A number of British creators are involved in MADI, a 260-page road trip graphic novel set in the near future, by film director Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and writer Alex de Campi (Bad Karma, Blade Runner), to be published by Z2 Comics.
The book – currently seeking backing on Kickstarter and already achieving £175,000 in backing, well above its near £50,000 target, is being drawn by some of comics most exciting artists, including Simon Bisley, Glenn Fabry, Duncan Fegredo, Pia Guerra, Dylan Teague and Chris Weston. (Each artist tackles a 8 – 30 page section of the story, bringing to life one location).
The paperback cover is by Duncan Fegredo & Jacob Phillips and the hardback cover by Yuko Shimizu.
MADI is the third and final story in the “Mooniverse,” an anthology of independent stories that take place in a shared future, but you don’t need to have seen MOON or MUTE to fully enjoy this standalone book, which is now almost complete and currently being lettered, and will be sent to backers in early November.
Talking to David Barnett for The Guardian, Duncan Jones – the British-born, LA-based son of David Bowie and his first wife Angie – revealed he decided to tell the final part of his so-called Mooniverse trilogy in a whole new medium: comics, because the tale he wanted to tell was so vast that it would need a crippling budget to get it filmed.
“When the reality of Madi’s scale hit the budgeting process, it was clear that getting a film like that made … was going to be an uphill battle,” he says. “But film is just one way to tell a story. Comics are another.”
In the story, Madi Preston, a veteran of Britain’s elite special operations J-Squad unit, is burnt out and up to her eyeballs in debt. She and the rest of her team have retired from the military but are now trapped having to pay to service and maintain the technology put into them during their years of service.
They’re working for British conglomerate Liberty Inc as mercenaries, selling their unique ability to be remote controlled by specialists while in the field, and the debts are only growing as they get injured completing missions.
We meet Madi as she decides she’s had enough. She will take an off-the-books job that should earn her enough to pay out her and her sister, but when the piece of tech she’s supposed to steal turns out to be a kid, and she suddenly blacks out… she finds herself on the run from everyone she’s ever known. In a globe-spanning adventure from Shanghai to Soho, Madi has to stay one step ahead of the giant corporations closing in on her from all sides…
The full roster of line artists are André Araújo, Simon Bisley, Rufus Dayglo, Glenn Fabry, Duncan Fegredo, Pia Guerra, RM Guéra, LRNZ, David Lopez, Ed Ocaña, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, James Stokoe, Dylan Teague, Christian Ward, Chris Weston, Annie Wu and Tonci Zonjic, supported by an impressive colouring team that includes Raúl Arnaiz, Adam Brown, Giulia Brusco, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Chris O’Halloran, Nayoung Kim, Sergey Nazarov, Jacob Phillips, and Matt Wilson, with lettering by Alex.
“Every artist has been paid their full asking rate and is also getting royalties on the project,” says Joshua Frankel of Z2 Comics, who launched the project on Kickstarter. “As freelancers ourselves, we believe in being the change we want to see in the industry.”
It was De Campi’s idea to have more than one artist illustrate what turned out to be a 260-page graphic novel, splitting it between the talent that Jones had been wowed by on Twitter. “I’ve got a lot of work and made a lot of great connections via social media but this is by far the best,” she told David Barnett for The Guardian. “It wasn’t so much a vote thing or an internet popularity contest, but I think a few big industry friends weighed in privately to Duncan to say ‘she’s all right’ when I responded to his callout.”
MADI‘s Duncan Jones is a British advertising and film director, best known for his BAFTA winning film MOON, epic game-based fantasy movie Warcraft and his other science fiction films, SOURCE CODE and MUTE.
He is presently staying safely locked up at his home, waiting for it to be safe to go out and make Rogue Trooper of 2000AD fame with Rebellion Studios.
Alex de Campi is a novelist and comics writer, best known for her noir graphic novel Bad Girls and her love anthology Twisted Romance, both of which were nominated for three Eisner awards last year. She has also written some episodes of Shinichiro Watanabe’s Blade Runner anime (on Toonami next year) and worked with Masamune Shirow on a Ghost in the Shell comic for Kodansha. Her debut novel, medieval suspense thriller The Scottish Boy, comes out at the end of the month and you can preorder it here in the UK or here in the US.
You can also read her action-thriller comic Bad Karma anywhere in the world right now, as it is pay-what-you-wish on lovely webcomic site Panel Syndicate.
The great news is that for those of us who have gazed longingly at many an US-initiated Kickstarter but perhaps cried off supporting the physical edition due to eye-wateringly expensive postage costs, MADI is to be EU/UK shipping friendly.
“Because both Duncan and Alex have big fanbases in Europe we are doing our damnedest to make sure shipping is as inexpensive as possible,” say the team, “while maintaining safe and careful mailing of these extremely nice, high quality editions.
“We’re working with drop-shipping to UK distributors so European buyers won’t have to pay airmail from the US. Backerkit is handling all our pledge management and will be charging shipping at the end, once the campaign is over (you’ll also be able to add on books or upgrade your pledge at that time, if you want). Z2 has its own warehouse, so US fulfilment can be handled easily and professionally in-house.”
Z2 comics, formerly Zip Comix, are purveyors of amazing graphic novels whose recent line-up includes John Cooper‘s Skillet Eden, Mikey Way and Shaun Simon‘s Electric Century, an original graphic novel and accompanying full-length album illustrated by Toby Cypress, and Chasin’ the Bird, adapting one of the sunnier, but darker chapters in the life of jazz genius Charlie Parker, written and illustrated by Dave Chisholm.
In a year without movies, what better way to bring an amazing tale to life than through comics? The sample pages with art by Dylan Teague are just stunning and should be more than enough to convince you to back this amazing-looking project. Why are you still here?
Estimated maximum shipping costs for a single book are: US: $10 / Canada & Mexico: $15 / UK: $20 / Mainland Europe: $25 / Rest of World: $55Shipping costs will be collected at checkout (after the campaign ends) via Backerkit, where you’ll also have the chance to add on additional books or upgrade to a higher-tier book
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