Comics industry veteran Chip Mosher and legendary artist Peter Krause (The Power of Shazam!, Irredeemable) today announce the Kickstarter for Blacking Out, a 56-page graphic novel presented in the hardcover European album format. Colorist Giulia Brusco (Scalped, Django Unchained), letterer Ed Dukeshire (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and designer Tom Muller (X-Men) join the pair in this sucker-punch tale of a disgraced ex-cop, Conrad, unraveling an unsolved murder during Southern California’s fire season.
“If you like tales about bad people doing bad things, this one’s for you,” writer Chip Mosher says. “The book is completed and we are looking to raise funds for printing. Pete took my story and transformed it into this seductive, dark vacuum of self-destructive characters making sense of a violent world. Each page overflows with menace. Pete’s a master at the top of his form. Similarly, Giulia, Ed, and Tom worked in tandem to make this comic shine in every way. The art, colors, lettering, and design all perfectly harmonize.”
In Blacking Out, Conrad follows a lone clue—a discarded crucifix—to unravel the death of Karen Littleton, whose body was found amid a blaze that scorched 10,000 acres. Conrad’s search leads him to clash with the victim’s father and prime suspect, Robert Littleton, as well as hostile former colleagues on the local police force. All the while, Conrad combats his alcoholism and fading faculties.
“Chip is one of my best buds in the comics biz, and he’s a fun, jovial guy,” Krause says. “So when he gave me the Blacking Out script, I was taken aback—such a dark story! But I began to envision the tale and how fun it would be to draw, so of course, I said yes.”
Though known most in the comics industry for his work in marketing, publishing, and editorial, Mosher has been developing Blacking Out for years. In late 2016, Mosher recruited Krause to bring these self-immolating characters to life in a tight one-and-done graphic novel. The finished book will include gorgeous endpapers and spot gloss on the case wrap, making Muller’s weathered logo pop against the inferno consuming the SoCal horizon, as illustrated by Peter Krause.
“I love crime stories. Dark alleyways, bad decisions, a shady rendezvous—they’re all lovely fodder for a comic book artist,” Krause says. “Chip gave me a lot of freedom with Blacking Out. The script wasn’t broken down into traditional pages and panels. Being able to pace the story and take the time to get it right really paid off. The result is a book that I’m very proud of… even if it’s creepy as hell.”
“My adopted hometown of Los Angeles is so dense with crime lore and in my 20 years living here, I haven’t stopped falling down that rabbit hole,” Mosher explains. “That legacy and the southern California wildfires led to Blacking Out, and I was fortunate to find talented collaborators willing to fuel my buzzkill vision.”
The Kickstarter platform offers the creative team the chance to celebrate the traditions of film noir with the greater comic book community through this project’s rewards. A print set of 11 cinematic lobby cards featuring characters from Blacking Out will be offered as rewards. These lobby cards are illustrated by acclaimed artists Francesco Francavilla (Afterlife with Archie), Eduardo Risso (Moonshine), Mirka Andolfo (Mercy), Dan Panosian (Slots), Emma Ríos (Pretty Deadly), Jacob Phillips (the upcoming That Texas Blood), Patric Reynolds (The Mask), Ryan Kelly (Saucer Country), Jamal Igle (The Wrong Earth), and Elise McCall (Spy Island).
Other rewards include an original drawing from Peter Krause, with the top-tier reward being a tour of L.A.’s most notorious crime sites with Mosher. The Kickstarter campaign lasts until June 24, 2020.