "eBook" stands for an DRM-encumbered format? If so, with which software / readers will it be compatible?
Sorry for the confusion, I should make that clearer.
For now, we don't know what version the eBook will be in, but we are determined to make it DRM-free. I will update with further info as we go.
Short answer: yes, though we will need to work out some fair way to share shipping costs, depending on where. But as a general rule, just for now: the more you back this project for, the less will be added for any shipping costs.
I will work on those numbers with my team* and post it here soon. And thank you for the question, it's something I hadn't considered.
(* I just like saying that)
Len and I estimate 64 pages minimum, maybe a tad more. Plus front and back cover.
OH yes. Yes yes yes.
And they're also based on Christmas icons you (almost certainly) know.
I'd rate it at PG-13, allowing for individual taste (or lack thereof). Not for really young kids, but for tweensters and up, probably fine.
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