By Jai Nitz
In October of 2015, the New York Times polled its readers and asked, "If you could go back and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it?" That pretty much sums up the kind of debate we've come to expect from the Gray Lady, but a month later it became national news. In November, American Republican nominee hopeful Jeb Bush was asked if he would kill baby Hitler and he replied enthusiastically, "Hell yeah, I would! You gotta step up, man." Dr. Ben Carson said he would not abort baby Hitler, responding, "I'm not in favor of aborting anybody." Noted comic fan and late night talk show host Stephen Colbert got in on the act too. The long story short? Hitler, the 20th Century's greatest villain, still has some tread left on his goose-stepping tires.
This is, of course, no surprise to me. Hitler still gets lots of miles in comic books as the greatest villain ever. Thanos? Nope. Darkseid? Nuh-uh. It's Adolph Hitler by a country mile. Jack Kirby and Joe Simon punched him out on the cover of Captain America #1 (months before America entered WWII!), Stan Lee and Jack Kirby revived a clone of Hitler, the Hate Monger, in Fantastic Four #21. And Hitler is the central figure in one of my favorite comics of all time, The Golden Age by James Robinson and Paul Smith.
Still, I was caught by surprise when my 16 year-old Silver Award recipient Girl Scout Ambassador niece, Hayley, asked what I knew about Hitler's death at the end of WWII. Not much, it turns out. Well, she knew A LOT. She and my older brother had been researching and playing "what if?" with Hitler at the end of WWII. She had a plausible, historically accurate, and (most importantly) interesting story of how Hitler escaped Nazi Germany. She wanted to write a comic book of how Hitler got away and the men who would hunt him down. Did you know the Girl Scouts have a merit badge for comic book creation? Neither did I. Hayley already has that badge, but she wanted to make something bigger. So was born, CHASING HITLER.
Hayley and I co-wrote the first script and then I enlisted my comic pro buddies to help make the comic a reality. We got Jethro Morales (he and I worked together on Green Hornet at Dynamite), Marie Enger (Matt Kindt's amazing colorist on Pistolwhip), Chris Crank (he lettered Toshiro for me at Dark Horse), and topped it off with Marvel-exclusive Moon Knight artist (my co-creator of Dream Thief at Dark Horse, and one of my best friends) Greg Smallwood.
Pro creative team? Check. Awesome comic idea? Check. Hitler? Check. So we took the whole package to Kickstarter and we're trying to make our goal to bring this comic to life.
To celebrate "Chasing Hitler Bleeding Cool Weekend" we're giving Bleeding Cool the EXCLUSIVE look at Greg Smallwood's cover creation process from thumbnail to finished product for #1. And we are offering a BLEEDING COOL SPECIAL PACKAGE that offers our $40 reward (Your name on the inside back cover thank you page. + A PDF of Chasing Hitler #1 + A print copy of Chasing Hitler #1 + A Kickstarter exclusive black and white mini print. + A Kickstarter exclusive color mini print.) for only $35! There's a limit of 25, so act fast.
Thank you so much for your support of our Kickstarter project.