Media Release — Today, August 1, 2012, novelists Ian LeWinter and Implovious launched a Kickstarter campaign for their seven book graphic novel series, “Blank.” The duo, known collaboratively as the “Brothers of the Silence,” hopes to raise $95,000 to develop Blank — the first graphic novel to launch in real-time on Facebook and Twitter — into a cross-media entertainment franchise.
Through Kickstarter, the Brothers of the Silence hope not only to raise the funds needed to publish the first book in print form for their entire fanbase, but also to produce sequentially-numbered collector editions, and evolve the series toward other forms of entertainment media.
Blank is a supernatural adventure story that centers on John Blank, a hitman who discovers he is mankind’s last hope for survival, as predicted by an ancient Greek codex. The only problem is, he’s already dead. From the world of the dead, John must fight increasingly menacing monsters to make his way back to this world and vanquish the terror threatening to destroy all mankind. The story has a diverse cast of characters and a compelling plot full of monsters, a ghost, a psycho killer, a love story, rival cults, beautiful assassins, and an extinction-level virus. It is truly an adventure franchise on an epic scale.
“A Virus for the Virus” — book one of seven in the Blank series — is the first graphic novel in history to release in real-time on Facebook and Twitter, garnering a fan base of over 104,000 people. With 200 pages and several posters already developed, it became an online sensation almost from the moment it launched in May 2009.
LeWinter (son of purported CIA disinformation specialist, Oswald LeWinter) and Implovious grew up on opposite sides of the country — New York and Los Angeles, respectively. After independently founding multi-million dollar marketing firms, the two met in San Diego and hit it off with their shared creative sensibilities. Calling their entertainment collaboration the “Brothers of the Silence,” they produced a six-volume collection of Shakespeare commentaries before deciding to create, as LeWinter describes it, “an epic graphic novel series, one that could bring purpose and scale to the medium as had never before been attempted.”
They threw themselves into the Blank project, researching plot lines for the novels. “We had no success for months,” says LeWinter, “and then we stumbled across a little-known Mediterranean cult, whose apocryphal beliefs regarding the end of the world were actually quite chilling. We decided right then and there to build our plot around the question: What if this cult’s beliefs actually played out in our time?”
The only obstacle the Brothers had left was how to distribute their graphic novel series. “Graphic novels were starting to flourish in their own right as a medium, and we knew our previous publisher was all wrong for the project,” says Implovious. “Ian was the first to suggest that we release the work in real-time on Facebook and Twitter. I thought he was crazy. Crafting a story directly in front of an audience was a layer of transparency I wasn’t ready for. But after the first chapter had been posted, with each two-page spread being uploaded as soon as it was completed, the response was overwhelming. It was like nothing either of us had ever done before, and we soon became addicted to the process. Now we’ve got fans from 118 countries and counting.”
When asked about the most satisfying moment thus far in the series’ creation, LeWinter commented, “Seeing a girl at Comic-con who was dressed as our assassin Tisiphone, with green hands and blackened eyes. That was the moment that drove it home for me. I thought, ‘Hey, this is for real!'”
To follow Blank and read the pages in real-time, visit Facebook.com/BlankTheGraphicNovel.