UPDATE! ACHIEVEMENT GOALS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED!
***UNLOCKED!*** MILESTONE GOAL - If we hit 60 total Backers for our combined physical levels, we'll add a Masque chibi sticker illustrated by David Jaxon!
STRETCH GOAL #1 - If we hit $3500 in funding, we'll add a mini-poster of Masque illustrated by Chris Pongpat!
See details below...
"The future is there...looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become." --- William Gibson, Pattern Recognition
We're back! And so is the dystopian-age vigilante who took Kickstarter by storm!
Welcome to the future. Unknown to the general public, the last of a dying race of aliens has made a diabolical pact with a secret cadre of the world's most powerful politicians and richest entrepreneurs. One man knows the secret. He was given a scientifically enhanced super-body as part of the government's contingency plan for the aliens. He's armed with stolen alien weaponry. And he's beginning to master the aliens' cybermysticism. But his mind is damaged and he's gone rogue on an obsessive quest to stop them.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Masque #1 includes nudity. Yes, nakedness!
"The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." --- Richard K Morgan, Altered Carbon
My name's John Schlim Jr. I'm a writer with a passion for comic books and this convoluted premise has been my obsessive quest for decades. Yes, decades. Elements of this story first took seed in my brain during high school, when I discovered the amazing subgenre of cyberpunk. It evolved many times over the years, further inspired by my love for dystopian fiction and comic books, influenced by my evolving political leanings, frequently revised due to changes in technology and society, but always remaining at heart a story about revolution.
The protagonist of this story is an anti-hero, a man who cares so much about society that he doesn't care what society thinks about him, a transformed man who will use revolution to transform the world. This is the story of his desperate attempt to save humanity from itself.
And now, decades later, I finally get to share this story with the help of artist Elmer Cantada and letterer Robin Jones thanks to the generous support of Backers like YOU.
"Anything that can be done to a rat can be done to a human being. And we can do most anything to rats." --- Bruce Sterling
Cyberpunk. Dystopian. Label it however you like. Masque examines the virtues and vices that have definied humanity throughout history, now amplified in a futuristic celebration of genre fiction and comic books.
The first issue definitely raised more questions than it answered, leaving many readers bewildered. That's because the series is dripping with deception and mystery. Kickstarter Backer Rod Freund said, " WOW! I have no idea what is going on, and I love it! Haha! The worst thing about it is that it doesn't come out every month. You got me hooked on another one of your comics, well done." That sentiment was shared by other readers, who described the book as confusing but compelling. Truthfully the feedback was overwhelmingly positive!
The second issue picks up right where we left off, beginning to tease at some eagerly anticipated answers while uncovering more layers of conspiracy and raising even more questions.
Masque #2 will be a 24-page, full-color comic. We're talking high-quality offset printing just like the Big Two! Here are a few random sample pages...
"When you want to know how things really work, study them when they're coming apart." --- William Gibson, Zero History
ARTIST EV CANTADA is a one-man art team on this project, handling everything from layouts to illustrations to final colors. He's worked for years as a freelance atoryboard artist and illustrator for numerous comic book publishers, including Zenescope Entertainment.
Gallery link: EV Cantada on DeviantArt
LETTERER ROB JONES is a writer and letterer of comic books, working with a group of misfits and miscreants under the guise of Madius Comics. He has lettered for companies such as BHP Comics, Markosia, and many other independent comics. He can often be found shouting into the abyss on Twitter - @RobJonesWrites
Portfolio link: Rob Jones Writes
CREATOR/WRITER JOHN SCHLIM JR is a lifelong storyteller who has worked as a journalist, editor, and advertising copywriter. He's also been published as a columnist, short story author, and comic book scripter. Most of his fiction falls into the genres of fantasy, science fiction, supernatural, or some combination thereof. His published comics work includes Dandelion (Arcana Studios), Fiendish Fables (Brain Scan Studios), Goth Ghost Girl (Ovation Comics), Masque (Ovation Comics), Infinity Agents (Ovation Comics), and a contribution to the critically acclaimed Outlaw Territory (Image Comics). His writing studio, Fablehaus, is hidden somewhere in the legendary Owlwood of New Hampshire.
Studio link: Fablehaus Studio
Masque is published by Ovation Comics, a publisher creating a new age in comics for print, digital, and beyond. Look for the "Standing O" on the cover of the coolest indie comics. And learn more about them at Ovation Comics
"Technology is not neutral. We're inside of what we make, and it's inside of us. We're living in a world of connections -- and it matters which ones get made and unmade." --- Donna Haraway
Hopefully you'll be tempted by these mock-ups of some of our key rewards levels. Please take a moment to read through all of the different Backer levels on the right side of the screen and see what each has to offer. Pledge at whatever level makes the most sense for you, we'll be thrilled with any support you can provide!
Risks and challenges
Creating a budget for a Kickstarter-financed project is a spiraling descent into madness. There are countless "if this then that" scenarios which seem to breed endless costs, denying the underlying desire to make the book as affordable as possible. But the reality of independent creators producing, printing, and distributing comics themselves is an expensive challenge. Then when you factor in the production of cool rewards we want to provide to our awesome supporters, plus Kickstarter's cut and the insatiable appetite of the IRS, the budget becomes a shape-shifting monstrosity.
But we've done this before and we SUCCEEDED because of our enthusiastic Backers. After launching four successful Kickstarter campaigns, I have learned a lot about mitigating potential risks. This comic book has already been completely illustrated, it just needs your help to get into print. I have secured quotes for printing and production of all rewards. It's very important to me that you feel confident you're backing a project that will deliver as promised.
On behalf of the entire creative team, THANK YOU for helping us to express our creativity and to bring some cyberpunk noir to the comcis world!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (34 days)