I might have mentioned this before but my buddy Harry and I have this weird thing going on … he lives in a town about 3 hours away from me but my sister and his wife work in a town almost halfway in between. Over the past several years I’ll put together a little comic book care package and leave it at my sister’s for Harry. Likewise, Harry will respond with a small pile of comics in kind. The box can have almost anything. A key comic book we mentioned we are looking for, a missed recent issue that our Local Comic Shop ran out of or a little gem we found at a local convention or comic arts festival. It’s fun stuff and our own little version of a comic book Loot Crate.
Well Harry recently brought a new Kickstarter to my attention and it looks great! Jeff Graham’s Spellbound #1. I immediately dashed to the Interwebs to have a chat with Jeff.
Martin Boruta: Jeff, so glad you had a moment or two to fill us in on your new project.
Jeff Graham: Thanks again for reaching out with regards to Spellbound.
Martin: The obvious first question, why Kickstarter and what’s the aim of the project?
Jeff: This Kickstarter Campaign is to help see this book get made. The majority of funding will go to paying the artists and seeing the book printed. The remainder goes towards Rewards, shipping and Kickstarter fees.
Martin: Have you created any other comic projects that I might have missed?
Jeff: It is my first foray into writing a comic book, but not my first for inking, nor the first Kickstarter I’ve been a part of.
Martin: And how about Spellbound specifically? We looking at an ongoing series or is this a one-shot?
Jeff: I see Spellbound #1 as the first of a five to six issue miniseries.
Martin: Jeff, give us a bit of a origin story on how we got to this point with Spellbound.
Jeff: The writing portion of this book started several years ago; it’s been an idea in the back of my head for about six years now. It stemmed from my son Joshua’s fascination with Magic: The Gathering, a game that at that time he couldn’t understand the gameplay or concepts. He had no interest in the ‘cartoony’ card games like Pokémon etc.; it was all about skeletons, goblins, zombies, etc. An idea of a game similar to Magic, but meant for younger children came to mind, which eventually evolved in to a comic book concept. While brainstorming on a camping vacation, my kids (Abby and Josh) started throwing ideas of characters and landscapes at me, so like any good parent, I stole their ideas. The book Spellbound has two of my children as characters (Abby and Josh) and has several ideas in it that came from my kids, along with a couple of my own ideas.
Martin: That sounds great getting the kids involved. I’m sure they will get a charge out of seeing their characters in print.
Jeff: This was all taking place right around the time the Evil Moose Comics was looking for new material; I had submitted another story of mine to them, and wrote the first draft of Spellbound with the intent of submitting that as well. I had an artist draw up the first eight pages, but ultimately Evil Moose Comics dissolved, I was unhappy with the script, and put it to the wayside.
Martin: I suspect that was a bit discouraging. How was the script brought out of storage?
Jeff: I had reached a point about a year or so ago where I was just doing project after project, but none of it was mine. So, I dug up my old scripts and tried putting together teams. I’ve worked with Andrey for a little while now, so he was a natural choice for pencils, as was Memo on colors. Beyond that, my buddies Rob, Dustin and Michael all expressed an interest in chipping in, which has led us to where we are now.
Martin: Every Kickstarter contributor is always eager to know how close is the project to being finished. Pretty sure it is to gauge how likely is the project to ship.
Jeff: Eight pages are completed, and hopefully with this Kickstarter Campaign ending successfully, we will see the remainder of the issue completed, printed and distributed.
Martin: Brilliant stuff Jeff. Thanks again and best of luck. I know I’ll be contributing shortly.
Jeff: Hope this gives you some insight into the project, and thanks again! It’s greatly appreciated.
Writer: Jeff Graham | Artists: Andrey Lunatik, Memo Regalado & Jeff Graham
Letterer: Rob Doan | Editor: Dustin Crocker