Writer, artist, and actor John Stanisci's first creator-owned series Lifedeath was originally developed for Vertigo, but after that all folded, was taken to Kickstarter a few years back and now, for his birthday, is coming back via Substack today. With comics industry stalwart Jeremy Atkins, they are launching a Substack newsletter – though not one of the Substack Pro Bros. He will be hosting art and marketing classes in addition to using it as a portal for all of his creator-owned work (including Foundlings) going forward, called Origin Story. A new home for their ideas and IP, as well as weekly instructional content.
Mars. Year 2211. A rogue scientist from Earth discovers the afterlife is really an ancient computer program, designed to upload our consciousness when we die. Over the centuries, this program grew to life, to sentience. But, now, that program is crashing.
Dr. Meredith Ross, an expert in meta-psychiatric science, has been released from prison in order to track down the fugitive scientist. Meredith has spent her life trying to reach the afterlife from our world, to prove its existence….and to find her long gone father. Now, on Mars, she will learn the truth about what the afterlife is as she becomes the one person who has any chance to save the billions of countless souls connected inside its programming before they are lost forever.
LIFEDEATH is an original sci fi series that is epic in scope. The series takes us through the history of life and religion on earth, unraveling the most widely accepted notions of the ancient mysteries, the Gnostic beliefs, and the nature of mankind itself. Set against the backdrop of this epic story is the simple human tale of one young woman's search for her long dead father and how far she will go, and how much she will sacrifice, to find his soul one more time. In truth, how far would any of us go to reconnect with those we lost that we love the most?
John Stanisci says "I love comics. My absolute earliest memory is reading Amazing Spider Man #116. I remember the art from John Romita on that comic BEFORE I can recall memories of my parents. My heroes were John Byrne, Frank Miller, and Joe Kubert; guys who wrote and drew their own material, who brought their own unique singular vision to life and thrilled readers like me month after month with words and pictures. I wanted to do that. It's taken a long while, but I have never lost sight of my childhood dream. Today, on my birthday no less (!), I am so proud and happy to launch Origin Story with my great friend, Jeremy Atkins. He LOVES comics too, just as I do. Along with Joe Navarra, we are so excited to launch my original Sci Fi series LIFEDEATH as the first project on our Substack. Yes, there will be more projects to announce in the days ahead, but for today, thanks to the partnership with Jeremy, I get to bring my own comic series to the world. My one true sincere hope is that we can provide some small taste of the thrill I had as a kid following the work of my heroes. Thanks for joining us on this ride! We are just getting started!"
"John and I were originally introduced through my involvement on the original Kickstarter campaign for his first creator-owned graphic novel, LIFEDEATH" says Jeremy Atkins. "In addition to a fast friendship, I was immediately drawn to the concept, and John's art recalls the heyday of the hard Sci-Fi of Heavy Metal magazine that blew my mind growing up. After collaborating on other projects over the years, when John told me he was returning to LIFEDEATH, we talked about where/how to best reintroduce it. With so many friends in comics putting out exciting content through their Substack newsletters, it seemed a natural home for the new series. Beyond that, we thought with John's popular quarantine art classes through Facebook live, and my years of participating on comics publicity and marketing panels, we could collaborate on a newsletter that brings his work and our experience to an eager audience through exclusive content, classes and more."
Premiering today, Origin Story is the new home to original work by John Stanisci and Jeremy Atkins, debuting as a weekly newsletter through Substack. The two will offer exclusive insight into the development process of multiple projects across mediums, from the page to the stage. In addition to sharing this journey with readers through the newsletter, subscribers will have access to monthly classes for art and writing, as well as publicity and marketing, based on their collective career experience, and the first look at new properties in comic books, theater, film and television.
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.