Following our award-winning first issue, Alex Automatic returns in a brand new adventure! “Alex Automatic: Bokeh’s Machine” is a new 28 page comic book coming this September from Cabal Comics. The purpose of this campaign is to raise funds to cover printing costs so we can bring the project to life. It is written by Fraser Campbell with art from James Corcoran, colour art by David B. Cooper and lettering by Aditya Bidikar.
After the events of issue one (see here for a synopsis), Alex is lying low, trying to blend into the metropolitan sprawl of the city. Here he feels safely anonymous as he works to piece his shattered psyche back together after the devastating events of issue one. However when he’s spotted and pursued by armed agents while on a routine provisions run, his worst fears seem to be realised. Have Prism moved to recapture him and subject him to more horrific experiments?
Desperate and terrified Alex runs, and the ensuing hunt triggers another mind-bending delusion leaving him experiencing the chase as Alex Automatic once again, this time in an outlandish jungle adventure. While he struggles desperately to escape capture in the real world, Alex’s delusion sets him up against a mysterious Prysm scientist known simply as Bokeh, on his fortress island of La Garra del Diablo. His mission? To capture or destroy a mysterious machine, said to be able to turn matter into fiction, allowing its owner to reshape reality itself. In order to get it, Alex Automatic must face not only the hostile jungle terrain, but a host of Bokeh’s Moreau-like enhanced abominations including Bokeh’s vast, bear-hugging bodyguard Oso Marsalis, who braids the shrunken skulls of his victims into his capacious beard and the multi-armed mistress of death, Mata-Hari 6.
Alex Automatic is inspired by the Gerry Anderson TV Century 21 shows like Thunderbirds and Joe 90 along with ITC shows like The Prisoner, Danger Man and Department S. We liked the idea of combining the innocent fun of these shows with the far more sinister story of a broken, dangerous man, living inside the delusion that he is a TV robot super-spy at odds with a mysterious organisation called PRYSM. If you enjoy stuff like The Prisoner, Steed & Mrs Peel and The Saint but also love comics like Miracleman, Casanova and The Invisibles, this should be right up your alley.
Fraser is the writer of comics Alex Automatic, Sleeping Dogs, Black Cape and Mothwicke. His new comic “Splendid Grins” with Iain Laurie features in upcoming issues of the Comichaus Anthology. He has also written extensively for radio and the stage.
James is the artist on Alex Automatic. He is originally from Scotland but is now based in London. His signature European illustration style will soon be found in his upcoming Glasgow-set crime comic, Stramash.
David B. Cooper
David is a cartoonist and colourist from Glasgow, with professional credits that include Image Comics. David recently released comedy thriller Dead Silence with Ryan Taylor and his acclaimed autobiographical comic, Face Down In The Mud.
Aditya Bidikar has lettered numerous prestigious titles such as Drifter, Motor Crush, Black Cloud and Grant Morrison’s 18 Days, and his work will soon feature in upcoming comics like Femme Magnifique, Grafity's Wall and VS. Aditya also writes short stories and comics in his spare time.
Music used in video is "You make me feel" by MK2.
Our grateful thanks go to Ewan MacCormick for shooting and editing our video.
Risks and challenges
Obviously, anyone who backed our previous issue of Alex Automatic will know we can be trusted to deliver on our campaign pledges.
Art for the comic is around half way there and David has been colouring the pages as we go. Aditya is poised to do his part when the art is done, as is our printer, the gallant Rich Hardiman of Comic Printing UK. As mentioned in the video, most of this team worked on the last year’s successful Kickstarter campaign for Alex Automatic #1 which enjoyed good sales and nice notices, so we know how to see an indie comic project to print and beyond. We will deliver, come what may!
The critical reception for #1 was amazing, with the Guardian saying, “Buy it before they turn it into a TV show”. Alex Automatic #1 also won Best UK Single Issue at the Yancy Street Awards at Edinburgh Comic Con, came 5th in the Pipedream Comics list of Best Indie Comics of 2016 and was shortlisted for 4 SICBA Awards at Glasgow Comic Con.
We've given ourselves a firm target of being ready for The Thought Bubble Comics Festival in late September 2017, so we anticipate being able to start fulfilment early to mid-October. If you are backing a reward that involves James doing a commission, this will take a bit longer to deliver depending on how popular the reward tiers are and as such, we've set delivery targets for November for those.
If you are considering backing the TARGET ACQUIRED level to appear in our next issue, I want to be clear - this will be issue #3 we’re talking about, not the issue you are currently backing. I’ve set the delivery on this level as October 2018, which is a likely delivery date rather than a firm one. Obviously we’ll be in touch well before then for pics and we’ll keep all backers on this level updated on progress. In fact, backers on this level will see pages of the next issue well before anyone else, another reason to go for it!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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