Kickstarter Spotlight – Joan Dark

I was tipped off to this Kickstarter project over the weekend and boy does it sound interesting.  Joan Dark is a modern-day retelling of Don Quixote featuring a female knight who’s also an emotionally damaged Iraq War vet.  She’s questing to find and destroy the source of all evil in the world, who, it turns out is a former Vice President with ties to war profiteering and torture.  Joan’s accidental companion is an Arab journalist who gets roped into her story against his will.

How does this not sound interesting?

Joan Dark is partly an homage to Cervantes’ classic 16th-century novel, Don Quixote, about a delusional and anachronistic knight on a hopeless and meaningless quest. In our story, the heroine has only one thing in mind: finding and destroying the source of all evil, a seemingly imaginary nemesis she calls Lord Nevermore.

In one disastrous misadventure after another, Joan’s reluctant companion is the journalist Fareed Al-Hassan – a one-time star in the Arab media universe whose career nosedived after his own war-related trauma pushed him into a life of drugs and alcohol. Now in the US, on an assignment he hates for a boss he can’t stand, Fareed’s luck worsens as he becomes inextricably bound up in Joan’s misguided quest.

But Fareed soon learns that Lord Nevermore is in fact a real politician, a powerful man whose ties to war-profiteering and torture make him an impossible and dangerous adversary. Fahreed tries to avert Joan’s headlong plunge into disaster, but what lies ahead is worse than he could’ve imagined.

The graphic novel was first written as a screenplay by Robert Hurst and Jeff Tamblyn and the comic script was written by Patrick Quinn and drawn, inked and lettered by the amazing underground artist Spain Rodriguez.

Rodriguez created the first underground tabloid, Zodiac Mindwarp. His character Trashman, Agent of the Sixth International, was an icon in underground newspapers of the ’60s. Big Bitch, another popular Spain character, appears in She Comics. Spain’s work currently appears in the online graphic novel Dark Hotel, at sfgate.com, the LA Weekly and Blab. Spain also recently published Che: A Biography, which was translated into eleven languages.

Quinn, a writer and editor, wrote the 1995 novel Thick As Thieves, which was adapted as a motion picture starring Alec Baldwin. Tamblyn’s feature documentary, Kansas vs. Darwin, was released in 2008 through New Day Films. Hurst, who also teaches film at the University of Kansas, is a writer, director and technician who’s worked on various features over a 20-year career, including Sundance screener The Only Good Indian.

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