Daniel Bradford and Thomas Hall are the masterminds behind Blacklist Studios LLC, which produces two quarterly comics, Robot 13 and KING! The creators are using Kickstarter to help fund the production run of the Robot 13: COLOSSUS title.
Robot 13 begins with the discovery of the eponymous character, a spindly-limbed robot with a skull for a head, in the depths of the ocean. Within the first few pages of his story, a group of sailors brings up this robot from what might have been his final resting place. Before they decide what to do with him, they are attacked by that terrible creature of myth: the kraken! But before the sailors could begin to react to the kraken, R13 springs to their aid! After having waged an epic battle with the ancient creature, he kills it, thus saving many sailors’ lives.
Bradford’s artistic prowess is the magic that gives R13, his allies, adversaries, and their surroundings such a visually striking and stylized look. On the other side, Hall’s words are what give the robot his voice, with which he is able to ponder many questions about himself and his origins. No one seems to know who made him, where he comes from, or why he is so driven to protect humans from a building onslaught of mythic beasts. Or, you know, where the beasts are coming from and why they are attacking.
The comic has already attracted a ton of press:
“I think you will come to love me for recommending author Thomas Hall’s literary conceit in R13. I was blindsided, enriched, captivated.” – Harlan Ellison
“This is, seriously, the best series I’ve read all year.” – Newsarama
Robot 13: COLOSSUS is the first story arc of the series, and, in tandem with Blacklist Studio’s efforts regarding the next arc in the series, a 100-page trade paperback of COLOSSUS is currently being funded through Kickstarter.
Bradford and Hall started Blacklist Studios to keep as much of the creative process for their comics in their own control as possible. Through the company, they have been able to print all the issues of both comics thus far without much outside help.
Though the comic is available in digital form on their website, these two creators wanted to offer a trade paperback of R13 for the fans, and the means for such a production reach beyond their own budget. Starting up the Robot 13 Kickstarter page seemed to be the perfect fit. Using Kickstarter to crowdfund this printing allows them to keep the creative freedom they fought so hard for, while offering a quality product.
For those unaccustomed to the way Kickstarter works, anyone can post a project on the website that, in essence, asks interested strangers to help raise the money to fund that project. For writers and artists, this is the alternative to finding a publisher to back their work, a step that some may never reach on their own. The other benefit of Kickstarter goes to the “backers,” or those who help fund a project. For each higher amount of money pledged, a “backer” will receive more “rewards”, as well as more information about the project.
For Robot 13, some of the rewards include R13 buttons, issues of KING!, the first ever R13 logo t-shirt (which features glow-in-the-dark ink!), and of course the trade paperback of R13 itself, signed by Bradford and Hall. Also available on some pledge levels will be Blacklist Studios Mini Figures of R13 as well as the eponymous character from KING! and four other characters. The 2” to-scale figurines will be produced by Dead Bear Studios, who, incidentally, have a bunch of really cool, creepy figures for sale at their store.
At the topmost pledge scale, though, is the real doozy: the purchaser’s likeness drawn in the upcoming story arc of R13. Who wouldn’t want to see a comic version of themselves eaten by some giant monster? And that reward is limited, too: only one person can purchase that.
Can’t you just see yourself in his position, here? Permanently on the pages of a wonderful comic?
Since the next storyline for R13 will be coming out later this year, readers looking to get into the story will find that purchasing the trade paperback through this project might be a great way to get caught up on the story. In fact, I might be signing up as a “Backer” of this project myself. I reiterate: The robot protagonist of this comic fights mythological creatures and has a skull for a head. What’s not to like?! This project is just under $1,000 away from their goal. With only 14 days to go, you better hurry to become a backer and help keep this project afloat!
Have you read Robot 13 or KING! or do you know of another worthy comic project on Kickstarter? Please leave a comment below and we’ll talk!
Also, know this: the Kickstarter page for the webcomic The Order of The Stick raised 1.25 million dollars. A Kickstarter can be a powerful thing. Do you have a project on Kickstarter? Share it in the comments below!