Interview With A Vampire Kickstarter

77fabb8b63ce6dd1cb6b4703971d480e_large By Mike Lukash

Kickstarter is the most important tool comic fans have. Kickstarter is the most direct monetary vote to artistic vision a fan can buy. And creators use it to find their audience. Take for example the graphic novel, "Clan of the Vein".

According to their Kickstarter website:

"Clan of the Vein is an action-packed graphic novel about Ian MacBane – history's most deadly vampire turned vampire assassin. Fueled by relentless determination, MacBane tirelessly hunted the world for countless centuries until he had exterminated every last vampire. With his quest seemingly complete, he became damned to live an immortal existence as a warrior without a war… "

"His belief that he had exterminated the vampire menace was dead wrong. The last remaining vampires have joined forces to locate an ancient artifact that would give birth to a new generation of monster…"

They don't think vampires should be romantic and shiny. The creators like their horror done in the way of Hammer films. And they know there is an audience for unvarnished monsters.

It's written by Neo Edmund and art by Neil D'Monte and Jason Walton an edited by an  old college friend Neal Fischer. Edmund has had a very interesting background in comic writing. He's worked cross media with several cable channel based graphic novels.

Mike Lukas6951d615c37e637dbfcb5d120062ad8b_largeh:  So how did you and Neil D'Monte decide to work together on this project?  And what was the art style that this team wanted to bring to the graphic novel?

Neo Edmund: When Neil first told me about the idea he had for this project it was a lot of big concepts and action sequences. There was no storyline that tied it all together. I knew he had come up with something amazing, but it hard to be fleshed out into a story built around compelling characters. We locked down in a coffee shop for a solid week sucking down endless amounts of caffeine and beating out the initial storyline. Over time it grew into a story that we knew we had to tell.

As far as art style, we really had to explore a lot of different stuff. Our main character is both a vampire turned vampire hunter and a world famous artist. The way he sees the world deeply affects his art and therefore the art style of the comic needed to reflect that idea.

Mike Lukash: You've done a lot of non-fiction cross media work. Could you name one thing that non-fiction have over fiction?  And Fiction over non-fiction?

Neo Edmund: So non-fiction over fiction… When I worked on non-fiction projects like the graphic novels for History Channel, Animal Planet and Discovery Channel, I had to do a lot of research. I ended up having a lot of fun learning about subjects like the ancient emperors of Rome and the breading habits of great white sharks. It was a challenge to create a compelling narrative while keeping all the facts straight.

Writing fiction is a lot of fun because I get to make up whatever stuff I want to as long as it makes sense in context of a story. One time I was writing a scene for an issue of the comic series Jurassic Strike Force 5, where an alien overlord was battling a T-Rex. I suddenly stopped and realized that I actually get paid to write this stuff. Best thing ever!!

Mike Lukash: Horror has been making a big comeback in media. Vampires and the Undead are more popular than ever. What do you think has been missing, and how do you intend to fill that space?

Neo Edmund: When Neil D'Monte and I started working on Clan of the Vein, we wanted to get back to the classic monster movies or even the old Hammer Films. We've had more than enough of sexy True Blood style vamps and have never had interest in the kind that sparkle. We studied vampire mythologies from all around the world and discovered some amazing species of vampires that most people have never heard of. The best part is that these different species of vamps all have to be killed in their own unique ways. A simple stake through the heart or holy water won't get the job done in Clan of the Vein.

Mike Lukash: Lots of research in Vampires…so those Discovery books came in handy for raw material to builds your story?

Neo Edmund: Not specifically the Discovery and History Channel books, but working on those types of books reminded me of the value of doing actual research. Neil and I found some really amazing vampire mythology encyclopedias in a strange place called the library!

Mike Lukash: Many graphic novels are born from a collection of single issues, collected together. What made you decide to do a graphic Novel?  And is this a first in a series of graphic novels?

Neo Edmund: I grew up reading comics so the idea of getting parts of a story on a monthly or bi-monthly basis isn't weird to me. That being said, I gotta admit that I really dig picking up a five or six issue collected trade paperback and getting it all at once.

For Clan of the Vein, we felt that doing this for the initial story line made the most sense. Building an audience for a new project is tough in a world where there such a massive amount of content. We want to give our audience enough in the first dose to really hook them in. It didn't feel like a quick teaser with a cliffhanger would be enough.

After this initial book, we may very well move to the single 22 page issue model or perhaps we will stick with the graphic novel format. Either way, we have a epic story to tell so this is only the first part of something huge!

Mike Lukash: Some artist/writers try to pitch their stories to publishers in order to get their story told. Your team has decided to go with Kickstarter. What eventually lead to taking this route?

We had considered going to major publishers but in the end we knew the indie road was best for us. If a big publisher puts money into making the book, they are going to take a fat percentage of ownership. Along with this, the publisher is going to impose editorial control.

Neo Edmund: At one point Neil and I were talking with an investor that wanted us to say that vampires were the result of a meteorite crashing to Earth and infecting our hero with some sort of alien blood. We hated the concept, but if we wanted the investor's finanical backing, that was how it had to be. We made the though choice of walking away and seeking other ways to get our book done.

When we partnered up with Neal Fischer, he convinced us that with Kickstarter, we can have the freedom to make the book the way we want to. Kickstarter is also a great way to test the waters to find out if there is real interest in the story. If people like it and want to see it, they can give us the green light to make it happen.

If you'd like something different in your horror comic, here is your chance to support it.

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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