By MIKI JENNINGS
It’s no easy task to release a comic book. While going to school and working full time, releasing a comic book is even more difficult.
Pima Community College students Mariah Wall and Kyle Stephens are doing exactly that and using Kickstarter to help fund it.
Kickstarter is a website where people can promote their creative projects and others can donate money to help them. This is the first time either Wall or Stephens have used Kickstarter and it’s a lot more work than they anticipated.
Wall said that a big obstacle is “coming up with the incentives,” or bonuses that backers receive by donating certain amounts. A lot of the bonuses involve special art drawn by Wall, which requires extra time to complete for each backer.
“It limits us on some things,” she said.
The project was launched Oct. 14 and set to run until Nov. 30. In a relatively short period of time, the project had reached its goal amount of $1500. With 12 days left of the fundraiser to go, the project had exceeded that amount by over $400.
“If it’s a lot extra, we’ll see if we can throw in something extra for our fans,” Wall said.
Stephens and Wall are releasing “Unbound: the Awakening” under Syndicate Press, their own independent publishing label. Syndicate is made up of Wall, Stephens, Santino Castaneda, Jose Zaragosa and Megan Leff.
“In the last three months, all of our hangouts have turned into business hangouts,” Stephens said. They’ve been working to finalize all the details for the first issue of “Unbound,” such as paper and printing, Kickstarter bonuses and everything else involved.
Some of the incentives for backers include signed copies of the first issue custom sketch cards from Wall, the artist, and the variant cover by Mike DeBalfo.
The comic is a story set in an alternate, dystopian future reality that incorporates Greek mythological characters. The main character, Liam, works in the drilling and mining field and meets Hades accidentally. From there, he strikes a deal to help Hades find his wife Persephone, who has gone missing.
“I wanted to do something centered on Hades and Persephone and then [Stephens] added the human element,” Wall said.
They told artist Mike DeBalfo of Aspen comics about the project and he offered to draw a variant cover for them. The cover release will be exclusive to Kickstarter backers. “Potential of Nine” artist Taylor Garrity is also collaborating with Wall and Stephens to release an exclusive print for backers.
For more information, visit the “Unbound” Facebook page at facebook.com/UnboundTheAwakening and the Kickstarter page at kickstarter.com/projects/396388559/unbound-the-awakening.