Welcome to yet another edition of Frank's Kickstarter Spotlight. It's been a while, how have you guys been? You may recall from previous posts, that I have a certain zeal for Kickstarter projects. I love the air of empowerment that the platform offers to the independents out there, who can oftentimes be buried beneath the weight of the mainstream. Granted, the market is not completely hostile to the independent, but it does skew toward the big names. The public often seeks out the names that are familiar, the studios they trust. I am here to shine a light on a Kickstarter project that I believe might be able to pique your interest, faithful readers, and to possibly have you spread the word, and help make a team's dreams get realized.
Today, I turn the spotlight on Gary Turner and his team, with their intriguing sounding project "Technically Magi."
"Technically Magi" tells the tale of Kai, a young boy from a Utopian society. During a trip with his family to a primitive magical world. An unforeseen accident, ends up stranding our young hero on this planet, and then it is up to a loading dock robot, an apprentice magi, and her mentor to work together to stay alive until his parents can return for him.
They've got quite a line up out there to tell this story, too. Carlos Gomez handles art duty, Eddy Swan handles the coloring, and writing duties appear to be in the capable hands of Gary Turner. I seriously recommend you check out both Carlos and Eddy's Deviant Art pages, so you can get a more in depth look at what kind of talent you can expect on every page.
Looking at the pledge levels, for starters, I'd recommend the $25 pledge level that gives you all three available issues in PDF format, this is a wonderful environmentally friendly option for those of you who don't want a lot of comics cluttering up your house. For the Physically minded, there is the $50 pledge, that gets you all three issues signed, but this is a limited reward, so act fast. Also, for the art lovers out there, there is another 50 dollar tier that will get you a sketch commission, this is a limited tier as well, so again... act fast.
In regards to Gary, I decided to try something a little different, and went for a face book conversation. Discussing the project, and his plans for this moving forward. Below, I have spliced that conversation into a more stream-lined affair. Live conversations are a little messier than email questions, so... I apologize if this is a little more disjointed than my usual.
Gary Turner: As for what people might be interested in on the project, the one aspect I think many are overlooking is the story takes place (unofficially of course) in the world of Dungeons & Dragons.
I'm an avid RPGer and I created the story set all within the rules of the game.
Each issue even comes with a character sheet.
FRANK: I want to try out Pathfinder one of these days... Picked up the book not that long ago.
Gary Turner: Our artist Carlos actually works on Patherfinder comics from time to time.
FRANK: I assume you are the creator of this idea... What kind of background do you have in the comics field? Why should people have faith in your project? (Sorry, gotta ask some questions to fill out the post
Gary Turner: I'm a television Producer/Animator. I've actually been making the rounds pitching animated TV series to different studios in Canada & LA. This is one of my concepts that I felt was ideal for doing up as a comic series.
I've been writing scripts for television for 10+ years.
FRANK: Impressive. Any standout credits?
Gary Turner: It's been all local Hawaii programming.
And Carlos is definitely an asset to the project. Some fine artistic chops on that one.
I think I've seen a good representation of his skill on the DA page.
I can tell ya my ambition was to make this sort of the Harry Potter of comics. There are plot lines that run for years out. And Easter eggs that are setup right in these first issues that don't pay off fully until down the line.
On the surface the story is a straight forward adventure. But over time there's an underlying plot that isn't so obvious.
Kai is not the typical heroic character like "Ben 10" or any other kid centric show. Kai is emotionally more realistic. He's initially terrified and overwhelmed by everything. In time all the characters grow with the story.
FRANK: So this is a long term project, rather than a 4 issue mini. Excellent!
Is there a definite end point in mind, or does it get a little ambiguous as the you get further into the future?
Gary Turner: Yes. There is an "end game" to the series. But that'd be like 4-6 years of publishing.
FRANK: (responding to the comment about Kai above) Good call. I absolutely hate it when the hero just dives in like they know everything. The new Ms. Marvel series comes to mind as a good example of the hero actually reacting naturally to the change in their status quo.
So, Are you hoping for monthly issues, or will this be a "As able" release schedule?
Gary Turner: Ideally we're looking at every 6 weeks.
FRANK: Not an awful schedule, and considering it is an indie comic with no big name backing it, that is actually a very lofty goal. Readers are always eager to know, do you think that is indeed a sustainable schedule? Prolonged hiatuses can seriously impact readership.
Gary Turner: It's a tricky deal. We REALLY need fans. Towards that end I'm going to start making the convention rounds. I'm finding it doesn't matter if you wrote "War & Peace" if you don't have an already built in audience or a big marketing force behind ya it's VERY difficult for people to even know you exist.
I read an article recently & crunched our own numbers. When it comes to indy comics the difference between sinking or swimming is around 12,000 issues. Which in a nation that has grown to embrace our comic geek culture it would seem super easy. But MOST indy comics without backing feel lucky if they sell 7,000 issues.
...when Robert K. published "The Walking Dead" issue #1 it did only 7,000 issues off the bat.
And that was with Image Comics.
So we're doing our best to drum up support between now and the new year. Then ideally begin the series in earnest 2015. With having a leeway of 3-4 issues completed, and under our belts.
FRANK: The convention rounds are very important. Gets the name out there, and can do wonders to increase readership. Geek culture can be a fickle beast, but let them know you are one of them, and they are much more likely to embrace you.
Should the Campaign fall through (and looking at the numbers you are looking to be on track for success do you have any alternate plans to get this story out there?
Gary Turner: Well, the KS will not completely cover our expenses. It'll help cover some of the budget. We are prepared to go the long haul. Of course being discovered by fans of d20 games like Dungeons & Dragons, and other readers of fantasy adventure stuffs would give us the boost to know we're on the right track.
Everyone I've shown the issues to, and given a brief synopsis for "get's it" and really loves what we're doing. It's all just a matter of being discovered now by those that will love it as much as we do.
A lot of love for RPGs and comics was poured into Technically Magi.
This is the kind of series I always wanted to read.
FRANK: Well Gary, Thanks for your time. I want to encourage all of my readers to head over HERE, and check out the "Technically Magi" project.