Interview - Michael Heitkemper/Enter the Hero

Projects on Kickstarter are usually of the indie variety and Michael Heitkemper's Enter the Hero is no exception. What is Enter the Hero though you ask? We wanted to know that as well, so we asked Heitkemper himself to elaborate.

Omnicomic: What would you say is the greatest inspiration for creating Enter The Hero?

Michael Heitkemper: First off, I want to thank you for this opportunity.

Now, greatest inspiration for Enter The Hero? I guess it would be my lifetime infatuation with comic books in general. I especially like the stories where the villain’s identity is a mystery, and it stays that way through several different story arcs over many months or even years. There’s the whole guessing game, and the red herrings as you watch for patterns and clues.

Until one day, the villain is finally revealed and the shocking identity completely blows your mind. You realize that all the clues and timelines add up perfectly, and you wonder how you didn’t see it.

I wanted to do that with Enter The Hero, but backwards. It’s not often you read about a super hero, the title character, whose identity is not revealed to you right away. It’s a fun change of pace.

Omnicomic: What can you say about the origin of the Hero (without giving away too much of course)?

Heitkemper: Hmm, not much really; the secret origin of the Hero is a large play in the book. But, without giving you the wrong idea, the Hero was a bit of an accident.

I can say that from the beginning, the “Hero” was always intended to save lives. It’s just happening in a much different way.

Omnicomic: On the surface, Enter The Hero seems like a classic super hero tale. How do you plan on keeping it fresh?

Heitkemper: You know, they say that there’s no such thing as an original idea anymore. Maybe that’s true, and maybe it’s not.

But I think there is such a thing as original characters, and in the end, the characters are what really makes the story. I really believe that the readers are going to be drawn in by the characters in ETH. They’re all believable, and relatable. They each hold their own secrets, fears and concerns.

So I think that the characters and their struggles, along with the intertwining of the mystery that is the Hero is what will keep the story fresh.

Omnicomic: Did you approach Arcana Comics with the notion they would publish Enter The Hero?

Heitkemper: Yes, we did approach Arcana Comics, and to our surprise, they accepted us right away. After we received the initial acceptance letter, we actually wrote back asking, “Is this what we think it means?”

I’d say the guys at Arcana had a quick laugh about us that day. The editor of Arcana, Sean O’Reilly, has been really cool and patient with us through the entire project, as well as everyone else there. And we really look forward to working more with all of them as the project gets closer to the printers.

Omnicomic: Will Enter The Hero be published exclusively in print? Or is there a digital format in the plans as well?

Heitkemper: To be honest, and this may sound strange, but I’m not really sure. I mean, you’d think I’d know something like that.

Myself, I’m more attracted to print books than e-books, but I realize that a lot of readers are swaying toward digital comics. I’m not sure if it’s because digital format tends to be cheaper, or that they’re easier to store, but it’s certainly an avenue we’ll look into if the readership demands it.

Right now, we’re mostly looking forward to a print copy.

Omnicomic: It appears Enter The Hero is debuting as a graphic novel. Have there been discussions about making it an ongoing series afterwards? Or maybe create another graphic novel that continues with the character?

Heitkemper: There have been no direct discussions with Arcana about doing a sequel, yet. It’s like most things, if sales are good and warrant the need for a sequel, you better believe that we’re going to do it.

I’m pretty confident that we’ll reach that point also. In fact, I’ve got scripts for at least two more installments of the Hero drafted. And the idea of doing an ongoing series; that would be a dream come true!

Omnicomic: Anything you want to plug while you have the floor?

Heitkemper: Yes. Check out: Enter the Hero Kickstarter page

Right now we are in the process of finishing the interior artwork for Enter The Hero. It’s being done at an incredibly fair page rate, but with this many pages (112) the final number is up there. We’ve started a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds.

On the Kickstarter page, you can ask us questions about the book, view the trailer for Enter The Hero, and a little bit more. If readers wish, they can pledge money toward our cause, and we’ll reward them with some cool ETH books, posters, and t-shirts.

And it’s an all or nothing campaign. So if we don’t reach our goal by the set deadline, no money will be collected and no rewards will be handed out. This way, everyone’s interests are intact.

If you do decide to pledge, we thank you very very much for your contribution, and we hope that you enjoy the book. And thanks so much again for this interview.