About this project
Conceived by the creator of the award-nominated LINEAR CITY series, Paul Di Filippo, THE BLACK MILL universe features a planet-sprawling habitable architecture with steampunk and dieselpunk aspects, where a huge range of adventures can happen. A vast and diverse cast of characters will enact their destinies amidst enigmatic circumstances, revealing every stratum of their world's strange society. Brought to life visually by the unique talents of Orion Zangara, aided by colorist and letterer Derek Chase, this first installment of THE BLACK MILL will provide a self-contained introduction to the environment and its inhabitants.
MISSION STATEMENT FOR “THE BLACK MILL ORIGIN ISSUE” KICKSTARTER
We three creators—Orion Zangara, Derek L. Chase and Paul Di Filippo—are soliciting the sum of $2500.00 to produce a twenty-two-page black-and-white ebook comic with colored cover titled “THE BLACK MILL ORIGIN ISSUE”
Paul Di Filippo has been a professional writer of science fiction, fantasy, and other forms of fiction for over thirty years. His work has been nominated for numerous awards, and his story collection from 2013, WIKIWORLD, placed on the longlist for the prestigious Frank O'Connor Award.
He has been an inveterate comics readers all his life, and has scripted stories for Marvel—a DOC SAMSON miniseries and a story in the anthology MARVEL ROMANCE REDUX; for DC—the miniseries TOP 10: BEYOND THE FARTHEST PRECINCT and a story in the anthology BIZARRO WORLD; and for Fantagraphics—a story in THE COMICS JOURNAL SPECIAL EDITION, NO. 5.
You can find more information at his homepage:
Handling pencils and inks, the superb artist on the team is Orion Zangara, an extraordinary young talent who just happens to be the grandson of a comic book titan, Joe Kubert. He is also the artist on THE STONE MAN MYSTERIES, a graphic novel trilogy written by legendary writers Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple for the Lerner Publishing Group. His website is here:
Rounding out the group on lettering and coloring is the equally gifted and masterful professional graphic designer Derek L. Chase, whose work you can sample here:
Both men are graduates of the famous Kubert School.
If enough people show interest, we intend to produce a graphic novel set in the fictional universe we call “The Black Mill.” But, to test the waters, we would like to introduce readers to the world and our structuring concept with an origin issue.
The unique vision we have nurtured among us features a tasty blend of science fiction and naturalism, steampunk and gothic, humor and pathos.
Imagine Mervyn Peake’s famous GORMENGHAST—an endless castle inhabited by quasi-medieval eccentrics—altered to a more industrial setting, and you have THE BLACK MILL.
The mill/factory of the title is an immense structure of stone and brick, wood and glass, iron and plaster. Its construction of indeterminate origin, this city-as-factory/factory-as-city sprawls for an indeterminate length across a distant, human-colonized planet.
The technology that powers the Mill is pre-steam water power. A subterranean river as big as the Amazon runs through the lowest level of the Mill. Vast waterwheels power a network of shafts and belts, delivering power to the machinery of the Mill. Lighting is strictly oil lamps; heat comes from coal stoves. (And as expected, fire is an ever-present danger. Portions of the Mill are blackened ruins.)
Raw materials flow into the Mill from the outside world. But no average worker in the Mill knows these sources.
Even the end product of the Mill is a mystery to the lower-class inhabitants. Various sub-units are made and sent off to other divisions of the Mill. But how they ultimately come together is a mystery.
The inhabitants of the Mill are divided into two classes: Workers and Bosses. Above these two groups sits the legendary and omnipotent, but never-glimpsed, Owner.
This origin issue will detail the arrival of the humans, the long gradual construction of The Black Mill, some historical vignettes about its inhabitants, and culminate in the present-day era of our graphic novel’s narrative.
1st STRETCH GOAL: If donations total $4500.00, we will use colored interior art.
2nd STRETCH GOAL: If donations total $5500.00, we will add five additional pages of colored art.
3rd STRETCH GOAL: If donations total $8000.00, we will produce a physical comic book of 27 pages, with a colored cover and black-an-white art, and we will send it to the first 200 contributors.
Risks and challenges
The creative team's challenge is to acquire time to work on this project. That challenge requires financial backing
If you can contribute, the three of use will be forever grateful.
We hereby extend a heartfelt thank-you to all who contribute to our BLACK MILL campaign. You guys are the best.
Now let's get this Kickstarter funded! :)
The Black Mill family
P.S.: If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please e-mail the Black Mill family at firstname.lastname@example.org
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