A big THANK YOU to everyone who has backed this project so far and has spread the word far and wide and made our Kickstarter a huge success. Your efforts are really appreciated by all of us at Castle Comics! We've decided to add some new rewards in the final stretch run here--a couple retailer specific packages, and a few "have your likeness drawn into an issue" rewards. On top of that, we still revised the stretch goals. We have about $4,000 to go and just under 3 days to get there, but with your help we know we can make it! So, if you haven't spread the word, please do! Time to print to the finish line!
You can find the new rewards in the rewards section. If you've backed the project already, and the amount you pledged can be used for another reward, let us know in a message and we'll make sure you get the right stuff!
Before we get into the heart of File 13 and how it came to be, the team behind it (Keith Koppenhoefer, Ryan Gutierrez, and myself, Dan Hosek) wants to thank you for taking the time to check out our project and let you know why we need your help. Making a comic is a costly endeavor. We're shooting to have an initial print run near 5,000 (more, God willing) distributed through Diamond Distributors to as many comic shops as possible. In order to get "noticed" among all the comics that come out on a monthly basis, a portion of the money raised in this Kickstarter will be used in marketing and promotions. The majority of the funds will be used for domestic offset printing and quality materials to ensure the best final product.
I've raised initial funding by selling the best comics in my collection (*sniff sniff* Good bye, silver age X-Men #1) to pay for the art for the first two issues and some early promotion (if you're on Long Island June 14 and 15, come see us at Eternal Con!). I'll continue to raise funds (sell my comics) to ensure we have funds to continue producing art for the book on a monthly basis. Comics take some time to gain traction and develop a fan base, so we really need YOUR help to get things rolling.
Join the Castle Comics Cavalry! Become part of the team and help us make this dream a reality.
Twin brothers Scott and Randall Solson inherited SolTech—a floundering scientific research company—from their father after his death.Together, they returned SolTech to a place of prominence. Randall is a ruthless, company first, bottom-line businessman out to protect SolTech’s place in the market. Scott is a scientific genius driven by curiosity. He creates the technology for the military contracts Randall secures, but dreams of making the world a better place.
Their partnership ends abruptly when Randall—tired of Scott’s lack of focus—buys him out and fires him. Outraged by Randall’s actions, and realizing he does have an obligation to serve the greater good, Scott sneaks back into SolTech to steal the prototype combat assault neuro-armor (C.A.N.) he created—which, unfortunately, was built around the trash can he tested his regenerative metal formula on. When he’s forced to come face-to-face with one of his brother’s clandestine “projects,” a hero is born.
File 13 is a full-color, ongoing monthly series. It’s a high tech, high adventure “hero’s journey” with a healthy dose of absurdist humor thrown in. The stories draw on equal parts classic superhero storytelling, pop culture references, high drama, science fiction, and historic events that are stranger than fiction.The story arcs are generally two to three issues long, reminiscent of the great comics of the 1980s, though there is a larger, evolving mythology underlying the whole story.
That mythology's roots are set in 1925 when Scott’s great-grandfather discovers something hidden for centuries and uses the technology recovered from it to form Solson Industries (which Randall later renames SolTech). From that seed the super-powered universe grows, encompassing the past, present, and future. At the start of File 13, super-powered beings haven’t been seen in the world for over 25 years. Their numbers dwindled from a peak in the 1960s until all but disappearing in the mid-1980s. This changes, however, on that fateful night in the middle of Long Island when Scott dons the neuro-armor for the first time. It serves as the catalyst that ushers in a new age of heroes with Scott at the center. On his journey, he comes across an amazing assortment of weirdoes—some are dangerous, some are friendly, but almost all of them are ridiculous.
Despite the intrigue, peril, heroes, and villains that smash their way through the pages of File 13, it boils down to the continuing struggle between Scott and Randall Solson. At its heart, File 13 is a story of sibling rivalry played out in tights.
The roots of File 13 go back about three decades to when I was 12 years old and created a comic called Can Man (the title has since evolved into File 13). I wish I could say I created thousands of comic pages based on his adventures in the intervening years, but the truth is, I created about four crudely drawn comics. As a character, Can Man was always on my mind, though, and ideas were kicked around—whether it was plotting out a "crossover" with my friend's college comic strip hero, or brainstorming ideas for an epic time travel tale, Can Man had an uncanny knack of sticking around.
I became friends with Keith Koppenhoefer about the same time I created the character Can Man (it was his college comic character that we wrote the cross over story about). One day about six or seven years ago, we began IMing (as we often did during downtime at our jobs) about Can Man. We expanded on the core idea and brought it up to date. Then, tons of ridiculous names and characters came to us, and we populated his universe. We came up with numerous ideas and and used these absurd characters to generate almost two years worth of story ideas. Art wise, I got as far as doing layouts for #1, but I was never able to sit down at the drawing board to make the final pages.
Enter artist Ryan Gutierrez. When we got serious about making this project happen, I was lucky enough to come across Ryan’s work on a website I used for freelance graphic design gigs. I loved his stuff the minute I saw it. After sifting through 100+ candidates, he was definitely the one. We got along great, shared similar ideas, and he was completely on board.
Now, there are 35 penciled and inked pages of File 13 #1 (the complete issue) and File 13 #2 is fully pencilled and inked as well. There's a thoroughly established direction for the first two years of the series, and we're all committed to seeing it through. I have a solid grasp on comic creation from my time spent at Marvel Comics in the mid-1990s. As a Harvey Award-nominated assistant editor, I learned a great deal about how to make a comic from plot to printed product. Okay, okay… I was nominated for “Best Reprint Editor,” but I still get to call myself a Harvey Award nominee, right? My editorial—and subsequent book design experience—will make sure that these books get made. I'm excited to finally be creating something I'm truly passionate about, and I thank you again for anything you can do to help bring File 13 to life!
FILE 13 will be an ongoing, monthly, full color series. The first issue will be 40 pages long with 35 story pages. Check out the first five pages below! There's some preview pages up for number #2 at whatisfile13.com, too.
All funds raised by this Kickstarter will go directly toward the publication and promotion of File 13. All funds above and beyond the $7,000 pledge goal will help us obtain the best materials for #1 as well as funding additional issues in the series.
As we approach our funding goal, we will add stretch goals and bonus rewards. Down the road, we have plans to add two or three pages per week of "expanded universe" material available for free on our website, whatisfile13.com. These would be stories dealing with supporting characters or the history of the universe, which would add to the overall reading experience. If funding goals are exceeded, getting this material created and online sooner rather than later would be possible. Also, since File 13 is an ongoing monthly series, adding subsequent issues as stretch rewards is possible if we're lucky enough to double or triple our goal.
Thanks again for your support.
Risks and challenges
There's very little risk involved in producing the first issue of File 13. The art is completely pencilled and inked (the art for #2 is done as well!). The lettering is almost half finished, and the coloring is being done simultaneously with the lettering. This issue will be ready to go to press on time.
There could be a slight delay in getting sketch covers out to pledgers at that tier, given the time needed to produce them. For example, if all 50 sketch cover rewards are snatched up and they all want sketches by Ryan, it might take him a little longer than 4 months or so (November) to produce all the covers.
We will make sure everyone is kept in the loop on the progress on all rewards so there is no wondering about where things are.
After that, the only other possible challenge is making sure Diamond will distribute the series, but that's a concern for us, not our fans. The comic will be produced no matter what and all rewards will be delivered.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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