Red Anvil Comics Publisher, Dave Ryan announced its Kickstarter project to fund his latest comicbook project: Owlgirls. Ryan — who is best known for his own ongoing War of the Independents comic book series — is announcing the launch of a month-long crowd-sourcing campaign to fund his newest project, a period comic that is the brainchild of Rachele Aragno an Italian artist living in Italy who conceived of the story of a trio of sisters (Magda, Martha, and Maggie) who have the heads of owls and the bodies of human women. The sisters live in 1940s in the SoHo district of New York City. The comic itself is written by Norwalk resident; Robert J. Sodaro, who has worked, mostly as a journalist, in the field of comics for over 30 years.
The sisters are mythical figures and essentially act as furies or Norns. They commune with death (who appears to them as an old woman), and deal with supra-natural occurrences. The sisters live above a mortuary that is run by Gebedhia, who has a romantic relationship with Magda, the oldest sister. “This is Rachele’s first published work,” Ryan stated. “She has so much raw talent that I was completely blown away by her art the first time I saw it.” After spotting Rachele’s art online, and friending her, Ryan came to learn that while Rachele had the core story of the Owlgirl sisters, as well as a very distinctive style of imagery about them, she really didn’t have a story to go with her characters. “So I introduced her to my friend Bob Sodaro, who is a writer, and asked if he might be interested in crafting a story to go with them. As it turns out, Sodaro, who has been writing professionally in the field of comics for several years, was also taken by the imagery and concept. “In all the years that I’ve been reading comics,” Sodaro said, “I’ve never seen art as distinctive and eclectic as Rachael’s. I’m totally in love with her characters.”
The story is set in New York City, 1940. The three sisters live in a typical three-story building and investigate murders and unsolved cases on behalf of individuals. They exploit their own capacity to conduct the demons or spirits in their dens. There is a link between them and Death that will be explored throughout the initial five-issue story arc. The first issue is already written, illustrated and lettered, while the second issue is written and being illustrated, even as the third issue is being written.
Ryan, who successfully Kickstartered his own comicbook series, The War of the Independents believes that using this online crowd-sourcing methodology, is a great way to launch Indie projects. “It is easier to solicit funds in small amounts from several people than it is to seek a much larger amount from a single source,” Ryan said. To this end, Ryan has partnered up with Joe Martino, publisher of JGM Comics, another Indie comicbook company who has also successfully run a pair of Kickstarter campaigns for his own superhero comic The Mighty Titan. “We’re only asking for about $3,500 to get the first issue into print,” Ryan stated, “and we have some great rewards for our backers.”
All three creators (Aragno, Ryan, and Sodaro) along with Martino are very upbeat about the project. “The way these Kickerstarter campaigns work,” Sodaro said, “Is that you have ‘X’ amount of time to raise ‘Y’ amount of money. If you do, then your project is funded and you collect the funds. However if you don’t, then none of the pledges are collected and your backers get to keep their funds.” Needless to say, all of the principles are confident that they will easily meet their goal during the Kickstarter campaign.
While this is Aragno’s first comicbook work, both Ryan and Sodaro are old hands in the industry. Ryan is a 2010 Eagle Award Nominee for Best Pencils, Best Cover Artist and Best New series for War of the Independents lives in New Jersey, while Sodaro has worked as a journalist for most of the comicbook magazines during the ‘80s & ‘90s and is currently contributing short stories to a number of Indie comicbook companies, including an upcoming stand-alone for JGM.
The Owlgirls Kickerstarter launched on Monday July 22, 2013 and runs until September 1, 2013.