Here on Comic Booked, you’ll find a lot of reviews from the big (and not-so-big) publishers. But we need to remember that not all great books come from those established publishers, though, and there are a number of great independent books out there. Some of those find a home in delivery through Kickstarter and one that really caught my eye was a book called Horizon’s End.
In the creators’ own words, this is a one sentence summary of what Horizon’s End is all about:
[quote]A 120-page graphic novel chronicling a young girl’s impossible mission to free a xenophobic alien race from an intergalactic syndicate.[/quote]
OK, so that’s an impressive statement without a lot of detail. Well, let’s look at the details:
[quote]Horizon’s End is a science fiction epic in the vein of the classic space opera and science fiction adventure series. It’s focused on the intergalactic story of a teenage girl caught between the need to avenge her murdered loved ones and the sense of duty instilled in her by those who rescued her from a life of slavery.
Exploring themes of self-discovery, independence, and trust, Horizon’s End is a 120 page, full color, original graphic novel. With your support, it will be the first in a series of stories that depict our heroine’s adventures as she balances her personal goals of vengeance with galactic society’s need for her to become the hero she never wanted to be. In the end, Horizon’s End is a story about people that just happens to take place in a science fiction setting.
OK, now that gives me a little more substance. What impressed me here? That they are embracing the space opera style in a comic form. There are not a lot of successful space opera-style books that succeeded in comic form without getting too cheesy, in my opinion, or that didn’t begin as a superhero series that “smoothly” mutated to be the space story. There are a lot of those, but very few that embrace the full opera motif from the get-go.
I really like the idea that the creators envision a series of stories with this being the first book. From new comic writers (i.e. ones who have not fully established themselves in the comic book genre, regardless of experience elsewhere) having a grand vision is a great way to get things going. A one-off story just doesn’t cut it unless people know who you are these days, at least in my opinion. But in saying that, they have the ability to say just that with one of the main collaborators on this project – which is what had me willing to contribute even without knowing too much about the book.
The story’s visionaries are Daron Kappauff and Chris Delloiacono, both of whom created and wrote Horizon’s End. Although this is their first foray into writing a comic per se, they have writing experience in other mediums, both in a business environment but also as professional writers. They both have published short stories before and they even have comic book journalism experiences under their belt, so they are definitely no stranger to understanding comic books, which makes their choice in artist so much more exceptional to me (and this choice is what had me hooked on this title).
Darryl Banks is the artist. Many of you may think the name is somewhat familiar, and for long-time Green Lantern fans it should be. Banks is the artist who, along with Ron Marz, created Kyle Rayner. For a while, Kyle was the only Green Lantern in the DCU and he was one who inherited the ring without having a ton of training (read: none). With the downfall of longtime GL Hal Jordan, Kyle kept the legacy alive in a new, exciting way, without being considered a sidekick. I loved the artwork on the series at this time and the story being generated by Marz and Banks kept me coming back for more. This is Darryl Banks’ return to comics after several years away, so I am excited to see what he can deliver here again! On the visuals, Banks is supported by Moose Baumann on colors (and the duo worked together on Green Lantern back in the day), who is also coloring Bloodhound at Dark Horse and X-O Manowar over at Valiant. Troy Peteri is the letterer for the book, but is also active as a writer for a webcomic over at Mark Waid’s Thrillbent.
The creative team is rounded out with Stephane Roux who created the cover you can see to the side here, and Dave Lanphear who is the logo and graphic designer. Both of these gentlemen have comics roots, notably DC’s Zatanna and Thrillbent’s 77 Hero Plaza respectively.
This is a Kickstarter so you wanna know what you’re gonna get if you contribute, right? Well, it starts off with thanks in the book as most do and goes up to digital versions, printed versions (now in hardcover), and then a ton of possibilities for prints and other art goodies associated from the book from some well established artists… Darryl Banks and Stephane Roux provide some of those goodies, as well as other artists Adam Withers & Comfort Love, Jim Calafiore, Ryan Benjamin, Barry Kitson, Mikel Janin, Todd Nuack, Chris Mooneyham, Sergio Cariello, Mike Grell… OK, now I am just name dropping.
Hop on over to their Kickstarter page and check it out on your own and watch the intro video! The project is open until July 18, 2013, and is almost 25% funded – myself being part of that 25%. As you can tell, I’m vested in this one. Seeing Darryl Banks in the credits made the decision for me early on. I do recommend giving it a look and seeing if it interests you – it did me.