Lady Sabre has battled hordes of goons, faced down destroyer zeppelins, fought giant mechanical monsters, and soon it looks as though she’ll have another victory under her belt—a successful Kickstarter campaign.
Writer Greg Rucka (Whiteout, Stumptown, The Punisher, Detective Comics, Queen & Country, Alpha) and artist Rick Burchett (The Batman and Robin Adventures, The Superman Adventures, Blackhawk, She-Hulk) started the campaign on May 6 to crowdfund a print collection of their webcomic, Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether. When the goal was met in the first eight hours, the creators were stunned.
“It’s overwhelming,” Rucka said. “Webcomics live or die on the basis of who reads the comics, on the community you can build. I don’t think we had any idea that the support for the comic would translate so tremendously to the Kickstarter. It’s humbling, and it’s wonderful, and it’s—honestly—a little frightening. I’ve run out of words for gratitude. Our best way to say thank you now is to deliver a book that everyone will be proud of, backers and creators alike. Honestly, I’m still in a daze about it all. Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this level of support.”
With half the campaign still to go, Rucka and Burchett aren’t resting on their laurels. They’ve since added additional stretch goals that will not only make the quality of the printed book better, but will provide new opportunities to expand the storyworld through annotated process books, ephemera from the storyworld, and other creations yet to be revealed.
“There’s so much of the Lady Sabre world that we’ve never even seen, so much we’ve just hinted at, and if all goes to plan with this campaign, we’ll be able to pull back the veil a little further, share that much more,” Rucka said.
Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether follows the titular Lady Seneca Sabre as she adventures across a mysterious world of clockwork monsters, stoic gunfighters, sword-wielding dirigible commanders, and storms that threaten to destroy the very foundations of life across the Aether. Above all, Rucka and Burchett sought to instill their comic with a sense of adventure, wonder, and excitement: “If you’ve never read Lady Sabre, the most important thing we want you to know—all of us—is this: it’s fun. Simple as that,” Rucka said.
The Eisner Award winners started the webcomic with web designer and editor Eric Newsom in July 2011 after failing to find a home for projects on which they could work together.
“We went to the web because I wasn’t getting work from any of the major publishers,” Burchett said. “Greg and I have been trying to put something together for some time and couldn’t, so one day we were on the phone and he mentioned his plans to do a web comic with another artist who had become unavailable, so I said, ‘Why don’t we do it?’ We were off and running in a matter of minutes.”
With the campaign a success thus far, the creators hope that more readers will consider not only reading the book in print, but on the web, where they continue to publish installments every Monday and Thursday.
“I’d like people to read Lady Sabre and become lost in the world Greg, Eric, and I have tried to create,” said Burchett. “A place where they can care about those ink lines, where they can discover, or rediscover, a sense of wonder. A place where maybe the heroes aren’t perfect, but at least they aspire to be heroic. A place where integrity and good deeds matter, and maybe that’s not a reflection of the world we inhabit, but wouldn’t it be nice if it was. Most of all I want them to have fun. Maybe it’s not saving the world, or the Universe, but sometimes it’s just fun to take a map away from the bad guys.”
Lady Sabre & The Pirates of the Ineffable Aether is a webcomic by Greg Rucka and Rick Burchett, published twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays.