KEITH CHAMPAGNE (Green Lantern Corps, Batman, Justice Society of America) and TOM NGUYEN (Justice League, Batman, Green Lantern) are teaming up to produce an original 64-page graphic novel, THE SWITCH!
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
THE SWITCH is a mysterious new superhero that has quickly captured the public eye. In the short time she's been around, she's already made a huge difference in people's lives.
Nobody knows who The Switch is. Nobody knows where she came from. And that's just the way she NEEDS things to remain.
Because The Switch has a deadly secret and if she's not careful, it'll get her killed. Or worse, unmasked.
And that's when all hell will really break loose.
SPOILER ALERT (don't worry, you need to know this).
Underneath the mask that covers The Switch's face lurks the infamous visage of ELECTRICIA, one of the most hated and feared super-villains the world has ever known. For years, Electricia and her allies, a team of super-powered villains known as MURDERER'S ROW, have terrorized mankind. Their combined list of crimes against humanity is longer than an encyclopedia. There's nothing they haven't done; less they won't yet do.
But more and more, everything feels OFF to Electricia. Although she hasn't confided in anyone (aside from her talking cat), she's finding it increasingly difficult to ignore what a horrible person she's become. She's looking around at the Murderer's Row and realizing she has nothing in common with these monsters anymore. In fact, they scare the hell out of her. When she tries to sleep at night, a single, guilt-fueled question echoes through her mind like a shotgun blast:
"How do I fix my life?"
Lost, desperate and alone one evening, Electricia does something that, for her, is crazy. Almost on a whim, she HELPS somebody. The instant rush she receives from performing that tiny act of kindness feels so incredible, so instinctively RIGHT, that she finds it completely addictive.
An idea sparks in the tattered remains of her soul. And from that tiny act of kindness, THE SWITCH is born.
Electricia's double life as The Switch is becoming more dangerous by the day. She's starting to realize that it's not that easy to start over. If anyone were to learn who she really was, she'd be arrested on sight. And even if she could somehow emerge from under the long shadow of her past, escaping from her former friends is another beast entirely.
Electricia knows It's only a matter of time before her new life crashes into her old. Any day now, The Murderer's Row will come for her.
But The Switch is going to become the person she always wanted to be...even if it kills her.
COOL STORY, BRO! TELL ME MORE!
Nope. Not gonna do it. There are a million twists and turns to this story and we don't want to spoil anything that happens. But now that you have an idea of what the book is about, let's talk about what the book IS.
THE SWITCH is (initially) a 64-page softcover graphic novel written by DC Comics writer/artist KEITH CHAMPAGNE and DC Comics penciler/inker TOM NGUYEN.
We've been asked a few times already, why Kickstarter? With our work history and professional backgrounds, why not pitch this project to an established publisher? That's an option, sure, but to be completely honest, we just want to make a great comic book; not a comic book that is exhaustively evaluated by a creative committee, all with different tastes and opinions, to ensure that it can be viably translated into a film/ television show, video game or web series. Not that there's anything wrong with that but the decision making process has gotten extremely convoluted in the comic book field. With Kickstarter, we can bring the project directly to the readers. You guys are the ones who matter. If this graphic novel is something you want to read, you'll help us make it and we'll know in 30 days if we're all doing this together. It's really that simple.
As artists and creators, we also want to use this opportunity to produce a graphic novel that's different and special, both in story AND in format, for the readers who are kind enough to back our campaign. To that effect, the book will be printed over-sized, at 8.5 x 11.25 inches as opposed to traditional comic size.
We've put together an incredibly sophisticated info-graphic to help illustrate the size difference. Enjoy!
As artists, we both feel like comics tend to be too small; too compressed to really appreciate the artwork. Producing a graphic novel, especially of this length, involves gallons of blood, sweat and tears. We want a finished product that matches the months of work we're putting in, that will show off the intricate detail and precision in Tom's work, and that you'll also be proud to slip onto your bookshelf.
So we're going big or we're going home.
We don't take it lightly that we're asking the readers to fund this project (although to be honest, you guys fund every project from every company with your buying dollar; we're just cutting out the middle man) so we've put just as much work into making our campaign as different and special as the book will be. We want to give you the opportunity to acquire awards that you can't easily find, at least not outside of a comic book convention. So we made a few phone calls, sent some emails and lined up TONS of guest stars: some of the absolute best artists (and a writer or two) in the field of comics to contribute original art, scripts, or sketches as rewards. Take a gander at this list of names:
Doug Mahnke, Pat Oliffe, Leonard Kirk, Khoi Pham, Jerry Ordway, Andy Smith, Cam Smith, Bill Morrison, Peter Krause, Neil Edwards, Christopher Jones, Edgar Salazar, Dev Madan, Beau Smith, Sergio Cariello, Pasqual Ferry, Pat Gleason, Peter J. Tomasi, Mike Collins, Marc Deering, Darryl Banks, Don Kramer, and Drew Geraci.
And that's not taking into account the people we're not telling you about yet who will be helping us with some of our stretch rewards!
Dev Madan, Andy Smith, Pasqual Ferry, and Jerry Ordway comprise our initial wave of guest artists (examples of their work below). The way this is going to work is that as soon as one reward is snatched up, we'll add another name to the mix. If you don't see your favorite artist's name listed, keep checking back. We'd hate for you to miss out.
In addition, we have an absolutely iconic legend in the field of comics that will be contributing an original sketch as a reward. He (or she) has asked us not to name him (or her)--yet--but we GUARANTEE it'll be worth the wait! Holy crap, is it worth it!
THE GRAND PLAN
We have three different funding goals for this project. Our initial goal ($17,000) will enable us to produce a full-color, 64-page softcover graphic novel for you. The script for that is written and Tom is already slaving away on the interior artwork. This initial goal will cover the cost of our labor (we've each established a rate equivalent to 1/5 our normal page rates to do 4 times the work. Multiply that by pi and it's really confusing!), all rewards, incentives, the larger format paper, printing, and shipping of the graphic novel.
Our first stretch goal is $20,000. At this level, THE SWITCH will grow into a full-color, 80-PAGE softcover graphic novel. Keith and Tom are taking no additional money for the extra labor, it will all be used to cover the additional paper and printing costs as well as the additional stretch rewards, incentives, and shipping costs that will be incurred.
Once we reach $20,000, everyone who has pledged will receive, absolutely free of charge and in addition to any previous awards, a PDF of THE TOM NGUYEN SKETCHBOOK containing tons of never-before-seen process art, paintings, sketches, and more!
Everyone will also receive PDFs of two of Keith's previous creator-owned graphic novels, ARMOR X (with art by Andy Smith) and DEATH VALLEY (with art by Shawn Moll, Mariano, and even a little bit of Tom). That's an additional 188 pages of story content delivered in an easy-to-read format completely free of charge!
Our final goal for this project is $24,000. If we're able to reach this level of funding, THE SWITCH becomes an 80-page HARDCOVER GRAPHIC NOVEL. Again, no additional money for Keith or Tom, it all goes towards the additional printing and rewards costs. You may wonder if this means that the 64-page version won't tell the complete tale? No, it absolutely will. But that doesn't mean there isn't more story that could be included if we can scrounge up the extra space.
Once we hit the $24,000 goal, every single pledge will receive a link to download a brand new making-of documentary about The Switch! You'll be immersed in the behind the scenes action, giving you the clearest look possible at the process of creating this project and the absolutely insane amount of time, effort and work that goes into creating a single page of original art, let alone alone 80 pages!
Also at this level, every single pledge (physical reward levels) will receive an additional character head sketch by Tom or Keith. We may have to do 1000 of them so it might not be anything fancy but we're going to buckle down and thank you all the best way we can: by killing ourselves to give everyone something special.
If we somehow surpass $24,000 in funding, we have big plans for more stretch rewards that will be coming your way. More details on that when we get closer.
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge when producing a graphic novel is staying on schedule. Keith and Tom both have years of experience meeting deadlines; there's no counting how many DC titles have shipped on time thanks to their work ethic.
But...things happen in life and we've taken steps to make sure there are no delays in production. First of all, the script is already written, the characters are designed and a handful of pages are already drawn. We've got a good head start. Secondly, we've added an extra six weeks to the production schedule in case of any unforeseen hurdles, including possible shipping delays from our overseas printer, and the time it will take to process and ship the books and rewards. Third, we've divided the labor so neither of us will be overwhelmed. Keith is writing, lettering, and producing the flat color for the book. Tom is penciling, inking, and rendering the color art. However (this is where it comes in handy having two artists), if Tom gets sick, breaks his hand, whatever...as a last resort, Keith can step in to finish inking pages or doing whatever it takes to get the book to the printer in time.
We'd like to thank you so much for taking the time to visit and consider our project. We have a policy of treating every reader of our work as a close friend. If you've ever met us at a convention, you know this is true.
If you have a question, just ask.
We're proud of the work we do and will absolutely bend over backwards to ensure you have a positive experience well worth your time and generous backing. We'll be updating you soon, call or write if you need anything.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter