Sci Fi Guy! is a proposed doorstop of a graphic novel. It would require funding that would take it across several steps, funding an artist, having the artist draw it, financing a print run, and some promotion.
Sci Fi Guy! itself would be a rebooting my webcomic with another artist, as a graphic novel of about 300-400 pages in length. With that name, it naturally takes place in the suburbs of Iowa during the Disco era. It’s my idea of the ultimate enthusiastic ‘70s Fan Comic style romp, except reconstructed much better with more accomplishment and life experience. It takes the basic fannish premise of a Science Fiction fan going on a “real” SF adventure and runs with it like never before.
Sci Fi Guy! is centered around the “Core Four” main characters Merv, Maggie, Litto, and Tom. Merv Gustafson is a nerdy 18-year-old wire-head living in the basement of his parents. Maggie is a tomboy that hangs out with Merv and she’s the non-fannish friend to keeps things real. Xerkibub is a rowdy alien buddy to drag them on planet hopping adventures. Tom is a dimension-hopping nekomimi who looks like an Otaku’s dream date, but with the florid snootiness of a high school English teacher. Tom or Xerk are potential breakout characters.
Other characters of note are Olaf, Prothee, Zed, and Leroy and Bruno. Olaf is Merv’s doting middle-aged nerdy father and a potential dark horse ensemble character. Prothee is short for prototype three, Merv’s homebrew robot companion. Zed is Litto’s beater spaceship. Merv has his foils with Leroy Stovik and Bruno Brunell. Leroy can brag of having reel computer experience because his dad owns a data processing business. Bruno is a thick armchair jock who got a new Trans-Am for his birthday.
The graphic novel will tell the two-part story of “Hello World!” and ”iCa-rumba!”. Tom helps Merv get an experimental chip to finish Prothee. This chip can toggle on artificial intelligence and contact aliens, which Merv tries out. Xerk and Zed come to Earth to investigate the unlikely signal. He meets up with Merv, Maggie, and Prothee. Litto hotwires Zed to time travel “25 or 30” years into a retro-70s future with Power-Sats, zero population growth, a verge of a New Ice Age because of too much smog, and hyperinflation. Things get more interesting with grownup Leroy and Bruno have the world under their thumbs with an overbearing computer monopoly. Tom crosses paths with Merv and explains how he corrupted the future by observing it. Merv and friends return to their proper timeline, but can they stop Leroy and Bruno and uncorrupt the future?
Sci Fi Guy! is aimed at the people who get the tagline “Way to go, kiddies! You have just corrupted the future by observing it.” It’s nostalgia for the older geeks who remember and the younger geeks who are curious about the overlooked 8-track era that existed prior of the 8-bit era. It’s for the fans that grew up in minor cities and other backwaters.
If the first book goes well, I have ideas for several continuing stories, involving an alien invasion, a robot revolt, rescue fantasies, a Christmas special that’s like Sci Fi Guy! the next generation, an idea for a “Summer Super Special or two, and a generation probe, and more. Sci Fi Guy! also has potential for spinning off one-shots and short series comics based on supporting characters and comics inside the comic like “Catch ‘Em Catsos!” Not to mention, potential for other media or merchandise. How many Otaku wouldn’t want to have a Tom the Catgirl action figure?
I apologize in advance because of making the art look like an old spirit duplicated fan comic that was typeset on an elite IBM Selectric with a pica Orator ball. That sort of retro kitsch doesn’t seem so clever now. Of course the art in the print comic would by a professional.
The funds would go to hiring a comic artist draw the 300-400 pages of the first book and plus cover the costs of the initial press run. The book will be released to the Direct Market and regular bookstores.
Risks and challenges
The down sides would be with finding an artist or tickling the whim of the market. Finding a reliable artist can be tricky. Three potential artists have tried out and washed out, including a younger brother of a certain “Rolling Stone Hot Cartoonist”. This comic would be a good showcase for a versatile, up and coming artist looking to build a good reputation since this comic loves to shift and mimic styles from the big-foot to the illustrative. The other down side is if I build it and nobody comes. I already have the carcass of InterStellar OverDrive, which was the odd creature of a potential cult comic that never found its cult.