Kickstart My Heart – Tightrope: The Illusion Of Height

It’s New Comic Book Day, and in the midst of your excitement for the latest issues, 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!

This Wednesday’s feature is Tightrope: The Illusion of Height.

Part hardboiled noir, part period-piece-with-a-twist, Tightrope is set in the pre-Depression American Midwest, where The Circus with More wows audiences with its unconventional show. But the price of staying on the cutting edge is higher than any ticket holder would guess—and than any of the Circus’ performers are willing to admit. When Jolek, the show’s new strongman, meets Hattie, its enigmatic star, no one’s secrets are kept safe, Jolek’s own least of all.

Tightrope is created by Nick and Rachel Wirtz, who originally met stiltwalking in Oberlin College’s OCircus, a student-led circus performance experience. They will be Cartoonists in Residence at the Charles Shultz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA this December.

In addition to print and digital copies of the comic, the rewards tier gives you a chance to check out some other titles from this creative team, who go by the name Three Points Comics. In that list is the similarly-nostalgic Ham & Eggs, the story of Eddie the Wandering Fry Cook in Chicago in 1924, as well as the sci-fi graphic novel The Radiant Ones, which has never been available on Kickstarter.

The deadline for funding this project is July 3, 2015.

The creators of Tightrope: The Illusion of Height have agreed to ship a special prize for backers identifying themselves as End of the Universe readers. Once you contribute, email, and you will receive a free End of the Universe Sticker with your reward!

Below is a conversation with Nick Wirtz, illustrator of Tightrope.

Why did you choose crowdfunding for this project?

We chose to crowdfund our printrun of Tightrope: The Illusion of Height for two reasons. Firstly, as a small studio, Kickstarter offers the chance to reach a wider audience, an audience that is coming to the site specifically because they’re in the market to fund the arts.The other reason is that we love our fans, new and old, and running a crowdfunding campaign is lets us interact with them, making them a part of the creative process.  We want our fans to know that we consider them a valuable asset; their enthusiasm is what keeps us going before, during and after the campaign.
Why should End of the Universe readers donate to your book?
Tightrope is a labor of love, and we’ve got so much more work we want to be able to put into it. Backing us will fund improvements to the art and dialogue before we go to print. We’ll be able to focus on really making it perfect. The updates we make won’t be live online, as our way of thanking our supporters. Being a backer also helps get the second book in the series produced more quickly: Every 50 pledges we get will increase the speed at which Book 2 goes live online.
What sets your book apart from all the other comics available on and off of Kickstarter?
Our backgrounds as creators is what makes our work so unique. Neither of us was formally trained in comic making: Nick has a degrees in art and history, Rachel in cinema studies. So Tightrope owes its ambitious storytelling to a film noir influence and the research and design that go into the illustration gives every visual aspect a rich, intentional feel.
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?
What’s next? Why, Book 2, of course! We’ve already got the script written for Tightrope: Feats of Strength, as well as plans for a one-shot superhero comic. Oh, and the continuation of our sci-fi series, The Radiant Ones. We could go on, but you get the idea: Three Point Comics is our dream job, and with your support, one day it will be our full-time gig.

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