Monday, October 31, 2011

Welcome to the World of Ace Kilroy!

Today the blog is highlighting a long-gestating project that goes live today: Ace Kilroy!

Ace Kilroy is the creation of artist Dan O'Connor and me; its a brand-new online daily comic strip launching today over on!

Ace Kilroy is a project Dan and I have been working on for over a year. He and I attended the Joe Kubert School together, and from the beginning I was impressed by the quality of his work: Dan had a crisp, simple style, dynamic but not flashy--perfect for comic books, and I resented the hell out of him for it!

Anyway, over the intervening decades(!), Dan and I lost touch, and then we ran into one another again virtually on Facebook and then in something called Real Life at the 2009 New York Comic Con. Dan was telling me some horror stories (stories I was all too familiar with in my own life as an artist) about doing comic book work, and I was simultaneously angry and bewildered that a guy this talented has had to deal with some at times shady comic book publishers. Little did I realize, but Ace Kilroy was born on the ride home from the con.

Within a couple of months, I had formulated a basic concept of the strip, what it would be, what kind of tone I was aiming for, and I knew Dan would be the perfect artist to bring it to life: he and I are both aficionados of 30s and 40s culture (Americana specifically), and since Ace Kilroy starts off in 1937 and would steeped in that world, I knew Dan could really sink his artistic teeth into it.

Luckily, he agreed, and within a few weeks we were already working on the strips, having a blast, but with no clear date set when it would officially launch. Since the strip has a prevalent horror theme, I thought October 31--Halloween--would be perfect.

The short of Ace Kilroy is: In 1937, the United States has learned two disturbing facts. One, that supernatural monsters--i.e., vampires, werewolves--are real. Two, the Third Reich, in preparing to start World War II, are trying to take control of these monsters and turn them to the side of the Nazis, making them unstoppable.

President Franklin Roosevelt commissions soldier of fortune, WW I veteran and all-around adventurer Ace Kilroy to head to Transylvania, where there are rumors of some sort of real-life Dracula, and stop whatever nefarious plot is being hatched!

Ace Kilroy will feature adventure, horror, thrills, comedy, political intrigue, and even romance, in (hopefully) the most fun and engaging way possible!

I normally never use my other blogs to pimp my outside projects, but Ace Kilroy is special: I am enormously proud of what we've created so far, and we're going to give it ol' college try in terms of making it a financially viable, ongoing creative project: its nothing less than a daily comic strip, just like the classic adventure strips of old, except Ace Kilroy will appear on the web, not on the back page of a newspaper sandwiched between Ziggy and Mark Trail.

Ace Kilroy will run a black and white strip six days a week, with an extra-sized Color Supplement on Sundays, again like the classic strips of old. Dan and I want to bring back that sense of pure adventuresome fun with the strip, and transport the reader back to a time when the daily adventures of
Steve Canyon, Secret Agent X-9, or Dick Tracy were can't-miss, waiting-with-bated-breath-for-the-next-installment affairs for comics fans.

But since the daily newspapers of old are, essentially, gone (the comics pages especially), we're doing it in a very modern way: on the web, with all past strips available with the click of a mouse, with Ace appearing across a wide variety of social media platforms, which will occasionally feature bonus or special side material. Dan and I essentially want to hire ourselves as the artist and writer (respectively) of an daily comic strip...which of course means you!

Not to sound like I'm taking my other blogs hostage or anything, but if we can get enough people to support Ace Kilroy financially, then I can spend more time at home, leaving me the time and ability to subsidize my other, non-profit-generating efforts, like this one. And isn't that what we all want?

So if you're interested in taking a look at Ace Kilroy, and maybe even supporting it, you can do so at the following places, starting off with the official site, where you can learn more about the characters, the creators, and see the first strip:

...and finally, if you like what you see enough to financially support Ace Kilroy, you can visit the Ace Kilroy Fundraising Page on Kickstarter, where you can learn more about the strip, find out what kind of donations you can make, and even watch a short video all about Ace Kilroy. We hope to raise enough money to give Ace (and us!) and a good running start!

Finally, one last thing specifically about the graphic you saw at the top of this post: Dan and I have a million fun ideas in regards to what we could do with Ace Kilroy outside the daily online strip: an OTR-type podcast, merchandise, and something near-and-dear to my heart: a treasury edition.

I would love nothing more than to have Ace Kilroy be so successful that we can afford to reprint the first bunch of strips into an oversized treasury edition, just like the one DC did for Dick Tracy. I already told Dan that'd we probably lose money on it, but I don't care: I just want the thing to exist, you know?

So please make that happen by supporting Ace Kilroy!

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