12-Gauge Comics, the studio/publisher founded by Brian Stelfreeze, Jason Pearson, and Keven Gardner, has launched a Kickstarter to publish their next book. Yumi: Spy Fatale, Baddie Royale is an original graphic novel from creators Hoyt Silva, Doug Wagner, Kevin Lennertz, and Frank Cvetkovic. Described by Wagner as “Scott Pilgrim meets Kingsman,” the 136-page book is an action-packed spy thriller that follows the title character, Yumi, as she hunts for her missing boyfriend. To celebrate the launch of the Yumi Kickstarter, 12-Gauge has released a preview, exclusively to The Beat, of four pages from the already-completed graphic novel.
Along with the exclusive preview, writer Wagner and artist Silva also shared some details about what inspired Yumi: Spy Fatale, Baddie Royale, and the development of the book’s many colorful characters:
On the creation of the book
Hoyt Silva: From the moment we met, Doug and I clicked when we realized we both enjoyed action-fueled character driven stories with heartwarming, nut-kicking endings. As soon as we started going back and forth on what Yumi could be, I knew we had something special.
Doug Wagner: I’m typically very reserved and introverted, but every now and again I bump into somebody where it just clicks. You know, when you immediately know you’re in some way family, kindred souls. Hoyt was one of those people to me. I immediately felt comfortable around him. We started rambling incessantly about everything we loved about comics. After a few hours of that, we agreed that it was imperative that we create something together. Imperative!!
Innovating on the Spy Template
Silva: I personally have always been a big fan of the genre since I was young, but it wasn’t until I had a conversation with our editor, Lisako [Yamauchi], that we realized the spy game could use some new flavor and a new story perspective. When Doug and I started talking about the story for Yumi, we all saw an opportunity to do something that hadn’t been done in quite this way before.
Wagner: Hoyt called me the moment he and Lisako had finished talking. As fast as he could physically speak, he pitched me the idea of flipping the spy trope on its head. I could see why he was so excited. It’s like when you hear an absolute truth. You just know when something’s right.
Crafting a line of Femmes Fatale for Yumi to fight through
Silva: The Fatales were a wonderful crafting of Doug’s imagining. At first, we had only three, but one by one Doug came up with these great spy archetypes to play off of, and each brought its own spice to the story. After some brainstorming, we ended up with our four heavy hitters and I couldn’t be happier with the roles they play.
Wagner: This was honestly a happy accident. I was goofing off on the internet reading Greek mythology and bumped into the Furies. As luck would have it, the Furies are three sisters. So, Alec, Meg, and Siph were born as the badass femme fatale furies in Yumi. In the case of Ms. V, well… she just happens to be the harbinger of Death.
Yumi: Spy Fatale, Baddie Royale is the second Kickstarter campaign from 12-Gauge. Their previous campaign, Wagner and Stelfreeze’s Thomas River one-shot, was successfully funded back in October. The studio has also previously produced other Wagner-written titles including The Ride, Plastic, and The Hard Place. The book will be available in hardcover and softcover formats, with three covers by, respectively, Lois “Loish” Van Baarl, Eliza Ivanova, and Chris Brunner & Rico Renzi.
Check out the exclusive preview of four pages from Yumi: Spy Fatale, Baddie Royale, as well as the cover by Brunner & Renzi, below. The Kickstarter for the new graphic novel is live now, and runs until March 11th.