Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dracula: Son of the Dragon Gets Kickstarter

Dracula is not lacking for stories. The tales of the fabled vampire with a penchant for blood and seduction are well chronicled. That doesn't mean there isn't room for more stories about him, especially one called Dracula: Son of the Dragon from Mark Sable and Salgood Sam. And it's got a Kickstarter.

“With comics becoming an increasingly disposable medium, we wanted to create something unique. Not just a collectors item – although our print editions will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers – but an artifact,” said Sable.

The work serves as a prequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula, relying on both historical fiction and horror fantasy. The two most popular incentives are hand bound leather and leatherette editions, designed to evoke the kind of tome that one might have found in Vlad The Impaler’s time. But wait! There's more!

Sable and Salgood also wanted to involve the readers in the process of creation. “All backers will receive access to an exclusive behind the scenes ‘making of” blog. But we’re also literally offering a readers a chance to be a part of the story", noted Salgood, who is drawing cameo appearances for select backers.

Backers can have stories created for themselves. Sable, who will be teaching at SVA’s new visual narrative MFA program, is offering script evaluations. He's also agreed to write the first chapter of a very generous backer’s graphic novel, which Salgood will provide the cover for. Both Sable and Salgood have created custom pledge tiers at backers requests, and will continue to do so. Prospective backers are only limited by their imagination.

Full press release below.

April 1st, 2013

WHAT IS DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON:

  The most exciting new independent comic is not coming from Marvel, DC or even Image.  Instead, two creators with works in print from nearly every publisher have decided to self-publish and are seeking fans help to do it.  DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON is a new Kickstarter from two high-profile indie creators.  


  Created by writer Mark Sable (TWO FACE: YEAR ONE; GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES) and artist Salgood Sam (THEREFORE REPENT, SEA OF RED, Warren Ellis’ GHOST RIDER 2099), DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON serves as a prequel to Bram Stoker’s DRACULA.  Part historical fiction, part horror fantasy, it chronicles the transformation of Vlad Dracula from Impaler to vampire Count.

WHY KICKSTARTER?

   Why has Sable, whose recent work includes Image’s GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES and Boom! Studio’s UNTHINKABLE – both of which have been optioned as for film production, with Sable writing the screenplay for the former - chosen to go the Kickstarter route?

   “With comics becoming an increasingly disposable medium, we wanted to create something unique.   Not just a collectors item – although our print editions will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers – but an artifact,” said Sable.  The two most popular incentives are hand bound leather and leatherette editions, designed to evoke the kind of tome that one might have found in Vlad The Impaler’s time.

   Sable and Salgood also wanted to involve the readers in the process of creation.  “All backers will receive access to an exclusive behind the scenes ‘making of” blog.  But we’re also literally offering a readers a chance to be a part of the story", noted Salgood, who is drawing cameo appearances for select backers.

   Backers can have stories created for themselves.  Sable, who will be teaching at SVA’s new visual narrative MFA program, is offering script evaluations. He's also agreed to write the first chapter of a very generous backer’s graphic novel, which Salgood will provide the cover for.  Both Sable and Salgood have created custom pledge tiers at backers requests, and will continue to do so.  Prospective backers are only limited by their imagination.

   A little over a week into the drive, backers seem to be responding.  DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON has reached one third of it’s goal.

HOW DO WE KNOW SABLE AND SALGOOD WILL DELIVER?

   The success of Kickstarter projects like The Veronica Mars movie shows that Kickstarter has some life on it.  But some worry that corporations like Warner Brothers will crowd out more independent projects.  Others worry that many comics projects still remain unfulfilled despite reaching their goals months ago.

   Salgood Sam feels confident that they’ll get the book in backers hands in plenty time.  “I’ve been self-publishing for a long time, most recently with my autobiographical comic Dream Life.” Serialized in his quarterly REVOLVER anthology after a successful Indiegogo fundraiser, it has consistently been on time.  Salgood points out they’ve been “conservative” in what they’ve asked for and how much time they’ve asked for completion and delivery.

   The goal of the Kickstarter is to fund the creation of the first of four DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON graphic novels, the first of which will be available in 2014.  But 10-15 page chapters will be released through Salgood Sam’s revolver, available digitally or in print as early as July of 2013.

WHY DRACULA?

   Is there room for another vampire comic?  “I was asked the same question about zombies with GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES”, Sable said, referring to his sold out Image mini-series about Marines and Taliban teaming up to take down zombies in Afghanistan.  “They are both incredibly powerful metaphors, much like superheroes.  In GRAVEYARD, the zombies were representative of the unstoppable forces of an unseen insurgency.” 

   In DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON, Sable and Salgood mine vampirism as a way of extending life, an addictive drug and an ancient weapon of mass destruction, spreading a vicious plague.  Just as GRAVEYARD was known for extensive research and edgy political relevance, so is DRACULA: “It may be set over 500 years in the past, but SON OF THE DRAGON deals with a misguided war against Islam, with terror used as a weapon on both sides.”  Sable compares it to 300 and FROM HELL in terms of historical fiction.

   But there’s still plenty of room for the fantastic.  “Bram Stoker was very vague about how Dracula became a vampire,” Sable points out, but adds “there are clues.” One such clue is The Scholomance, which Sable describes as a legendary school of dark magic, a kind of “Evil Hogwarts”.  Sable is surprised no one has picked up Stoker’s hints, but is thrilled to have the chance to offer a unique take on Dracula that’s faithful to both history and the novel.


HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT DRACULA: SON OF THE DRAGON

   The Kickstarter page for this project – a “staff pick” is located at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/78669939/dracula-son-of-the-dragon

   In addition, Salgood Sam maintains a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/DraculaSonoftheDragon

   Mark Sable has been updating his website - marksable.tumblr.com – daily with inspiration for the series, a preview of the backmatter included for the book.

   Both can be reached on twitter at @Marksable & @Salgood, and press inquiries can be directed to draculasonofthedragon@gmail.com

   For those in the Los Angeles area, Mark Sable will be hosting a LIVE event in conjunction with The Original Drink and Draw Social Club on Thursday, April 11th 2013 from 8PM onward at Casey’s Irish Pub in Downtown LA.  Artists professional and amateur alike are welcome to drink and, well, draw their own versions of Dracula for a chance to appear as pinups in the book alongside guest artists such as Paul Azaceta, Nathan Fox and Robbi Rodriguez (and more).  Sable will live-tweet any art created at the Drink and Draw event, and more importantly, buy as many drinks for contributing artists as he can afford.

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