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A pulse-pounding thriller of brutal men and the cost of super-villainy! Help make this 21st century pulp short-story an ebook!
A pulse-pounding thriller of brutal men and the cost of super-villainy! Help make this 21st century pulp short-story an ebook!
130 backers pledged $2,455 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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“Welcome home, Lenin,” the bear said, in Russian. The bear sat with a relaxed slump and a casual demeanor that contrasted his fussy, pinstripe suit. The skin of his muzzle pulled back to reveal a vast collection of teeth, yellow with age. It was the closest the bear could bring to a smile. His brown fur contrasted nicely with the blue wool of his suit, and his silk necktie matched the color of his teeth perfectly.

A man slid behind Lenin, taking advantage of his surprise, and held a gun to Lenin’s temple. The gunman was just out of sight, but the smell of old leather, Old Spice, and sweat spoke volumes about his character. He could feel the gunman’s sour breath against his neck. Out of the corner of his eye, Lenin could just make out the gun and the single hand holding it. The other hand was on Lenin’s collar.

“Just one hand?” Lenin thought. “Pitiful.”

--excerpt from The Cockroach Strikes!

The Cockroach Strikes! is a 10,000 word short story, centered around my webcomic character, Lenin Davidovich Bronshtein, AKA Comrade Cockroach, a D-list super-villain. This story finds him at a low point, having given up the costumed life. But when a bear in a three piece suit surfaces asking him to steal a man's eye, Comrade Cockroach must reconcile who he is with who he was.

The Cockroach Strikes! is much grittier than the webcomic, more a crime story that super-powered romp. But it retains the off-kilter sense of humor and the unusual POV that have become Comrade Cockroach trademarks.

I want to release this story as an ebook, a true 21st-century pulp, complete with an awesome cover and proper formatting for multiple ereaders. In order to add some extra incentive, this short story will not be available ANYWHERE but this Kickstarter until October of 2014. If you want to read it, you have to support it now.

The Team

I'm Jared Axelrod. I've published several short stories and a graphic novel, The Battle of Blood & Ink, as well as being a founding member of the flash-fiction website 365 Tomorrows. I've also done several popular podcasts, The Voice of Free Planet X, Aliens You Will Meet and Fables of the Flying City. If there's one thing I now how to provide, it's an adventure story!

In order to give you the best possible package, I'm getting ebook-expert Brand Gamblin to help with the formatting. You can see that the cover, featuring a photo by the astounding J.R. Blackwell, is nothing short of amazing:

The Rewards

In addition to the ebook, I'm also offering an audio version, read by me. As fans of my podcasts Voice of Free Planet X and Fables of the Flying City know, I give a good reading. Feel free to peruse those links if you want hundreds of examples.

For fans of the webcomic, I've got a backer-exclusive digital comic, featuring Comrade Cockroach and Major Ursa--who plays a huge role in the short-story--on an early mission together! After writing about these two as down-and-out criminals, it was fun to show them in their super-villain prime.

As an extra, extra incentive, you can pony up a heap of cash and get the audio, the ebook, an autographed print edition and a Comrade Cockroach insignia lapel pin. I had one of these made, and I think it's just great. Adds a touch of super-villainous class to any outfit.

I've got some stretch goals planned, including more reward levels, more stories, more comics, and the possibility of Comrade Cockroach novel. The main focus of this Kickstarter is The Cockroach Strikes!, but if we get high enough, there's a real opportunity to expand the world.

Risks and challenges

As a writer of fiction and producer of hundreds of podcast episodes., I understand what it takes to move a project of this nature to completion. While the short story is written, there may be problems in formatting the ebook and recording the audio that may delay the release. Likewise, there may be a delay with the print editions and lapel pins, as I am using a third party to make them.

The biggest risk is with the stretch goals, as none of that content has been created yet. I pledge that the original rewards--the ebook, the audio recording, the autographed paperback and the lapel--will all be complete and shipped before I start work on the stretch goals.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $3 or more About $3

    PUNCH IN THE EYE! You get an ebook of the story in the format of your choice! Backer Exclusive for ONE YEAR!!!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    PUNCH IN THE EAR! Not only do you get an ebook of the story in the format of your choice, you also get an mp3 of the complete audio of the story, read by Jared Axelrod himself! This audio will not be available anywhere else! Backer Exclusive!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    FIST & CLAW! Audio, ebook, and a digital comic featuring Comrade Cockroach and Major Ursa on an early mission together!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    I'LL DO THE PUNCHING! Audio, ebook AND an autographed print edition AND a Cockroach insignia lapel pin! You'll be the classiest thug on your block!

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Funding period

- (22 days)