“In the 1970s, the world-renowned animation pioneer Rupert N. Ever grew tired with the world he lived in. He dreamed of a utopia. A wealthy man, he bought a vast amount of land in the Middle-East and built Everland, a wonderful amalgamation of American culture, ranging from the 1910s right up to the 1960s, completely walled off from the rest of the world.
Decades later, the reclusive Ever smells rot in the financial foundations of Everland and it emanates from the head of his secret police. With no one to be trusted, Mr. Ever and his people are forced to bring in an outsider to go undercover; ex-PMC soldier, Hadrian Vark.
On the run from a darkened past himself, the deeper Vark delves into this fairytale world, the more he realises that utopia comes at a price.”
My name is Dan Lee and I am a Welsh animator and artist now living and working in Tokyo. I worked for many years in the animation industry making children’s cartoon shows and advertisements but recently decided to live off of my savings and dedicate myself to comics full time. I have always been making comics since I was a kid, but usually just for fun never thinking I’d be good enough to work with Marvel or DC. But then as time went on, I got into independent comics and realised there was a huge number of different styles that people worked in and that you didn’t necessarily have to go through a big publisher anymore to get your work out there. A big inspiration for me in this area is Michel Fiffe of ‘COPRA’ fame.
3. Why back it?
The book is hugely inspired by the storytelling techniques found in stories like Y: The Last Man, Scalped, Lost and Breaking Bad, as well as the myths and legends surrounding Walt Disney, his world and the animation industry in general.
Everland has the high-concept of a secluded, walled off society, but this is really just the back drop. The meat of the story is in the character exploration, discovering how these characters feel about living in such a society from a variety of perspectives and how it affects their relationships and outlook on life. Things are slowed down to let these moments breathe but I have tried to balance this by making the art as interesting and as beautiful as I can, putting a lot of thought into the design and use of colour.
Each issue of the comic also features expertly drawn back-up comics by my friend John Atkinson, who is obsessed with the older generations of animation and cartoons. He has been referencing old Micky Mouse comic strips from the 1930s and Carl Barks’ work on Donald and Scrooge McDuck.
So if you’re a fan of long-form, character driven, vibrantly coloured comics, this book is for you!
The bulk of the rewards are digital. The first issue of Everland is obviously the chief reward, but I am also offering a special edition of my previous comic The Sent as well as creator commentary podcast for both of those comics. On top of that, I’ve teamed up with the band Windmill (led by Matthew Thomas Dillon) who are writing the soundtrack for the comic. The first track they have produced is being offered as a reward with this campaign. The only physical rewards we have on offer are high-quality prints of the cover art and watercolour sketches by myself (which recently sold out!).
Anything else you’d like to add
I would really like to urge everyone who reads this to check out the Kickstarter pitch which covers everything about the comic in a lot more detail and to share the campaign around. I really believe in the story, characters and the world of Everland and think that it will connect with a lot of people.
The Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/danlee/everland-1