Essex-based writer Michael Phoenix and his print line Mythic Press have just launched a Kickstarter for their new comic Gods Of Men. The artwork by Christian Paris is eye catching, to say the least, and teaser for the comic, sets up the concept of a seemingly god-like hero rather nicely.
In Gods Of Men, set in 2045, the Earth and its destiny no longer belongs to its inhabitants nor its leaders. The once great superhero ‘The Sentinel’ has ruled the Earth for over a decade and alters the course of fate for nations and governments as and when he chooses.
It’s a title with its roots in the way many comic writers have taken the whole superhero “ultimate power” theme since Watchmen and Miracleman and Michael, recently returned to the joy of comic reading, makes no secret of his influences.
“When thinking of a subject I wanted to write about I looked to inspiration from the stories that have excited me the most,” says Michael, a digital marketer by trade but who writes short stories and more in his personal time as well as upcoming novella Infinity Chronicles.
“Watchmen, the seminal work of comic legend Alan Moore, was probably the biggest influence,” he continues, “and I wondered, ‘What was beyond Watchmen?’ as in, what if a superhero had continued to rule the fates of humanity as part of a greater plan – would he be seen as saviour or demon? “
“I’m also very interested in grittier, more realistic and sometimes darker depictions of ‘heroes’ of any kind,” adds this longtime 2000AD fan, “and whilst it’s sometimes criticised for having been en vogue for many years I still think there are unique stories in that style that are still to be told.”
As part of preparation for the launch a teaser has been produced, which is completely free to download from Michael’s site. Mostly in black and white but with some examples of the intended coloured end product, it introduces the world and central character ‘The Sentinel’ in all his terrible glory.
Artist Christian Paris is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts (with a degree in comics and illustration) in Italy, where he studied for many years with teachers such as Star Trek and ROM Spaceknight artist David Messina. Christian’s Art is dense and detailed and coupled, with a strong grasp of storytelling that captures Michael’s opening scenes perfectly.
If the team hit their modest £2000 target, the book will be coloured by Stefano Valentini, whose credits include work for the Italian market and in partnership with others for Zenescope. His most notable collaboration is with LRNZ and his comic Golem, published by Magnetic Press in the US.
The Gods of Men Kickstarter runs for the standard 30 days with a target of £2000, typical of a first issue outing on the platform, and offers a variety of pledge levels for the interested backer. Rewards start with a PDF copy of the first issue and progress upwards to include extras such as A4 prints of character concepts and finished pages as well as custom written stories and artwork from Michael and the issue artist, Christian Paris.
• Download Issue One Teaser: www.michaelphoenix.co.uk/wp-content/gom-i1-teaser.pdf (PDF)
• Back the project at www.kickstarter.co.uk/projects/michaelphoenixuk/gods-of-men-0
• Stefano Valentini is at drclosure.deviantart.com