My name is Jason Pittman and I am the writer and artist of The War for Kaleb, a superhero comic book series that explores anxiety as mental illness. My goal with this Kickstarter is to print the collected edition of The War for Kaleb which includes all three issues, an extensive pinup gallery, and behind the scenes content.
"...if you know of any teens; pre-teens...that are going through any issues with anxiety, then this is definitely something they should read."
-Drew Van Genderan, fortheloveofindie.com
The War for Kaleb, what is it all about???
Kaleb has been battling an anxiety disorder for most of his life. After meeting and falling in love with Addey, he begins to question the validity of his relationship; wondering if his anxiety medication has clouded his emotions and judgment. Watching over Kaleb is a silent hero that keeps his well-being in check. After talking to his outgoing best friend, Mike, a drastic decision is made and Kaleb finds himself confronted by a dark character waiting for the chance to consume him.
The protagonist Kaleb is followed by super heroes that are not real, one light, one dark. When he has his episodes, the two heroes battle for control of his mind and well being, destroying everything around him, while the rest of the world goes on as if nothing is happening, giving a sense of what it feels like to have anxiety, and what it really is.
The War for Kaleb is a story I created by mixing my love for both the superhero genre I grew up with as a child, and the indie comics I came into as a young adult.
With those influences in mind, I found a way to tell a heartfelt story about a young man's crippling anxiety disorder through the vehicle of a superhero metaphor, bringing the real, and fantasy worlds together (I always tell people, TWFK is as if All Star Superman, and Garden State had a baby). I soildified this by making the book black and white, while the superheroes were presented in full color:
Why a Story about Anxiety Disorders?
This is a very personal story for me. Many comics related to mental illness are usually presented in an autobiographical format but I've always written fiction and found these characters to be more relatable. I can place myself in their shoes because they can be anyone. So rather than making the story about myself, I created Kaleb. This method also allows more wiggle room to throw in the fantastic element such as his opposing egos: Light and Dark Kaleb.
The idea came about while I was in a difficult spot in my life. Because of this my anxiety began to grow stronger and stronger, until I started creating comic book scenes in my head of situations I felt like acting out from. Most of these scenes made it into the book as it is today. The struggle took its toll not only on myself but the people that cared about me. The War for Kaleb became a way for me to work through some of this.
I have received great feedback from both readers that suffer from anxiety, and also mental health practitioners, who use the books as tools for their patients.
The War for Kaleb Graphic Novel
The War for Kaleb will be printed into a 1500 copy run with 104 pages in a beautiful offset, softcover, perfect-bound format. All copies will be signed.
Extras Included in Graphic Novel:
- Forward by Shelley Briggs Callahan, author of House of Life
- Extensive behind the scenes content such as sketches, pencils, and color process
- Afterward by Jason Pittman
Pinup gallery including artists:
- Charles Wilson III (Stuff of Legend, Wraith)
- Jim Kettner (Ink in Water)
- Håvard S. Johansen (Troll Hunter, Stop. rec. ffwd)
- Jim Callahan (Barf Comics, The Auteur)
- Adam Walmsley (Archie Comics)
- Lee Baillie (My Brain Hurts, Freewheel)
- Zack Soto (Secret Voice, Power Button)
- Ken Knudtsen (My Monkey's Name is Jennifer)
- Desiree' Pittman (Illustrations by Dez)
- David Beyer Jr. (The Twisted Adventures of Stinko)
The War for Kaleb Tribute Cover Art Prints & Posters
Three different 8" x 10" art prints, or full sized 11" x 17" art posters, faithfully recreated from classic comic book covers by artists like Frank Miller, Mike Zeck, and Frank Quitely, thoughtfully chosen with the context of the story in mind! All prints will be signed by artist, Jason Pittman.
From my desk to your door, an original inked page from The War for Kaleb. Each page signed. (Limited to 73)
Graphic Novel Cover Original Art (Limited to One)
Screen printed on 50/50 Poly/Cotton Blend, in three different designs: Light Hero, Dark Hero, or a Secret Spoiler. Comes in S, M, L, and, XL.
The War for Kaleb Buttons (Comes with all Reward Tiers!)
More about The War for Kaleb...
"This is a simple and yet complex story and that’s what makes it so damn great. It’s hard to surprise me and it’s even harder to impress me to the point that this story did. "
"He [Jason Pittman] tells his tale masterfully on multiple levels, in story, metaphor and art. It perfectly captures the weight of anxiety."
"Call it an interesting twist on a superhero story, call it a creative way to look at the complicated world of mental illness, or just call it a damn fine comic, the fact remains that The War for Kaleb is one of the best small press comics I’ve ever read, and deserves to be seen by as many eyes as possible."
"For anyone who’s experienced anxiety, anyone who’s known anyone who has, or for anyone who just might be a little interested in gaining a little firsthand insight about it, Jason Pittman has presented a very readable public service announcement for all to enjoy."
"Writer/artist Jason Pittman has created a truly fantastic comic which manages to effectively portray both the life and the inner turmoil of someone suffering from a mental health disorder."
"No question about it, this is an indie book you need to read. If the ending is any indication, Jason’s doing good work breaching that gap between “smaller” indie stories and the bombastic superhero tales of the Big 2."
Comic Bastards Podcast Review (TWFK starts at the 1:13:40 Mark)
Stashmycomics.com Podcast Review (TWFK starts at the 29:30 Mark)
Risks and challenges
Because the comics are all 100% finished, the graphic novel would go to print fairly soon after the Kickstarter ends.
The risk of doing this Kickstarter will mostly be dealing with the shipping of orders, as this is my first Project, and I will be learning as I go along. I have never attempted anything to this scale before. That being said, I do have experience taking and shipping orders for my comics in the past, and have always gotten my products out to customers.
All of the rewards such as prints, t-shirts, and buttons are either already being produced, or have vendors in mind, or in place, to fulfill the orders for these special products.
I am grateful for your support and will do all that I can to get all rewards out as quickly as possible.
If you have any questions or issues, please don't hesitate to reach out.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)