An exciting new original graphic novel from Serena Obhrai and Jennie Gyllblad following the epic adventures of a not so ordinary girl.
One of the huge benefits to co-organising the Women in Comics Europe community (and its communal output page) has been getting to know many of the extremely talented women in the industry and keeping up with their various projects. One such artist is Jennie Gyllblad, whose bi-weekly Jenspiration webcomic has become part of my regular reading, and I was thrilled to hear that she was involved in a new project that really showcased her work.
Elysia is a 300 page urban fantasy and sci-fi graphic novel written by the prolific Serena Obhrai, that is currently causing a storm on Kickstarter. With 21 days still to pledge the project has already achieved 74% of the funding required and shows no sign of abating. In other words, get in quick!
Part of the popularity is surely down to the pitch itself, a tale of a fictional future where angels and humans have to coexist side by side, the former guarding the latter but never to enter a relationship with each other. Elysia is the result of a broken rule, and is not only struggling with the usual perils of growing up, but with the clash of cultures and identities within her, as well as being the key to saving the world! Importantly it’s established in the blurb that this is not a religious tale, the angels instead being led by “planetary alignments”.
A story of angels is not something I’ve quite come across in comics before – save of course for Preacher, which is an entirely different sort of story! – and it strikes me as one that will have mass appeal. Angels in Young Adult fiction were rather overdone a couple of years ago, but the focus was always on the tragic suffocating love story rather than the sci-fi and fantasy aspects that the idea is surely ripe for.
The art is stunning with fully painted pages and excellent character design. The Kickstarter video makes it clear just how much work has already been done on this project in terms of design and planning, and this video is, I think, also key to the popularity of the project (go watch it now!). As is a rather clever pledge feature – a ticket to the exclusive launch signing in London. The higher tier pledges also offer fans a chance to appear in the comic themselves.
Obhrai and Gyllblad are clearly ambitious with this just the first volume of many, and future plans to turn Elysia into an animated TV series and computer game.
The Kickstarter campaign is for the 300 page Volume 1, split into three chapters of 100 full colour pages with the first scheduled for release in September 2013.