Ashes is the story of a Brooklyn firefighter who suffers a grievous injury during a call that brings his budding career to a screeching halt. As he struggles to overcome various obstacles thrown his way he learns who his real friends are and just what he really is made of.
Clocking in at around 100 pages, Ashes is a black and white graphic novel a full color cover.
Comic books are filled with fantastical superheroes overcoming otherworldly odds. ASHES is something different. It's a heart-filled story of an unmistakably real man struggling against villains—internal and external—that are all too believable. But, rest assured, it is the story of a hero. It is about the type of hero who walks among us, the type of hero that we rarely notice, because he wears neither mask nor cape. We should be thankful that Mario Candelaria took notice, and that he chose to share this story with us all. - Van Jensen (Green Lantern Corps, Pinocchio: Vampire Slayer)
Mario Candelaria excavates the universal truths from everyday life. - Dean Haspiel (American Splendor, The Alcoholic)
Ashes is shaping up to be a true exploration of the nature of heroes and the complex world that we live in. It's a reminder that not all heroes aren't manufactured by science fiction, but by an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances. - Joey Esposito (IGN.com)
The goal for this project was set moderately low when compared to the actual plan we have for the book. I have personally invested $1000 of my own money during Q4 2012 and I plan to invest as much more as necessary to help promote the book once it is completed. The money raised during this campaign will go towards
- Art production to help support the amazing Karl Slominski as he completes the fully drawn, inked, and lettered pages who is contributing his talents for an absurdly low page rate because he believes in this project.
- Hiring an experienced comic editor to oversee the project and make sure the best quality product is created.
- Hiring a PR firm to help market the book for wide release post-completion.
- Shipping and printing items for backers.
Here is an 18 page preview of the book!
He is charismatic and very easy going. Life before his injury was good to him so his fall from grace was just that much harder on him.
Matt's best friend and squad-mate, Lopez is a kid from the block who is quick with a joke.
Matt's dad, he is a lifelong member of the brotherhood and has a hardtime choosing between his fellow brothers and his blood.
Matt's mother. She is the glue holding her family together. When that starts to unravel she has a hard time dealing with it.
The boss of the house, Palmiotti is a tough but fair boss and mentor to Terwillegar. When everything goes wrong with Matt he has a hard time keeping things stable.
Mario Candelaria: Writer
The idea of Ashes came to me while I was watching my local news and firefighters in Philadelphia were battling a huge blaze. These brave men were selflessly putting themselves in danger and they made it seem like this just another Thursday for them. Heck, in that line of business it probably WAS another Thursday for them. While watching them I started imagining their lives, who they were and what made them who the people that they are.
The whole thing came together during a trip I took up to Boston and I met a friend of the family who was training to be a firefighter. He was an EMT at the time but I still asked him what must have been a million questions and after seeing him and his home life I was inspired to create what I consider to be the most serious project I have ever written.
Firefighting has always fascinated me. Growing up in Brooklyn I would dash to the windows and watch with admiration and wonder every time I heard those familiar sirens go off. That is actually the main reason I set the story in Brooklyn. New York City has a very rich and deeply embedded history with their firefighters so despite my moving on and residing in various other cities I couldn't hell but find it natural to set what many call the Greatest City on Earth as the backdrop for this tale.
Since I have no real artistic skill of my own I literally had to embark on a journey to find a partner that I felt would best translate what I had to say onto the bristol paper. After many months of convention trips and online postings I had corresponded in one way or another with dozens of artists but Karl was one who struck me as "The One" from the moment I saw his work, but it was his personality that really sealed the deal. We both had an eerily similar taste in many things, hip hop above all.
Karl's hard work on this title is something that has been consistent amongst Kubert's alumni and his passion for detail and perfection to the comics process makes me proud to have found such a talented partner to work with.
Karl Slominski: Illustrator
Originally it was just a cold call essentially. I had seen a post Mario had made about looking for an artist on one of the comic boards I frequent and was intrigued. Typically writers are selling you on these MASSIVE conceptual series' that are indirectly more of the same old cape and cowl fodder, but Mario's was different. He pitched a human drama, about normal people overcoming cruel fates and it really struck a chord with me. I'm more interested in telling a tangible story and he's developed a narrative that soars beyond my expectations. From there on I was hooked on selling myself to him and after some begging, pleading, and inevitable exhaustion Mario offered me the gig. I'm still convinced he thinks I'm a Make A Wish kid.
The thing I like about Mario is that he doesn't come from a typical comics background- rather, the man's got some serious roots in stand-up comedy (you should check out some of his sets, they're great). I've always been an admirer of the amount of forethought and formula needed to weave bits together, it comes from something Eddie Izzard once said about "comedians need to tell jokes to keep the seriousness at bay". When reading Ashes for the first time, that resonated with me- because Ashes isn't tongue in cheek and it doesn't force you to suspend belief; it stays grounded and gritty, and often subtle in its raw-nerved emotion. I consider myself lucky to be working with him creating the book, because he's open to collaboration- which gives me a lot of freedom to play with hanging on a beat or chopping up pacing for a bigger dramatic impact.
Risks and challenges
While we don't foresee any problems, production delays due to various circumstances could potentially happening. Should anything unfortunate like that happen we will utilize backer updates to keep our supporters updated on our progress as often as possible.
We greatly appreciate everyone donating money for this project up front and we understand the frustrations and uncertainty that comes with funding such an off the beaten path from unproven creators.
I would like to say that the funds DO NOT contribute to our lifestyles. Karl and I both work full-time jobs that take care of our monthly costs and comics are a career path that we both take very seriously. I get absolutely nothing out of this. I actually throw my own money into my projects so if anything I will be technically poorer should the funding meet it's goal, and did you see the amount of inks used on the page above? Karl has to personally hunt squids just to keep the costs of that down.
Just kidding on that last part.
But in all seriousness, we are two professionals trying to get our feet wet in an industry that is built on reputation and honesty, and we feel that a heartfelt and brutally human story such as this could be just we are looking for to make people take notice of our talents. None of this would be possible without the support of our backers and we will work hard to make sure all of your expectations will be met.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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