UPDATE - Even though we won't hit our goal, if you have an active pledge of $15 or more by the end of the campaign, I will send you a PDF of the first chapter once we get it done.
WHAT IS DEAD RINGER?
Dead Ringer is a hard-boiled mystery/ghost story staring Kate Bailey, an army veteran and former JAG investigator, recently returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She comes home to Chicago, where she struggles to fit back into civilian society. Plagued by nightmares of her time in Afghanistan, Kate sleeps fitfully as a rule. She is completely blown out of her bed one night, however, by a terrifying dream—of her own brutal murder at the hands of a monstrous psychopath!
Kate claws her way to wakefulness, to find her nightmare to be nothing more than a night terror. Before she can breathe a sigh of relief, the morning newspaper seems to confirm her dream. During the night, a young woman was killed in exactly the same way as in the dream. And—impossibly—the accompanying photo is of Kate herself! Kate has exactly two choices in that dizzying moment; figure things out or give in to lunacy.
Kate opts for sanity, at least until lunacy is the better choice. Always a problem solver, she throws herself into getting to the bottom of this mystery. Kate knows she is alive; so who is it lies on a morgue slab wearing Kate's face?
In the Windy City, politics and ghosts have a long relationship. Many a voter's list has been known to include more than a few names matching those on tombstones in graveyards around the city. Now, however, Kate will blaze a twisted path that will take her deep into dark and sordid political doings, bizarre murder and ultimately confronting what may well be real and powerful supernatural evil. What begins as a puzzling who-done-it, becomes, over the course of the story, is slowly revealed to be a stunningly horrific supernatural menace.
Chicago is truly a character in the story, especially in that it takes place against one of the worst winters in the city's history. Seeing through the mystery is no less difficult than navigating through the near white-out conditions of a Chicago blizzard.
Even if she survives, Kate Bailey will uncover shattering secrets about her family, her city and even about her own self. Her life, and her sanity, may never be the same.
Dead Ringer is a 125 page full-color graphic novel, created by writer Brian Augustyn and John Derrick West.
The 21st Century is one of the best of all times to be into comics and related media. Film adaptations of classic comic book characters top the box office and tie-in products to those films easily outsell any competition. Additionally, there has never been a better and more encouraging creative atmosphere. And more and more new and established creators are finding it easier than ever before to join the creative parade. Self publishing is experiencing a renaissance thanks to constantly evolving technology. New print on demand digital printing makes producing your own comic book affordable, social media puts marketing and publicity right in your hands and the vast reach of the internet puts you directly in touch with a global audience. Free of more traditional, big-media publishing, the self-publisher can all the same, provide a comparable or even a superior product.
With that freedom, however, there comes a larger responsibility to pick up all the duties big publishers would traditionally take care of. After a graphic novel is written and drawn, the creative process is only begun; the work will require lettering, coloring, production, book design, printing, packaging, shipping, solicitation and delivery. That's why we turn to the exciting new possibilities made possible through the support and generosity of folks like you through Kickstarter. Please help make our dream of creative freedom and self-publishing a solid reality. Check out our list of rewards and follow our progress on Kickstarter and the Dead Ringer Facebook page.
Dead Ringer will be sold in a mass-market edition, through comic specialty shops, retail book stores and online book sellers. It will also be available in several specialized formats to the collectors market and to our Kickstarter donors. Please join us, pick up some very cool gifts, and help us reach our goal of $60,000.00 to fund the Dead Ringer graphic novel.
Thank you for considering our project, and thank you in advance to those of you who'll be stepping up and supporting Dead Ringer. We can't do it without you—and we believe so much in Dead Ringer, that we have to do it!
Brian Augustyn is a 30 year veteran of the comic business, who began his career in his home town of Chicago as an intern with Mike Gold at First Comics. In the later 80s, Brian followed Gold to an editorial job with DC Comics in New York. A ten-year stint there saw him editing many major monthly comics; including The Flash, Justice League, Wonder Woman, The Shadow, and many others. He also began a writing career with memorable books such as Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Justice League: Year One, Flash, Black Condor and Firebrand. Brian has written for every major comic book publisher, including Marvel, Dark Horse, Wildstorm, Chaos, Dreamwave, Event, Acclaim, and, of course, DC.
Derrick West was hand-picked by Brian to develop and create the art for Dead Ringer. A relative newcomer to the business, he has, nonetheless, been drawing and growing for years. A tremendously talented artist, Derrick's drawing skills and storytelling are versatile and dramatic. Dead Ringer is a perfect vehicle for his talent, and the atmosphere, emotion and action of the dark tale are excellently portrayed to set the stage for the mystery and horror that follows.
Risks and challenges
As a former editor, Brian Augustyn is accustomed to publishing deadlines and what is needed to keep a project on schedule. One of the challenges is having artists, colorists and letterers that have to take on higher paying projects to be able work on "passion projects". By securing the funding for this project, the focus of the entire creative team will be on creating the book. There are always bumps in the road, but there is some built in buffer time in this project to allow for those challenges.
Dead Ringer will be produced as a soft cover perfect bound original graphic novel. At 125 pages full color, typical graphic novel has a retail price of $15-$20 before you take into consideration the cost of shipping materials and postage. We wanted to make the book as affordable for everyone to read without having them wait for the 5 chapters to be produced as individual comics. While a hard cover reward is a possibility, we have to hit the initial goal to cover the cost of producing the book before we can think about a hard cover stretch goal.
Sketch/trading card with Derrick West's original art (pen, ink and color) with your choice of Dead Ringer character AND the print edition of the graphic novel, signed by writer and artist. Your name in the Acknowledgement page of the book.
A “background role” in the graphic novel. Your likeness will be used for a background character as part of the story.Special sketch edition of the graphic novel. Tipped-in sketch page, in front of the book, with black and white marker sketch of your character by Derek West. Your name in the Acknowledgement page of the book.
A “speaking role” in the graphic novel. Your name and likeness will be used for a supporting character who will interact and speak as part of the story. You will receive the original art of the page you appear and a print edition of the graphic novel signed by the writer and artist. Your name in the Acknowledgement page of the book.