We have talked a lot about Kickstarter projects being the breeding ground for hot new comics. We have seen ‘The Outliers’, ‘Watson and Holmes’, ‘Wild Blue Yonder’, ‘Voice in the Dark’, and others take off and become darlings of the secondary market. Some of these have ended up getting major distribution, and the Kickstarter variants being the ones really sought after. One book that is on my radar, ‘Suicide 5’, is being funded now, and for $20 you get the hard cover version. This one is on my radar because it is delightfully twisted in the content of the book.
The story is about five friends who watch another friend commit suicide on Youtube, and as opposed to being horrifed by it, decide to one up him in a suicide competition. I have seen some of the pages and it is chocked full of gore. It really looks good.
I ran into Jason Pell at the Baltimore Comic con and he agreed to do an interview with me. I knew about the book previously and was so pumped to see him there, I may have come off a little manic, but was able to walk away with an interview and a sweet Suicide 5 T-Shirt.
Make sure to check out the Kickstarter for this book at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1265535519/suicide-5-a-black-comedy-horror-tale-that-ends-in
Comics Heating Up- Hi Jason thanks for taking the time out to talk to us about your Kickstarter Project ‘Suicide 5’. So, what is the story about?
Jason Pell- ‘Suicide 5’ is about five friends that are willing to go to the most horrible lengths imaginable to become famous. They’re willing to end their lives in fantastic and gruesome ways to achieve what they see to be immortality.
This book could easily be concept over character. Just making it one bloody death after the next and there are already plenty of comics and movies out there if that’s your thing. The interest for me, as the writer, is in characters. This is about some VERY lost souls who’s damnable sin is counting the wrong person as their friend. Bryce, their self-appointed ringleader, is evil. I’ve written about monsters of all sorts throughout my career, but I think Bryce takes the cake because you could actually run across him or his type. There ARE people out there like him and they often prefer the sun-warmed sidewalks over the dark alleys. And that’s very scary.
CHU- Who are the cast of characters?
JP- Bryce is without question the leader. He’s manipulative and cunning and completely devoid of empathy. Mason is the only one not participating in the “game” and he’s Bryce’s main opposition. Through him, we see a bit of contrast if not reason. Still, I want to be clear. There are no heroes here.
CHU- So the book sounds cool, and looks pretty gory, where did you come up with this idea?
JP- The idea came from where a lot of my ideas come from, my friends. I bar tend and often my friends will come visit me, and from there as the night gets later, the conversations become very odd. The topic came up and I remember thinking would it be possible to make an interesting story about suicide and not make it just exploitive.
CHU- So Jason, you are writing, and Ryan Howe is doing art, tell me a little about yourselves?
JP- I’ve been writing comics and short stories for over a decade. Zombie Highway was the first and was a critical success if not a financial one. Once I knew I was going to write Suicide 5, I placed an ad and found an artist that more than does it justice. Ryan Howe didn’t forget that these are individuals first before body bags. He captured the vulnerability in them needed in these to give Suicide 5 the emotional weight in needed.
CHU- Since this is a Kickstarter project, how has the process been for you?
JP- Kickstarter is always interesting. You have days where the backers chase after you like you’re the last ice-cream truck in America. On other days, not so much.
A lot of people wait until the last week to back a project. I think it’s to remind the creators who really is in charge, and I can appreciate that.
CHU- When does the funding period end?
JP- October 2nd.
CHU- So you mentioned ‘Zombie Highway’ which I read, have you had other books produced?
JP-Several years ago I created ‘Zombie Highway’ as I mentioned, which was published through Digital Webbing. ‘Woody and the Noble’ is another book that you might stumble across and that was carried by Arcana. Last year was the first year I truly self-published with ‘Season’s End’ and that was funded on Kickstarter.
CHU-I noticed that there was a ‘Season’s End’ Story included in the Kickstarter edition of ‘Suicide 5’
JP- Yes, Season’s End will have a short story appearing in the back of Suicide 5. This should be very surprising to anyone that’s read Season’s End. (It ended on a very final note.)
Blake Wheeler is the co-creator of Season’s End and an amazing painter. I’m thrilled he’s agreed to come back!
CHU- I have known about this project for a little while, and was pumped about it, that is why I seemed so overly enthusiastic, when I was talking with you at your table in Baltimore. When I first heard of the Book I thought of one of my favorite Japanese horror movies “Suicide Circle” not that they are related but the concept of people offing themselves in a competitive manner seemed to fit the comparison. Were you influenced at all by the movie?
JP- I personally love Japanese horror films and I’m sure I’ve seen ‘Suicide Circle’ if I can’t remember what happens in it. (In other words, don’t sue me!) A friend of mine had just finished reading Battle Royale and said the Suicide 5 reminded him of the insane @#$% they’d put in a Japanese film. After he said that, I couldn’t resist putting some Japanese on the actual cover.
CHU- Suicide 5 has some fantastic gore in it, as well as nudity, from the preview you showed me, what genre would you place this in Horror, Horror Comedy, black comedy, all ages etc…?
JC-The books has been tough for me to describe. It’s mainly a horror/thriller with some VERY black comedy. Definitely not all ages.
CHU- Here is the tough one, you kind of hinted at it in Baltimore. Since the book deals with suicide, and the characters are offing themselves in more spectacular ways, have you gotten any negative response about the book?
JP-Not flat out negative, but some very strong words of caution from friends in the industry. My hope that most will give it a chance before they write it off as completely tasteless.
CHU- Once the book is funded and out, are there any plans to continue the story, or what would be next for you guys? Will there be a ‘Suicide 6’?
JP-Well, most of the characters are definitely out of the picture, so their story is told. However, there is no telling how their actions have affected the world they live in. So…maybe.
CHU-Any additional info you would like to provide?
JP-Yes, don’t wait! Back this book now. You won’t be sorry.
CHU- Jason, thanks again for taking the time out to talk with us, as well as the sweet T-shirt (which I wore to a neighborhood event that caused some sideways stares) and good look with the book. I plan to put in for my copy as well!
See the preview below: