What's Killtopia About?
Killtopia is a cyberpunk comic series set in a mega-city in future Japan. The city's Sector K district is infested with killer mechs. Heavily-armed soldiers of fortune called Wreckers are paid to hunt them for money, fame and glory.
Our story starts as a rookie Wrecker called Shinji encounters the world's first sentient mech called Crash. They are then both hunted like fugitives across the neon-soaked metropolis by Wreckers, android killers and Yakuza gangs in a violent battle royale to end them all!
The series has been created from a love of Japanese culture, dystopian fiction and the work of Japan's finest videogame developers - all qualified and culture-checked by family members and friends living in Japan.
Will you like Killtopia?
If you like any of these things then hell yeah, you're going to love it:
- Stories that feature robots, kicksss action, badass bounty hunters, mindblowing future tech, Japanese culture and vivid dystopian futures
- Old school manga films like Akira, Ghost in the Shell, The Guyver
- Movies like Blade Runner, Battle Royale, Pacific Rim, Edge of Tomorrow, The Running Man.
- Videogames like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Borderlands, Bayonetta, No More Heroes, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
Cool, you're still here! Here's the longer Killtopia #1 story synopsis:
Killtopia #1 takes place in a futuristic Japanese metropolis, ten years after a cataclysm destroyed the city's Sector K district. Known today as 'Killtopia' the district has become overgrown with alien plantlife and is terraformed by a race of violent robots referred to by humans as 'Mechs.'
Corporations, the military and gangsters pay bounty hunters called Wreckers to go into Killtopia, destroy Mechs and bring back their precious advanced tech in exchange for money and fame. Our hero is a rookie Wrecker called Shinji, who hunts Mechs to pay for his dying sister's medical care. She has a terrible nano-virus known as The Rot.
One day Shinji stumbles across the world's first thinking, sentient Mech called Crash that has the power to decode and rewrite Mechs. It doesn't take long for word to get out about Crash's existence. When it does, Shinji and Crash must outrun every low-life, Wrecker and Yakuza mob in the neon-scorched city to avoid the bounty on their heads.
Their plan is simple: Use Crash's code to cure the world of The Rot before it takes on a more deadly form - all while escaping death at the hands of crazed android killers, mecha-Kaijus, virtual reality demons and augmented samurai.
Praise for Killtopia #1
We've sent early access versions of Killtopia _1.0 to comic creators across the world, as a way of gauging initial feedback and getting their endorsements. Here's what just some of the creators we sent it to said:
“Killtopia looks to be the next Big Thing! A killer story by Dave Cook quickly sets up a brilliantly twisted Battle Royale style tournament concept and the art and colour by Craig Paton really brings vivid life to this dystopian world! Imagine Takeshi Kitano directing The Hunger Games and you have Killtopia.” - Gary Erskine (Artist, Marvel, DC, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, IDW, Image and 2000AD)
“It reads like Spider Jerusalem wiping his arse with a copy of the hunger games whilst pleasuring himself to a complete 2000AD back catalogue, it's funny, brutal, sweary and bloody (Bloody) good stuff.” - (Big Comic Page)
"Dave Cook & Craig Paton are building something truly special on an epic scale with Killtopia. You do not want to miss this!" - Joey Oliveira (Afterlight Comics / Ghost Island)
“I've been excited about Killtopia since its inception, and the world of the comic looks grimy, colourful, twisted and brutal - everything that cyberpunk should be! Dave's work has never failed to impress me, and I can't wait to see how the series turns out." - Andrew Marshall (Starburst Magazine)
“Card Shark Comics knocks it out the park yet again with this phenomenal new series.” - James McCulloch (City of Lost Souls / Transylvanian Knights)
"It's rare to hear about a book that leaves you salivating waiting for its release. Killtopia is that book for me; I absolutely cannot wait to read it. This is a Kickstarter I'll back without hesitation, and I'd strongly recommend others do the same; it's gonna be balls out (literally...) and without doubt one of THE indie books of 2018." - Garry Mac (Tomorrow)
Hey! We’re funded! Help us wreck our stretch goals!
(What are stretch goals anyway?)
Good question young Otaku! So let's say we made our first £4000: we could then say that if we hit £5000 that everyone gets a free Killtopia toothbrush. (Note: unfortunately there will be no Killtopia toothbrushes, but how sweet would that be?)
It's our way of giving you bonus rewards at no extra costs, and I'm happy to announce that we've already hit our first stretch goal BEFORE we've even had a chance to announce them!
Stretch Goal #1 @ £5000 - Killtopia Soundtrack
Our friend Suz Gibson is a badass composer, and she kindly made the soundtrack to our Killtopia pitch video. As a thank you for getting us to £5000, Suz will be composing a full original score to accompany Killtopia #1.
We'll be uploading it to Bandcamp or somewhere similar when it's ready, and giving you all a link once it's ready - free of charge. Here’s a sample from Suz and a taster of what’s to come.
Stay tuned to our updates on the full soundtrack soon: If you’d like to Support Suz and check out her work, give her artist page a look.
Stretch Goal #2 @ £7000 - Gary Erskine Print
If our overall total passes the £7000 mark, all backers who pledge £8 and above will get a free physical A4 Killtopia print by none other than renowned artist Gary Erskine.
Gary is a famous artist from Scotland, who has worked for Marvel, DC, Vertigo, Dark Horse Comics, IDW, Image and 2000AD. He's the creator of Roller Grrls and has worked on many high profile series over his impressive career.
We can't share the design just yet but here's a sample of Gary's work from his portfolio site (which you should all check out as it's awesome!)
Stretch Goal #3 @ £7500 - Art cards
You might have seen during our build up to the Kickstarter that Craig and I posted a series of retro videogame covers based on Killtopia.
Well, if our Kickstarter total passed £7500 every £8+ backer will get a pack of retro game cover postcards - absolutely free. It’ll include mock Sega CD, Sega Mega Drive and Famicom covers (to name a few)
Stretch Goal #4 @ £8500 - Tom Foster Print
That's right, the legendary Tom Foster of 2000AD fame has kindly put forward his skills to create a bonus Killtopia art print for all backers at £8 and higher.
Tom is a Scottish artist working on 2000AD and is perhaps best known for his work on Judge Dredd and Storm Warning. Here's a great behind the scenes video from 2000AD that focuses on Tom's superb work:
Stretch Goal #5 @ £12,000 - Darick Robertson Print
This is the big one: our £12,000 stretch goal! Transmetropolitan artist Darick Robertson has agreed to design an exclusive A4 Killtopia print for all £12+ backers.
Anyone who has supported Killtopia from the start will know that Transmetropolitan was THE series that got me interested in comics. Without Darick’s art and an anarchistic story from Warren Ellis, there would be no Killtopia. It’s that simple!
We asked the man himself if he’d like to get involved and he said yes - which is utterly mind-blowing! It’s the cherry on top of what has been an emotional, incredibly and potentially career-altering campaign for us.
Bonus Goal - Caspar Wijngaard Print
Because you’ve all been so awesome, we decided to give the lovely Caspar Wijngaard (Limbo/Angelic/Dark Souls) a shout, and he’s going to make a brand new Killtopia art print for all our £12 and above backers. Seriously, there’s no stretch goal, it’s just yours.
If you haven’t come across his insanely brilliant, vibrant and often neon drenched work, here’s a quick run-down.
I personally came across Caspar’s art after picking up the Image series Limbo, which follows a detective uncovering a mystery in a strange Mardi Gras world filled with lucha libre gangsters, mixtape loving gods and more deep south madness.
It’s one of the most inventive, visually compelling books I’ve read in years and I urge everyone to check it out. We actually used Caspar’s work on Limbo as a reference point for Killtopia, which is also weird, brazen and dripping with neon.
Dave Cook (creator/writer): Hailing from Scotland, Dave spent the best part of a decade as an award-winning games journalist before setting up his comics label Card Shark Comics.
He has created and written three comic series so far - the award-nominated Dark Souls-inspired fantasy saga Vessels, The post-apocalyptic road trip series Bust and rapture-themed civil war short series Feather. His love for Japanese action videogames was the seed that gave birth to Killtopia.
Craig Paton (artist): Also from Scotland, Craig is a relative newcomer to comics. Aside from Killtopia Craig created the cover artwork for the Card Shark Comics series Bust.
Outside of comics, Craig has been a professional illustrator for a decade. As well as working on video games and movies, he is recognised for his work for commercial clients, like Edinburgh Gin, Holland & Sherry and BBC Scotland.
Robin Jones (letterer):
Killtopia is our 6th Kickstarter campaign, and in our experience it's best to keep rewards simple and to the point. Here's a breakdown of what you'll get with each reward tier.
The comic: A lavish, 44 page beast, complete with foreword and your name in the backer list on the inside back page. It'll be full colour, glossy and expertly bound. We never cut corners, so expect this to look and feel like comics from the big publishers!
The USB Stick: This 1GB USB 2.0 stick has the Killtopia logo on the front and back, and contains your first glimpse of Killtopia _2.0, including script teasers, character concepts and more. You can also check out early drafts of Killtopia #1's iconic scenes, early character designs, and a few articles by Dave about how the series was made.
The shirt: You can get your hands on this Killtopia logo shirt by backing at certain tiers, and it'll be 100% cotton, expertly printed (none of this iron on crap!) and in the size of your choice.
A note about R-Cade!
You might have noticed in our pitch video that Dave and Craig were playing videogames in an arcade. We just want to give a shout out to the venue, which is called R-Cade (here's their website). It's a brand new retro gaming spot and noodle bar in Glasgow, and its founders Androo and Mish kindly let us film our pitch clip there.
If you're ever on the West coast of Scotland, be sure to give them a shout and tell 'em Killtopia sent you :D
Risks and challenges
There are always risks with Kickstarters, but so far Dave and Card Shark Comics have successfully funded and delivered five campaigns - with the help of our incredible fans, family and new readers.
As such, we've developed a slick formula for delivering simple, high-quality rewards and keeping our backers informed constantly throughout the creation process. You'll get plenty of updates to see how the comic is progressing, and stretch goals to sweeten the deal.
If you have any questions at all, we always invite backers to email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org - we always reply, and are happy to chat, so don't be shy :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)