Warwick Johnson writes;
I love Westerns. I know that’s kind of an easy thing to say, no one is really going to judge or bully you for loving Western movies, but it is true. It was true when I watched “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” with my older brother for the first time, and it’s true now as I work on finishing the Western comic book that Dan Hale and I have created. The Empty Grave: Daddy’s Little Girl is an absolute labor of love from start to finish for me.
A couple of years ago, I was working on a play in Chicago when I got an idea. I was working with my friend Erin Orr, an amazing actress and a proud Texan, and I said to her “I’m going to write a Western where you get to be the hero”. I’ve always admired Erin for her performances but I wanted to write a script where she got to kick ass and be the Charles Bronson and not Claudia Cardinale, a script where she never backed down from anyone. From that conversation, the deadliest woman in the west Annabelle Cutter was born and The Empty Grave series followed closely behind. I soon met Dan Hale, the incredible artist of the series, through a mutual friend and I pitched him the story of the first issue. That meeting with Dan has evolved to this point, where a former actor/playwright is trying to achieve his lifelong dream of producing his very own comic book and people all over the world can help.
But it is true. Right now, The Empty Grave Vol. 1: Daddy’s Little Girl is running on Kickstarter to try and raise the funds that we need to hire our colorist Andrea Celistini for the book and to pay for production and distribution costs. We’re almost there, right now we are at 75% to our goal with almost a hundred backers and nine days to go. Our campaign still has some great rewards available too, with three spots left for people to have their faces drawn onto the cover of the issue, as well as original art pages and the chance to have a character named after you available as well.
The Empty Grave: Daddy’s Little Girl is a story about family and revenge, and how the former sometimes leads to the latter. Annabelle Cutter is a bounty hunter in 1880 New Mexico Territory, and she’s taken the job of bringing robber and murderer Lockwood to justice. But Lockwood is protected by Granny Collins, the head of a “family” of the worst scum in the Wild West all located within the town of Haven Springs. Annabelle’s actions lead her on a collision course with Granny and her “children”, particularly the deadly Rochester. And out in the wilderness, the Skin-Walkers continue to stalk their prey.
I think that this book is going to be very unique and it will really add something to the genre, and I think that fans of Westerns will really dig it. It’s a Western that stars a female protagonist and predominately female villains, but they are all interesting characters that bring something new to the table. Annabelle is a woman that will not stop until she gets her man, and that causes just as much trouble for her as it does the outlaws she hunts. The artwork is also really terrific, as Dan is doing an incredible job and he continues to blow me away every time I see a new page of his.
If we hit $3,500 by Monday morning, we’ve got an awesome special for Bleeding Cool readers as you will get exclusive Empty Grave logo stickers as well as character design sketches from the comic. This is something unique for you all that other backers won’t get, just remember to put that you found the Kickstarter from Bleeding Cool in the survey. A lucky few might even get a doodle from me with the character sketches (note: I am an awful artist, there’s a reason I’m just the writer).
The Empty Grave is a planned four issue series, with the second volume planned for Spring 2014.