About this project
Vindicated tells the story of John Russell an elite forces soldier who loses his legs in an IED ambush, returns home to recover from his wounds, and with his new prosthetic legs, he finds himself roaming the streets at night, declaring war on the criminal underworld of Seattle.
"The reason I created a disabled veteran super hero was because, in this world, the real world, the only real super heroes we have, no one really notices. This was my attempt to shine a light on them." —Gerry Kissell
Proceeds from any sales of the book with me given to ACVOW, one of the best charities out there that helps vets and active duty soldiers suffering from PTSD.
What We Ask
In order to make this happen, we are turning to the crowd here at Kickstarter, to help us create the art for this book, so we can create a super hero graphic novel that brings attention to the real heroes who are already among us now; wounded soldiers. You also help us bring attention to one of the most seirous wounds soldiers suffer from; PTSD, or as some call it Combat Stress. Yes, this is an action filled story, but at its core, this is a thoughtful story about the wounded men and women serving on the front lines, defending the rest of us at home.
In order to garner more attention for veteran issues like PTSD, Gerry Kissell came up with the idea of doing a book where the main character is a physically wounded and deeply emotionally scarred combat veteran. Vindicated Inc. is an original gritty, violent and at times humorous and at other times quite tragic graphic novel written by best selling author Shane Moore (Apocalypse of Enoch) and created and drawn by comic artist Gerry Kissell (IDW's Code Word: Geronimo and Iron Sky).
As usual, Gerry likes to surround himself with gifted people. First on the list were his writer friends Ernesto Haibi and Robert Scott McCall, both military vets (Ernesto is also a disabled vet) who helped Gerry develop the story. "I wanted the military perspective in writing this story out. Mac is an amazing writer and editor and Ernesto, a great writer as well, but more importantly, Ernesto really understands the damage done in combat, both physically and psychologically, as he is a disabled combat vet who also suffers from PTSD. This comic had to convey the reality of the process of recovery for soldiers. That was essential to the believability of what happens to our main character."
Thanks to Ernesto's and Roberts work, they had a fully developed story. But, Gerry needed a finished script, and having wanted to work with his friend, best selling author Shane Moore (Apocalypse of Enoch). Gerry approached Shane. "Shane gets the story I am trying to tell. He gets it dramatically, but also he gets the story because like the others and myself, Shane is also a military vet. But, more importantly, Shane is also a former police detective. So, he brings another level of reality to the telling of the story."
Stepping into he reins as senior editor on the project is IDW's senior writer himself, Tom Waltz (Silent Hill, Ghost Busters). Tom and Gerry have had a very long and fruitful relationship, as Tom is the guy how "discovered" Gerry and got him to leave his career as an artist for ad agencies and get back into doing comics.
Also contributing a lot to the writing of the script is actor Kurt Yeager (Sons of Anarchy, Tenderloin, A Dolphin's Tale), who is set to play the character in the film. Gerry recently said of the actor, "Kurt is not just an actor, he is also a gifted writer. He has put a lot of himself into helping flesh out the main character and the story, and I decided early on I wanted him helping not just with the film, but with the book."
Gerry also brings to the art team his artistic pals, Jeff Balke (colorist), David Faught (illustrator), and Bernie Lee (letterer). "I have met no better letterer in the business than Bernie Lee. He's like me, fast and good at what he does." On working withe David, "When I met David, he was one of the best pin-up artists I'd met. But, I saw so much more in him, and decided to build a professional relationship with him. He has a great eye for comic page layouts, which a valuable commodity in this business. In the process David and I also became best of friends. I just really enjoy working with him."
Another important part of the Vindicated team are Kevin Watkins, Gerry's art manager, and Paul Reynolds and the rest of the Hazmat Studios team.
BEST SELLING AUTHOR SHANE MOORE TALKS ABOUT VINDICATED
THE VINDICATED STORY:
Vindicated Inc. is a 100 page graphic novel about an elite forces soldier, John Russell, who was wounded in combat, losing both legs below the knee, who then returns home to mend his wounds (both physical and psychological) having to learn how to walk again with his new prosthetic legs, and through a series of events, finds himself donning body armor and an ballistic mask, and an cadre of lethal weapons, and going to war with organized crime in Seattle. He has both criminals and law enforcement after him. Because of his legs, his identity isn't Vindicated's biggest secret.
REALISM IN VINDICATED:
Our main concern was not to be unrealistic with this story, so, we knew, because we are going to be showing a lot of combat, that Vindicated was going to be very gory as well as extremely violent at times. No pulled punches anywhere in the story. We felt it would be dishonest, and because this story is dedicated to wounded soldiers, we knew that realism in everything was an absolute. I think this is the reason everyone involved in the creation of this story are military veterans. This is also why I involved Dale and Julia Dye, the folks behind the military realism of Saving Private Ryan, The Pacific, Platoon and Band of Brothers, because I knew they would help keep us focused on how to keep Vindicated real and honest, and show how a small team of soldiers could do so damage to the infrastructure of organized crime in Seattle.
THE FUTURE OF VINDICATED:
Already our studio has been working with actor Kurt Yaeger, (photo above) who portrays "Peg" in Sons of Anarchy, in adapting Vindicated into a film. Kurt was born to play the character, because like Vindicated, Kurt has a prosthetic leg, and he never allowed his so called "disability" to ever slow him down form doing what he loves doing; acting, performing extrema sports, and living life to the fullest. Also working with us is Dale Dye, who plans to handle the technical realism of the planned film (and comic) with his company Warriors Inc, he is also interested in directing Vindicated as a film. Also interested in directing, is Iron Sky director Timo Vuorensola. So, there are a lot of expectations for this book, and it hasn't even been fully drawn yet.
HOW VINDICATED HAPPENED:
The idea for Vindicated Inc. was pure inspiration. A culmination of Gerry's passions both as a former Army combat medic, and his admiration and love for wounded warriors. The story of Vindicated Inc. is about an elite forces soldier, John Russell, who was wounded in combat, losing both legs below the knee, returns home to mend his wounds (both physical and psychological) having to learn how to walk again with his new prosthetic legs, and through a series of events, finds himself donning body armor and an ballistic mask, and going to war with organized crime in Seattle. He has both criminals and law enforcement after him.
What Gerry found funny was he wondered less how the main character physically would do what he does on prosthetic legs, as we have all seen what the new age of real bionic men and woman are capable of. No, Gerry was more concerned on how anyone could fight crime like Batman or the Punisher, while actually avoiding being killed or arrested. The way he decided to address this problem was to bring in technical experts in military and law enforcement. Enter first, Dale Dye and Julia Dye, the heads of Warriors, Inc., the company that made combat scenes movies like Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers and The Pacific, so realistic. They took on the role as technical advisers for Vindicated, Inc. Then best selling author Shane Moore, creator of Apocalypse of Enoch, is himself is a former police detective and his expertise was essential in getting the cops and FBI right within our story.
Creator and Lead Artist - Gerry Kissell
Lead Writer - Shane Moore
Writers - Ernesto Haibi, Robert Scott McCall
Technical Consultants - Dale Dye, Julia Dye (Warriors, Inc.)
Layouts and Inker - David Faught
Letterer - Bernie Lee
CONTRIBUTION OVER FLOW:
YOU COULD WIN AN ORIGINAL PRINT FROM FAMED STAR WARS ARTIST DAVE DORMAN! (READ MORE BELOW)
If the contributions exceed and go over the campaign amount of $8000, for every $1000 of over flow we will unlock another perk. Some of those perks include:
1. First $1000 over flow: A signed Vindicated art print by famed Star Wars artist Dave Dorman, for contributors of $300 or higher.
2. Second $1000 over flow: For the $300 contributors and higher, a limited number (20) signed replicas of Vindicated's helmet and mask.
3. Third $1000 over flow: For $300 contributors and higher, a 12" tall 1/6 scale replica figure of Vindicated.
If we begin to go even further over, we will list more unlockable perks.
Risks and challenges
The primary risk and challenge in creating a comic or graphic novel for any artist is time management. Our story is scripted, but the bulk of the work - drawing the pages - lies ahead. Comics are extremely complicated constructions, and Gerry will be doing most of the art himself. Fortunately it won't be his first time. He set a record with penciling the 72 page Code Word: Geronimo for IDW in just three weeks. Though, he was rushed, this time he would like to make sure he has time to draw each panel and make it as realistic as possible.
This will be his 7th graphic novel (Code Word: Geronimo, Iron Sky, Endtime, Bayeux, Alan Wake, A-Team: War Stories), and more than his 100th published credit as artist, with 22 years experience working in commercial illustration. He's learned a thing or two about organization and hard work, and also in how to manage his creative teams. Indeed he's even learned not to rule out problems and has arranged in advance for assistance in coloring and lettering the pages if it's needed.
The production schedule as it stands has been planned with lots of room in it to get things done.The book will be broken up into four, twenty-two page chapters, each completed over a 3 month period. That's a comfortable amount of time to make sure unforeseen events don't threaten delivery dates.
This will allow backers to begin to read the story as soon as the summer of 2013, along with general updates keeping them in the loop as the work progresses. The final book will take a year to put out, but you'll be hearing from us throughout the process.
To make sure we're ready when the book is done, we've already begun working on dummies and packaging design for the backers editions of the books. The trade paperbacks will be produced via print on demand with built in shipping solutions to ease the process of distribution. And the handmade editions will be printed and bound with the help of local experienced artisans to ensure the best possible results.
We're doing everything in our power to deliver a quality book to you in a timely manner and keep you informed and entertained throughout the process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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