Everyone knows that Detroit has fallen on hard times. This is nothing new. It is and has been suffering from financial crisis, joblessness, urban dilapidation and political scandal. It has become something of a warning sign for a nation feeling the pangs of unemployment and political stalemate. Detroit has also become something else in the meantime: a symbol of pride for the entire state. There’s something about its working-class, damaged goods persona that appeals to a certain crowd. People in this country can’t help but root for the underdog. Young, college-educated people are actually moving into Detroit, and the city is experiencing something of a mini-Renaissance, even amidst some of its darkest hours. A product of this professional influx is an export that will be very important if Detroit is to come back: The Arts. Detroit has some very real and ongoing problems, just as it is experiencing a resurgence in cultural pride and artistic output.
Somewhere out of this imperfect love comes Imaginos Workshop, but one of many professional and artistic endeavors owing to the history and people of Michigan and the Detroit area. There’s nothing special about us except that we love comics and movies and just about anything that tells a story. Imaginos Workshop is just the name we decided to give ourselves when we decided we wanted to write movie scripts and produce comic books. We recently became a Limited Liability Company, and our first stab at a self-produced comic book, Imaginos Plus, is in the works (as you’ve probably read on here by now). It is three storylines in one – kind of ambitious for a first project, but we just really like these properties.
The first is called Requiem, and I can use the word “epic” here without feeling too hyperbolic. Joe and Mark have been crafting this storyline for a long time, and it has evolved accordingly. What we’ve written for Imaginos Plus is just the tip of a very big iceberg: they’ve written millions of years of bloody history for the multiverse that holds the story. Despite all this grandiosity, the story lives and dies by its character development, as a group of “black-bag” agents provide our key-hole into a mysterious and dangerous world. There’s almost too much to summarize here, but let’s just say it involves brutal action, multiple dimensions, the occult and corporate corruption.
The second property is the ridiculously-titled Candy Coated, a unique and truly spontaneous action adventure that employs an interesting writing style. The basis of the comic comes from Palladium Books’ Heroes Unlimited pen-and-paper RPG franchise. In case you haven’t reached the level of monumental geek that we have, RPG stands for role-playing-game, and it involves a group of people sitting around together using characters they created to explore a world that exists as dictated by their GM, or game-master. They use their imaginations to move through the world, and usually a set of books or rules to give shape and stats to the world and what they can do in it. Dungeons & Dragons is the most famous example of this, and only partly deserves the stigma it has gathered over the years. Candy Coated is written as it happened during these gaming sessions: it is truly spontaneous and organic. We “wrote” the story insofar that we experienced it in-game and responded to the events in Mark’s story with a disturbing lack of forward thinking. The story itself is about a group of damaged superheroes who mostly attempt to do good but almost always end up damaging things in the process. They are dysfunctional, confused and selfish, and their powers mostly the result of dangerously irresponsible experimentation that they don’t understand. This was a fun comic to play through, and we hope it’s just as fun to read.
The third and final property is called Juda Fist: 7 Deaths of the Yobi, and it is a story truly many years in the making. It is the brainchild of Mark Dudley, and it is a truly cool mix of genres. It is a sci-fi dystopian action-epic, with heavy doses of hip hop culture and blaxploitation, influenced by Hong Kong cinema and inspired by the books of Octavia Butler. It is stylish, dark and violent, and always gets a great reaction from people checking out Mark’s artwork. The story centers on a group of antihero mercenaries living one day at a time in futuristic Detroit. Their journey intertwines with an ancient conflict that threatens not just their lives but the fate of the solar system.
So there’s Imaginos Plus – and here comes the pitch. We have recently put the project up on the crowd-sourcing site Kickstarter in an attempt to get the thing funded. We are going to get the book done at some point either way, but if we could get some funds from Kickstarter it would happen a whole lot sooner and we could afford to pay the awesome inkers, artists and colorists that would help us finish the project. So if you feel so inclined, we would absolutely appreciate any contribution you could make to our book. We also really appreciate you telling others about the project: friends, family and fans sharing the project are the only way we’ll reach our goal. Thanks to all of you that have supported us and worked with us. Hopefully we can reward you with some cool stories and art in the future. We’re enjoying the process.
Author's Note: As of October 2012 we were unable to reach our monetary goal for our Kickstarter project. While this is disappointing, it does not mean that we've stopped working on our projects. Work on the comic book and scripts continues just as before, and we look forward to showing you more and more and trying again with crowd-sourcing in the future. A sincere and heart-felt thank you to everyone who donated to our project - your encouragement and donations help keep us creating.