Sequim native Per Berg, an aspiring comic book artist, is turning to the masses for help.
He’s launched an online Kickstarter campaign to print the first part of his comic “Earthbound: Between Two Breaths on Earth.”
Berg’s sci-fi opus is planned for 600 pages and he plans to release the first 100-plus pages digitally and the first 60 pages as a double-sized print comic book.
The extra 40 pages will be available only digitally for now through his campaign, he said.
As of Monday, Oct. 9, he’s just under half of his $3,000 goal, which ends on Sunday, Oct. 22. Funds will help produce the 60-page comic and production on chapter five of the comic. Look for the comic on Kickstarter.com and search for “Earthbound.”
Berg says his story is less complicated than it appears following elements from movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Battle Royale” and even “The Seven Samurai.” It centers on Wiz Kid, who is stranded on Earth, and his former colleagues Spaceman and Julia arrive but he learns they are now targeting him and a group called the Sirens of Violence to force them to compete in the Galactic Grande Prix Tournament. If Julia or Spaceman recruits more players, then they’ll be granted freedom from their bosses the 13th Sponsor.
The comic began as a movie script with co-writer Louis Doerge called “SNIPER RIFLE WIZ KID VERSUS PSYCHO MOVIE KILLER.”
Berg has written the first 300 pages of his book and anticipates the second half largely focusing on the tournament, which he compares similarly to Bruce Lee’s “Enter the Dragon.”
As a comic artist, Berg’s style blends Japanese and American styles, he says, with the goal to look like an animated TV show.
“Earthbound” is drawn all digitally and at a quick pace, he says.
“It’s almost designed to read on your phone,” Berg says. “You can scroll down and for me that works. I know a lot of people like touching the paper but that’s the purists.”
For future projects, he’s considering doing more comics with traditional inks on 11-inch-by-17-inch art boards so that he can sell the art boards along with the books.
For now, Berg is trying to push himself to finish projects sooner.
“I just want to get stuff done,” he says. “In a year, I want to get a book done, not a fourth of a book. Speed is important to me and “Earthbound is like cell shading, an animation style, which lends itself to a little speedier style.”
“Earthbound” follows Berg’s work for The U.S. Naval Institute on a graphic novel about a medic serving in Afghanistan with more details to come on that book.
Berg said with the Navy branching into graphic novels it shows the medium is continuing to seep into the mainstream.
Big league art
A budding comic career started for Berg at Sequim High School where he made a comic, printed it on loose leaf paper and sold it to classmates in plastic sleeves.
“In hindsight, the comic is hilariously bad,” he says.
But Berg went on to pursue animation at college and eventually earned a degree in sculpture, writing and comic book art from Evergreen College.
He spent some time writing screenplays in his 20s that weren’t picked up, which is what pushed him to begin publishing “Earthbound” on his blog (narwhalpress.wordpress.com).
“I wanted to started now rather than waiting too long,” he says.
He’s finding new avenues to promote his art too such as on his new Youtube channel “The Comics Manifesto” where he’s been posting speed paint videos of his work such as a sketch of Wonder Woman and updates on “Earthbound”
Right now, Berg sees himself in the “minor leagues” of comic book art.
“I want to be major league,” he says. “There’s still the possibility.”
For more information on Berg, visit his blog at narwhalpress.wordpress.com/, his Youtube channel at youtube.com/user/plasterharris and his Kickstarter page at kickstarter.com/projects/1783207042/earthbound-between-two-breaths-on-earth.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.