Jason Inman writes,
"I have this idea for a comic book, but all I have is a name – Jupiter Jet."
That is how my wife, Ashley Victoria Robinson, unwittingly set into motion the events that have brought us here today – launching a Kickstarter campaign for issues #2 – 5 of our very first comic book series. The name came with the image of a red-haired girl flying around saving the day wearing a jet and [spoiler alert that became the final twist of the first arc] and my imagination immediately ran wild with all the details of the world surrounding Jupiter Jet. The melding of an all-ages period piece and a science fiction story was a tale that I have been dying to create!
For instance: she has a genius little brother named Chuck who can build anything, all they have in the world is each other (we would learn what happened to their parents later), they were up against one big bad guy and Jupiter Jet – or Jacky, as she is known in her civilian identity – was is actually afraid of heights … not a normal problem for a sky-based heroine.
Going from fan to DC All Access host to comic creator has been a long journey. It required a lot of friends, connections and being in the right place at the right time to make it work. That's correct, friend. Even you can do it if you put in the right amount of elbow grease. A couple years back I reached out to comic writer Joshua Hale Fialkov (The Bunker, Incorporated), and asked blindly to be his assistant. He saw something in me and gave me a job. Then came the blind submission to be the host of DC All Access and DC Comics took me in. Through them I met tons of creators and asked them for all kinds of advice. I submitted and was published in a couple anthologies including Alterna Comics' IF Anthology and Marc Andreyko's fantastic Love is Love Anthology.
Soon, my wife and I were pitching Jupiter Jet to Action Lab Comics at Phoenix Comic Con last year. You quickly discover the comics industry is a ladder that you just have to force yourself to climb up and not stop. But, since this book is 100% creator-owned, there's no publisher's financing. Our Kickstarter goal is enough to bridge the gap!
Ashley and I had run a successful IndieGoGo campaign in 2013 for our webseries The Red Shirt Diaries, and are passionate about all-ages comics, so there was never any doubt that Jupiter Jet would be crowdfunded – even after Action Lab Comics came on board to distribute the series directly to local comic shops. Some readers underestimate the power of a hero's journey that can appeal to readers of all ages, even though some of the most famous in pop culture history just that – Luke Skywalker, Harry Potter. It has been of paramount important to us to create Jupiter Jet to stand among these titans.
Naturally, this put a lot of pressure on our artist, Ben Matsuya, who we met because he drew a fanart piece of me from my time on Screen Junkies Movie Fights, to create compelling visuals for Jupiter Jet to transcend generations of readers. I know Ashley had mentioned to him that she'd been reading a lot of manga when we were first developing the series and that she drew a lot from those characters and designs. It's not obvious in the lineart, but it's definitely there if you squint.
Once we had the series written and were ready to unleash the comic onto the world with a Kickstarter, my wife and I thought a lot about the rewards we wanted to offer. A Kickstarter is an intense experience. If your rewards aren't interesting, no one will fund your comic. Since we are fans ourselves, we created some cool perks that could interest anyone that wants to break into the comic industry. (This is where going to conventions and talking to creators can come in handy) We got our friend, Sixth Gun writer Cullen Bunn to agree to review comic scripts as a reward. Plus, the amazing artist Mitch Gerads of Sheriff of Babylon was willing to critique art for us as a reward. It's those perks that we hope can make our campaign stand out and help someone along their journey into comics. We've had a lot of help and want to pay that forward.
Really quickly I want to give a quick shout out to our letterer, Taylor Esposito and our colorist, Mara Jayne Carpenter. It takes a great team to make a comic and we found a super squad. Also, special thanks to comic greats Nicola Scott (Wonder Woman), and Tim Seeley (Nightwing), for providing prints for the Jupiter Jet Kickstarter. (They are stunning and Nicola gifted us the original art for hers. That print will never leave our wall.)
We really appreciate that you guys have taken the time with us to read and support the Kickstarter and to help spread the word about Jupiter Jet! I read Bleeding Cool everyday and it has always been one of my favorite sites. So, it's a surreal feeling to write an article for it as well. (Thanks Rich!)
PLUS! We have a special free offer for any Bleeding Cool readers who back Jupiter Jet —a Jupiter Jet Button with Jacky's smiling face. Just put in CODE: BCOOLJET in the messages section when you back the Jupiter Jet at any level of THE BOOK & TIM SEELEY and above!