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KICKSTARTER KORNER: ‘Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone’ with Scott Fogg

Sound that alarm kids and stop the Word-Presses!  
*Klanging noises *

We’re blowing that Fogg Horn today for our latest Kickstarter Korner to help out our new friend Scott Fogg with his all ages 60’s science family adventure book eeking toward its campaign goal for December 1st.

Share the story, delight in its majesty, donate what you can but most importantly listen to what Scott has to say about Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone  because he has insights into the future you cannot predict!

Forces of Geek!: Hi Scott! Thanks for joining us for our second Kickstarter Korner. We like to put the focus on some cool comics campaigns that might be ending soon with only a minimal amount of awesome alliteration! First off, tell us who you are and who else is working on Phileas Reid Knows We Are Not Alone?

Scott Fogg: Thanks so much for having me! I’m Scott Fogg and I’m a writer based out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Joining me on this project are Marc Thomas, Dean Trippe, and Vito Delsante.

Have you worked with any of these talented gentlemen before? Vito was the inspiration for our very first Kickstarter Korner! And the art is amazing. We saw the first pages today!

That’s really cool, I didn’t know about that. Sounds like we have a lot in common. Vito is really the one responsible for Phileas Reid existing in this form and medium. We met at Heroes Con and I was telling him about this story I was wrestling with. “I’m having trouble finding my narrative voice,” I said. “I know the story and I know how it looks, but I’m struggling with how to tell this story.”

“You can’t force it,” he said simply. “If it’s a visual story, you need to tell it visually. Make it a comic book.” I had originally thought of this story as a graphic novel but since I can’t draw and don’t have the money to pay an artist, I didn’t think it was possible. I was in the middle of my second draft of Phileas Reid: The Prose Novel when Vito assured me, “we can make it happen.”

But to answer your question, this is the first time I’ve worked with these guys in this kind of capacity. Dean and I (will?) co-host a podcast from the future called The Last Cast, but we’ve never done anything like this before. He has.

But I went to film school. This is my first comic book (not counting The Adventures of Super Bunny, a comic I wrote and drew in fourth grade).

Who is your target audience for the book? Would you say all ages in the sense that it is about family relationships and for all audiences, or is this a more serious Mad Men look at the ‘60s?

It is an all-ages book and I mean that in the truest sense of the phrase. I’m writing this for my ten year-old self.

This is a book I would have loved to have had when I was that age. But I’m also writing it for me.

This is a book I wish I could walk into my local comic book store right now and just pick up. I’m really pouring a lot into it and I think there’s going to be something in there for anyone and everyone. I take all of these characters very seriously. The drama and comedy of the book comes directly from the characters (and the situations they find themselves in).

So, if you’re ten years old, you’re probably going to gravitate towards Marshall. If you’re a little bit older, you’ll start to relate to Phileas.

The setting (1963) is actually a really great example of this. Because it’s in place for the older reader and is really used as a backdrop to heighten some of the themes present in the book.

You won’t need to understand or have a working knowledge of those tumultuous times to appreciate the character’s struggle in the book, but if you do, it’s a fascinating extra layer.

What is a great way to introduce this concept to new readers? Some of what we’ve seen in the video is familiar territory but you promise some surprises in the 100 page graphic novel!

There are inventors and there are renovators. I am a renovator. I enjoy taking old ideas or old stories and tweaking them, spinning them, flexing them and squishing them until they become something new.

You’re right. There’s nothing terribly new about an alien invasion and the scientist who just knew this was going to happen. But what I’m bringing to that old concept are some new characters that point out that this old trope is actually a very relevant conversation starter for some very important conversations that we need to be having today.

As for a great place to start? I would go to Phileas Reid’s Tumblr page. There you can find the first seven pages of the book. They’ll give you some sense of where the story is headed. As of right now, they’re not all in color, but what is in color is GORGEOUS.

Is it fair to let people know that you and Dean are involved in podcasting time travel trickery?  Just what is it you even know about The Last Cast  and humankind’s doom?

You know, Dean and I are just as big of fans of the podcast as everyone else. We eagerly await the next broadcast from the future. Just because it features us doesn’t mean we have any kind of inside scoop. We’re listening to ourselves and taking notes and doing what we can to avoid the apocalypses.

Besides the great video and rewards, what are your Kickstarter secrets? Are you leaning on your team’s experience with professional comics to give you a leg up with your campaign?

Kickstarter? Do you mean AnxietyStarter? Holy Toledo I don’t think I’ve had a good night’s sleep in two weeks.

I’m definitely someone who believes in learning from other people’s experiences. Both Vito and Dean know the comic book industry far better than I do. Any time I have a question, especially in regards to etiquette, I run it by them first. They’ve also put me in touch with some really amazing people who have helped me boost our signal. That being said, it’s really a team effort. All four of us want to see this book happen. So even though Marc and I may be new to the industry, we’ve been making connections of our own and have been doing everything we can to keep this project on everyone’s minds.

That would be the big tip I give anyone: Don’t stop bugging your friends and family. I was posting links to the Kickstarter two or three times a day on my timeline.

And the first couple of days were GREAT. But after that, some of the support stopped rolling in. I was starting to think I had tapped my entire friend circle. But then I would get a new backer. It would be a friend of mine who somehow just now learned about it, despite me blasting it in his face for two weeks.

Then it happened again. And again.

Two things were happening: One was I was discovering that not everyone is as addicted to Facebook as am. The other was I was (for the lack of a better phrase) wearing down my friends and family. People had seen it the first time I posted about it, but it took them a week or more to finally come around to watching the video or deciding which reward they wanted. Perseverance and patience. And art. Any day we posted new art we got more backers.

Anything else you’d like for our fans to know, and where can we find Phileas Reid online?

I really think Phileas Reid has the potential to be a long-running series. I’d really love to put out a graphic novel a year. I think Marc, Dean, Vito and I have really made something special. I’m actually a fan of this book. And I’d really appreciate it if everyone at least gave it a chance. If you go to Phileas‘ Tumblr you can read the first seven pages.

If you go to our Kickstarter page you can watch our silly little video, learn a little bit more about the project, and see some of the cool rewards that are still left (including two slots TO BE IN THE COMIC).

Thanks so much, Scott! Break a leg!

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