Michael Allred, Stephen R. Bissette, Jae Lee, Nick Pitarra, Paul Pope, Bill Sienkiewicz and Clem Robins are teaming up with artist Vanessa Cardinali and writer Chanan Beizer for the new graphic novel, The Golem of Venice Beach from Clover Press, which has just launched on Kickstarter, but has already received $35,000 against a $20,000 goal. And here, for Bleeding Cool readers, is an exclusive extract by Cardinali, who you might better know from the Image Comics series Slumber, in which our protagonist Jake skirts a detective on the Venice boardwalk and discusses tattoos and Judaism, and the full press release is below.
"As a writer I know that story is important, but in comics if the art isn't working, the story really doesn't matter," said writer Chanan Beizer. "It's been truly thrilling to witness the artistic interpretation of my words. Every artist involved has left a lasting imprint on The Golem of Venice Beach. They've elevated the story beyond what I could ever describe on a two-dimensional piece of paper. That is what art should do."
"When Chris asked me to draw this story, the first thing that interested me was the presence of a fantastic component," said artist Vanessa Cardinali. "Creating 'not real' characters or worlds like the Golem continues to be one of the parts of this job that I enjoy the most! It was also very interesting to work on a story specifically set in Venice Beach: I've seen so many of those photos that I feel like I've been there now! In addition, the opportunity to work with the long list of comic superstars involved was truly unmissable."
In The Golem of Venice Beach, Adam is a Golem, a creature of vengeance and destruction, of violence and death. He was created 400 years ago, a world away in Eastern Europe, but today he lives in Southern California. Adam spends his days adrift on the sunny boardwalks of Venice Beach, pining for release from his lonely existence. His only hope is the clueless Jake Loeb, the sole remaining heir of the Golem's creator. But when Jake becomes involved with a mysterious tattooed woman and a drug-dealing death worship cult, things get complicated and dangerous for Adam. Golems are not meant to walk the Earth forever. Can Adam make a difference? Can he find peace in the California sun? And can a monster have a soul?
This 152-page epic story about the adventures of a 400-year-old Golem spans from 16th century Europe, to the horrors of World War II, to modern-day Venice Beach, where the Golem has become entangled in a war between a gang and the police. In 2018, Chanan Beizer's script for The Golem of Venice Beach won the very first ScreenCraft Cinematic Book contest for graphic novels. For the past three years, Beizer has been working with editor Chris Stevens to bring the story of the Golem to life. The Golem of Venice Beach features:
- A wrap-around cover and a seven-page prologue by artist Bill Sienkiewicz that showcases the Golem's creation in the year 1580.
- A 10-page flashback sequence by Jae Lee and colourist June Chung that depicts how the Golem was resurrected during World War Two.
- A 2-page spread and map of Venice Beach that captures everything weird and wonderful about the bohemian spirit that permeates the neighbourhood by Michael Allred and colourist Laura Allred,
- An eerie phantasmagoria by Stephen R. Bissette
- A 2 page-splash page by Nick Pitarra (the creator of the highly anticipated Ax-Wielder Jon) that features every single person who is on panel in the book in one huge, cinematic crowd shot.
- A stunning 2-page portrait, featuring the iconic Santa Monica Pier by Paul Pope and colourist Lovern Kindzierski.
- Over 100 pages of art by the book's main artist, Vanessa Cardinali.