Tag Archives: brendan hykes

Review: Campaigners #5

Campaigners #5

Growing up in the 1980s and 1990s I now know I was a witness to some very interesting cultural events of the 20th century. Some of these milestones have become footprints for different novels and movies throughout the years. I didn’t know the historical significance of the Berlin Wall until I watched Bridge of Spies. My frame of reference is when I watched it on television being torn down and the screenshots of it in that old Scorpions music video.

Another historical event that still has a large imprint on our culture at large is the OJ Simpson case. The case itself spoke largely of how America dealt with race and class and how slow the progress has been since. Whatever your opinion is everyone felt a certain way about the man and what possibly did. In the final issue of Campaigners, we find Kydra about to be executed with no hope in sight.

We find the nation coming to grips with the sentence Kydra is a bout to face and protests erupting everywhere. This prompts the President to take effective measures to address what the fallout may be from this. We also find Kydra’s father dealing with her coming demise as she tries to console her and her friend, Bee, who feels it’s her fault.

Overall, an excellent series which asks some hard questions about freedom of speech and its limits. The story by Brendan Hykes is smartly written and entertaining. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is gorgeous. Altogether, a series which is deeper than one would see at first glance, as it challenges the reader in the best way possible.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #4

Campaigners #4

One of the most important stories in recent memory were the Mirabal Sisters. For those uninitiated, they were a family of sisters who defied the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic during the 1960s. They were ultimately killed for their attempt to overthrow the government. They would eventually become national martyrs for their bravery. A book by Julia Alvarez called In The Time Of Butterflies has fans worldwide and immortalized these women.

They became symbols for fighting injustice everywhere. They made the ultimate sacrifice in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity. It’s easy to be verbose when angered or provoked but very rarely does one act. Actions like what the Mirabal sisters took takes courage and faith and is more than most people are willing to sacrifice. In the fourth issue of Campaigners, Kydra gets arrested for her part in the protest as her moment of truth is here. Is that the only reason that she was detained?

We find the President ruminating on why his staff has detained Kydra for sedition, and what it might mean for his public image. We also find Kydra getting a visit from her father, who feels as though he has failed his daughter.  Unfortunately, their visit gets cut short, as the President meets her face to face, trying to press her to take a deal which would mean no death penalty but Bee urges her to stand up for her rights.

Overall, it’s a thought provoking issue that gets to the heart of the series and questions what any one person really stands for. The story by
Brendan Hykes is riveting and intelligent. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is elegant and sharp. Altogether, it’s an excellent penultimate issue that brings readers to the precipice of the real questions the creators have been asking all along.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.4 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #3

Campaigners #3

When I hear the term “best laid plans,” I often wonder how any of us get through the day without some type of expectation?  The saying usually arises when one feels their plan doesn’t quite work. When I was in the military this usually came into play all the time. We spent weeks going over routines and operations so that every mistake can be countered and adjusted. As we would say “failing to plan, is planning to fail,”

This concept would follow me to the civilian world as I have applied to every job I have had and though some things are out of my hands I felt I at least tried. I would pass this train of thought to my daughters. They’re now teenagers and they still think the same way. We all pre-visualize what we want to happen. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. In the third issue of Campaigners we Kydra is finally at Bee’s protest and the President is at the debate.

We find the President and his staff getting ready for the debate as he has his doubts. His staff has their own plans working to ensure the protest doesn’t interfere with theirs. We also find Kydra and Bee arriving at the protest to a crowd not like what she expected and the whole scene is quite different. Both Kydra and the President speak to their respective crowds and their audiences get to know them better but also they learn more about themselves. Things spiral out of control from there.

Overall, it’s a stellar third issue which peaks into the minds of both main characters. The story by Brendan Hykes is funny, smart and relevant. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is striking and vivid. Altogether, it’s an excellent comic which gives readers an excellent backstory on both protagonists.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Campaigners #1

Campaigners #1

Media is everywhere these days making privacy to be an actual difficult thing to find. Everything people say and do can be transmitted to someone across the world without you knowing. This is what makes privacy and intimacy such interchangeable words in the current state of mass media and how technology pushes that envelope. This nowhere more evident than in how and where people keep up on current events heading to social platforms for the latest news.

Long gone are the days when people turn to television and newspapers as their primary source. It hasn’t become anachronistic as of yet but it is closer to being relics with each day. Even smartphones have dozens of apps which feed people all over the globe with what they consider relevant news.  As transparent the world is, less people possess freedom of thought as everything we do becomes increasingly calculated and manipulated. In the debut issue of Campaigners, we deep dive into how one person deals when one mistake becomes known worldwide.

We meet Kyrda Franks, a precarious high schooler who is trying to help her friend not break the dress code. Of course, this brings ridicule from the high school jocks, as some things never change, but also brings notice from the school administration. As Kyrda and her friend, Bee leave school, they are approached by the local news anchor, looking to make a story of what happened, as Kyrda inadvertently lets her political leanings,which catches the attention of the President and the general public. By issue’s end, Bee gets unfairly besieged because of what Kyrda says leaving those who know her to become unintended targets.

Overall, the comic is an interesting premise which more than sparks in this debut issue. The story by Brendan Hykes is funny, relevant, and tense. The art by MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart is elegant and vivid. Altogether, it’s an excellent story that speaks to who we have become and how we must fight about intolerance everywhere.

Story: Brendan Hykes Art: MJ Barros and Sean Rinehart
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.0 Recommendation: Buy

IndieGoGo Spotlight: Campaigners #1

Campaigners_KS_Promo_page10_image1by Brendan Hykes

Then year is 2076, America’s tricentennial, and Presidential hopefuls prove their value by beating each other to death. Two high school girls and best friends, the opinionated but shy Kydra and the outgoing transgender Bianca Faye, are about to find out that speaking out against the system could threaten not only their friendship, but their lives. The sitting President, Archie Lennox, will watch their struggle and wonder if they’re right. And what does that mean to a President who beat three men to death for his two terms?

Campaigners is politics and violence and coming-of-age. It’s a look at social justice from both ends. It’s about being best friends, and being maybe not so great at being best friends. It’s about trying harder and getting in over your head and standing your ground.

Written by Brendan Hykes, and drawn by MJ Barros, with letters, logo and production by Sean Rinehart, Campaigners is a 5-issue mini series to be released digital-only, and we are currently raising funds for the first issue on Indiegogo. The funds we raise will cover the art, lettering and production, and anything over our initial goal will be put towards future issues.

Please take a look at our Indiegogo page, contribute if you can, and share the project!

Take a look at the short preview comic and see what you think!

 

 

While we’re no longer picking crowdfunding projects to spotlight on our site, we’re allowing project creators to make their case for their project on our platform. We remind individuals, we don’t endorse any of these projects, and that by supporting any crowdfunding project, you’re taking any risks associated with doing so. – the Management

Kickstarter Spotlight: Campaigners – a Graphic Novel

Campaigners_KS_Promo_page10_image1by Brendan Hykes

The year is 2076. The economy is in the toilet. Civil rights are floundering. Americans couldn’t be happier or more patriotic. Why? Because every four years, Presidential candidates engage in a no-holds-barred fight (usually to the death). It’s like the Olympics, the Super Bowl, and the Fourth of July all wrapped up in one, and then they get to go vote for the winner.

Only not everyone loves this system. Meet Kydra Franks, a high school student who turns eighteen on Election Day, who comes from a poor, single-parent family, who watches her transgender best friend get bullied at school on a regular basis. When Kyd publicly lashes out against the country, against the government and especially against the debates, video of her rant goes viral and sparks national outrage.

Bianca Faye, the aforementioned transgender best friend, sees all this public outrage and, as someone who spends a huge amount of time online, sees an opportunity to help her friend and boost her own social profile at the same time. She starts to build a youth movement around Kyd, and doesn’t quite notice when the movement starts to get out of hand.

Campaigners is, amongst other things, an attempt to look at the concept of social justice from both ends. It’s about politics and violence, it’s about coming-of-age and standing-your-ground.

Campaigners is written by myself, Brendan Hykes, and drawn by Chilean artist MJ Barros. It started out a few years ago as a simple idea, Presidential candidates fighting to the death for the Presidency. I half-heartedly started developing the story until I came upon the character of Kydra, and realized it was her story, not the candidates. And once I started developing Bee as transgender, and realized it was as much her story as Kyd’s, I was hooked in.

When I came across MJ’s art I knew immediately I wanted to work with her, and she seemed a good fit for Campaigners. I was blown away by her concept art, and I knew I’d made the right choice.

Now we just need to get the thing made. We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to pay MJ, pay for lettering and production, and pay for printing.

Please check out Campaigners on Kickstarter and consider backing.

 

While we’re no longer picking crowd funding projects to spotlight on our site, we’re allowing project creators to make their case for their project on our platform. We remind individuals, we don’t endorse any of these projects, and that by supporting any crowd funding project, you’re taking any risks associated with doing so. – the Management