I have to confess, I’m a little surprised that the amazing-looking comic from Russ Leach and team, Only Death Can Save Us, hasn’t got more traction in its crowdfunding bid.
Perhaps the choice of Indiegogo to promote is the reason it’s not gaining the attention it deserves?
Anyway, for those who’ve clearly missed it, Only Death Can Save Us is a bronze age inspired, cosmic, fantasy romp of a comic, created and drawn by Russ Leach, scripted by Dragon Award-winner Rik Hoskin and edited by Tim Quinn.
Bringing together action and pathos, the ancient elemental known as ‘Death’ leaps from his ethereal retirement to help a young soul protect her loved ones, her world… and even existence itself!
Only Death Can Save Us, despite its ominous title, is all-ages with no gore or sex and is currently in production as a 60-page one-shot with up to 18 additional pages of bonus content. (This could change depending on the crowdfunding options or potential publisher backing).
Offering a tale that is in many ways a love letter to the way comics used to be, the story delivers the same style of Bronze Age action, heart and cosmic drama that inspired its creators.
Russ Leach has a wealth of production experience stretching back over 30 years and has been drawing his whole life. Returning to comic book publishing in 2010 he has since drawn for Marvel, Panini, BBC Worldwide, Hachette, Cartoon Network, Markosia and Aces Weekly. His work includes runs on characters such as Doctor Who and Ben 10 as well as two graphic novels for Markosia.
Only Death Can Save Us is the culmination of a life loving comics.
“The first comic I bought for myself was Captain Britain” says Russ, “and within its pages were reprints of Fantastic Four by Lee, Kirby, Buscema and Sinnott as well as support stories like Steranko’s Nick Fury Agent of Shield.
“After that initial thrill, I went on to pick up Spider-Man, The Avengers and so many other amazing Marvel titles as well as some stellar DC books where I found Neal Adams’ art, all mixed in with the British grown Starlord and 2000AD.
“All those influences have stayed with me and shaped the way I want to make my own comics!”
Russ is joined in his dream of creating this all-new comics universe by Dragon Award winner 2018 for Best Graphic Novel, Rik Hoskin, a New York Times bestselling graphic novelist who has written for various popular properties including Superman, Star Wars, Doctor Who, Shrek and Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein.
We recently featured exclusive extracts from his superhero-inspired graphic novel Bystander 27 here on downthetubes. He’s also written animated stories for BBC television, and almost 30 novels, making him more than qualified to polish Russ’s characters and story line into wonderful dialogue.
The book is edited by industry veteran Tim Quinn, who has been a scriptwriter, illustrator and editor on such noted titles as Beano, The Dandy, Sparky, The Topper, Buster, Whoopee!, Bunty, Jackie, Doctor Who Magazine, and Whizzer & Chips before heading Stateside to work for the mighty Marvel Comics Group on the world famous Spider-Man, X-Men and the Incredible Hulk.
Joining them on an array of uber-talented guest artists on pin-up and colour duties – Rob Willis, Renzo Rodrigas, Mike Emeritz, Amrit Birdi, Mike Summers, Chris McAuley and Captain Frederick Head.
There’s plenty more about the project over on Indiegogo here, and hopefully the sample pages here have more than whetted your appetite!
• You can read a full eight-page preview on the Indiegogo page or download a PDF version on the project’s official website here (subject to change on final publishing)
• You can see how the book has been put together and how the production is getting on by visiting Russ’s Youtube channel ComicBookBlackBelt – where he has livestreams and regular screen captures of artwork available.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.