Are you ready for an epic post-apocalyptic tale of human survival in an unrelenting world of oppressive new world government control? Then hang onto your hats – Hangar 66 by Max Bertolini could be just what you’re looking for!
Both Max Bertolini and Hangar 66 will be familiar to European readers of downthetubes, especially if you’re an Italian reader, but a new Kickstarter offers the chance to read an epic tale of survival, and adventure translated into English for the first time.
You just might recognise Max as a cover artist for Titan Comics – he created a great variant for #1 of the Lost Fleet series I edited for them – and he’s fast making a name for himself as a visionary artist and storyteller. He shared some pages of Hangar 66 with me back when our paths first crossed, which in turn I shared with a couple of publishers, but in the absence of a firm pick up, Max has joined forces with publishers Jeff Messer of Masterstroke Studios, and Jack Eagen of WTF Publishing and Issues With…, hoping to bring his black an white vision to life for a whole new audience of comic fans.
His Kickstarter is for #1 of four planned double-sized issues, totalling over 170 pages once completed. #1 will be a 48 page introduction to a dark and gritty world, where a fight for survival could end in the legendary Hangar 66.
Presented in dark and gritty black and white, now is your chance to find out what Italian comic and graphic novel fans have known for a while: Hangar 66 is an experience like no other…
Set in 2066, the world of Hangar 66 is one where environmental and economic crisis have enormously increased the disparity between the rich and the poor.
The richest nations of the world have united in one Federation, with one global government. To protect itself from millions of desperate and hungry inhabitants of other, desperate impoverished nations, they have erected a Great Wall, 300 feet high, that separates the north, now known as New Eden, from the south of the planet.
Progressive deforestation has made it difficult to survive outside New Eden; disease and malnutrition rapidly exterminate the population. Every type of government has collapsed and violence and brute force have become the only law.
There’s only one way for the “Outlanders” (as the inhabitants of the south of the wall are known), to enter New Eden legally: through Hangar 66, a giant arena that rewards citizenship to the participants and their families if they survive the lethal tests that take place there.
Those unwilling to risk their fate in Hangar 66 flee for refuge to the apparent utopia of New Eden, risking their lives to cross the sea to potential freedom. But the way is guarded, by giant mechanised machines, weapons of death and destruction, manned by the defenders of New Eden, patrolling the seas to stop the Outlanders from reaching their hopeful sanctuary.
If all that wasn’t bad enough, Hangar 66 holds a deeper, darker secret. Something far more nefarious is happening behind its fortified walls, and the shocking reality could threaten to destroy the tight control New Eden holds…
Aiming to publish in a European-style format, Hangar 66 has a fairly modest target of just under £4000 and is already 50 per cent funded within just a few days of launch. Offering a story with a great-looking cast of disparate characters, why not take a look?
Born in Milan in 1967, where he still lives and works, as a child self-taught artist Max Bertolini became fascinated by American superhero comics, and the fantasy and science-fiction artworks he saw on magazines and book covers. He graduated from high school, majoring in scientific studies, which apparently had very little to do with his aspirations, but helped him establish a rational and pragmatic work ethic. This paid dividends when his love for drawing returned at the beginning of the 1990s.
The arrival Nathan Never on Italian news stands, published by Sergio Bonelli Editore in 1991, was a revelation for Max, because it combined his old love of science fiction and the Italian adventure comic book genre. Suitably enthused, he prepared a few illustrations of Bonelli’s new comic book hero and presented them to the publisher. After a few illustrations, his progress was so rapid that he was entrusted with official tests for the character, and then was hired for the staff of the Alfa Agent.
He has been drawing ever since 1993, creating strips for the most famous and best selling science-fiction series in Italy, later enjoying similar success in the world of illustration, creating art that spans the human imagination, from fantasy to science fiction, passing through horror and thriller, with extreme facility. (Max enjoys depicting far alien landscapes, and they are one of the distinctive features of his art, together with his fascinating and graceful warrior women, all of them represented with a deep consideration for contrast and chiaroscuro).
One of the cover artists of Eura Editoriale and Mondadori, the main Italian publishing house. His work is known all over the world, his fantasy and sci-fi covers published in the United States, France, Germany, Spain, England, Russia and China (Random House Germany, Games Workshop, Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Heavy Metal, Ast Publisher, among others).
In 2004 DIESEL, the famous italian fashion brand, asks him to realise the illustrations for its winter worldwide advertising campaign. In March 2005, Paper Tiger, publisher of fantasy and sci-fi art books from the best artists all over the world released Revelations, The Art of Max Bertolini, a 128-page hardcover art book gathering some of his best work to date. Almost simultaneously, publisher MG Publishing published The Art of Max Bertolini for the German market.
Despite a regularly-busy work schedule, he spends many an evening teaching Cartoon and Illustration at the Accademia dello Spettacolo in Milan.