Theodore Roosevelt once said “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.”
Comic veteran B. Clay Moore launched the most timely comics starter project on Kickstarter ever. Recently, Variety announced that NBC had picked up Moore’s tropical noir Hawaiian Dick. Jack Ass comedian Johnny Knoxville is attached to the project. Moore and co-creator Jacob Wyatt immediately followed up the news with a Great Hawaiian Dick Kickstarter exclusive. According to Moore, barring specific cons and special events, this 100-page won’t be available anywhere else.
Here is a list of artists attached to the project:
Ramon Perez, Darwyn Cooke, Jason Armstrong, Tula Lotay, Christopher Mitten, Nelson Blake II, Dev Madan, Ryan Browne, Shane White, Sean Dove, Alex Grecian, Mark Englert, Alexis Ziritt, Greg Smallwood, Ryan Browne, Ron Salas, Seth Peck, Brad Green, Mark Sable, Jason Latour, Eric Kim, Ben Passmore, Margo Hulse, Mitch Gerads, Brian Level, J. Torres, J. Bone, Azad Injejikian, Andrew Huerta, and others.
Recently, B. Clay Moore sat down with The Comics Beat to talk about Great Hawaiian Dick:
Henry Barajas: Great Big Hawaiian Dick. That’s a mouthful.
B. Clay Moore: I suppose it is. It was a toss-up between Great Big Hawaiian Dick and Giant-Sized Hawaiian Dick.
Barajas: Why on earth would you Kickstart this book when you just signed a movie deal? Isn’t there a comic book publisher out there dying to publish this 100-page monster?
Moore: Well, it’s actually a television deal (with NBC). We have a new Hawaiian Dick series debuting from Image Comics in the spring, called Aloha, Hawaiian Dick, by artist Jacob Wyatt and myself (with assistance from Paul Reinwand). But I’ve had a bunch of unpublished material kicking around for some time, and wasn’t really sure what the best way to present it would be, without people confusing it with the new series. So I decided to build on it with new stories and art and create a sort of exclusive artifact for fans of the book.
So, yeah. It’s not about not being able to find a publisher. It’s more an excuse to re-introduce Dick to the world and create something special for readers. We won’t reprint the book in this form, or offer it through Diamond or Amazon or anything. I’ll have some extra copies that I’ll hand sell at conventions, but beyond that, Kickstarter is the only way to go.
Barajas: What have you learned from Kickstarting Bad Karma? What are you doing different this time around?
Moore: With Great Big Hawaiian Dick, the main goal is to sell the book. Not a lot of frilly extras, aside from prints and T-shirts. I won’t be massively overprinting the book, either. We had a lot of fun with Bad Karma, but also spent a lot of time doing things like hand-printing coasters and prints. And, like I said, with Great Big Hawaiian Dick, it’s the Kickstarter or nothing. We ended up distributing Bad Karma through Dynamite Comics, and doing our best to make sure the book would be available for a while.
Barajas: Congrats on the NBC deal. Johnny Knoxville seems like an interesting choice for as Byrd. How did all this become possible?
Moore: About ten years ago, Great Big Hawaiian Dick was set up at New Line as a film, with Knoxville on board to star. We had a script (by the screenwriting team of Shannon & Swift), and a director, but New Line ran into some hard times, and the option eventually expired. I’ve more or less been sitting on the rights since then. Last year I considered responding to a fairly large production company about their inquiry, but decided I really wanted to try to bring HD to television.
We put together a team of producers, and at some point I mentioned Knoxville’s previous involvement to them. During a general meeting with Knoxville, one of the producers brought HD up again, and he seemed enthused about being involved. At this point, he’s officially on board as a producer, but I’m not sure there’d be a better option to star in a series, to be honest.
Barajas: Do you have any interest being in the writers room? Are you afraid of Hawaiian Dick becoming something you never intended?
Moore: I absolutely plan to be in the writers room. And, you know, I have to look at the television show as something separate from the comic book. My main concern is seeing that an engaging show emerges, hopefully reflecting as much of what makes the comic book work as possible.
Barajas: If you could get anyone in the show who would it be? Was there a celebrity in mind when you were writing any of these characters?
Moore: Nope. A lot of writers do “cast” stars in the lead roles to help them grasp characters, but I’ve never really worked that way. There are actors I could see playing the roles, I suppose, but I’m pretty open to casting options.
The project has already reached its initial goal, but there are a couple of stretch goals that offer some stellar perks. Click here to check out the project and see if this is something you’d be interested in.
Henry Barajas is the co-creator, writer and letterer for El Loco and Captain Unikorn. He has also written and lettered short stories for two successful Kickstarter SpazDog Press projects: Unite and Take Over: Stories inspired by The Smiths and Break The Walls: Comic Stories inspired by The Pixies. He is the Newsroom Research Assistant for The Arizona Daily Star and was nominated for the Shel Dorf Blogger of the Year award for his work at The Beat. You can follow him on Twitter @HenryBarajas and Google+.