Comic creator Russell Mark Olson has relaunched his brilliant SF noir tale Gateway City, the new adventure set in 1920s Paris and St. Louis – which will first appear as a web comic, on Patreon, then in print, in The Gateway City Quarterly, a 16-page, tabloid-sized newspaper.
The first volume of Gateway City, released in 2018 after a successful crowdfunder, took us to St. Louis, Missouri in the 1920s. In the middle of a citywide gang war, visitors from much further east than Chicago decide to take the Rome of the West for themselves.
Private investigator “Lundy” Lundqvist finds himself caught between the ambition of a crooked senator, the ire of deadly mobsters and the machinations of alien invaders. Can Lundy save himself and his city?
The artist on Cult Empire’s Lady Hollywood series, he’s also contributed to numerous anthologies and worked for a number of publishers. His most recent work includes Mr Doyle’s Class Presents: A Study In Scarlet (written by Matt Hardy) which was released earlier this year from The Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, and his self-published book of Film Noir inspired illustrations, Ditch Angels. He’s also a member of The Skrawllordz, a group of creators forged in the fire of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival in 2019.
In between numerous other projects. Russell has been beavering away writing and rewriting scripts more issues of Gateway City – six full issues, in fact, and another two plotted out.
“But something was just never quite right with them,” he reveals. “Add to that, the exposure Gateway garnered meant that I was getting regular paid comics work. It became increasingly difficult to make time for the story as I was spending my drawing time on paid gigs.
“Then, it dawned on me. Why not go back to the basics? Gateway City started life as a serial webcomic. It wasn’t until I was two issues in that I determined to begin printing them.
“So, I’ve scrapped the scripts and am going back to the roots of the story and Gateway City now has new life as a webcomic. I may have other projects on the go, but I know I can at least do one page a week and keep the story going.”
Determined to keep the project on track, he’s created a Patreon page, where supporters of his work can back it with regular subscription-type payments, gaining early access to latest work and more.
All Patreon supporters will get early access to the weekly Gateway City strip (with support starting at £1.50), with the strip then made public one week later.
At the “sub-editor” level (£4.50), supporters will receive The Gateway City Quarterly, a 16- page, tabloid-sized newspaper, collecting 12 weeks worth of pages four times a year.
“As well as the comic, printed at almost the original size of the drawn artwork, each issue will include a cover, a letters page, and other odds and ends,” Russell tells us. “I’m hoping to have other guest artists for one-off comics.”
Russell hopes the Quarterly will recapture the joy of the “Sunday Funnies”, US Newspapers comic strip sections of old.
“At the end of each year, I’ll launch a Kickstarter to publish a year’s worth of strips, most likely in a prestige format comic (think Dark Knight Returns). They’ll be the same dimensions as a US comic, like the Gateway City trade paperback. but probably sitting at 60 pages. Patreon supporters will be able to get the annual trade at a reduced rate.
“There are other tiers, but in essence, Gateway lives!”
A trade paperback of the first four issues with some exclusive content is now available to buy. The trade paperback was edited by John Freeman and includes a foreword by the Will Eisner Hall Of Fame inductee, Roy Thomas. It was included in the Pipedream Comics Indie Comic of the Year top 10 list