Cognition #0 – already in part available digitally as a “proof of concept” – is a 34 page, black and white, single issue comic that follows the exploits of a steam-powered automaton inhabited by a human spirit called Cal and a demonically possessed mouse named Sigma. They battle spirits, monsters and folkloric nasties for the British Occult Secret Service (BOSS) during the ‘Golden Age’ of the Victorian era.
Issue #0 contains three short stories that introduce the main characters, their world and the supernatural laws that govern them.
- “They Never See it Coming” – The BOSS team run sting operations, looking to expose fake spiritualist mediums. The trouble starts when they stumble over the real deal
- “The Devil’s Fishing Hole” – Cal & Sigma investigate when a number of people go missing on Hackney marshes. They get more than they bargained for when they discover truth
- “Frame Breakers” – A dangerous group of radicals plot the downfall of the British Empire. A dangerous enemy is revealed.
Included in the issue is the BOSS Personnel File, which gives a bit more information about the heroes.
Ipswich-based Cognition‘s creator Ken Reynolds has lettered for many independent publishers and creators, including upcoming work for Grayhaven Comics, Insane Comics & Arcana. He was proud to be part of the lettering team that completed the 750+ page epic that is The Explorers’ Guild by Jon Baird, Kevin Costner and Rick Ross, which was published last year by Simon & Schuster.
Ken edits the experimental comic anthology Sliced Quarterly (which I reviewed positively here) and acts as Assistant Editor for the anthology comic 100% Biodegradable (for David Hailwood, who has been kind enough to script edit Cognition). Both titles showcase a breadth of indie talent.
Cognition is drawn by Stoke-on-Trent-based Sam Bentley, an artist who decided to pursue a career in comic book art in 2012. He was selected as one of 13 ﬁnalists in high proﬁle comic creator Todd Macfarlane’s ‘Lucky 13’ fan art contest in 2014, work that was subsequently included in the 250th issue of Spawn.
“The risks are minimal on this project,” says Ken, who is trying Kickstarter for the first time with Cognition. “The main content of the book is ready to go to print. All rewards and Kickstarter exclusives will go into production as soon as the campaign ends.
“I feel very confident that I’ll be able to fulfill all rewards within four to six weeks after a successful campaign ends. I have geared all the work involved in creating and delivering the rewards towards the skill-set, experience and contacts I have gained through working in the design industry for over 10 years.
“This is my first campaign, but it has been designed to play to my strengths.”
The art looks great and the concept is so intriguing I was immediately hooked. Check it out now on Kickstarter.