Ned Hume is not having a good week.
His career as an actor..... Well, to call it "struggling" is generous.
His girlfriend has begun to bring up the dreaded subjects of marriage and kids. (He's settled on the tried and true tactics of deflection and feigned hysterical deafness.)
His brother has just died. Yeah, he was an ass, but still, y'know, family.
And then there's the fact that he's lost his mind. At least Ned hopes he's lost his mind. What else could explain the hallucinations? This morning, on the streets of Manhattan, he started seeing creatures. Monsters; Grotesqueries; Demons; shambling, crawling or oozing along with the usual NYC sidewalk crowd. No one seems to notice them. But he sees them.
And they see him.
And while some might turn out to be more lost than menacing, a ten foot tall fanged and tentacle-waving nightmare asking for directions to the nearest subway station is no less disturbing. Ned's lost his mind, right? That's what he hopes. Unfortunately...
As you can guess from the title, NED is not the name of a person you'd expect to be the ruler of a Pit in the bowels of Hell. (Actually, I'm not sure I want him near the bowels of anything.) Or involved in the supernatural at all for that matter. He agrees wholeheartedly, and would prefer it not be so. But in this new, original 144 page graphic novel written and drawn by me, I don't give him a choice.
It's a funny (to us) and frightening (especially to him) story of an average guy discovering the world is so much stranger than he thought, and his family (himself included) are way more connected to the darker, scarier side of reality than he knew or would ever ever want. The darker side, it turns out, doesn't want him either.
This first volume (the story does continue) runs over 130 pages of story; as I draw, I keep adding pages, letting scenes breathe so the page count is not set in stone. There's a great thing about creator-owned and Kickstarter: No editor saying "Can you have this five pages fit into three, even though it screws up the storytelling and kills the gags and any suspense?" It'll be soft-cover (fingers crossed for the hardcover stretch goal), and there'll be extras of course, like behind the scenes goodies; of course the THANK YOU page listing the name of every backer; and guest pin-ups by Mike McKone, Tom Raney, Matt Clark and others to be announced. And a forward by Louise Simonson.
In 30+ years working in comics, besides various work on VALIANT books, Deadpool, Black Panther and the BAT-books, I've been lucky to have had extended runs on some great books with amazing writers. Peter David's AQUAMAN. Judd Winnick's EXILES. GOTHAM UNDERGROUND with Frank Tieri. RED LANTERNS with Charles Soule. SECRET SIX with Gail Simone. I love comics; it's all I've ever wanted to do since I can remember wanting to do something other than soil my diaper... though I guess that wasn't really a conscious decision. (I swear.) And all I want to do is just keep making comics. My own comics. It took over twenty years to get back to doing my own stuff, and I'm happier for it.
THE VIDEO: Please check out the video, or if you have, I hope you got a chuckle out of it. It's amazing what a newb can do with iMovie; cool program. (For any Megalopolis fans, there is an "easter egg" from it in there too.) And here's some here's some serious bit I cut from the video to keep it shorter; and some outtakes:
The music in the main video up top is UNDERTAKER by Son of Dave, who was nice enough to say "okay" when I asked him if I could use it for this. His songs have been featured in the TV shows Breaking Bad and Preacher. You can check him out on Bandcamp, Spotify or Youtube. Really cool stuff. And the soundfx I layered in were royalty-free from Soundbible: Tasmanina Devil (Daniel Simon); Devil Dog Crazy, Child Scream Sound & Upper Cut (Mike Koenig).
Plans are to print in the US, with the goal of printing minimum 5,000 copies. All backers will be listed in a THANK YOU page in the book; and each book will come with a custom NedLOP bookmark and postcard inside (just because I think they're fun). The $25 pledge level will get you the physical book; $35 (and all levels above) adds a Kickstarter exclusive full-color illustrated bookplate signed by me.
- USA- $10
- Canada- $15
- The Rest of the World- $25
About some of the premium levels:
$85 - REMARK-- This is simply a b&w full head-sketch that's done on the inside front cover or first blank page of the book. Backer's choice of character. (People use the term "remark" different ways; this is how I mean it.) **Amount is limited**
$195 - SKETCH TIME-- This is more of a con-style 9x12 sketch; it's the size I work at conventions when I'm sitting in Artist Alley. Single figure with a simple background. Below is an example of a 9x12 done recently. **Amount is limited**
$375 - BIG-TIME SKETCH TIME-- This is a full 11x17 illustration, like a cover for print. Single figure with a simple background. Below is an example of an 11x17 done for a previous campaign. **Amount is limited**
*NOTE* If you'd like to do a bigger, more complex, (multi-character, detailed background, a jam-board laid out, etc), message me before pledging and we'll discuss it and come up with a pledge amount. Below are a couple examples of more complex commissions.
SHIPPING- Note that there is an additional shipping charge for the commissions (not the REMARK of course; that is done in the book itself) as they are shipped separately:
- USA- $20 addt'l
- Canada- $25 addt'l
- Rest of the World- $35 addt'l
Hardcover is always the big request by backers, so I hope we make it.
A Kickstarter exclusive mini-print (all new image just for the print) ships with the book
Just those for now; I don't like to jinx it. Concentrating right now on my first goals. If we do really well, I have some other more substantial ideas, like more story...
Thanks for checking out my project. It will only be done because of you, and it's impossible to say how much, funded or not, I appreciate everyone who supports this project.
NED, Lord of the Pit and related characters ™ & © James Calafiore
Risks and challenges
This is my third Kickstarter. It's been a few years since the success of LEAVING MEGALOPOLIS with Gail Simone, and I've been itching to get back to creator-owned, especially something I created from scratch. But I did want to makes sure at least part of this project was in the can before the campaign, and about half the 130+ pages are done. And I'm continuing to work as the campaign runs. Just to be safe, as life has an annoying way of intervening, I'm allotting 4 months for completion of the book (including colors, lettering, production etc). Then I'm at the mercy of the printer's schedule, followed by shipping. Hopefully all of this will take no more than six months. Like I said, life can be very obstinate about the plans of mice & men, but I think this is a safe deadline. Some rewards, like the sketches, should ship much earlier.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)