A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to meet Craig Engler, co-creator of SyFy‘s Z Nation. If you haven’t checked out Z Nation yet, you should. The mixture of, “Horror, Humor, and Heart” in Z Nation, as described by Engler’s creative Z Nation partner Karl Schaefer, is a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Now that Z Nation has gotten the green light for a second season, Engler is turning his attention to another of his interests, a comic book Kickstarter that takes a deeper look at H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos, Lovecraft: The Blasphemously Large First Issue.
Lovecraft is a dirty, gritty story about magick, monsters and the occult. It takes place in a modern-day world where H.P. Lovecraft the writer never existed but where all the horrors he wrote about are real. In this story, the man named Lovecraft is the world’s foremost magician and alchemist who maintains a secret library of forbidden knowledge which includes books like the Necronomicon.
Lovecraft is a classic Byronic antihero: “Mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” He functions as the semi-reluctant guardian of mankind, one of the few who can traffic with occult forces without becoming (totally) corrupted by them. In his world, magicians are a secret culture within the culture who vie for power and knowledge, leading to feuds and wars that can unleash unspeakable terrors. When they do, Lovecraft is the guy who cleans things up.
Here’s the Lovecraft: The Blasphemously Large First Issue Kickstarter introduction video:
The artwork on this series looks great. Engler has tapped a number of talented artists for the series and some special covers.
Engler (Z Nation, Zombie Apocalypse) is writing the story with pencils and inks by Daniel Govar (DC, Marvel), colors by Matheus Lopes (Image, Dark Horse, IDW) and a special limited-edition cover by red hot artist Lewis LaRosa (Valiant). The first issue will be 48 pages long, including 6 pages of Lovecraft pinups by some fantastic guest artists:
Brian Hurtt (The Sixth Gun),
Dennis Calero (X-Men: Noir)
John Bivens (Dark Engine)
Lukas Ketner (Witch Doctor)
Richard Luong (Cthulhu Wars)
Jamie Tanner (The Dark Well)
The Awesome Stuff You’ll Get
Lovecraft: The Blasphemously Large First Issue is going to be an oversized 48-page limited edition comic. That’s TWICE the size of a typical comic, and so big Cthulhu is going to need all his tentacles to hold it! It’s going to include:
- A 32-page main story written by Craig Engler with art by Daniel Govar and colors by Mat Lopes
- Six behind-the-scenes pages of character sketches and concept art from Dan
- Six pages of pinups from special guest artists Brian Hurtt (The Sixth Gun), Dennis Calero (X-Men: Noir), Richard Luong (Cthulhu Wars), John Bivens (Dark Engine), Lukas Ketner (Witch Doctor) and Jamie Tanner (The Dark Well)
- Cover art by Lewis LaRosa, whose worked on tons of Valiant covers including Shadowman, Bloodshot and Archer & Armstrong
- Other rewards include the original script, more concept art, commissions, and portfolio reviews
- A page torn from the Necronomicon itself and mailed to you (at your own risk)
- A limited-edition green foil variant cover ONLY available for this Kickstarter
If you have an interest in Lovecraft you should click on over to the Kickstarter and check it out. The Kickstarter has already reached 80% of its $10K goal. Once the Kickstarter hits its goal, Engler will lay out the bonus stretch goals.
If you’re wondering about Engler’s writing style and you haven’t checked out Z Nation yet, take a look at the third part of what he says in the Risks and Challenges section of the Kickstarter:
The typical challenges faced by a project like this are 1) Making It 2) Delivering It and 3) Eternal Madness. Here’s how I’m tackling all three:
Making It – I’ve done my homework on how to make comics and talked to top comics creators who’ve used Kickstarter, and I’m confident that from inception to production to shipping there will be no significant issues that will prevent this project from getting made. I have an amazing team of experts working on Lovecraft both in front of and behind the scenes, and all of their experience will ensure this project gets completed.
Delivering It – I’ve done a project on another site that’s experienced delays and the good news is, I’ve learned how to overcome them. The biggest challenge on that project was writing my part of it (a 55,000 word book). For this project my script for Lovecraft is already done, so delivering it is just about me managing the remaining pieces the other expert team members are working on. They’re experienced pros so we anticipate finishing and delivering on time.
Eternal Madness – I can’t make any promises on this one. In fact, I may already be doomed to madness by daring to write about the indescribable eldritch horrors of H.P. Lovecraft in the first place. If insanity should occur, you can visit me in my cell at Arkham Sanitarium and I’ll verbally recite the comic to you (assuming I’m still capable of human speech).
Engler’s clearly got a grip on Lovecraft and the audience he is targeting with this Kickstarter.
Are you down for adding a little horror to your daily life?