Concrete Martians

A small town freaks out during the War of the Worlds Broadcast on Oct. 30th 1938.

October 30th, 1938. CBS Broadcasts Orson Wells' The War of the Worlds. A small Washington town reacts poorly.

Did you like the video?  Well, then you are going to LOVE the comic book.

Concrete Martians written by Mitch Cook, illustrated by Keith Grachow - October 30th 1938, Orson Wells produces a radio show for Halloween. The Mercury Theatre Presents, H.G. Wells The War of the Worlds.
The tiny lumber/concrete town of Concrete, Washington, becomes the epicenter of Martian Invasion Hysteria when, at just the point when the Martians in the radio play attack, the power goes out and so do the phones.
The power that radio displayed in those early days of mass media showed us that, even without meaning to, the theatre of the mind can and often does wreak havoc amongst the masses. Local sheriff Ted "Teddy" Wilson has his hands full when a radio play combined with a powerful electrical storm stirs up Martian invasion fever amongst the residents of Concrete, Washington.  As the rains progress an overburdened power substation decides to quit. Of course this only fuels the hysteria and "proves" that the Martians are indeed invading with cruel intent.
In the end, the story is revealed to be merely a radio theatre play .

Most, if not all of the town’s people felt understandably embarrassed and went on to live their lives. However what happened on that day was never fully documented, and that's where our story takes us. This story is to be presented in two installments (52 pages total) but can be combined into one graphic novel. It isn't a terribly long story as the events take place in a matter of hours and just one stormy night.
Interspersed within the narrative is a retelling of the Mercury Theatre’s War of the Worlds broadcast. Up until the power goes out anyway.
The events depicted are based on anecdotal evidence by people who experienced them. Newspaper reports from Concrete, Washington have aided in telling this story.  Many such events occurred across the country that night. 

Goals, Stretch Goals, and Rewards
We need to raise a minimum of $2500 to produce the first issue, 22 pages of limited color digital art. With this amount we will be able to create a digital copy that we can send out to all of our donors as well as apply to digital web comic sites like Comixology.
Each page costs $200 to produce, so, for every $200 contributed, we add another page. It would be nice to provide full color, or even a full 52 page graphic novel. So we are relying on you.  Every little bit helps. We are limiting the type of rewards offered for donations because the costs associated with fulfilling the rewards, producing, shipping, etc, defeats the purpose of the donations.

We do have stretch goals if we get over the $2500. Really this is just the start.

$3500- If we reach $3500 we will include actual printed copies of the completed book at specific donation levels. Reaching more donations means completing more of the book. 

Beyond $3500- So a 52 page complete story in limited color, printed and shipped will cost a much larger amount. So anything beyond $3500 would be a great help!

We have received a generous gift already and that has allowed us to get started on this project and keep the remaining costs down.  That is why our asking price isn't HUGE!
(Shipping copies is $6 US and Canadian addresses and $20 International.  FYI) 




Who are we?
Mitch R Cook
Writer – Bio

I am so glad that evidence of my past comic book experience is buried in a municipal waste site somewhere in Washington State. It would be embarrassing indeed to have that cassette tape of me reading an old Fantastic Four book out loud come to attention.  (Yes, I read it out loud to a cassette tape recorder. Yes, I did all the voices; ALL the voices. Nope, not proud of that achievement. It was a good book though.)

Flash forward 30 years. (Yeah, it took 30 years to get to this point) With a public school education, Community College radio shifts, The Edward R Murrow School at Washington State University, a marriage, a graduate degree, a divorce, another marriage, a TV job in Seattle. . . all a part of my history. Now, finally, I return to writing. I just never thought it would be a comic book.

The comic book format has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. My brain has clearly been influenced by the pace of that form of storytelling. I never can tell a story to a group of people quickly.

I have been working on and off as a Broadcaster since 1991 as a student employee at KWSU and Prime Sports.  I had been the Production director(s) for Green River Community College’s Newspaper AND KGRG simultaneously.  I even spent a year in Yuma, Arizona as a Creative Services Producer/Director.  In 2006 I got back into Radio at CBS Radio Seattle in Promotions.  Yeah, I was the old man of the crew, but I enjoyed the work.  Then KOMO Called and the rest is history.  It was with Fisher that I discover the story of how the WOTW Broadcast effected the tiny town of Concrete Washington.  I HAD to tell their story.

Keith Grachow 
Illustrator - Bio
Growing up with art through his father's advertising agency, led to a BFA with a focus in graphic design. He's worked as an artist doing concept designs for a dance club to being the in-house artist for Play Along Toys. They are the toy company that made the Britney Spears' dolls and produced licensed toys such as Care Bears. He's also worked on two Disney movies through the animation company Yowza, digitally inking and painting on the traditionally animated films "The Princess and the Frog" and "Winnie the Pooh". He's traveled to many parts of the world and stayed in Japan for a few years, where he taught English. He runs a studio that he's the co-owner of, JnK Imagery, creating personalized illustrations for his clients while his wife does wedding and boudoir photography.
Currently, he's working on the graphic novel Concrete Martians and the second book in the children's book series, On a planet named Up-In-the-Sky, called What would Slog Do? He just finished illustrating the 2nd graphic novel in the Arcane Awakening trilogy which will be out in October of this year.

Risks and challenges
The cost to produce (time and material for the artist) as well as publishing costs including shipping for this project have created limits on how many pages we can create. The minimum costs cover a basic issue of 22 pages in black and white, with sepia toned shading, and that is what we are starting with but we do NOT want to limit ourselves to this. A full 52 page, graphic novel is what we hope to do with this campaign but that requires a much larger commitment from you. We have given ourselves plenty of time to produce both the minimum number of pages as well as the full 52, so we do not foresee any real problems with producing this book.

Keith explains how we are technically producing Concrete Martians:

I'm doing all of the art as digital illustrations, which is to say that I'm using traditional drawing techniques but with a Cintiq, which uses a pressure sensitive pen on a tablet screen. Most of this is being drawn in Photoshop with a brush I use to get traditional looking results. There is no "original pieces" which means nothing is drawn with paper and pen. This is not to say that I'm doing any kind of photo manipulation or magically creating it in Photoshop using tracing. This is years of experience having learned how to draw with traditional medium, but adapting and using digital as a tool.



Team on This Campaign: