About The Project
A Hero's Death is an original 48 page graphic novel, hand painted by legendary artist Mark Texeira (Ghost Rider, Wolverine, Punisher) and written by Ricardo Sanchez (Resident Evil, Legends of the Dark Knight, RIFT.)
The Hero died twenty years ago trying to save a family in a building collapse, but the implications of her death still linger, especially for Laura, a young reporter who's doing a story on the anniversary of the Hero's death.
Laura has managed to track down an old woman named Doris Weller, an eye witness to what happened. But Doris has no interest in remembering that day, let alone talking about it. As Laura coaxes the story out of her, we get to see what actually happened to the Hero, and the devastating effect her death had on Doris and the city.
A Hero's Death is as much character study as it is a very traditional superhero tale. There’s action, danger and spandex, but the script also explores what happens when a hero fails. Our book doesn’t have a message, but it does have a feel good ending, and we hope when you read the last page and close the book that you’ll have a new perspective on caped heroes.
The Original Funding Goal
Thanks to some of the coverage we’ve received on our crowd funding efforts, we are in the incredibly fortunate position of having a number of publishers interested in bringing our book to retail. Now we just have to deliver a finished project. This fan-funded edition of A Hero’s Death will cover the costs associated with lettering and pre-press, and enable Mark to put his heart and soul into every hand painted page. The graph below shows where the money goes based on receiving $10,000 in funding.
We’ve included rewards for every budget. We’ve also tried to make them pretty straight forward with a focus on getting the book into your hands as inexpensively as possible, so you won’t see a lot of bonus items. But if you want all the extras, go straight to the COLLECTOR reward level. In addition to a signed and numbered hard back copy of the book, you get these extras exclusively at this pledge level:
- The hard back is individually numbered with a personalized thank you from Mark and Ricardo
- A sketch of the Hero
- Two Hero post cards
- Two Hero pin backed buttons
Both the paper back and hard back versions are standard 6.625 x 10.25 comic book sized books.
Want to get the post cards and buttons but not interested in the COLLECTOR level reward? Just add $15 to any reward level at PAPER BACK or above.
Be In The Comic!
Ever wanted to see yourself in a comic book? We have two special reward levels that put you into A Hero’s Death.
Be there when the Hero dies! Mark will paint your face into the book as the Fire Chief. The character is on a half dozen or more pages with the Hero. In addition to being a character in the book, you’ll get one of the original pages signed by Mark.
To select the Fire Chief option, you should be 40 or older. The character, as written, has known the Hero for years at the time of her death. If you don’t look old enough, Mark will have to “age up” your appearance a bit. You will need to provide us with a photo and royalty free permission to use your likeness.
In one scene, the Hero saves an 8 year old child and returns him to his parents. Have you, your spouse or partner, and your son or daughter painted into the book with the Hero. You will also receive one of the original pages signed by Mark.
The scene can be a family of three or four, but one of the children must be 7 or 8 years old. You will need to provide us with a photo and royalty free permission to use the likeness of all members of your family.
NOTE: Mark will do his best to reproduce your likenesses, but it is a comic book, not a portrait, so he may have to take small liberties. These reward levels also do not come with either approval or art direction.
One of the things that makes A Hero's Death special, is that the book will be fully painted, much like some of Mark's other recent works like Spider-man: Legacy of Evil and Space Punisher. Each page is a hand painted work of art. This process takes a bit longer than traditional coloring, but we think the wait will be worth it.
The PDF of the original short story will be emailed out upon successful completion of our campaign.
The PDF of A Hero's Death will be emailed out as soon as we have a printer ready digital copy.
Physical books and rewards will be mailed out to backers six to eight weeks after we deliver the digital file to the printer.
The Origin Of The Story
“I can still remember as a kid reading Superman and just feeling good when the hero won the day,” Ricardo said of the story. “Too many superhero comics now are jaded or dark. I wanted to evoke the feeling I had reading those classic stories, but I wanted to do it in a way that also showed the costs to the heroes for being there for us.”
Mark and Ricardo talked at New York Comic-Con 2012 about collaborating on a project, and Ricardo brought him the comic book adaptation of the story. “I’ve been looking at Mark’s work since his days on Jonah Hex, and his Ghost Rider helped bring me back to comics after a brief absence. He’s a really remarkable artist. Although he’s best known for his action books, I thought the quality of his paintings would be a great way to bring to the page the empathy and emotion that makes the story work,” Ricardo said.
“I read the story and I thought, WOW! This is something I could really show my stuff on. I’ve been doing a lot more painted work lately, and with this script I have a lot of freedom to create new characters and a new hero,” Mark said.
In fact, the protagonist in the original short story is a man, but Mark wanted to tell the story with the Hero as a woman. “So many heroes are guys! I read the script and just kept thinking that changing the character to a female would add a new layer to the story. It would also make the story fresh for people who’ve read the short.”
“I was skeptical,” Ricardo said. “But I did a re-write and Mark was right. Changing the Hero to a woman brought deeper poignancy to the character and the story.”
Reviews Of The Original Short Story
A Hero's Death is based on Ricardo Sanchez’s critically acclaimed short story, The Death and Life of a Hero, from the super hero anthology Gods of Justice by Cliffhanger Books. The story won rave reviews for portraying a human side to men and women in capes.
"Ricardo Sanchez contributes my favorite tale in the book, The Death and Life of a Hero. I’m a sucker for such an uplifting story in which the hero receives his due from the people he has saved. I loved that same theme in Buffy, the Vampire Slayer as well as in Early Edition, and I love it here, too." – Ray Tate from ComicsBulletin
"The final story in this collection, written by DC’s Ricardo Sanchez (famous for his Resident Evil comics) is hands down the most rewarding and thought-provoking. Really more of a social introspection piece, Ricardo tells us of a deceased hero known as The Hero and the reporter that is trying to retell the story twenty years later. I really don’t want to ruin too much for you so all I’ll say is this story needs to be published elsewhere and consumed en mass as it is a powerful look into and reminder of who we all are and who we all can be." – Jared Walter of ComicBooked
About The Creators
Mark Texeira is a classically trained painter and comic book creator. His credits include Wolverine, Sabertooth, various Punisher books and Moon Knight, but he is perhaps best known for his striking re-imagining of the Ghost Rider character.
Ricardo Sanchez is a producer and writer. His comic book credits include Resident Evil, RIFT: Telara Chronicles, End of Nations, and Legends of the Dark Knight. He's also a NATAS Emmy winning animation producer for ReVisioned: Tomb Raider, and was a co-founder of IGN Entertainment.
Risks and challenges
There are relatively few risks to this project, with the primary risk being a delay in delivery.
Because Mark is hand painting each page, there is the possibility that some pages may take longer than anticipated, pushing back the date we can hand off the final set of pages to the letterer.
We are using a third party to handle lettering and pre-press, and there is the risk that that process may require multiple revisions.
We are doing a small print run, and to get the best possible prices on the physical books, we have agreed to some flexibility in delivery date by the printer.
We believe we have a conservative delivery date for the physical book that takes into account the above possibilities, but there is a worse case scenario where Mark is late, lettering and pre-press runs long, and the print run is delayed.
In the event that we experience delays at any point in the process, we will send out immediate updates letting you know. We will also post each new page that Mark completes so you can follow along as he progresses.
This is our second attempt to fund this project. This time around we have a substantially reduced funding goal. We were able to lower the goal because we have lined up a publishing agreement for the book, and found a new printer. Combined, we were able to offset a lot of the costs. We also changed the pricing and items for our rewards to make sure we can cover our fixed costs at a lower goal.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)