I’m a Backer: The Bargain
I remember a few weeks back, when I lamented the fact that I couldn’t find enough good comic projects to back as we covered game after game. Now it seems we might have the same problem, but in reverse. Kickstarter has had a deluge of great comic book projects the last few weeks. At this moment, five of the ten active projects I am currently backing – fully half, are comic books. This week in our “I’m a Backer” series, we continue on the comic train and cover the Wonderful new comic project, The Bargain.
When they say that they don’t make them like they used to, I believe they are talking about this book; it’s art oozes quality more appropriate to the time period of the story, 1955, than today. Interested? Read on.
Described as a moody blend of noir, action, adventure and the supernatural, this book sounds like a must read across a spectrum that ranges from Sookie Stackhouse to Sam Spade to Sandman, but let’s let the author tell us about that in her own words:
The premonitions don’t lie. Jackson Connolly knows the hellhounds are coming for him. Twenty years ago Jackson signed his soul away to pay his mother’s gambling debt. Now his bill is coming due on New Year’s Eve. Peddling potions and mojos as a traveling salesman most of his life, Jackson understands a thing or two about magic. But salvation always eludes him. Louisiana is his last hope. Jackson’s hunt for a way to break the devil’s pact leads him to a haunted plantation in search of a crazy hoodoo slave ghost and then to the wild streets of 1955 New Orleans. With the assistance of an alluring creole healer named Lissette, can Jackson find a way to save himself before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve?
The story sounds interesting, and the art shown, both on its cover and internally, shows real promise with its vivid colors and bold line work. My only issue with the art is the inconsistent use of halftones, but that is a minor detail.
The author and creator, K. Barrett, has already completed and fulfilled a previous Kickstarter project, which speaks volumes about her reliability. She has also backed 15 Kickstarter and has been an active member of the community for over a year. All in all, I feel comfortable with trusting her with my money.
The reward levels of the project are pretty well put together. At the low-end, they are almost too generous, toward the middle shirts, stickers, and prints are layered thickly on top of the main reward, and there is an appropriate variety at the high-end too. I do take an issue with some of the high-end pledges, as they contain rewards that include both walk on parts, and full-page ads. It’s a pet peeve of mine, so I’ll understand if you don’t feel the same way, but I don’t think that funding should obscure the ‘vision’ of the artist. Likewise, if I wanted ads, I could go buy something at the comic shop rather than support indie projects.
Reasonable people can disagree about these things though, and the flaws of this project are so greatly outweighed by the virtues, that there is no way they could prevent me from pledging for my copy of The Bargain. When the biggest problem with a project is that you have to wait till March to read it, you know it is worth supporting.
I had a chance to sit down with K. Barrett and ask her a few questions about The Bargain:
Would The Bargain make a better episode of the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits?
I’d have to say the Twilight Zone. Old school black and white. Yeah, that would be pretty cool. The Bargain definitely has that kind of psychological horror vibe going for it.
Why The Bargain – why this story?
I wanted to explore a world rich in folk magic and hauntings. The seed for the story has been in my head for awhile and a few months ago I started developing it further and really fleshing it out. A man trying to save his soul? That’s a universal story that is constantly being retold. The Bargain is just my version of it.
How long has this project been in development?
A couple of months. I worked out the synopsis and plotting pretty quickly and tapped J.C. Grande to work on the artwork for the preview and cover. I took the project to Kickstarter to see if we could find an audience. We have had a great response to the story and we’re both looking forward to spending the next few months making this book happen.
Lets talk influences – what are yours?
Too many to mention in one interview. Books, travel, comics and television all influence my creative process in some way. There’s a noir feel to this project that has its undeniable roots in old black and white movies and shows like Twilight Zone. As for comic book influences? Well, I’m a Hellblazer fan which probably doesn’t come as a surprise. I actually described this project to someone as Hellblazer meets Fatale. I’d have to say the influences for this project are really all over the place.
I notice that both your Kickstarter projects deal with Demons – is this a theme we should expect to continue in future projects?
I am a paranormal fan and I like those kinds of genre stories but the two projects I have in development for next year don’t have demons. I’m tackling vampires and dragons in my two next projects. But as long as I keep writing The End Is Totally Nigh, there’ll be generous helpings of demons for you to read about. Issue #3 is coming out in December and J.C. Grande (the artist for The Bargain) did the artwork and it’s being released in full color. I’m very excited to bring it to our readers.