Written by James Ferguson
Published on Saturday, 01 March 2014 23:47
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Varney the Vampire Launches with First Chapter Free
I see a lot of Kickstarter campaigns come through HorrorTalk HQ. Everyone has a movie, web-series, or puppet show they want to produce with the help of interested audience members. Rarely do I get to see a comic campaign that has more than a few pages to show. Scott Massino and Scott Kolins are going against the grain with their campaign for Varney the Vampire by providing the first chapter of the six part series online for free through Thrillbent. You can read the equivalent of a single issue filled with completed pages that are penciled, inked, and colored before donating. Try before you buy.
Varney the Vampire follows the title character, as he looks to reclaim his reputation as the world's first vampire. It turns out that Bram Stoker stole his life story for Dracula and turned it into a Hollywood legend. Now Varney has hired his present-day screenwriter kin to help set the record straight.
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The comic was created to fill the vampire void in horror-comedy comics. “Right now, Hellboy and The Goon are all we’ve got,” Massino said. “Sure, they both do what they do very well, but Teen or Teen-plus content only goes so far with some fans. Now, thanks to Thrillbent and Kickstarter, Scott Kolins and I can bring a Rated M book to the table. Varney is South Park in its laughs -- but smart, scary. It asks some nasty questions that we may not like the answers to.”
Of course, it helps to have the support of a company like Thrillbent with Mark Waid and John Rogers. The first chapter can be read for free on the Thrillbent site and the rest of the book will eventually be hosted there as well, albeit not for some time and definitely not before pledgers have had a chance to read the book.
“As I've been saying, in my mind, it's not ‘Digital versus Print,’ it’s Digital AND Print. It’s about maximizing outreach, which this does,’” said Thrillbent publisher Mark Waid. “I’ve had my eye on Varney for a while now. It’s clever, it’s really well done, and Thrillbent is happy to promote it. Writer Scott Massino and seasoned comics artist Scott Kolins, with whom I’ve collaborated in the past, have cooked up a tale about the most terrifying blood-suckers known to man: vampires, family and Hollywood.”
Mark Waid is not the only creator to take notice of Varney the Vampire. Other authors including Mike Carey, Dan Abnett, Bruce Jones, Victor Gischler, Michael Avon Oeming, Stuart Moore, and Joshua Hale Fialkov have begun to sing its praises. Additionally, the Kickstarter campaign will feature exclusive Varney movie posters from 18 artists in the style of lobby cards, each signed by the artist and slabbed by CGC, the Comics Guarantee Corporation. These artists are: Darick Robertson, Glenn Fabry, Kelley Jones, Kyle Hotz, Frank Brunner, Mike Ploog, Herb Trimpe, Val Mayerik, Bret Blevins, Fred Hembeck, Jamal Igle, Janet Lee, Stephen Segovia, Bob McLeod, Esteban Maroto, Marcio Takara, Scott Kolins, and Andrew Robinson. Each artist has also generously donated their original piece to be put up for pledge to help fund the remaining production.
At the time of this writing, the Varney the Vampire Kickstarter still has a ways to go. That means that there are plenty of these exclusives left including portfolio reviews for aspiring artists. The world needs more comedic horror comics and especially a few mature ones. Read the first chapter of the comic on Thrillbent and then decide for yourself.
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