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Saturday, 19 February 2011

Andrew Wildman charts a new Horizon, seeking crowdfunding for comics project

After many months of preparation and deliberation, comic creator Andrew Wildman's official fundraising and pre-order campaign for his Horizon project has begun, using the crowdfunding web site indiegogo.com.

The project focuses on the story of Ali, a 15 year old girl. "An age in-between," says Andrew. "An age where she isn't a child or an adult. An age of confusion. Bullied at school and after a row with her mother that she cant even remember the reason for she sits in her room. Alone. With that dark tension boiling in her gut again. Why is it like this? Why don’t they ever listen?

"The tears dry in her eyes and she grabs hold of the only thing she cares for from 'back then' and may even take with her into her future, her toy rabbit... and falls asleep.

"BANG! Eyes wide open she is awake, or so she thinks. And then... The adventure begins.

"We are then in a dream world interwoven with her daily life. It is within the dreamworld that the real story unfolds. Dreams are quite simply metaphor. It is in our dreams that we resolve issues about ourselves and our lives and Ali is no different. The only difference here is that she has a talking toy rabbit called Moon to guide her through the challenges that await her.

"And what does she meet on the way? Well, all kinds of things, mostly very big robots.

"Ultimately though, she finds herself and that is the point. Her resolution is one we can all identify with as it deals with those very human issues of Love and Loss, Fear and Freedom and what becomes possible when we let go of the things about us that hold us back. Those ways of being, behaving and relating to our circumstances that stop us from being all we can be."

Andrew, whose credits include Transformers, The X-Men, Spider-Man and GI Joe and who was one of the founding members of the comics-based fund raising charity Draw the World Together, is clearly charged up about the project, which he has been trying to get off the ground for some time.

"Horizon is a graphic novel project that in essence began about 12 years ago or possibly more," he explains. "The seed of a story began and occasionally resurfaced. Over the last few years, the themes of the book have come up in various embryonic versions that I have put together with writer colleagues but none of them ever seemed to quite get off the ground.

"After it seemed like all possibilities had been exhausted, I had a breakthrough," he continues. "The very simple suggestion from friend and fellow creator, Sara McIntyre: 'why don't you write it yourself?'

"This was the seemingly obvious answer to a seemingly insurmountable problem. And so there we are. Horizon is born as an project.

"There have been various bits of artwork of Ali, my main character, presented on my web site, so you may already be familiar with some aspects of the project," says Andrew.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," he enthuses, "and with all good intention and a favourable tail wind I will publish by the end of 2011. A new Horizon for me in this amazing Year of the Rabbit."

So far, Andrew has raised over $800 in backing for his project using indiegogo, and hopes to raise $5000 in total to bring it to life.

"The book will be published," he insists. "It is unlikely that it will be ready by the time this campaign expires but if people join in, they will get constant updates as to when the launch will be. There has already been some interest from mainstream publishers but even if in the final analysis they choose not to take it. I'll publish it under my own PaperTheatre imprint. The funds raised on indiegogo will act as seed money to cover some of the time that it will take to develop the book but also to cover some of the marketing costs.

"But it's not necessarily about that," he continues. "It's more to do with giving others the opportunity to be involved in the genesis of something new. A pre-order campaign that will allow comic fans to be along for the ride and get their name forever in the book. Or to take up any of the other opportunities on offer here to order limited edition prints, deluxe format books and original artwork."

• There are now a host of pre-order opportunities for those who want to back Horizon be along for the ride. You can check them out here on indiegogo

• Check out Andrew's website at: http://wildwords.wordpress.com

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