Modern day fantasy is deeply rooted in the extraordinary stories and legends of our forefathers, there’s no denying this as fact. Be it young adult novels, comics, or even characters on the silver screen, we are surrounded by ancient tales of adventure even when we are not aware of it.
Being a bit of a history fanatic, I was more than pleased when the folks working on Hound: A Celtic Myth Set In Ancient Ireland reached out to me about writing up their Kickstarter campaign. The title of Hound comes from the tale of main character killing the guard dog of the blacksmith and taking its place when he was just a small boy. How’s that for a childhood story? If you aren’t familiar with Irish lore, then this is a great chance to get to know more about one of their more famous legends.
Continue reading for more and to see a video for the Kickstarter campaign.
Hound is slated to be the first of three graphic novels depicting the life and times of Cu Chulainn, a warrior from the Iron Age of Ireland. I’m not precisely sure how much of Cu Chulainn’s life is to be covered in this first part but I’m sure it will give us the story of how he gains his powers from the Morrigan, referred to here as one of the Long Lived (most likely the equivalent of a demi-goddess). As this is to be a retelling of the ancient tale, there are bound to be some changes to the classic story that will make this one unique. If you are like me, you may not have much of a reference base for this story, though I am familiar with the Morrigan.
The folks behind this project are truly invested in getting this Kickstarter funded. Paul Bolger has been working on this for the last couple of decades while he has toured the world while freelancing. He has worked on a variety of projects like helping animate Cool World and directing Happily N’ever After, so he definitely knows his business. His fascination with Irish Celts in general and Cu Chulainn in particular are how this all began.
Barry Devlin is a writer/director who has worked on television projects and documentaries (notably working with U2 on their docs and videos). He’s also a bit of an Irish legend himself, having fronted the band Horslips. Hugh Welchman is an Oscar-winning producer and is the Creative Director of BreakThru Films. This group of heavy hitters is bound to deliver something spectacular when it’s all said and done.
Structurally, this looks to be loaded with strong visual elements. Its dark setting is reminiscent of Frank Miller’s Sin City books in that it uses a minimal amount of color to emphasize the actions in each panel. Starkly black and white throughout the comic, the impact of a bit of red intensifies the blood and violence without having to add tremendous amounts of gore. It brought to mind Alfred Hitchcock’s famous quote: “The more left to the imagination, the more the excitement.” Not that there doesn’t appear to be some violence in the graphic novel; it just feels more reserved and implied unlike many comics that try to overwhelm the reader with blood and guts. For more examples, make sure you check out the video I included after the article.
There is a lot of love and attention to detail in this project and I hope you find yourself throwing in a few bucks (I mean pounds) to help bring this Kickstarter project to life. There are some great rewards to be had from shirts to signed copies to prints from the book! Heck, you can even be in the comic in a variety of ways from character to severed head. And who wouldn’t want to be an impaled head, right?
Make sure you check out the official Kickstarter page. Those of you that are Irish, embrace your heritage and contribute if you can. For those of you that aren’t, don’t let that stop you…donate to this worthy campaign and snag yourself a reward or two.
This fundraiser ends on May 1, 2014 so don’t wait too long or you might miss it!