Comic book series on Kickstarter

A former Conestoga College student is looking to kick-start a career in the comic book industry.

Marc Hulet recently launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to raise funds for the comic book series The Nuclear Family. The series takes a humorous look at the family dynamic after a superhero marries a super-villain.

“Henry and Cecile love each other dearly but they’re constantly at odds over how to raise their two children,” the 40-year-old father of three said. “Henry is constantly trying to sway them to the right side of the law whereas Cecile is forever trying to interest them in a life of crime.”

The plan for Nuclear Family is to run a collection of four-issue mini-series with small breaks between each set to allow artist and co-creator Stanislav Andreev to catch his breath.

“His artwork is so detailed, so amazing that I don’t want him to burn out. Everyone who sees his artwork is just in awe of it – myself included,” Hulet said. “Plus he’s got his career and family to focus on.”

Andreev and Hulet met on an artist networking and portfolio website called Deviant Art. After spending his entire life in Ontario, Hulet never expected to pair up with an artist that resides in Bulgaria.

“Even though we’ve never officially met, we just clicked. We both share a passion for the medium and have young families,” he said. “We’re not in this to get rich or famous. We just want to tell great stories, entertain people and leave a legacy for our children. I want my kids to have something to show their kids and say, ‘This is what your grandfather did.’”

The Nuclear Family project will remain on Kickstarter until Oct. 13. If the project meets its funding goal, the funds will be used to pay other contributors to the series, such as a colourist, as well as production costs. None of the proceeds will actually go to Hulet or Andreev.

“People who choose to help fund the project will receive different thank-you gifts based on the level of the donation,” Hulet said. “Rewards include items like an original, autographed character sketch and one of the original penciled pages of Issue 1. There’s even an option to create a character based on you.

“Who doesn’t want to be turned into a superhero or super-villain?”

If a traditional publisher is not found, Hulet has other plans.

“We’re fully committed to self-publishing this series if we don’t find a traditional publisher,” Hulet said. “However, we’ve already received some interest from established publishers and having the majority of the series completed with all contributors already in place will only make us more attractive to a publisher.”

The pair is eyeing the digital publisher Comixology as an outlet for their series.

“They have contracts with pretty much every comic book publisher in the industry to digitally produce copies of every book you see in print,” Hulet said. “They’re also huge supporters of self-publishers.”

He began drawing his own comics as a teenager shortly after starting Grade 7. His final O.A.C. English project was a comic book, which he both wrote and drew.

“All through school – from Grade 1 up – I can remember doodling in the columns of my notebooks and all over the covers of my binders,” Hulet said. “My friends would hang out on weekends and I would be at home in my room creating superheroes and storylines.

“I actually had one high school English teacher who kept a test of mine that I had doodled on. He said he was going to tuck it away and pull it out again after I was a famous artist.”

Eventually, though, Hulet realized his writing was developing more quickly than his art so he mostly abandoned the latter skill. He went to school for print and broadcast journalism at Conestoga College and spent three years not only writing for the student newspaper but also creating editorial cartoons.

If you’re interested in helping fund The Nuclear Family, go to www.kickstarter.com/projects/703855141/nuclear-family-volume-1 or visit Kickstarter and search for the project by “Nuclear Family” or “Marc Hulet.”

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Spoke Online is produced weekly during the school year by Conestoga College second-year journalism print students, faculty adviser Christina Jonas and new media technologist Michael Toll.