Part 1, The Next Three Years Of My Life
: [link]Part 2:OBJECTIVE: SELL THIS DAMN BOOK, DANNY.
At first, Gabriel was nothing more than a character named ONE. He had no backstory, no face, nothing. I just wanted to create a character that was a badass, yet with a sense of humor.
I was inspired by such characters as Boba Fett, Wolverine, Deadpool and Clint Eastwood from The Man With No Name trilogy. I needed to create something that fit that build, however, I'll admit, it wasn't intended at first.
I uploaded him on December 8th, 2008, (which, you can find here: [link]
) and he became one of the most popular characters of the series, if not, the most. Soon I started finding him on forums, websites, fashion blogs (what?), and more.
But what hit me so hard was that the majority of the comments related to his sense of humor; the falling candies.
So I thought to myself, maybe I have something here. What if there was a way to develop a story from this?
I started brainstorming ideas, revolving inspiring movies and comics. But, at the time, honestly I had nothing.
I spoke to `Rahll
about it a lot. What could I do with this? Who is he? What's his story?
We began spitballing ideas, and then I came up with the idea of Gabriel breaking into a police station to steal some police photos and documents of killers that he was going after. Thus, began his role as a bounty hunter
So the project began to grow legs. Soon after, people began asking: What is this? Is this a comic? A book? Something new?
So I came up with the title Last Man Standing: Killbook of a Bounty Hunter, which would be a small collection (30 pages or less) of about 15 killers, their backstories, and why Gabriel was going after them. Simply a pet project.
I told Stephan, my business partner, about the idea. I'll never forget where we were.
We were standing in his apartment, which he had graciously let me live in since I couldn't afford anything else, and I had called him down from the office to talk to me about a new property.
While I am paraphrasing, this was the gist of it:
"I want to create and write a book. It's going to be small, based off the characters that I have drawn and a few new ones, but the goal is to create something that is different, new, and out there. It'll be weird, it'll be funky, it'll be colorful, but most of all, it'll hopefully be cool. Now, it's going to take a long time for me to do this, so I need to know that you have my back and can support this road we're about to go down. I'm gonna get cranky, I'm gonna get stressed, and I'm gonna push myself to the limit to do this for us. I want to create a new world."
He nodded, and as always, said "So let's do this. I'm down."
From here, Stephan called Kevin Eastman, head of Heavy Metal publishing, to sit down with us and take a meeting. I had prepared for this meeting for nearly 2-3 months. Working on new characters, new ideas, new ways to present the book and then finally put together a pitch project.
Finally the day had come. I was ready, but nervous as all hell. I had never pitched a project before (oh god, the road I was about to face), but it was either this or nothing. I had not a dollar to my name, no past work, and not a pot to piss in, but this was it.
Kevin Eastman came in, someone I had looked up to ever since Ninja Turtles (creator of it), and was very kind to me. We all sat down in Stephan's office, late one night, and he looked up at me and said: "Alright, well, let me hear it!."
So I pitched my heart away. And the entire time, he just stared and didn't say a word. I kept looking at Stephan, who looked nervous as all hell. I had blown it. I fucked this whole thing up. I kept skipping over words, remembering old shit that I had forgot. It was a clusterfuck.
And then I finished, and sat back down. He still stared at me, not saying a thing. I asked, "So?" And then he said:
"It'd be an honor to publish this book with you."
Read Part 3 here: [link]