Well, I’ve long loved Will Kirkby’s work, and I’ve featured his work whenever possible, no matter how small. There’s an energy and dynamism about it, a manic detail that’s really beautiful to see. But as with so many other magnificent Brit comic makers, there’s precious little in comic form to buy. Back in 2011 I reviewed Tuk-Tuk, one of my comics of that year. But other than that? precious little.
Well, hopefully that changes in 2016. Announced last week and already most of the way there, Kirkby plans of releasing a full 120-page hardback graphic novel entitled Grenade in April 2016 with a Kickstarter to cover costs. (It was initially called Tyrant, but Steve Bissette has that name already).
Frankly this is one of those Kickstarters that you know will get funded. But it’s one I’m so pleased to see, and frankly, the more money it raises, the more comics Kirkby will be able to do. So good luck to him in blowing through the £8000 target and then some.
You can find the Grenade Kickstarter here. Go and pledge some cash.
The book itself follows the work of Inspector King, a UN Weapons Inspector, and her partner as they struggle to patrol the streets of a very futuristic cyberpunk Hong Kong. It looks spectacular, but Kirkby’s work always does, full of the wonderful and spectacular and bizarre.
Here’s what the book should look like, followed by Kirky’s PR and the first few pages…
The war is remembered in hushed whispers and dread. Humanity creating its own demons in the form of the weapons it forged. Though the conflict has long ended these dangers remain. Hong Kong is now one giant bazaar selling anything your heart desires. Encrypted black ice, tame plagues and multi-phase rifles are now sold alongside the flesh and crime of the old city. Those who look further still will find the true horrors hiding in the dark corners of the city and all have a price tag attached.
Only a select few walk this beat any more. One such soldier now works for the United Nations Weapon Inspection team, tasked with removing errant dangers from the public’s possession.
Her name is King.