Why spend money on a comic after it comes out when you can spend money on it before it comes out????
Brian Clevinger, writer of the very funny and usually excellent Atomic Robo series of comic book entertainment, recently reached out to me to see if I’d like to promote his latest comic Infernal Affairs, a historical adventure that features monster-punching, and for which he’s running a Kickstarter campaign to get it finished. I thought that would be a capital idea, not only because I like Clevinger’s writing, but because he’s a swell dude, too. He’s co-writing it with the Robo editor, Lee Black, and it’s drawn by Erica Henderson, who will, of course, soon be a superduperstar thanks to her upcoming gig on Marvel’s Squirrel Girl ongoing. The comic is, as Clevinger describes it, like the monster-of-the-week episodes of The X-Files set in 11th-century China. The Bureau of Infernal Affairs defends the Song Dynasty against supernatural threats, but for a millennium, there haven’t been any supernatural threats, and the Bureau is now just a place for the emperors to dump misfit officials. Of course, if you didn’t think there would end up being a real supernatural threat … well, then, what the heck are you thinking? Of course there’s an actual supernatural threat!!!!
I asked Clevinger a bit about the project. He told me that he, Black, and Henderson have been working, on and off, on the comic for about two years. Obviously, they need to make money elsewhere, so they can’t work on it all the time. That’s why they turned to Kickstarter! He said he met Henderson a few years ago – he thinks in 2011 – when she gave him her card, and Clevinger decided they needed to work together. She’s drawn some stories in the Atomic Robo anthology series, but I can’t tell you which issues because I’d have to drag them out of my garage and I don’t feel like doing that. Clevinger also said he set the book in the 11th century partly because it’s very similar to the United States of the 21st century – the most powerful and richest nation in the world, caught up in foreign wars, with an out-of-control banking class and traditionalists in the government who resist any attempts to address problems. He said that although the comic is about punching monsters, the similarities between the China of the 1000s and the U.S. of the 2000s was a nice way to make it feel more familiar. You know, before the monster-punching begins.
Clevinger sent me some of the samples from the book, in case you’re interested:
The Kickstarter is for a 32-page comic, with the first chapter of the book running for 16 pages, while the rest will be behind-the-scenes stuff. Clevinger hopes to fund the rest and have a 96-page complete story out of it. If you’re interested, I encourage you to go check it out.
The web site for the comic is here, and you can go read more about the book if you so choose. Here’s the link for the Kickstarter. You have until the end of the year, if you’re interested. It looks like a cool project, and it has a good creative team, so it’s probably worth some of your time!
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