The graphic novel is on the doorstep of being finished and we're now polishing it up to add in the finer details.
Hence the realization that the (now) 144-page book is more than ten pages longer than originally planned, and it has ⅔ colour and ⅓ black-and-white content, rather than the 50/50 split I was contemplating when I commenced this Kickstarter campaign.
The extra colour pages and increase in number thereby increase the price of printing, but this works far better as a whole package and artistically-speaking, so I'm going to run with it.
Rather than get somewhat greedy and introduce a "stretch" goal here — we still have a few days from today until the Kickstarter finishes — I hope some people can pitch in or refer this one to friends in order to help absorb the additional costs.
Regardless, the project is happening!
On April 14th we reached our initial target goal, so thanks to all and sundry who pledged their financial support and thereby passed on encouragement and inspiration in making this graphic novel project an upcoming reality.
This Kickstarter campaign continues to May 23rd, so if anyone is interested in pre-ordering the book, we've opened an extra new pledge category (the $30 one) which will cover this and also includes postage to anywhere in the world.
Truth to tell, the graphic novel has been incited as much as inspired by the cool cats who've supported this project from scratch. Without you amazing people and your belief/confidence in what this could shape up to be, it quite simple would not exist.
Anyway, enough blathering! ;)
OLDER PITCH (AND SAMPLE IMAGES/FEEDBACK) BELOW:
Hello, everyone — Andrez Bergen and Fée Romney here to incite you to raise funds to produce and print a semi-colour, 130+ page comic-book iteration of this far-sighted noir novel.
TOBACCO-STAINED MOUNTAIN GOAT—the graphic novel
100% Australian-made, this hardboiled/sci-fi yarn — dripping in dystopia — has been written and is currently being illustrated by Andrez Bergen (Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa?/Tales to Admonish) with assistance from Cocoa Bergen (The Condimental Op), and adapted from his critically-lauded 2011 noir novel.
This means the comic adaptation, while touching upon similar territory as the novel — with key characters Floyd and Laurel — will also be a little different, and include material from Bergen's ulterior books.
Also, it will include behind-the-scene tidbits, pin-ups by other artists, Hylax and Webley-Fosbery collectibles, and brand new plot content.
Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat was a novel first published (via Another Sky Press) in 2011 that proudly wears on its sleeve the influences of writers Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Neville Shute, Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury, Graham Greene, and... filmmakers Satoshi Kon, Carol Reed, John Huston and Akira Kurosawa.
The back-cover spiel read thus:
"Cut to Melbourne, Australia — the most glamourous city in the world. It also happens to be the only one left standing, but nevermind that, we’re there now and I’d like you to meet your narrator, a certain Floyd Maquina, a likeable chap with one hell of a story to share. See, the powers that be are knuckling down on the Deviant menace that plagues the city, and our boy Floyd’s unknowingly got himself in the thick of it. Cue guns, intrigue, kidnappings, conspiracy and all sorts of general mayhem that make for cracking good headlines.
Does Floyd stop the bad guys? Does he get the girl? Does he make Humphrey Bogart proud? Grab some popcorn and read on."
TSMG is that kind of a story, an essential yarn that rolls in together a wealth of cultural influences and pop-culture nuggets with a noir tale of love, betrayal, corporate violence and intrigue — set in near-future, last-city-on-earth Melbourne.
The critiques sizzled, including these gems—
“An incredible novel, completely unexpected and with such a wonderfully rich and unique style that is simply mesmerizing, unmissable.” SF BOOK REVIEWS
“Andrez Bergen has put science fiction, noir, Australia and Japan into a literary hadron collider.” THE THOUSANDS MAGAZINE
“I can say without qualification that not only is Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat one of my Top 5 Reads of 2011, it is one of the most creative and engaging books I’ve ever read — period. My mind is completely blown.” BOOK REVIEWS BY ELIZABETH A. WHITE
“A retro pop culturalist’s dream come true — and entertaining to boot.” PERMISSION TO KILL
“Destined to be a cult classic.” DEAD END FOLLIES
“A cyberpunk, Mad Max, and Philip K. Dick kind of novel.” COMIC ATTACK
“Holy shit, I loved this book.” DEATH BY KILLING
“A cigar-puffing, whiskey-sipping, piano-playing bar lout.” SOLARCIDE
the comic book version
Now the author of TSMG, Andrez Bergen (also the writer of Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? along with the Tales to Admonish and Black/White comic-book series — and an artist in his own right) in collaboration with Fée Romney is assembling a 130+ page sequential art version of Tobacco-Stained Mountain Goat, set to be published at the end of July 2014.
The plot will be similar, with some minor tweaks to explore the key characters and their world, along with ulterior plot-points that were not part of the original novel — in order to expand a universe that's been further tweaked in subsequent novels Who is Killing the Great Capes of Heropa? and Depth Charging Ice Planet Goth.
Bergen grew up a huge comic book fan of artists Jack Kirby, Jim Steranko, Will Eisner, Joe Kubert and Barry Windsor-Smith, and more recently Frank Miller, Steve Epting, Matt Kyme, David Lloyd, Sean Phillips and David Aja — along with writers Eisner, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, Rick Remender and Roy Thomas.
These influences have had their effect.
This version will retell the original novel in a visual style Bergen's own — adding in extra elements that did not appear in the original novel to further expand a compelling tale, along with artistic input from Bergen's daughter Cocoa.
Think original comic book art, painting and inks along with cut-ups, collage, a sense of humour, and "found art" referencing Dada and Marcel Duchamp.
Some responses to Bergen's comic-related work—
"[Bergen is] in it for the passion of creating, the love of comics, and the desire to elicit a reaction from the reader." WORD OF THE NERD
"Excels in both writing and art." GEEKS OF DOOM
"Great fiction... perfectly complimented by some wonderful graphics." WEIRD AND WONDERFUL READS
To be published in July 2014.
Risks and challenges
"Although TSMG: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL is a work-in-progress, one thing I think I definitely have going for me is twenty years' experience living behind an eight-ball deadline culture within journalism — so I have absolutely no doubt the project will be completed once/if we get funding by the end of May 2014.
The story, of course, is already written and I am currently putting together the visual content. While art is not my "mainstay" occupation, I've been obsessed with comics since I started kindergarten and the creation of same is something I've continued to be involved with. I've had exhibitions of my work in both Tokyo and Melbourne.
Some of the "rules" of traditional comic book story telling are bound to be broken here. While I wouldn't lay claim to point-one percent of the talent of Will Eisner or Jim Steranko, these were constraints both men continuously rebuked, and I grew up with Marcel Duchamp being another artistic hero.
Writing-wise I've previously published five novels, literally countless short stories (for places like Crime Factory, All Due Respect, Big Pulp and Shotgun Honey), and had comics published through IF? Commix, 8th Wonder Press, Perfect Edge Books and Ace Comics.
And I co-run IF? Commix with Matt Kyme, with four self-funded comic books already under our belt, so we know the terrain."
--Andrez Bergen, March 2014Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (59 days)