This week, the Small Press Spotlight is taking a look at a new graphic novel currently running a campaign on Crowdfundr. Black Eye Books’ That Distant Fire by writer J.R. Hughto and artist Curt Merlo centers on “a near-future dystopia, a young couple is on the cusp of inventing a breakthrough medical advancement while navigating a time of violent social unrest.” With more than 100 full color pages, the paperback has a publication release set for September.

Read the full synopsis below:

“Vera and Paul hold enviable jobs at Pinkerton-Bei, a military engineering firm specializing in surveillance technologies. When Paul is fired but Vera asked to stay on, they choose to leave for the rural town where Paul grew up and move in with his father, Ben, his sister, Hazel, and Hazel’s activist girlfriend, Diana, at the now defunct family farm. Jobs are in short supply in the area, and Vera and Paul hope to help the floundering community get back on its feet while completing their secret project — a handheld MRI-like ‘Device’.

Meanwhile, Diana begins to lead a strike against Queeny Agriculture, who owns and operates all the regional farms. Vera falls more and more under Diana’s influence, and the strike becomes increasingly violent as corporatized police forces and strike breakers bring the community to heel. Vera and Paul race against the clock to escape the powers moving in on them. Facing violence and unrest, they struggle to keep their labor movement from tearing itself apart, and the technology they’ve built from being turned against the community they are struggling to protect.”

Not only is the comic a powerful tale that we can currently relate to, especially because of the unrest in our own times, but it is also the official anchor launch title for Crowdfundr, a new creator-focused crowdfunding platform.

That Distant Fire

That Distant Fire is available as a pre-order via crowdfunding from June 21–July 25, 2022. It will then be printed for a September release as a full-color, trade paperback. Fans can also look for a limited edition jacketed hardcover edition.

To back the campaign and secure your copy, click here

That Distant Fire