Happy Monday! Get your coffee, put on your tie and grown-up pants, and don’t forget to check out this small press comic! As an End of the Universe reader, not only do you get to read about only the coolest and most interesting independent comics accessible via crowdfunding, but the creators have agreed to send any EotU backers a bonus sticker with our site logo– simply identify yourself as having come from this site when you back the book, and receive a FREE End of the Universe sticker!
Featuring the tagline “Work until your family is sad,” The First Law Of Mad Science follows super-scientist George Baker and his newest invention, electronic retinal implants known as “Cyber-Eyes,” which are nothing short of amazing. So amazing, in fact, and so cheap and easy to get, that some 40% of the population has gotten them within their first year on the market. But they aren’t perfect. Far from it. When things start going inexplicably and bizarrely wrong with the original test subjects, George and his family will have to find out why, before the problem spreads and causes worldwide panic. Along the way, they’ll uncover ancient civilizations, corporate conspiracies, sinister cults, other-dimensional creatures, awesome robots, subterranean cities, and Things Man Was Not Meant To Know. It’s going to be a wild ride.
The main book is written and lettered by Oliver Mertz & Mike Isenberg, drawn and co-created by Daniel Lapham. Grayscales and tones by Jeff McComsey, issue three inks by Lonny Chant, covers by Jamie Noguchi.
In addition to the first volume of this incredible story, the creative team has put out an exciting new Mad Science-themed anthology, Science Club Mixtape, featuring:
stories written and/or illustrated by Shawn Aldridge (GoGetters, Vic Boone), Frank Barbiere (Five Ghosts, Avengers World), Michael S. Bracco (Novo, the Creators), Jason Copland (Pop, Daredevil), Stan Chou (FUBAR, Oxymoron II Anthology), Amy Chu (Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman, Vertigo Quarterly), Anthony Del Col (Kill Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini), Savanna Ganucheau (Toe Tag Riot), Leland Goodman (Basement Dwellers), Mike Isenberg (First Law of Mad Science, FUBAR), Daniel Lapham (Warhammer 40K, First Law of Mad Science),Conor McCreery (Kill Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini), Jeff McComsey(FUBAR, Flutter), Oliver Mertz (First Law of Mad Science, FUBAR), Jamie Noguchi (Yellow Peril, The 47 Bronin), Pete Toms (POP, Sacrifice), and Sean Von Gorman (Toe Tag Riot, Pawn Shop).
Also on the rewards tier, in addition to digital and print copies of the above comics, you can get cool t-shirts (our own Katy Rex wears the R.A.I.Ch.E.L. shirt regularly), or even DRINKS AND MAKING COMICS WITH AMY CHU AT SAN DIEGO COMIC CON if you’re willing to put down a little extra cash. And if you’re a retailer, don’t worry, they’ve got you covered– you can back in bulk, and sell the book at your store!
The creators of The First Law Of Mad Science have agreed to ship a special prize for backers identifying themselves as End of the Universe readers. Once you contribute, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and you will receive a free End of the Universe Sticker with your reward!
Keep reading for a conversation with the devilishly handsome writer of First Law, Mike Isenberg:
Why did you choose crowdfunding for this project?
First Law of Mad Science wouldn’t exist without Kickstarter. Oliver and I were just two guys who wanted to write a comic back in 2010, when we used Kickstarter to help us hire Daniel to draw issue #1. We had another Kickstarter for issue #2 in 2011, and since then modest convention and comiXology sales have offset our costs enough that we can keep the comic going without Oliver or myself going totally broke. Now we have enough material to collect into a trade paperback, which is a great opportunity, but not one we can afford on our own. At every convention we do, we get people asking us about a trade; so, Kickstarter seemed like the best way to make it happen.
Why should End of the Universe readers donate to your book?
Well, I wouldn’t use the word “donate.” Backers help support the project, but we aren’t a charity, and they’re definitely getting something in return. We have a great story, with a lot of fun twists and turns, weird mysteries, neat tech, and bad-ass ladies. And it’s something like 164 pages, already done and just about ready to go to the printer, so there shouldn’t be any real delays (*knock on wood*) in getting it into your readers’ hands. And the Science Club Mixtape anthology is coming along nicely, and has some really awesome creators contributing art and stories.
What sets your book apart from all the other comics available on and off of Kickstarter?
Oliver and I have been dedicated, from the start, to making a comic that we would want to read, and that would be worth the reader’s time. We wanted to create a suspenseful and exciting mystery with an epic scope and apocalyptic stakes, told with a focus on the characters and their relationships. The Baker family is weird, and it might seem atypical, but that family unit–and the way it holds together–is really the heart of our story. Even when they’re being kidnapped by crazy cultists and excavating alien technology.
Also, somewhat uncommonly for Kickstarter, First Law Of Mad Science Vol. 1: Work Until Your Family Is Sad is done. We just need to get it to the printer.
If this part of the plan is successful (i.e. your Kickstarter reaches its goals, you produce your content, it’s received with wide acclaim, etc.), what’s next? How long-term is this?
Next is issue #6, which Daniel is hard at work on as we speak. Kickstarter backers can pre-order it as an add-on to their pledge, btw. After that, we’ll start on issue #7. Twelve chapters have been planned out; Chapter Four was split between issues #4 and #5, so we’ll have at least 13 issues for this story-arc. And we have plenty of ideas for where to go from there. In the short term, this Kickstarter will let us go to print with a Vol. 1 trade. Longer term, having that trade will let us continue telling this story. It frees us from having to continually go back to print for each issue, to avoid having gaps in the story when we exhibit at conventions. Those have been print-on-demand, so keeping them in print tied up a lot of money that could have been going to pay our artists. On top of that, trades have a shelf-life that issues don’t, so this could open up distribution into shops, which would let us build an audience beyond our little convention circuit. Simply put, if this Kickstarter succeeds, Oliver and I can keep making First Law. If it doesn’t… well, we’ll probably figure it out anyways. (I’m sure I can sell a kidney or something…)