Hello, I am looking for a skilled illustrator to collaborate with on a "superhero" graphic novel that I'm in the process of writing. I am an experienced writer, with one completed book (Perennials) and another on the way and variety of projects still in the works. You can check out some of my material on my deviant art page here:
I have been working on this graphic novel project for going on a year now, and I have the basic concepts worked out, including the main arc of the storyline, the characters, backgrounds, themes, etc. The basic idea behind the novel is that, in the semi-near future (2017ish), a group of real "superheroes" forms in order to fight crime of steadily ascending levels. They have no superpowers, instead relying on technology and their own training and abilities. Although it is a "superhero" story at heart, the atmosphere and tone of the work is more comparable to a crime-drama mixed with hard science fiction. Very often the villains (everything from low level drug dealers to international terrorists) have nearly as much "screentime" as the heroes do. All the characters are highly developed, complex, multidimensional human beings, and there is just as much character development and drama as there is action. As of now, I have it broken up into five parts, or "books", which could end up each being short novel in and of themselves.
I'm looking for someone with a fairly serious and realistic art style, one that would appropriately fit the content and tone of the story. I have already developed a number general designs for each of the superheroes, but these would only be something of a visual guide, and ultimately we would collaborate together on both the story and the illustrations in order to create a natural feeling of cohesion. I've already had a number of false starts with people who claimed to be interested only to later drop out; for this reason, I'm really only looking for someone who doesn't mind a commitment, and who really wants to see this through and hopefully one day get it published and on the bookshelves. If you're interested you can either post here or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I've also made up some character profiles, having designed them with a fairly limited but nonetheless useful online character creator. These obviously don't represent the final designs, but they can at least give you an idea of the general visual style I'm going for.
What follows is a brief (yes, believe it or not, this IS brief; I'm not even getting into each of the character's individual backstories, personalities, inter-relationships, etc.):
Rise of the first true "superhero" (The Night) and his early battles against low-level street crime. Eventually he makes acquaintances with a wealthy businessman, philanthropist, and mathematical-savant (The Intellect) whom ultimately funds the Night with technology, including an extremely high-tech nanosuit filled to the brim with tricks and gadgets. As the story goes on, the Night eventually comes into contact with an undercover police officer posing as a gangster in the Philadelphia Mafia. By the end of the book, this police officer (The Justice) has joined the steadily building "team".
Mainly deals with the continuing growth of the team, as well as their ongoing battle with the Italian mobsters (through whom another, greater villain is eventually revealed; a Ukrainian international arms dealer and human trafficking ringleader named Kirill Kirilenko). This book also deals with the superhero team's growing media presence. By the end of this installment, two more heroes have joined the team: a young and emotionally damaged Japanese-American hit-woman (The Silence) that poses as a prostitute in order to murder her victims, and a Native American gun-buff (The Cobra, also an ex-mercenary and U.S. Marine) who spent his later years performing in gun-shows, pulling off miraculous feats of marksmanship. The latter is a previous acquaintance of The Intellect. The team also takes on an official name: The Vindicators (this is also the title of the series).
The Vindicators, now almost fully formed, has begun to focus most of their efforts towards bringing down Kirill and his international criminal operations. In addition, the team has become well-known worldwide, with massive debate, analysis, and controversy being devoted to the subject of their existence. The FBI is also now hunting the team in full-swing. By the end of this book, the final member of the team is introduced; an ex-MMA fighter that was later disgraced for accidentally killing a man in the ring. He worked as bouncer in a club when the Vindicators picked him up, and thus his title is appropriately The Bouncer.
Kirill and his criminal organization is finally brought down. The FBI's hunt for the Vindicators grows in intensity, with the first of several skirmishes between the two groups taking place. A subplot introduced in Book Three is further developed, involving a scientist working for The Intellect's technology company. The scientist (whom also developed all the custom nanosuits and tech for each member of the Vindicators), has created a brand-new technology based around self-replicating nanobots that can replace and then serve the function of normal matter. An accident occurs during the construction of the nanobots, however, and the scientist's body is taken over by them, with each of his cells being replaced by a mechanized nanobot version. This allows him a variety of powers, particularly the ability to become an intangible, smoke-like substance, allowing him near-invulnerability. Government agencies attempt to apprehend him for study (whom the media nicknames The Vapor), but fail to do so. Eventually several fights take place between The Vapor and the Vindicators (playing on the idea of superheroes without superpowers fighting a REAL supervillain with superpowers). The Vindicators fail to defeat him after multiple encounters, leading to their popularity in their public eye to slowly dwindle. Another character is introduced in this book, though he is only vaguely relevant at this point: an extremely wealthy socialite named Jeremiah Clayborne, whom has spent the better half of his life training to become a real superhero (though he has yet to actually do so). Clayborne also spent time integrating himself into various criminal organizations so that he may eventually bring them down one day. Clayborne approaches the Vindicators in hopes of joining their team, but is ultimately rejected, as the team does not wish to involved anyone else in their continuously growing problems.
After a massive opening battle between the Vindicators and the Vapor, the latter gives up (having become exhausted and mentally and emotionally drained from constantly running) and he is taken in by the government. By now the Intellect has also made secret contact with one of the Federal agents in charge of taking down the Vindicators, whom is questioning the meaning and usefulness of putting so much effort into stopping the Vindicators, who despite their flaws do seem to be ultimately doing good for the world. The character of Jeremiah Clayborne is further developed, having taken his rejection by the Vindicators very personally. He takes on an alter ego, Arcturus, and contracts the development of a nanosuit of his own similar to that of the Vindicators', though far more advanced. Arcturus initially poses a hero attempting to take down the Vindicators, but eventually his true nature and sociopathy is peeled back until ultimately he accepts and embraces his role as a true supervillain. The connections he made with criminal organizations earlier in his life have now allowed him to literally take over by force a massive part of the crime trade throughout the entire world. Several battles between Arcturus and the Vindicators take place, with the latter ultimately only being defeated when the Night sacrifices himself. Afterwards, the Vindicators (along with a newly escaped and reformed Vapor joining the team as the first true SUPERhero), continue their mission of fighting crime, along with their endless run from the authorities.