Kickin’ it with Paul Jenkins – Fiction Squad
4cr: Welcome back to Kickin’ It With, Paul! Glad to have you here once again. Could you please fill us in on what you’ve been working on lately?
Uhm. I will do a list… ready? Just finished a short film, doing another next weekend. Typing hard on my first novel. Fiction Squad is finished on my end but overseeing final art. Working on the build of digital/interactive and the independent film scene here in Georgia. Writing a VERY COOL new comic series that will be announced soon (trust me, you will know it when you see it). Writing a screenplay for a California company. Developing a second for a production company.
I probably missed stuff.
4cr: Speaking of that, you’re running a Kickstarter campaign for Fiction Squad, a spin-off from Fairy Quest that we first got to see on the bonus digital story funded from the Kickstarter for Fairy Quest Volume 1. What do we need to know about Fiction Squad?
Fiction Squad is set once again in the world of Fablewood – a giant forest where all of the stories that have ever been told live together. So to one side you will have the realm of Crime Fiction, or the Realm of Horror, and so on. Frankie Mack, our hero, comes from the realm of Crime Fiction. He’s a throwaway character from a forgotten novella, and he can’t really earn a living. So he has emigrated into the world of Children’s Stories, where he investigates nursery rhymes. And of course, he is just not prepared for it. The place is insane – so it has a kind of Roger Rabbit vibe, which I think is a fair comparison. In this world, the Queens and Witches are basically the crime families. And when someone drops a house on the Wicked Witch of the East, Frankie suddenly finds himself in the middle of a turf war. His partner is the world’s dumbest person, Simple Simon, and all of the people around him are corrupt. Poor Frankie.
4cr: Why launch a new Kickstarter campaign when Fairy Quest Volume 2 has not been completed? Does Fiction Squad compliment Fairy Quest Volume 2 in some way? Or does it stand on its own as a story in Fablewood?
It’s a brand new story in a different part of Fablewood. People who like Fairy Quest will love this but it’s not necessary to read Fairy Quest first. Now as you can imagine I wrestled with the idea of putting out Fiction Squad before the Fairy Quest 2 fulfillment had been completed. It worried me. But I think there are some mitigating factors. Humberto Ramos, the Fairy Quest artist, is extremely tied up with Marvel work as well as finishing Fairy Quest. I think Humberto’s fans are understanding that he may take a while. Ramon Bachs, the artist for Fiction Squad, is a true beast! He has completed so much of the book that if we waited much longer I think we would explode. It’s phenomenal stuff, and I think people will see that. So Fiction Squad is going to be entirely completed through about 140 pages plus extras, before Fairy Quest will be. One thing that I love is that for this book, backers will get the ENTIRE STORY for pledging, not chapters as with Fairy Quest. If Kickstarter were a bookstore I’d be yelling about it being a great deal.
4cr: Is Ramon Bachs offering any original art as a reward tier at the Kickstarter for Ficiton Squad?
Yes. Ramon is doing a bunch of sketches for the campaign. Poor guy – he’s such a hard working person. I’m full of admiration for his work ethic. And he’s so crazy he’s agreed to do MORE sketches for backers on top of the first batch he had agreed to do.
4cr: Why is Fiction Squad is being offered in single issues and as a hard cover?
Well, I think a lot of people may just want to gravitate to one of the eventual incarnations of the book – namely, the single issues. People like comics in that form. I am not a collector of those issues but I will say I’m trying to listen, and to give people an alternative. The main book – our baby – will be the Kickstarter exclusive hardcover!
4cr: Can backers who are new to the Fablewood universe pledge for a “complete package” with all three books so they can catch up?
Yes! Due to popular demand, and after making sure it was viable, I added two tiers for this. Now backers can chose to get all 3 books either as a digital package (PDFs) or as physical books (three hardcovers).
4cr: How long will backers have to wait to start reading the new stories in Fiction Squad?
Backers will get single issues beginning in October of this year (2014). As is to be expected, the hardcover will take longer to produce, and backers will receive it at a later date (in 2015).
4cr: Thank you for your time. Would you like to add anything else?
Yes, the one thing I want to repeat is that we’re doing the entire series here in just one book. That means we don’t have to wait for another go around, as with Fairy Quest. Believe me, Fairy Quest is worth waiting for. But I really wanted to get Fiction Squad out. It was actually the original Fablewood story, predating Fairy Quest by a couple of years. It’s a little bit of a labor of love, and I want to get it out there. I will be teasing a few things as we go, and I am about to do one of my famous “treasure hunt” competitions.
Most importantly, I want to stress again that I fully appreciate how the fans are our publishers. This happens because of backers, and that makes me very happy indeed.