We often get requests to promote Kickstarter campaigns here at the Beat, and not all of them are things that people would actually buy. But here’s one that boasts a top notch creative team—Attila Futaki, artist of Severed and the best selling Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief; colorist Greg Guilhaumond (Severed); and letterer Todd Klein (everything ever)—and an intriguing backdrop of 1911 Paris and based on the true story of Jules Bonnot, a mechanic turned anarchist. The book is with dream project of writer Stefan Vogel and co-writer Laura Pierce. As explained on the Kickstarter page:
I first discovered ‘The illegalists’ a.k.a ‘The Bonnot Gang’ in London’s oldest radical bookstore ‘Housmans’ in 2009. What struck me most was, they weren’t just ‘criminals’, they were anarchists. They had strong anti-establishment beliefs, fighting low wages and the 12 hour work day; a lot of them were blacklisted for draft dodging and unable to work. Paris in 1911 was a city of riots, strikes and savage repression. These anarchists evolved into illegalists because they had no other choice – they stole to survive. I was reminded of the final scene from the film “I’m a fugitive from a chain gang” Where Paul Muni meets his girlfriend to tell her he’s leaving town, she asks ‘But how will you live? And as he slips into the darkness, unseen, he responds ‘I steal’.
The campaign has quite a ways to go — £9000 has been raised of the £35,000 needed to publish it. The first half of the story is complete, the equivalent of three US comics, or one European album, all funded by Stefan out of his own pocket. He has decided to try to raise funds to finish the story and self-publish it through a Kickstarter. This is definitely a nice looking project, and deserves a look, so check it out.
Vogel provided the following synopsis with sample art. (Disclaimer: he also purchased an advertising campaign on the Beat, and I agreed to run a longer post on it after seeing the quality of the project.)
A Graphic Novel Based on True Events
Jules Bonnot Jean Dubois
Preview of ‘THE ILLEGALISTS’ drawn by Attila Futaki (‘Severed’ by Scott Snyder) written by Stefan Vogel & Laura Pierce, coloured by Greg Guilhaumond (‘Severed’) and lettered by Todd Klein (‘Sandman’).
Set in Paris 1911, against a backdrop of thieves, bohemians and anarchists; a struggling mechanic is forced into crime, becoming France’s most dangerous and wanted man.
Jules Bonnot, an underpaid and overworked mechanic.
After much talk of revolution…
Jules is badly beaten…
His life of Crime begins…
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.