New sponsor reward from Magnetic Press! Plus spotlight on Templesmith, Velasco, and Oliveira!
A little over a week to go, and we're slowly crawling through the pack towards a placing position! We're getting some nice shoutouts lately, including a featured spotlight by NoiseTrade Books, who featured HUGO BROYLER in their newsletter and front page today! And its a trending Top Download! If you haven't gone there to get your FREE copy, go check it out now! Remember, this is just the original, black-and-white, pre-re-mastered/re-lettered story portion, without the 24 extra pages of epilogue and world-building supplement filled with the amazing guest art that we're collecting for this Kickstarter. But if you're chomping at the bit to see where it all started, go there now!
But as nice as that is, there's another exciting development we're absolutely thrilled to share... and one we hope you find SUPER-ENTICING AND PRICELESS:
MAGNETIC PRESS HAS DONATED 50% OFF WEBSTORE DISCOUNT CODES FOR ALL PHYSICAL REWARD BACKERS!
If you aren't familiar with Magnetic Press, they are a new publishing company specializing in hardcover graphic novels and artbooks from around the world, by amazing artists such as Bengal, Matteo De Longis, Tony Sandoval, and many, many more. They published our first Kickstarter project, Caio Oliveira's SUPER-EGO, and now they have graciously donated individual discount codes good for 50% off an order of any size for all backers who pledge at the $21 level or above! Depending on how much you ordered with that code, it could be worth hundreds of dollars!
For example, if you ordered each of their 14 first-year books, normally a $315 value, you'd get $157 off at checkout. And you'd get one of those incredible codes for as little as a $21 pledge! THAT IS AN AMAZING DEAL!
But you have to pledge to get a code, and it only counts if we reach our goal, so PLEASE KEEP SHARING AND SPREADING THE WORD! We still have a ways to go in the next 8 days, but we can definitely get there with your help!
We're super-excited to add more great talent to the project -- both FEDERICO DALLOCCHIO (Suicide Squad, Batman, Modern Warfare: Ghost) and MICHAEL O'HARE (Birds of Prey, He-man and the Masters of the Universe) have both agreed to join the party with fantastic pieces of artwork! We'll spotlight them shortly, but first let's take a look at superstar guests BEN TEMPLESMITH, FRANCISCO RUIZ VELASCO, and CAIO OLIVEIRA!
BEN TEMPLESMITH (guest):
Ben Templesmith is without a doubt the gentlemanliest gentleman in the American comic industry, best known for co-creating the vampire classic 30 DAYS OF NIGHT with Steve Niles, and the series FELL with Warren Ellis.
Born in Perth, Australia, his first professional comic work was for Todd McFarlane’s HELLSPAWN, followed by various licensed properties including STAR WARS TALES, ARMY OF DARKNESS, SILENT HILL, DEAD SPACE, DOCTOR WHO, and GI JOE. After the success of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (including the feature film adaptation produced by Sam Raimi), he went on to create numerous original works, including the New York Times best-selling WORMWOOD: GENTLEMAN CORPSE, CRIMINAL MACABRE again with writer Steve Niles, CHOKER with writer Ben McCool, and most recently the original graphic novel SQUIDDER, published by 44 Flood, an art house he co-founded with fellow artist Menton3, Kaskra Ganbari, and Nick Idell.
His work has been recognized with numerous awards and nominations, including the International Horror Guild Award, the Spike TV Scream Awards, the Eagle Awards, and several consecutive years of Eisner nominations.
FRANCISCO RUIZ VELASCO (guest):
Francisco Ruiz Velasco is a Mexican comic book artist and painter who has worked in the comic book, video game, and feature film industries since the mid-1990s. His first major published work was the original 9-issue series BATTLE GODS, which he wrote and illustrated, published by Dark Horse comics, followed by numerous stretches filling in other popular titles, such as Marvel’s THUNDERBOLTS, THE INHUMANS, and Dark Horse’s spectral vigilante GHOST.
In 2002, he co-created LONE WOLF 2100 with writer Mike Kennedy for Dark Horse, a futuristic re-imagining of the classic samurai series by Kazuo Koike, developed in cooperation and approval of Koike himself. This led to a career designing and directing animated shorts for CG animation studio Blur, including co-creating and co-directing the original animated short A GENTLEMAN’S DUEL, which was shortlisted for an Oscar Award.
This short film work immediately led to feature film work with director Guillermo Del Toro, first on his initial development of THE HOBBOT for Peter Jackson, but then as a key concept designer for HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY and PACIFIC RIM.
He has since provided covers and short pieces to various recent comic series, including HAWKEN: GENESIS and HAWKEN: MELEE, and is currently working on PACIFIC RIM 2 (working title), while also slowly developing several new comic works, including BATTLE GODS 2.
CAIO OLIVEIRA (guest):
Caio Oliveira is a Brazilian writer and cartoonist who is constantly drawing. Non-stop, it seems. Usually for his own enjoyment, doodling silly but timely cartoons for his blog and Facebook fans, poking fun at the various pop culture icons he loves so much: Marvel, Pulp Fiction, Alan Moore, you name it. The sharpness of his wit is rivaled only by the sharpness of his line work.
Growing up with a pencil in his hand and a passion for comics encouraged by his father, he quickly embraced American comic icons. Although having chased after a career in comics for over a decade, it was his original title SUPER-EGO that finally put him on stateside bookshelves.
Since then, he has illustrated several independent comic projects, including NO MORE HEROES and EXIT GENERATION, but the majority of his regular work can be seen online through his various short projects on SEQUENTIALINK.COM, including the satirical MARVEL PULP FICTION, ALAN MOORE: SORCERER SUPREME, MAGO THE LEGENDARY, PLANET BURNER, and RUIN OF THE INNOCENT. He is also continuing to illustrate both VIVID and PROPHET HILL with writer Mike Kennedy, also serialized on Sequentialink.com.
Ittogami Sports Levitation
Smaller, lighter, faster, and unquestionably more sporty, the Japanese response to SVL technology was immediate and consumer-focused. No other country incorporated SVL faster and to such a large per-mile ratio as Japan, who replaced nearly 70 percent of their paved roadways nationwide with inductive smart tarmac within the first two years of availability. Seen as a complement to their well-established bullet-train system, controlled track highways took the responsibility of having to pilot a vehicle away from nearly every independent driver in the country. Having a car was tantamount to having a personalized seat on a network of automated trolleys that ran 24 hours a day. Few side roads remained open to car traffic, with most either converted to controlled SVL or closed off and remodeled for foot traffic. In just over a decade, actual hands-on driving in Japan became little more than an expensive hobby.
But the hobbyists in Japan were a diehard group willing to adapt to the rules and spend vast amounts of money to hang onto what they loved about autosports: the thrill, the speed, the danger, and the romance of taking one’s Fate into their own hands. Ironically, however, they were the ones who introduced the notion of hands-free piloting to the world.
One of the largest sports groups, Ittogami Sport Motor, had a vision years earlier of a future where vehicles were piloted by thought. They invested millions on tangential development studies in military aviation, where pilots could activate split-second commands in multi-mach-speed jet aircraft with little more than a thought. Triggered by EKG sensors in their helmet, certain simple on/off commands could be activated to a nearly reliable degree through conditioned thought patterns. A pilot could think “lower gear”, and 8 out of 10 times, the gear would lower. It wasn’t as reliable as vocal command technology, but it was 100 times faster when it worked.
But that questionable reliability is what kept it from catching on. Meanwhile, in other fields, cranial implant technology began to grow more routine, with small chips surgically connected to carefully measured locations in an individual’s brain to regulate, measure, or record neural patterns. Originally developed to battle conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and Ahlzheimer’s, the technology underneath the medical application was fairly open-source and easily applied to a variety of new devices. Soon, optical recorders, memory stimulants, and sensory simulators were proven – if prohibitively dangerous and expensive – consumer products. And soon Ittogami Sport Motor had the solution they were looking for.
Requiring extensive, personalized evaluation, calibration, and micron-specific implantation measured specifically to each recipient’s brain, Ittogami’s patented “Piloting Governor” gave SVL racing the edge necessary to become the breathtaking, split-second sporting experience it is today. Allowing pilots to override tarmac-governed safety measurements put the decision-making and reflex necessary for a competitive sport back in the hands – and the heads – of the drivers.
Simply developing the system wasn’t enough for Ittogami, however, so they developed their own racing team under the banner ITTOGAMI SPORTS LEVITATION. Their drivers took the cup the first four years Governing technology was introduced, which naturally led to widespread suspicion of “hacking a victory,” but no proof was ever determined that such unfair measures were practiced. They simply knew how to pilot-by-thought better than the other teams still getting used to the new tool. That lead was lost once Governing systems became commonplace worldwide, and made available from a variety of manufacturers leveraging a universally approved protocol. Today, the field has leveled to the skill and judgment of the pilot and the aerodynamic maneuverability of the vehicle.