I'm a big fan of Alex de Campi's work, going back to reading Valentine on my cell phone via Comixology before finally getting a tablet. I'm a big fan of Jerry Ordway, going back to his Superman work. And while her work is newer to me, I also love the coloring that Marissa Louise has done in her still-growing career. Combine the three together on a horror project? It's absolutely amazing, and now they've teamed up again to tell more stories as part of a Kickstarter campaign that ends today, but you still have a chance to back before it finishes up.
When I first heard that Alex, one of our Panel Pals, was working with Jerry Ordway, I became extremely excited. Alex's scripting abilities, especially in the horror genre, are second to none, and Ordway's linework, if anything, has only gotten better over time. He can make any scene, no matter how normal, and bring out the details. When tackling an urban fantasy, Ordway's abilities really shine, because he can take something as simple as an airbag and make it menacing, as you can see from the KS campaign background image.
For me personally, Semiautomagic is the best work to appear so far in the new Dark Horse Presents (with the caveat that I'm only caught up through the first fifteen issues). It features a snarky female magic user named Alice who isn't afraid to manipulate people, putting her on a similar level to Constantine without being quite to obnoxious or overly reflective about it. The foes she faces are truly terrifying, especially once she gets closer to her goal. In a very small space, de Campi creates an extremely large world, one that Ordway populates with a horror that's no so much about gore (Alex has Grindhouse for that) as it is about taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary, just by adjusting the perspective.
It's not an apples to apples comparison, but to some degree the horror aspects here are kind of like the 1970s Jim Aparo Spectre stories, where the "good guy" would turn normal objects into weapons of murder. And if you know the series I mean, you'll know you're in for some amazing work here, all colored by Marissa Louise, who also excels in bringing out the best in ordinary objects. Nothing here is over-the-top; it's all colored in a way that complements the story style, and her ability to decide when to color as normal and when to throw reality out the window really polishes off the whole picture.
Now the Kickstarter itself isn't just for the a trade of the material already printed by Dark Horse. This is to take home a deluxe hardcover (or your own personal digital edition) of the original tale, plus another 80 pages, split between two new stories featuring Alice, drawn by Ordway and Louise, and a third by Lara Margarida, featuring a side character in the original story. All three will be part of the collection, as the campaign has met its main stretch goals and is reaching for one final goal--a new cover for the hardcover.
Goals for this one are pretty straightforward. $20 gets you a digital edition, and will be the only way to get the new material digitally, since it's not part of Dark Horse's orbit, they're just coordinating things with de Campi. $45 will bring the hardcover to your door, and of course, higher tiers offer pitches or portfolio reviews.
Normally if I'm pushing at the end of a campaign, it's to help make sure it gets over the finish line. This time, I'm so very pleased to be here not to help the project fund, but to ensure that you don't miss out on a chance to get a copy of one of the best horror stories of the past few years. (If you don't believe me, Alex has included the first few pages of the story on the campaign page for you to try for yourself.) But again--act fast, because this Kickstarter ends today. You might be haunted by your choice to pass. This is a great comic by great people--a winning combination you shouldn't miss.