is a critically acclaimed Harvey Award-nominated graphic novel, first
published by DC Comics and Vertigo in the early '90s.
The award-winning, world-famous artists / creators Mark Wheatley
(Jonny Quest, Frankenstein Mobster, EZ Street, Insight Studios
& more) and Marc Hempel (The Sandman, Disney
Adventures, Heavy Metal & more) are offering you the
opportunity to pick up a new, improved, and remastered edition of this long out-of-print book. And then
they want to continue their groundbreaking story of love, death,
passion, and the journey toward redemption. But for all of this to
happen they need your help. And for that you will not go home empty-handed! Now is your chance to give the breath of life to Breathtaker.
Siren. Temptress. Man-eater. Call Chase Darrow what you want, but whatever the label, the truth is that she is the Breathtaker: a nice young woman who possesses the power to love a man to death. Chase Darrow might be the only real, living example of a
succubus. Breathtaker is
part horror story, about a woman with the power to drain men of their
very life force ... part romance, because her lovers are her willing
victims ... part crime story, as Chase is on the run from a government
that has branded her a criminal ... and part superhero story: she is
pursued by The Man, a popular television and merchandising figure who
also happens to have extraordinary powers and abilities that he is using
to hunt down and capture Chase in an effort to boost his sagging
Nielsen ratings. Story and painted, color art by Mark Wheatley and Marc
Since Breathtaker was first published, it has influenced quite a few comics and creators. It is often found on the reference shelves of popular animators, including Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack), who contacted Marc to tell him so. Fans who read the book become advocates who go around insisting that everyone should read it!
For ages, the comics industry has celebrated books that had a reach beyond our usual territory. Breathtaker has been at the head of the pack, being featured in highly attended museum shows across the United States. It all began at the Norman Rockwell Museum as a large portion of their very popular show, LitGraphic: The World of the Graphic Novel. From there, the Breathtaker comic pages, paintings, script pages, and development roughs went on to the Toledo Museum of Art, the Huntington Museum of Art, the James A. Michener Museum, the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, and the Fitchburg Art Museum.
Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley have an impressive track
record working across the media, with many awards and nominations.
Marc Hempel is best known for his collaboration with Neil Gaiman on "The Kindly Ones" story arc in The Sandman, as well as his critically acclaimed work with Mark Wheatley on the titles Breathtaker, Mars, and Blood of the Innocent (soon to be a major motion picture). His own creations Gregory and Tug & Buster have been nominated for Eisner and Harvey awards, and his humor anthology Naked Brain was named Best Comic Book in the Baltimore City Paper's Best of Baltimore 2003 issue. Hempel's art has also appeared in Marvel Fanfare, Epic Illustrated, Heavy Metal, Jonny Quest, Tarzan the Warrior, Clive Barker’s Hellraiser, Flinch, My Faith in Frankie, The Dreaming, Lucifer, and Disney Adventures. More recently, Marc has produced CD art for the Nashville band Swamp Rat, drawn an episode of the online strip Munden's Bar for ComicMix.com, illustrated a 21-page Escapist story for Dark Horse Comics, and has contributed to both MAD Magazine and Nickelodeon Magazine. He is the recipient of the Speakeasy Award and the Inkpot Award.
Mark Wheatley holds the Eisner, Inkpot, Mucker, Gem and Speakeasy awards and nominations for the Harvey Award and the Ignatz Award. His work has been repeatedly included in the annual Spectrum selection of fantastic art, and has been exhibited in private gallery shows, The Norman Rockwell Museum, Toledo Museum of Art, Huntington Art Museum, Fitchburg Art Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, and the Library of Congress, where several of his originals are in the LoC permanent collection. He has designed for Lady Gaga, created set pieces for The Black Eyed Peas, contributed designs to ABC’s Beauty and the Beast and CBS's Super Clyde. Several of his original graphic novels have been optioned for motion pictures, with Blood of the Innocent currently in pre-production. His graphic novel creations include Return of the Human, EZ Street, Lone Justice, Mars, Breathtaker, Black Hood, Prince Nightmare, Hammer of the Gods, Blood of the Innocent, Frankenstein Mobster, Miles the Monster, Skultar, and Titanic Tales. His interpretations of established characters such as Tarzan, Baron Munchausen, Jonny Quest, Dr. Strange, The Flash, Captain Action, Argus, and The Spider have brought them to life for a new generation of readers. He has written for TV, illustrated books, designed cutting-edge role-playing games, hosted a weekly radio program, and was an early innovator of the online, daily comic strip form.
Your perks will be exceptional! Please read the rewards list closely, as we are piling on the benefits and would hate for you to miss out on anything. If you help us to go beyond our goal, every additional dollar will go toward value added features for the remastered Breathtaker, including additional pages of material. If we reach our stretch goal, Mark and Marc will create the long asked for The Man™comic book story that is talked about in the context of the Breathtaker graphic novel. But, also, they will forge ahead with the long-awaited Breathtaker sequel.
The incredible Breathtaker perks include :
The full title of the original graphic novel is Breathtaker: Love, Death, Sex, Power.
Over the years it has become shorthand to just call the book Breathtaker. But now it's important that you are aware of its full title, because the very first presentation Mark and Marc made to editor Mike Gold at DC Comics included the promise of a sequel … one that was planned to take place about 20 years later. No one ever imagined it might take over 20 years to finally create that sequel. That’s right – once Breathtaker Remastered is ready, Marc and Mark will begin work on the next Breathtaker story!
Much of the original art for Breathtaker is retained in storage at Insight Studios. Also, art collectors are being asked for scans of the small number of pages that are in their hands. The hunt for missing original pages is ongoing. Please contact us if you have an original color page or know of collectors who have color Breathtaker pages.
Negotiations have just completed for one of the largest publishers in the world to print and distribute the finished, remastered book. Once the remastered book is delivered to the publisher, they will get it into as many sales outlets as possible around the world. But a tremendous amount of work must be done before that can happen.
The real work is only just beginning … and this is where your help will be so necessary. At the time Breathtaker was originally published, graphics computers were the size of a car and very expensive – way beyond the budget for this graphic novel. So Mark painted the pages in watercolor and gouache on ⅛-inch thick board. The line art was transferred to giant film positives and an unholy art sandwich was sent to the color separator for printing.
The next step was absolutely horrific for any artist! When the separator got the color art boards, they had to strip the surface layer of paper from the board so that they could wrap it around a spinning drum scanner. That’s right – they were ripping the art boards, and stretching the paper in the process! The results were okay to good, but never perfect. And in the years since, the paper and the film have changed sizes so that they do not match today. The pages are being carefully re-scanned and will be digitally manipulated to finally get a perfect marriage of the line art and painted color. In a number of cases the art is being retouched by Mark Wheatley, to remove damage and dirt, and even – in a few frightening instances – repair pages that were torn in half when the original color separator wrapped it around that scanning drum! The remastered Breathtaker will finally present the art as it was always intended. Nearly as much time is being invested in this process as it took to create the work in the first place! But it is worth the effort to finally get it right.
Marc and Mark always reach for higher and higher goals with each new project; remastering Breathtaker is no different. They intend for this book to be the very best it can be. They will include piles of the original script pages, development work, Marc’s pencils and line art, private commissions, marketing art, and other cool, behind-the-scenes material – even some new work!Once this campaign funds, production will begin on the remastering of the original Breathtaker. After commissions are out of the way, Marc and Mark will use any remaining funding to get started on the sequel.
WHERE THE MONEY’S GOING
REMASTERING WORK ON BREATHTAKER: LOVE, DEATH, SEX, POWER – more than 200 pages of scanning and extensive art repair and restoration, as well as outreach efforts to gain access to some of the missing original art.
NEW CONTENT – creation of new covers, text features, additional art
LAYOUT/DESIGN – for the book and the additional and added features in the remastered edition
POSTAGE/PRINTING COSTS FOR PREMIUMS
CROWD FUNDING COMMISSIONS
GOAL - $60,000
The Man™ comic book story. Mark Wheatley and Marc Hempel will create the actual overblown, Marvel-style The Man™ comic book that is shown as an object in the context of the original Breathtaker graphic novel.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
While the core material for Breathtaker Remastered already exists, the restoration work is nearly as demanding as the original creation, and requires the eyes and hands of an artist to get the work done. None of this is all that risky, as long as the artists, Marc Hempel and Mark Wheatley, are healthy and able to take the time to do this work as it should be done. Mike Gold, editor for the original series and a producer on the sequel has said, “There are plenty of comics pros who wish Mark would slow down. He turns out great work and doesn’t worry editors about missed deadlines.”
The publisher will get the finished book about 6 months after the closing of this fundraiser, if our goals are met. The solicitation cycle for a book to reach market is about 12 months; that’s where we get our estimate of 14-18 months for publication.If any unforeseen issues should arise, we will keep donors informed of any and all changes in our production timeline.