An Illegal Kickstarter


Writer: Jeremy Whitley. Artist: Heather Nunnelly. Running: 8/7-9/6. Published by Feb 2015.

Jeremy Whitley writes:

The Pitch:

In the future, everyone in America will be tracked by a microchip under their skin. The government will know everywhere you go, everything you do, and everything you own. The only people they can't track are undocumented immigrants, which makes them public enemy number one.

When one of Gianna DelRey's rich employers turns her in, she's forced to run for her life. But what she'll discover in the depths of the city is what she is truly capable of and who will pay her what to do it.

The Story:

I've always been a big fan of science fiction, but it seems like the vast majority of the sci-fi movies and comics you see deal with handsome white males on the run from…whatever. Sometimes they're plucky future blue collar guys, but in a lot of cases they're "the man". They're cops or scientists or some such. What strikes me as odd about that, is that we're only seeing the end of a very long story.

The underprivileged get it first. The poor, the minorities, the women – people that the government can convince you shouldn't belong there or shouldn't have the same rights as you. Those people disappear in the night while the blue collar white guy is still home and warm in his bed with a wife played by an actress whose better at their craft and should be leading her own movie – but she's not.

That's where the idea of "Illegal" started. I live in the South (that's of the USA) where large numbers of people still feel like calling people "illegals" and talking about how they're "stealing jobs" is still considered polite workplace conversation. As a white guy who was raised by a Mexican grandfather who was a US Navy lifer and twice the man I could ever hope to be, I tend to take that personally. My grandfather left a household where he had a drunken and abusive father and made himself something exceptional. Had America's immigration laws been then what they are now, he may have never had that chance.

So I wanted to take a heroine (Gianna DelRey) who came from a similar circumstance in the not so distant future where our current fears about illegal immigration, class warfare, and government surveillance had proceeded to the point of no return. Then I wanted to use that as the background to tell a story about surviving and fighting on – whether it be surviving an abusive father or an abusive government. And then I wanted to turn it into a badass action/adventure using parkour. Because if you are an undocumented immigrant in a towering vertical city and you have to avoid guards scanning you for a chip, you have to become a gifted traceuse.

Along with series artist Heather Nunnelly I have a Kickstarter going right now to fund the first volume of the series (and hopefully beyond). For the next few days, we are adding a special Bleeding Cool goal to get from $2,000 to $4,000 by the end of day Tuesday. If we succeed, we will be creating a special "Bleeding Cool Edition" of our exclusive Kickstarter print just for people who pledge over those days!

Are you up to the challenge? 


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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