By the Power of BloodBlade, writer Perry Crowe’s He-Man inspired humor comic, Stud… and the BloodBlade, is now on Kickstarter!
The campaign funds the first issue of this madcap comic book adventure, set to be published through Comics Experience and Source Point Press. With art by co-creator Jed Dougherty, colors by Mark Dale and D. Forrest Fox, and lettering by Anthony Rella, the book serves as a deconstruction of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.
“It’s breaking He-Man down to its core elements — or at least the elements that appeal to me: the most powerful man in the universe, a fantastical world of dragons and astronauts, big bold colors and monsters and heroes with over-the-top names that often involve wordplay,” Crowe said. But Crowe and his co-creators then built several layers of humor and pathos over that basic framework.
When asked for the book’s elevator pitch, Perry gave a very… literal answer:
“Ding! First floor: He-Man with bloodshed and booze!
“Ding! Second floor: If you don’t know He-Man, think alien world perched at the bend in space-time where the far future becomes the primordial past, protected by a moody barbarian whose strength is matched only be his poor decision-making.
“Ding! Third floor: To tip the scales for good before the world begins again in the Next Bang, the mighty Stud must defeat all challengers: vicious volcanic vixen Lava-Voom, humanoid cockroach gym teacher Roach Coach, and the hopeless ambiguity of life!”
Perry is a longtime member of the Comics Experience community, and a graduate of several classes, including the Kickstarting your Comic course taught by instructor Heather Antos. He met the books letterer, Anthony Rella, on the workshop when they critiqued one another’s scripts.
Perry’s own script critique process helped shape and form the book. He originally wrote Stud… and the BloodBlade as an eight-page short based on Masters of the Universe minicomics from the ‘80’s. Perry described this first script as “more about evoking those compact stories of monsters and funny names, and the blend of science-fiction and fantasy that I loved so much about He-Man. I thought of it as the minicomic that accompanies the non-existent toy Stud… and the BloodBlade.”
But in their critiques, workshop members seemed to enjoy the comedic aspects of the story, while being frustrated by its brief nature, viewing it more as a tease than as a fully-fleshed story.
“One guy’s critique talked about being on an aircraft carrier in the middle of the ocean and laughing when he read the script and explaining Roach Coach to a fellow sailor who asked him what was so funny and they both laughed,” Crowe sad. “So that was encouraging enough to try tease out a miniseries.”
Crowe continued to workshop each issue and each draft of the comic, soliciting feedback from his peers and comics pros every step along the way.
“Sometimes it would be just a cool little detail,” Crowe said. “Like (workshop member) Todd Matthy told me ‘Stud should punch Wolfpack here,’ and I was like, ‘Yes, he should!’ Sometimes it was just letting me know what wasn’t working. The pro critiques were so helpful. Paul Allor gave me a great tip to make Astro less of a blank everyman and give him some personality. That was big help in taking the story out of that sort of totemic parodic approach I had with the minicomic.”
Additionally, instructor Marc Sumerak taught Crowe about revising and tightening up the script, in the Comic Book Editing class, and then provided a professional critique of nearly every script, “and really helped me elevate the work,” Crowe said.
“Marc told me that this big action piece near the beginning of issue two was just inert,” Crowe said. “Like, it was going through the beats of action but lacked investment. And he was so right. I have a bad habit of structuring pages with what I think is cool stuff, but then forgetting to have the characters really inhabit the space. So Marc’s note just flipped a switch, and I rewrote the scene significantly, put in a ton of action and craziness and comedy, just let loose and decided that Stud was going to be outrageous.”
The Kickstarter Campaign runs through September 13th, so check it out today!