Writer Chris Welsh and artist Ammar Al-Chalabi, the team behind the fun, long-running and much-praised “cosmic horror web comic” WART have just launched a Kickstarter to raise funds to publish a print edition.
For those that need reminding, the crowd funding site Kickstarter is a place where people can outline their ideas, projects, etc, and then if other people (friends or strangers) think it sounds good, they can throw in some cash towards making the idea or project a reality.
“Anyway, yeah,” says Liverpool-based writer Chris, “We’re running one. And we’re running it like a pre-order for a bunch of cool stuff. So if you kick us some cash, we’ll send you actual things in return. Digital books, paper books, t-shirts, posters, sketches… We don’t want people to give us cash for no reason – that’d be madness – so we’re committed to exchanging cash for goods.
WART is an original horror comic series starring Wart Bellamy, an unfortunate young fellow ripped from his reality and tossed into a mysterious, other-worldly ‘Asylum for the Belligerently Insane’.
It’s a fab looking strip crammed with monsters, cults, ghosts, rats and a shady doctor in charge of the whole thing. Wart’s story takes him through multiple dimensions that threaten both his physical health and his crumbling sanity. Along the way he makes friends, enemies and gets incrementally closer to finding out just what the hell is going on.
Chris Welsh is a novelist, screenwriter, comic writer and columnist “Anything that has words in” writer, mainly writing horror, mostly, with dashes of comedy, sci-fi and fantasy. Some of his work – he’s written three novels – to date, as well as WART – is available on Amazon.
“I enjoy writing from the perspective of the useless, or about adventures that no one would wish to actually take themselves,” says Chris. “I write horror and humour and mix both with elements of fantasy, sci-fi and superheroes. I don’t have a set genre, I enjoy pushing everything I love together and seeing what comes out.”
Because he is a designer by day and an illustrator by night, Ammar Al-Chalabi, who lives in Holland, claims his tablet pencil has been permanently fused with his hand (making him a slightly lesser cool Ash from Evil Dead). After reading way to many H.P. Lovecraft stories and slowly going mad he says he was finally was inspired to create his own setting and stories in the wonderful genre that is cosmic horror.
“WART only exists thanks to the wonder of the Internet,” says Chris of the web comic’s origins, described by Curiosity Of A Social Misfit as ” absolutely hilarious, exciting and utterly brilliant” and by Fanboy Comics as getting “the things right that so many others continue to get wrong.”
“Without [the web], I’d be some unknown writer guy who wanted to write a comic and Ammar would be a cool artist with no script,” Chris claims. “We ‘met’ on the Internet over a year ago after Ammar posted an advert on Reddit about wanting to work with a writer. I replied and then, a few months later, we had part of a comic done without ever having met in person. Through a surprisingly organic process, we shaped it from a rough idea into a story with a backbone and heart. And monsters. A lot of giant monsters.
“In the year we’ve worked together we’ve taken WART to a number of UK Comic Conventions, met fans, had a lot of fun, and even eventually met in person – at Nottingham Comic Con. Thankfully, we didn’t instantly hate each other, so WART can continue! Next year we’re aiming for at least one convention visit a month, including our first ever international one, the Dutch Comic Con in March!”
“Every person running a Kickstarter dreams of surpassing the goal, even by a few hundred quid, but if we don’t then that’s fine, we’ve planned accordingly,” says Chris. “But also, if any rich benefactor wants to inject a few thousand pounds into our cause, we won’t say no!”
Every penny the team raise will go right back into the comic in one way or another. “First and foremost we’re going to use the money to fulfil all the rewards we’ve promised, and then if there’s any left after that we’ll get more books printed, attend more cons, all that stuff.”
WART is A fun read with smashing art – check it out online and have a look at the Kickstarter and consider giving your support to this talented and hard-working duo.
• Read WART online at www.wartcomic.com
All art featured © Chris Welsh & Ammar Al-Chalabi