The fundraising website Kickstarter is fast becoming a vital conduit for creators (and some publishers) to secure funding to publish comics. And comics vet Jimmy Palmiotti has taken to this new paradigm with aplomb, using it last year to fund his Image graphic novel Queen Crab with artist Artiz Eiguren. And now the Marvel Knights co-founder is returning with an even more ambitious project: a graphic novel titled Retrovirus with longtime co-writer Justin Gray and artist Norberto Fernandez.
In my mind, Retrovirus is Encino Man meets Jurassic Park — dredge out the humor and fill it in with drama, intrigue and horror. The book follows a young viralogist named Zoe who takes a job at a research facility in Antarctica. Her new employers have found a neanderthal, perfectly frozen in ice and waiting for research to begin. Zoe’s brought in for her specialty in extinct virus, and her subject turns out to be a treasure trove but also a trap door into a dangerous future where a long extinct virus breaks fee into an unsuspecting modern population.
The Retrovirus team set a goal of $11,600 to fund the production of 58-page graphic novella, and with 25 days to go they’ve already accumulated over 80 percent of that goal. The lowest donation earns you a PDF copy of the book, with the premium pledge, $400, earning a character named after you. Nearly 200 people have backed the project at this point, including a number of comic professionals like Andy Lanning, Paul Mounts, Andy Smith and Alex de Campi.
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