Michael Zulli Will Even Draw Batman To Fund New Graphic Novel, The Fracture Of The Universal Boy

This is a Michael Zulli portrait of Batman.

I love Michael Zulli’s work. From Puma Blues to Sandman to that little Sweeney Todd prelude to a comic that never was. You’d have thought publishers would be falling over themselves to support his latest work. And his new work has been solicited and promised before. But it looks like it has hit a speed bump or two.

But instead he’s turned to Kickstarter.

The Fracture Of The Universal Boy is an original 200 page graphic novel by the man. And it is complete. All it needs is to be published. And Zulli is raising money for a print run.

As always there are various levels of donation and $45 gets you a signed copy of the graphic novel, a Fracture print and your name in the book. Penny for penny, that is fantastic value, which is why I’m just about to donate myself.

And for $2500, as he states, “To get this published, I’ll even draw Batman!”

Michael describes the book as;

Everything begins as a dream. Or, in somewhat less esoteric terms, an “idea”.

The computer you may be reading this on, and the desk on which it sits, hard its origins in the realm of the intangible, the unreal, a dream. The inner life is your real life, one that begins before you were born, and remains with us, constant and pervasive all the days of our lives. The outer, tangible world we all say is the “real” world is only a manifestation of the one that lives in the space out side our five senses. Without this inner life, nothing would happen.

The Fracture of the Universal Boy is my attempt in story form to address these ideas.

Told in a kind of symbolic dream logic I have tried to address the ideas and motivations behind the artistic life. What is the nature of belief? Love? The process of making art? At times it is pure unadulterated nightmare, brutal and almost blasphemous, and at other times sublime and even a bit silly, the book is a true labor of love. I made this without the restraints of the marketplace, deadlines or outside control or systems. Much like a song is written, a painting is brought to canvas, or a pot or a poem brought into being by any other artist of any other discipline. In effect it is my own personal monster, cobbled together from all the various bits of things that fascinate and appall me. It was deliberately made to provoke ideas, outrage, and catharsis, and the sense of peace one has after the inner storms pass, leaving one clear and washed clean.

It is subtitled A Symbolist Manifesto. But do you know what this feels like? This feels like Michael Zulli doing something along the lines Dave McKean attempted with Cages. So, yes, damn right I’ve “donated”. Or “paid”, whatever word you prefer.

Why not join me?

Steve Bissette, who used to publish Michael Zulli, writes;

“As the old maps used to state, at the far edge of uncharted territories: ‘Here Be Monsters.’ There are no monsters as formidable as those that live within, or those harpies that age and hard experience foster.

Michael Zulli’s imaginative, transgressive confessional reveals just how comfortable and constrained ‘confessional,’ ‘memoir’ and ‘autobiography’ graphic novels have been until now. This sui generis masterwork pushes boundaries and blazes trails as yet unmarked, as yet unexplored—until now.

It is visionary in every sense of the word, a ravishing and at times painfully candid revelation of the artist’s interior emotional life, pressing every bruise, reopening all wounds, fraying laid-bare nerves with seductive ease and imagery to die for. It is not an easy read, but cannot be put down, and rewards every repeat visit in ways precious few graphic novels have or ever will. Zulli unfurls his (and the reader’s) psyche like a map, and he is a very dangerous cartographer because it appears he has no boundaries.

And that—this book—is just what we need.”

Here is some artwork from the project…

Thomas Negovan

About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.