As a general rule, I don’t do reviews or endorsements of Kickstarter campaigns — the reason being that I don’t want to spin anything negative about someone trying to make it in this business. Creating a comic is a lot of hard work, so the last thing they need is some dude like me coming along and picking at their baby. This is a general rule I use for any creator-owned or independent release. But sometimes exceptions arise, as is the case for this particular project: Draw Blood #1, an anthology presented by Top Secret Press.
I’ve known John Daniel Taylor IV, TSP’s Editor-in-Chief, for several years now. He is genuinely one of the nicest guys I have had the pleasure of meeting in the industry, and I’ve met a lot of pros over the years. While John is a great guy, that alone wouldn’t have been enough for me to support, let alone feature his current project, because I wouldn’t endorse a comic unless I thought it was of the highest quality. All of John’s projects are top-shelf, and Draw Blood #1 is no different.
This campaign marks Top Secret Press’ first horror anthology, with the bulk of the stories coming from Hannu Kesola, a Finnish writer who has had his work published in Heavy Metal. (Yes, that Heavy Metal.) The book also includes work by artist Daniel Valadez (Marvel) Rafael Lanhellas (Dynamite Entertainment) and Ivan Nunes (DC), in addition to a stable full of other talented creators.
The creator-owned anthology isn’t like most other horror collections, where the emphasis is placed on gore or violence; instead it’s character-driven. While there is gore and violence to be found, it’s as a result of the story, not simply injected for shock value. These tales are smart, being as mentally disturbing as they are visually unsettling.
While there are a ton of stretch goals and incentives, the best has to be the chance of getting your likeness into the last story of the anthology — the only short for Draw Blood that is still in production. These guys are ready to head to press. All they need is you!
I’ve often said that the best comic-book stories come from small-press publishers, and Draw Blood serves as a perfect example. If you like horror, then this is a must buy for you. If you are a supporter of independent publishing, then this is for you too.