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Manna, ancient evil and stupid, sexy vampires. It's all in a day's work for Jack Fortune and Co. in Volume 3 of Afterlife Inc.

The afterlife is under new management…

When corporate con-artist Jack Fortune’s life comes to an abrupt and brutal end, he discovers a business opportunity on a previously unimaginable scale. A mysterious Calamity has struck the afterlife, wiping the ruling body from existence and plunging the Empyrean – the great golden city of the dead – into chaos. The time is ripe for modernisation.

With the vision, the business-smarts and a ragtag collection of angels and allies behind him, Jack reinvents the afterlife as a modern day corporate entity, dragging the Great Beyond firmly into the 21st Century. Establishing a new business is always challenging, but now Jack must balance the demands of a free market with rampaging archangels, a misplaced God and the dark secrets at the heart of their world.

“Afterlife Inc. A Company You Can Believe In.”

Jack Fortune (in front) with the Afterlife Inc. Board of Directors
Jack Fortune (in front) with the Afterlife Inc. Board of Directors

Background

Hi everyone, my name is Jon Lock, writer and creator of Afterlife Inc. By day, I work as a school Biology Technician, but in the evenings I can be found at the writing desk, engaging my true love of comics. In addition to Afterlife Inc. I have also written for the Harvey Award-nominated Uniques Tales, and some of my work will be appearing in the forthcoming Disconnected anthology. The entire Afterlife Inc. back catalogue – plus character profiles and some my other stories – can be read for free on my website. I hope you enjoy.

Since launching online two years ago, a new Afterlife Inc. story has been released every month without fail. The first trade paperback – DYING TO TELL – saw print earlier this year. Collecting eight inter-connected stories from the world of Afterlife Inc. DYING TO TELL featured artificial intelligences, deceased serial killers, invasions from beyond time and space, and surprise cameos from both Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle. 

Cover of Afterlife Inc. Volume 1: Dying To Tell. Art by Ash Jackson
Cover of Afterlife Inc. Volume 1: Dying To Tell. Art by Ash Jackson
Jack and Sherlock Holmes. Art by Del Borovic
Jack and Sherlock Holmes. Art by Del Borovic

In Volume 2 – NEAR LIFE AND OTHER STORIES (due out mid-November) – Jack’s tribulations continue thanks to Henry VIII, Laika the Rocket Dog, sinister Councils and a military incursion from the US Army. A forthcoming crossover event (currently in production) sees Afterlife Inc. collide with the world of Nich Angell’s awesome 7STRING, in a tale of life, death, music and silence.

Cover of Afterlife Inc. Volume 2: Near Life And Other Stories. Art by Ash Jackson
Cover of Afterlife Inc. Volume 2: Near Life And Other Stories. Art by Ash Jackson
A sample from Near Life. Art by Ash Jackson
A sample from Near Life. Art by Ash Jackson
Promo image from forthcoming Afterlife Inc./7STRING crossover. Art by Nich Angell
Promo image from forthcoming Afterlife Inc./7STRING crossover. Art by Nich Angell

The Project

I’m here to ask for your help in bringing Volume 3 of Afterlife Inc. – LIFEBLOOD – to life. While Afterlife Inc. has been self-funded up until now, the biggest limit on productivity has been my budget. As Afterlife Inc. grows in scale, the time has come to tell the larger, more ambitious stories I’ve had planned since day one.

In LIFEBLOOD, Jack and Co. must contend with the rise of a fanatical and extremist movement called the Undead. Guided by an ancient text that harks back to the afterlife’s mysterious past, the Undead seek to awaken the Harvest – an entity whose existence spells doom for the entire Empyrean. Worse still, the Undead have chosen to model themselves on the vampires from a popular series of teenage romance novels – something that Jack, having died prior to the success of a certain franchise, remains in a perpetual state of confusion over.

Afterlife Inc. by Jack Tempest
Afterlife Inc. by Jack Tempest

LIFEBLOOD is an original 96-page Afterlife Inc. series featuring faces both familiar and new, intrigue, action, citywide devastation and (of course) stupid, sexy vampires. The trade paperback of LIFEBLOOD will go to print in June 2013, pre-orders for which are available as rewards.

If LIFEBLOOD reaches its target, Kickstarter profits will fund 96 pages of full colour artwork from Ash Jackson and Nadine Ashworth, with masterful lettering from Michael Stock, plus the first print run of 150 copies. I’ve had the honour of working with these folks for some time now, and their art continues to blow me away. Ash was the first artist to ever draw Afterlife Inc. and has been instrumental in defining the look and feel of the world. In LIFEBLOOD, his pencils will be paired with Nadine’s inks and colours. The two have collaborated before on the DEAD DAYS series from earlier this year, an example of which can be seen below. I can’t wait to see what these two can come up with again.

Ash's pencils, Nadine's ink/colours and Stocky's letters from DEAD DAYS
Ash's pencils, Nadine's ink/colours and Stocky's letters from DEAD DAYS

Rewards

Afterlife Inc. has been a labour of love for a long time, but to take it to the next level I really need your help. Please check out more of Afterlife Inc. at my website. If you would like to help make LIFEBLOOD a reality, Ash, Nadine and I have prepared some great rewards, which we hope will interest you. Ranging from badges, t-shirts and exclusives prints… to custom artwork or the opportunity to cameo in the book… any support would mean the world to us. In addition to LIFEBLOOD, I will also be taking pre-orders of THE BOOK OF LIFE, a deluxe, hardback collected edition of Volumes 1, 2 and 3 featuring a host of never-before-seen special features.

The Empyrean, the seven-tiered afterlife of Afterlife Inc. Art by Ash Jackson
The Empyrean, the seven-tiered afterlife of Afterlife Inc. Art by Ash Jackson

Afterthoughts on Afterlife Inc.

“I guarantee that even if this is the first place you’ve heard Jon Lock’s name it won’t be the last.”
PM Buchan, Starburst Magazine

“An ingenious and compelling creative from the mind of an up and coming stellar talent. Don’t miss it!”
Bryan Talbot

“It is very rare that you find a graphic novel or indeed piece of literature that has something new to say, but I believe that Afterlife Inc. is it… Essentially, this is what comic books are all about.”
Anastasia Catris, Chaos Hour

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

With two books already behind us – and another one in the works – the challenges associated with producing a story such as this (deadlines, creative coordination, printing etc) are all ones that we have dealt with before. At this point in Afterlife Inc.’s development, the team is now a well-oiled machine. Ash, Nadine and Stocky have always been utterly professional in their work, and I trust them absolutely to produce the most exciting Afterlife Inc. story yet. In Stu Gould of UK Comics, we’ve found a printer who has excelled time and time again in bringing Afterlife Inc. successfully to print.

Basically, we’re all raring to go. We just need your help to set us on our way. LIFEBLOOD promises to be a lot of work on everyone’s part, but I can’t wait to get started. Afterlife Inc. is an absolutely joy to work on. I hope it gives you just as much entertainment to read.

If you have any questions or would like to hear more, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Cheers gang!

Jon

FAQ

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    Take on the role of a significant character in Volume 3: an undercover agent sent to infiltrate the ranks of the Undead. Full plot details will be sent in confidence to the successful backer. The role is set... all we need is a name and face, as supplied by YOU! Warning: in adopting this role, you must be okay with your character being A) deceased, B) a vampire, and C) unlikely to survive this story... SPOILERS! Also included: a pre-order of the Book of Life, a thank you in the book, the badges, the print, a t-shirt and an exclusive Kickstarter-only Afterlife Inc. comic.

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