The Time Bomb Comics team have another great-looking title seeking support on Kickstarter – Rotten Under The Snow, a story set during World War Two – but don’t let the setting fool you…
Written by Katie Cunningham, with artwork by Mike Bogdanovic and Danielle Weibe, letters by Aaron Rackley, Rotten Under The Snow is a 96-page, complete story in a larger A4 format, set in Leningrad during the Second World War. But it’s not a war story, at least not in the conventional sense because Leningrad is frozen… under siege… and haunted…
In this dark tale, bizarrely mutilated bodies are found in the muddy snow of of the Russian city. To solve the mystery and stop an oncoming horror, a traumatised Soviet pilot with a terrible connection to what’s happening must cross enemy land- and fight what is rotting inside herself…
“Rotten Under The Snow is a a historical sci-fi thriller with a dose of horror, and a good dose of pulp adventure thrown in,” teases Time Bomb Comics publisher Steve Tanner.
“It follows female Russian fighter pilot Dajana, a former Night Witch, as she fights Nazi off-world technology and regains her humanity along the way. It’s that combination of action and personality that makes this story unique and perfect for all adult and young-adult audiences, and the sort of traditional genre mash-up that Time Bomb Comics has become known for.”
“”To create Rotten Under the Snow, we drew from a couple of fascinating pieces of history,” adds the story’s writer, Scottish comic creator Katie Cunningham, who’s also the writer of the ongoing story “Space Banshee Exorcist”, for Time Bomb Comics anthology title, Brawler.
“First: the Russian Night Witches. These were women who- despite the laws barring them from combat-formed semi-legal aircraft units to fight against the Nazis. They only had access to old, run-down planes, so their primary combat technique was idling the engine and swooping low enough to drop bombs- which they did without radar, guns, radios or even parachutes.
“Hopefully, we see them incorporated into a lot more fiction and non-fiction in the years to come: Rotten Under the Snow’s protagonist Dajana is one of them, though when we meet her she’s no longer flying.
“The second is, obviously, the Siege of Leningrad. A tragedy which transformed the civilisation of a city into a warzone, this allowed us to surround the characters with the trauma of war: it’s unavoidably part of the landscape.
“Science fiction and aliens might seem like they cheapen a historical story, but here we used them as a way of extending the themes of trauma shaping humanity. Also, as lovers of classic sci-fi and horror, it’s hard not to include somebody’s body being filled with living wires.
“This comic comes from hard work, research and love, and we hope you love reading it as much as we have making it.”
Currently working on several projects including postapocalyptic webcomic series Dark, line artist Mike Bogdanović was recruited to bring Katie’s story to life. Mike is able to go from horrifying to humanising in the same panel, which was perfect for a war story which places trauma at the forefront and blends the real terror of fascism with an alien invasion.
Colour artist Danielle Weibe elevated each story page further, using the colour schemes seen in Russian propaganda posters of the forties and fifties to give Rotten Under The Snow a unique sense of place, and a retro vibe throughout.
The project team is rounded out by letterer Aaron Rackley, a creator on a mission to make every Small Press creators lives better. His no-frills lettering style just lets you sit back and enjoy the read.
The pre-order campaign for this spooky-sounding title also officially launches the 15 Years Publishing celebrations for Time Bomb Comics, and includes a special celebration reward package containing a selection of some of the independent British comic publisher’s most popular titles.
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.