Five Quick Questions with Kristopher White
The Thirty Six is a five-part graphic novel that's based on an actual Kabbalistic legend that states that there are thirty-six individuals who are destined to save the world. Each of these individuals has a unique power, but a lot of the conflict comes from the fact that everyone has different definitions of what it means to "save the world."
Noam, the hero of the book, is one of those people. Armed with the fabled Staff of Moses (used to split the Red Sea), he would love nothing more than to fade into anonymity; Noam just doesn't know what he has to do to finish his duty as the leader of the thirty-six.
Chapter One is a sort of noir-ish mystery that draws upon a favorite story of mine, that of the golem. The golem is a legendary creature made of mud (think Frankenstein), and in this world, one has been released and is on a killing spree. Noam has to figure out who released it and just what it's mission is before it kills an innocent woman - and potential love interest - named Lenore. The trouble is, no one's seen a golem since the 15th century.
Of course, it's never that simple. As our hero uncovers this mystery, he discovers something even more dastardly going on. The release of this golem, it turns out, may just be the first step in a grander plan - one that involves reviving something even nastier, the master of all monsters: The Leviathan.
2) Where can we get it and how much is it?
Chapters One through Three (of Five planned) are currently available digitally through Graphic.ly (http://graphicly.com/fossil-creek-productions/thirty-six). A print copy of the first issue is also available through our official website: http://the36.net/.
Once we have all five chapters done, we're planning on printing up the trade paperback and pushing it wide to all your favorite brick and mortar comic stores.
3) What's Really Cool about this book?
One really cool thing about this book is the fact that it was made possible thanks to 122 individuals that backed us on Kickstarter (http://kickstarter.com/). Kickstarter is one of those crowd-sourcing websites that allows Indy artists and creators, like myself, to get new projects off the ground.
When you pledge to a project, it's not a donation. Everyone gets an incentive in return for joining the project. For us, we had a lot of fun coming up with some creative rewards for people. Three lucky backers are actually featured as supporting characters in the book - you can see them all in Chapter Three. A few other people have cameos. My personal favorite incentive has our wonderful artist, George Zapata, doing a custom drawing of some of our backers getting beaten up by the golem.
All in all, I'm really proud of the fact that through the support of complete strangers - and a slew of family and friends - I was able to really get this dream off the ground. Yes, we had some support from some very creative people in Hollywood that I respect - like Damon Lindelof from LOST and Star Trek - but it was the donations from complete strangers that flattered me the most. It's truly an endorsement of the power of the idea behind this book.
4) What did you enjoy about (working on) this?
For myself, I've had this idea rattling around my head for a couple of years now. So it feels really good to get it out and to share it with the world. One of the best parts has been taking an existing mythology and making it into something fresh. We get to incorporate the legend of the Leviathan, stories of the golem, the staff of Moses (there's a long complicated history/mythology there if you dig into it) and finding fun ways to weave them all together in a super-hero like tale.
Of course, the key for me in all of this is to tell great character stories. I could come up with what is arguably the best mythology in the world. But if you don't really connect with the people who's story we're telling - all of it's for naught. Finding those stories, and in particular, finding Noam's story, has been a real treat. He's your classic reluctant hero, the guy who just wants to get off the merry-go-round... but the world isn't done with him yet. The best part is, even if he were given the chance, would he take it?
5) What's next for you?
Right now, I'm still focused on getting this project out in the world, really. Publishing an independent comic is only partially about writing. Right now, we still have one and half issues to go. It's been a lot of fun though, getting to walk the comic through the entire business process - from creation to distribution.
Next up though, I'm developing a sci-fi idea that I could potentially see on the screen or comic... we'll see how it goes. And, of course, there's always more tales to tell in the world of The Thirty Six. By the time the book wraps up, we've only met a handful of them. There's at least another thirty-something people out there - each with their own tales.
And my webcomic with Robin Ator: Arteest http://arteestcomics.com
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