You ever have a friend that always comes up with the fun, crazy ideas. You say you want to do a Pirate story and he says, “How about Pi-RATs?” A ship full of rat pirates. You say you want to do a story about super heroes and he says, “What about them getting together for drinks after they fight, for Happy Hour.” That is the brilliance of Dan Taylor. He is going to take every idea and have his own unique and fun spin on it. Taylor, co-creator of Hero Happy Hour (formerly Superhero Happy Hour… but you know, lawsuits) and one time editor at IDW Publishing. (He’s the guy that let me blow up the Super Bowl in a 30 Days of Night miniseries.) He has teamed up with the D.J. Coffman (Hero by Night) for a kickstarter for a new project – Captain Freedom: Combat Hate.
The titular hero Captain Freedom a.k.a. Don Wright, publisher of The Daily Bulletin newspaper, is a Golden Age superhero known for fighting Nazi villains and thwarting Axis saboteurs with the aid of four children, Beanie, Joanie, Lefty, and Slim—the Young Defenders. Now in the public domain, Captain Freedom’s first appearance was in Speed Comics #13 by Harvey Publications in 1941 and is credited as being created by “Franklin Flagg.” Keep Left (Taylor and Coffman) looks to raise funds via a Kickstarter to bring Captain Freedom out of retirement in order to combat hate.
The all-new Captain Freedom: Combat Hate comic book will feature an original story by writer Dan Taylor and artist D.J. Coffman, and focus on a redesigned look for the superhero in an alternate timeline set after the Second World War, one that is reminiscent of our own past, while eerily similar to our current time. In addition to the main story, the comic will include back-up stories and pin-ups from a growing list of contributors including: Phil Hester, Eric Johnson, Andy Kuhn, Chris Mowry, Gordon Purcell, E.J. Su, Datsun Tran, and J.K. Woodward.
And the just recently added Wynonna Earp creator Beau Smith.
“In today’s tumultuous climate fueled by racism and supremacists our country, our world, needs heroes to step up and denounce hate when our political leaders will not,” says Taylor. “While I do not condone violence, I feel that a war against hatred needs to be fought by those who stand against bigotry and racism. And, the weapon we’ve chosen is resurrecting a comic book superhero that fought the good fight in the Golden Age—a defender of democracy and foe of tyranny.”
“In many ways we’re dealing with things we thought we conquered long ago. As a human being and comic creator I get angry when I see racism, bigotry and extremism raising its ugly head in our world,” says Coffman. “I see so many friends and family living in fear. I don’t like it. I want to fight it! I want to punch back at it the best way I know how… and that’s drawing some friggin comics. My heroes are guys like Joe Simon and Jack Kirby who taught me through their works that the pen and pencils are always mightier than the swords. We can all step up and ‘fight with tools.’”
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