Kickstarter has given life to many passion projects for comic book creators that in the past would have been near impossible if they weren’t deemed worthy of being picked up by an established publisher. Now a days creative teams could pitch their ideas to hungry readers and they can in turn help fund the books into reality. One of these awesome projects going live on Kickstarter today is Space Wolf Studio’s Outrun City #1 by Chris Northrop and Travis Ames.
The thirty-two page comic book that was completely produced in house takes place in Outrun City, a place that is is plagued by crime and homelessness. As the city grew the rise in poverty and the homeless was not handled well by the administration. “In our book the city’s solution is extreme. Revoke your citizenship, and you are on your own out on the streets. Hoping violence and destitution will get rid of the people it failed”, said Ames. This has lead to resentment from the thousands that have been left displaced and in constant danger of gangs and cannibalistic homeless that lurk in the shadows looking for the perfect time to strike. The overwhelming situation has left law enforcement hopeless in their effort to contain the chaos.
In the middle of this madness we meet the main character of our story Sherman, a “garbonetic engineer” who has found a way to adapt and survive in this dangerous city. He does this by compulsively collecting all sorts of trash and any item that he can find and put into good use. He lives by the idea that “even the most useless things can have purpose”. In one of the preview pages provided below by Space Wolf Studios we can see a great example of this attitude as he gives various examples of things he can make out of what many consider junk.
During one of his many trips to the Outrun City dump he discovers Hobotron, a being no longer a man but a robot born of trash that only has one mission, SEEK JUSTICE. With Sherman in need of protection of all of the dangers of Outrun City and Hobotron in need of weapons and knowledge of the city, they strike a deal. The unlikely pair now travel through the city unleashing extreme punishment on anyone who dares break the law. “Sherman has found a way to thrive even though he is homeless in Outrun City. He guarantees his safety with the violent protector he finds, but is compromising his morality”, commented Ames. Check out a few preview pages for Outrun City #1 below!
Northrop and Ames have over a decade of experience working with publishers including Dark Horse and Image Comics on titles like Darkness, Eclipse and Critical Role: Origins. Now they have this amazing project that comes out of their own comic book production house they named Space Wolf Studios. Here is where Outrun City #1 was crafted for the past year and now it is ready to be printed on hearty newsprint stock. It’s shading and tones with zipatone will give it the pulpy “trashy” feel that will help readers immerse themselves more into the world of Outrun City. It will definitely need to be a comic book that should be enjoyed in print and not just a screen.
Talking with Northrop about Outrun City #1, I found out that this book is a lot more than just a few pages of creative storytelling and action scenes. It conveys a message about the homeless situation that southern California finds itself in. “It’s not just an action thing. It’s got purpose behind it an observations from my time in LA”, said Northrop, “and how we dehumanize and re-humanize people. Depending on our own position on the socioeconomic ladder.” The homeless crisis in Los Angeles is grim as a report obtained via Fox News says that over the last year LA had a sixteen percent rise in it’s homeless population, which is more than thirty-six thousand people. In the greater Los Angeles County area, the homeless population rose twelve percent, bringing the total to about fifty-nine thousand displaced people. It’s getting so bad that surrounding cities in the county blame each other for “dumping” homeless into other surrounding areas instead of facing the issue head on. It’s bad enough where some politicians are calling for Governor Newsom to declare a state of emergency.
With that said it will be interesting to see the relevant message is delivered in Outrun City #1 regarding this terrible situation. As for our unexpected duo, will they be able to survive Outrun City? Who is Hobotron and where did he come from? To answer some of these questions and more, be sure to support Space Wolf Studios’ Outrun City #1 on Kickstarter in the link below.
For more information about Outrun City #1 and Space Wolf Studios, make sure to visit their Facebook page! Also if you are going to be at Los Angeles Comic Con on October 11th through the 13th, be sure to visit them at table 8H.
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Source: Space Wolf Studios, Fox News