The year is 1995, and everything's gone wrong - especially for Dan, pissy misanthrope and recovering VR junkie, who's got a vicious worm in his headware and a dead-end delivery job on the wrong side of the old Iron Curtain.
Set in the crushingly bureaucratic and shamelessly dysfunctional Republic of Stradania, Drugs & Wires is one part slice-of-life, one part genre piss-take, several parts '90s nostalgia, and flat-out gratuitous amounts of magenta.
We call it "cyberpunk", but there's no sleek razorgirls or trenchcoat-clad hackermen with kung fu skills here - just one depressed addict and a merry cast of cybergopniks, babushkas, VR scenesters, robodogs, and vulture capitalists, plus one lovably unscrupulous street doc with a medical degree from the University of MS Paint.
Drugs & Wires has been running since 2015 at drugsandwires.fail, and is currently on its fifth chapter. We also publish with - well, let's say varying degrees of frequency - on LINE Webtoon, Tapastic, and in Russian via acomics.ru. Since 2016, Dan's weekly struggles have been generously supported by a bevvy of Patreon donors.
Over three years, we've fleshed out the D&W universe with self-funded dead-tree releases, including single-issue print editions of the first three chapters and two prequel series, Dreamspace and Blue Pill Arcade.
For our first Kickstarter, we set our sights on something we've wanted to do for a while, but haven't had the resources to pursue: a proper collected edition of the D&W saga (to date).
Drugs & Wires: Down in a Hole contains the first four chapters of our webcomic, retouched and relettered. For you, esteemed reader, that means over 100 pages of spills, chills, glitches, and most importantly, deep-seated existential crises.
The full-cover perfect-bound book measures 6.625" x 10.25" and features glossy, full-color pages throughout.
And if all that isn't enough to get your engines revved, we’ve got a clutch of cool extras for you. Consider:
Everything went… right? Previously Patreon-exclusive, shamelessly shoujo-esque, this prequel comic sheds additional light on Dan’s surprisingly uncrappy pre-worm life.
The premier information source for Unylsk’s most discerning mindtrippers (now under new management). A complete version of the zine featured in D&W with new material and extra Satanic bloviating, lovingly hand-crafted for your reading pleasure.
Navigate the dubious food, depressing vistas and treacherous bureaucracies of Dan's home country with this authentic digital travel guide, created specifically for this Kickstarter campaign!
Confound your friends and family by sending them cheery greetings from the country Inspired Traveler magazine calls "possibly the worst time anybody could have in the former Soviet Union, including a one-way ticket to Chernobyl." (Stamps not included.)
UPD: For our very final stretch goal, we're adding an extra postcard of Lin into the set!
It's a one-two punch of guest art with these A4 art prints from Wasted Homeland's Galoo and Will Kirkby!
Be the life of any party by rocking this authentic symbol of Stradania's hardcore mindtripper underground.
Bring a bit of Dreamspace magic into your mundane existence with these stickers, ideally sized for use on laptops, phones, Zip disks, Virtual Boys...
Proudly proclaim your augmented status with this gloriously golden Dan-tastic tee. Unlike our other shirts, this design will only be available to Kickstarter backers and at selected events after the conclusion of the campaign.
What secrets lurk on this shiny and thoroughly obsolete storage medium? Only one way to find out!
Signed Books - All physical copies of Down in a Hole at Trash Tourist level or higher will be signed by Mary on request.
Original Sketch - At the Master Operator and Ultimate Upload level, Mary will personalize your copy of Down in a Hole with a pen portrait of your favorite D&W character - even if that happens to be Vitaly.
D&W Name Drop - Get yourself out there as a piece of street graffiti, an advertisement in Fear_and_Loading, or as a business in Unylsk in a future installment of D&W! We’ll reach out after the campaign is complete to work with you on the design and placement.
D&W Guest Appearance - Take your fandom to the ultimate level by showing up as a trash tourist, Digital Serenity operator, mindtripper, political candidate, or Synacon employee in a future comic. Note that we'll need a head shot or other reference photo to work with, as well as a confirmation which group you'd prefer to appear with. We'll reach out to you directly once the campaign wraps to confirm the details.
Mary “Cryoclaire” Safro - Artist, Writer
Mary created the world of Drugs & Wires as a form of stress relief after landing her first job as a 3D games artist back in 2012. Over the years D&W has grown from Tumblr strips and sketches to a fully fledged webcomic, thanks to Io taking on much of the writing. Since abandoning the polygon mines in 2017, Mary's been doing freelance illustration, boardgame art and all the comics!
Io Black - Writer
Corporate communications professional by day, webcomic writer by night. Io has been developing Drugs & Wires with Mary since 2014, a job that involves collecting pictures of obscure floppy formats and regularly Googling things like "world's largest garbage dump" and "illegal diet pill ingredients".
Gabriella "Galoo" Antali - Guest Artist
Galoo is a Colorado-based Hungarian animator who loves cartoons, comics and illustration.For the past few years, Galoo and her husband Cam have been collaborating on a range of Fallout-based works, including the comic Wasted Homeland. For more details, check out her Patreon!
Will Kirkby - Guest Artist
Raised and living in Sheffield, Will has been active as an illustrator and comics artist for over a decade. His works include appearances in Image Comics' Island, as well as the series "The Sea" and "Tuk Tuk".
Trevor Reveur - Trailer Music
In addition to being a crack sound designer and composer, Trevor is one half of the development team behind hallucinatory cyberpunk point-and-click adventure Void & Meddler, currently available on Steam. Check out his Bandcamp for more!
Risks and challenges
DOWN IN A HOLE is our seventh print project after DREAMSPACE: ANALOGUE EDITION, DAILY STRUGGLES OF A CYBERJUNKIE, BLUE PILL ARCADE #1, and the standalone DRUGS & WIRES Issues 1-3. At this time, the comic is effectively formatted and ready to go to print; the various physical extras for our higher-level reward tiers are also completed and awaiting production.
Frankly speaking, the main challenge here is ones of scale: DOWN IN A HOLE is the biggest print project we’ve tackled to date, and the first time we’ve taken on the additional logistical challenges of large-scale shipments. We're also experimenting with a couple of new types of merchandise this time around, which carries some slight risks as far as product quality is concerned. That said, we've done our homework to the best of our ability, and are confident we'll be able to deliver some great rewards!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)