Deuces Wild is a graphic novel that is written and illustrated by Brett Brooks. (Website – Facebook – Twitter: @thebrettbrooks – Instagram: @brettbrooks) The story follows four Bounty Hunters as they pursue an assassin who has gone rogue. The book is currently being crowd funded through Kickstarter and you can contribute to the book’s creation by clicking the link HERE.
Brett was kind enough to answer some of our questions as we got a change to take an inside look with the creator of this upcoming series:
DFAT: Tell us about what led you to become an artist and a storyteller?
Brett: I think I started out the same as any other kid, just enjoying art and storytelling at its most basic application – perhaps in the dialogue between the action figures I was forcing into a showdown, perhaps through a required journal entry every morning after we said the Pledge of Allegiance at school. Whatever the case, I feel like I was always looking for an excuse to be creative. I can tell you that’s where it started, akin to many other children. I guess I’ll never really know what kept it alive, per say. Growing up in southeast Alabama, there wasn’t a lot of advancement for the things I developed such a huge interest in, primarily art. And even more specifically, storytelling. So I absorbed a lot of things on my own, and everything sort of just…fell into place…as I got older (got older…not “grew up”… 🙂 )
DFAT: What would you say have been major influences in your work?
Brett: At a younger age, I think the joy of creating was enough to motivate and influence me in and of itself. But as I’ve developed more in my later years, I think seeing how my work can potentially affect those around me has created this interesting symbiotic relationship between wanting to create and the results of creating – at least, when the public eye is somehow involved (which is more often than not at this point). I could probably list off a myriad of artists and creators that inspire me, but I think the root of why you do something has to be tethered to something deeper than others’ achievements and influence. It’s that kernel of truth inside you that can’t always be explained. When it’s right, it’s right. You know?
DFAT: Let’s talk about Deuces Wild, can you give us an idea of the premise and the setting?
Brett: Deuces Wild is set in deep space in The House Sector. The sector consists of four major terrestrial planets – Diamond-Gadol, Hearth, Spades, and Clover-3. The administrative body that governs these four planets is known as The Deck, and their hierarchy of rank is based on playing cards. For reasons undisclosed, Two of Diamonds (Deuces), goes maverick and starts targeting members of The Deck – his major threat being his trademark method of never taking down less than two targets in one hit. So in response, the four Kings contract a crew of bounty hunters to track Deuces down and bring him back to “justice.” The ins and outs of the story all launch from these broad strokes. On the surface, this is most definitely a sci-fi/action story with a lot of loaded personalities. But underneath, there is a much more intricate plot slumbering. To me, that undisclosed storyline is the heartbeat of everything, and has been my favorite variable to develop.
DFAT: When creating the world for Deuces Wild, what influences did you draw from?
Brett: I could name a thousand sources for visual development – artists, illustrations, etc. But at this early stage in the book’s life, most of my visual influences have been drawn from hubble telescope images and wildlife photography (for the characters), honestly. For the story, I’ve been paying attention to films like Ocean’s 11, Tombstone, and The Usual Suspects. Science Fiction isn’t something I really sink my teeth into very often…which may seem a little odd, considering that’s where my setting is going to be for the next year or so of my life. Full disclosure, I think I would consider Deuces Wild closer to a heist more than a sci-fi tale.
DFAT: In your previous graphic novel, Dust Bunny (Website and Facebook) you used an all black and white style for your illustrations, in Deuces Wild you are moving to color – What led to this decision and what challenges does this bring?
Brett: Yeah, it’s quite the jump. Quite a big jump, actually. And I’m admittedly a little intimidated by the idea of tackling an entire 120 page color graphic novel by myself. But I’ve already washed the car and cooked dinner. So I’ve got a few minutes…ahem. I do think that the biggest challenges will be taking all of the principes and applications of Dust Bunny to the next step. The character designs are a little more detailed, which calls for a closer attention to craftsmanship. The world is bigger, which…ha…I don’t even want to think about right now. And the book is in color, which introduces an entirely new dynamic for visual storytelling. Certain elements of this book (holograms, laser blasts, space, etc) are going to be carried completely with color. No linework needed. And that’s simultaneously exciting and terrifying all at once.
DFAT: What led you to using Kickstarter as a method for funding this project?
Brett: Dust Bunny did really well back in 2011. My good friend Josh Matthews over at Giant Step Films actually convinced me to give Kickstarter a shot. I had nothing but doubt going in, really. The concept of people funding a passion project for someone they knew nothing about seemed a little far-fetched. But it worked. Dust Bunny received 4x the projected goal and the book went on to be a wonderful success at several conventions this year (we’ll be at Dragon Con in Atlanta at the end of August! Come see us!). You’d think after seeing such an independent success with Dust Bunny, I would have a newfound confidence going in to the Kickstarter phase for Deuces Wild. Nope. Same doubts, new project. Doubt is a funny thing, really. Fortunately, Deuces Wild has done extremely well (funding itself in less than 24 hours after the launch). And it’s continuing to grow!
DFAT: When can we expect to see Deuces Wild in print?
Brett: I’m hoping to have Deuces Wild in print during the summer of 2015. The more support that the book gets at this point, the longer I can keep clients and freelance off the table. At the rate it’s going right now, things are looking positive for that projected time-frame.
DFAT: Do you have anything you would like to add?
Brett: I really appreciate everyone’s support on this project, even during it’s first two weeks, Deuces Wild has started to see some very positive return. So I’m extremely excited to see what this next year brings!
I want to thank Brett Books for taking the time to answer our questions. Please check out the Kickstarter page, as well as the Website and Facebook page for Deuces Wild. I will continue to keep an eye out on this Kickstarter and will keep all the Towelites posted on this Graphic Novel’s progress.