£3,134
pledged of £1,200pledged of £1,200 goal
197
backers
12days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, August 31 2018 7:49 AM UTC +00:00.

Russell Mark OlsonBy Russell Mark Olson
First created
Russell Mark OlsonBy Russell Mark Olson
First created
£3,134
pledged of £1,200pledged of £1,200 goal
197
backers
12days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, August 31 2018 7:49 AM UTC +00:00.

About

"A good man is dead, things are coming out of the sky, and I've got purple blood under my fingernails." -- Floyd "Lundy" Lundqvist

The Story

1925. Saint Louis.

Set against the backdrop of Prohibition America, private investigator, "Lundy" Lundqvist, is on the trail of Johnny Russo, mob boss, rum runner, and cold-blooded killer. Whilst hunting for evidence connecting Russo to a double-homicide, Lundy witnesses rival gangs breaking bread to welcome foreign visitors into their patch. Although these new players have little interest in booze and rivalries, their motives are anything but friendly. More alien than an avocado at a lemonade stand, these shadowy intruders threaten to turn the Rome of the West into a circus...with Lundy taking centre stage.

A mash-up of noir and sci-fi, Gateway City is a tailspin adventure with cinematic nods to the 40's, 50's and 60's. 

Gateway City Vol. 1 collects the first four issues of the title with extra scenes, edits by John Freeman, a foreword by comic legend, Roy Thomas and is over 100 pages of sci-fi noir goodness!

What People Have Said

"...Gateway City is one of those books that soars above the small press landscape and feels like something really special." -- Pipedream Comics

"Gateway City by Russell Mark Olson is a great series that matches classic Franco-Belgian inspired cartooning with a story that mashes together 1920s bootleggers and inter-dimensional space aliens!" -- Nick Prolix, Slang Pictorial

"A cast of colourful characters and a story that effortlessly blends crime and science fiction to create something truly unique. Gateway City is pulp adventure storytelling at its finest. I love it!" -- Vince Hunt, The Red Mask From Mars & The Awesome Comics Podcast 

Inspiration

Got a second, then here's where Gateway City came from:
Gateway City came about from my love of film noir, campy 50's and 60's sci-fi, Chester Gould's Dick Tracy, and the work of the EC bullpen. I imagine there's also a healthy dose of Sunday afternoon films from KPLR 11 in there, too.

I grew up in Jefferson County, Missouri and went to University in St. Louis. I lived in the city for around 8 years (Webster, Maplewood, The Loop, Central West End and Tower Grove). I fell in love with its neighborhoods, architecture, culture, food, music, history and people. I've been living in the UK since 2008 and Gateway City is a kind of love letter to a place which will always be dear to my heart.

Saint Louisans might recognize a few of the backdrops
Saint Louisans might recognize a few of the backdrops

I'm also inspired by my new home and all of the dedicated and driven comic makers here in the UK. From the northern reaches of the Highlands to the westerly winds of Anglesey and the chalky hills of the South Downs, comics are ever present and I couldn't be more proud of having been welcomed into the UK comics community as one of your own. 

 In a hurry? Read this:

Like this stuff? Then Gateway City is the book for you!

  • Film Noir like The Third Man and The Maltese Falcon
  • Monster Films
  • 50's & 60's Sci-Fi
  • EC Comics like Two-Fisted Tales and Weird Fantasy
  • Dick Tracy
  • Pulp 

The Team

Russell Mark Olson
Artist & Writer
Olson is currently working on Cult Empire Comics's Lady Hollywood series. His work can also be seen in Dirty Rotten Comics #11, AccentUK's Enter the Asylum and the upcoming Mad Robot Cadavers Anthology. Olson's previous Kickstarter campaign (with Phil Breach for the Gilded Boar Studios), was the successful, cautionary, Lovecraftian tale, The Arte Mephitic.

John Freeman
Editor
Freeman is a British writer/editor/designer known for his work with Marvel UK, and on Doctor Who Magazine and The Really Heavy Greatcoat. He maintains the UK Comics website, DownTheTubes.net. He's recently edited Lost Fleet: Corsair for Titan Comics.

Roy Thomas
Foreword
Eisner Hall of Fame Inductee Thomas has been working in comics since 1965. In 1970, Thomas and Barry Windsor-Smith introduced Conan the Barbarian to Marvel Comics's publishing portfolio. In 1972, he became the Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics. He currently edits Alter Ego, the long running magazine covering the Golden and Silver ages of comics and works with Stan Lee on the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip.

Emily Olson
Color Assistant
Olson has been flatting Gateway City since issue 2 and has gone on to work on each subsequent issue as well as various other projects, including Nick Prolix's Slang Pictorial.

The Cast

 Resourceful, fearless and devoted to the job, Lundy is the perfect P.I. He understands what makes people tick, and knows how to leverage a weakness. A veteran pilot of the Great War, Lundy abhors firearms and prefers to use his head and a sturdy crowbar to bring criminals to their knees.

Special prosecutor for organized crime, Schrier may be the only public official left in the city that isn't compromised by one of the gangs. Schrier tirelessly pursues the criminal element wherever they may hide.

The daughter-in-law of Wolf Schrier. A brilliant legal mind held back from practicing by a system weighted against women. She married Lundy's best friend, Otto, before they shipped off to France. Otto didn't come back.

 Operator of the Hop Alley gin joint. Wolf turns a blind eye to Pete's speakeasy in return for information about the city's underbelly. Smart, savvy and shrewd, Pete is quietly stashing money away...

Muckraker extraordinaire. Papers is a descendant of the first French colonizers of Saint Louis. He uses his clout and connections to cover the goings-ons in the city. But a fondness for drink and stirring up trouble makes him unpredictable, unreliable and unruly.

Leader of the Russo Gang. Johnny is a hot-headed, vain and cold-hearted mob boss. The only thing he loves more than himself, is money.

 Johnny Russo's loyal attack dog. A veteran of the Great War, Bumper is a humorless killer, fiercely protective of Johnny and wildly unhinged. The closest Bumper gets to happy is when he's bumping off targets.

Whelan started out as a small-time punk, hitching his wagon to various Irish gangs and working his way up the criminal ladder. He is currently a U.S. Senator. His ambition knows no bounds.

The Aliens
In an attempt to avoid spoilers, here are a couple of ugly mugs that feature in the book. The less said about them, the better.

Rewards

Purple Gang and Above

For all backers of the Purple Gang and beyond, you'll each receive this exclusive Kickstarter bookplate, signed by me, Russell. I'll only print as many of these as pledged.

final design may differ slightly
final design may differ slightly
 
Night Patrol

For backers at the Night Patrol level and above, you'll receive an ink sketch of Sam.

The Green Ones

 The Green Ones will receive a sketch of Sam and one of the villainous Mokomo!

 The Friendly Ten

Members of the Friendly Ten club will receive a sketch of Sam from above, an A5 Gateway character sketch of their choosing and an A4 mugshot of an alien invader. 

 

Stretch Goals

Nick Prolix A4 print -- UNLOCKED!

The first stretch goal to announce is the above A4 print by main man, Nick Prolix (http://www.thesheepandthewolves.com/)! The print proudly announces races at Priester's Park. Priester's Park was once located at South Grand and Meramec in St. Louis. The park boasted a number of amenities, but most pronounced was the huge wooden motordrome. The motordrome played host to early motorcycle races and an annual air show. I can't say how it features in the book without spoiling anything, but boy does it feature! All physical backers will receive a print and all digital backers will receive a PDF (physical backers will get the PDF, too).

UK Indie Artists Showcase Postcard Set -- UNLOCKED!

The above artists have kindly agreed to design a Gateway City postcard
The above artists have kindly agreed to design a Gateway City postcard

There are some absolutely amazing artists and writers based in the U.K. and it has been my immense pleasure to not only get to know many of them, but to be welcomed so graciously into the fold. Andy Bloor, Susie Gander, James Corcoran and Gustaffo Vargas have all very graciously agreed to design a postcard featuring a different Gateway City character as the next stretch goal. I'll be sharing the new images throughout the week. I couldn't be more honored or proud to know these fine people. If we reach £2,500, all physical backers will receive this four postcard set. All digital backers will receive a PDF (physical backers will get the PDF, too).

Andy Bloor - http://andrewbloor.blogspot.com
Susie Gander - https://www.susieillustrations.com/
James Corcoran - https://twitter.com/fictitiousink
Gustaffo Vargas - http://artefactop.wixsite.com/gustaffo

Greg Smallwood Pin-Up -- UNLOCKED!

Greg Smallwood's EC Comics homage
Greg Smallwood's EC Comics homage

The incredible Greg Smallwood (Moon Night, Vampironica, covers for Punisher and Sword Daughter) has created this fantastic pin-up forworking up the next stretch goal. If we can reach £3,000, then Greg's art will be featured in the gallery of the trade paperback. 

Greg Smallwood Print 

If we can reach £4,000, then all physical backers will receive an exclusive print of Greg's pin-up art for the book. 

The Future of Gateway City

Gateway City means a lot to me. It's a combination of so many things I love about storytelling and comics. I want more than anything to continue to be able to share this world with you. Several more volumes are planned with guest writers and collaborators, from both sides of the pond, to tell the various stories that come spiraling out of the events related in this first chapter. There are a number of questions and mysteries seeded in these first issues that will be teased out from the shadows to keep Lundy and his crew on their toes for the foreseeable future-past. Thank you so much for your consideration, support, and help in sharing this project with others. This means the world to me.

The artist (goofball) at Witley Common, Surrey. Site of a WWII US troop baseball diamond
The artist (goofball) at Witley Common, Surrey. Site of a WWII US troop baseball diamond

Risks and challenges

99% of the project is complete. The issues contained in this trade paperback have all been published previously. All that's left is to add a couple of new pages (which are nearly finished), make a few script changes, and to send the book to the printer's (the incomparable Rich Hardiman and his tireless crew at Comicprinting.uk).

All I need is you.

And I mean that. Sincerely.

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