Here in the latest Kickstarter Spotlight we speak with Robert Geronimo, creator of the horror/fantasy Kingdom of Blood!
Comic Attack: From the preview on your Kickstarter page, Kingdom of Blood looks creepy as hell and very promising. Can you tell us a bit about it and what readers can expect?
Robert Geronimo: Kingdom of Blood is a dark fantasy graphic novel set in a nightmare world filled with monsters, swords, magic, and blood!
CA: In the synopsis you mention “the last kingdom of man” so is it safe to assume things aren’t going so well for the regular people?
RG: Not too well at all. Mankind was once the dominant civilization and has crumbled from within. Voragoth is the last standing kingdom of men, but the species and civilizations mankind enslaved have grown in power and are led by a ruthless, bloodthirsty General.
CA: Will this be a single story or are you building a larger world that just can’t be contained in just one issue?
RG: My intention for this project is to be the beginning of an anthology, with each volume telling a different, self contained tale in this dark universe.
CA: Which character from Kingdom of Blood would be your favorite a who would you say is the most disturbing?
RG: General Gorn is the antagonist of this story. He’s the leader of the Saytrians, a warrior race of goat-men, and wields a big nasty blade that replaces his right hand. The Goat King had ignored the general’s warning of incoming attack from the humans, and their race suffered greatly. With the backing of the Saytrian army, Gorn overthrew the king and eviscerated his sons as the king was forced to watch. Brutal guy.
CA: The medieval time period was known to be quite brutal and bloody so how much of that will you be embracing or will this be more horror in tone and atmosphere?
RG: The medieval period will play a great influence, particularly the dark, religious imagery from paintings to gothic cathedrals. I studied Art History at Brooklyn College for my masters and was fascinated by the artwork from the Medieval period. There’s a sense of beauty to these pieces when we look at the pieces devoted to the saints. They’re regarded as heroes but depicted at the moment of their terrible death. Saint Bartholomew was flayed to death, Saint Andrew was crucified on an X shaped cross, and Saint Lucy’s eyes were gouged out prior to her execution… this is dark stuff. And great source material. In Kingdom of Blood, the Sisters of Silence are the main protagonists and carry a saintly air, while at the same time are capable of unleashing a deadly power. They really merge the divine with the terror, which was the atmosphere of that period.
CA: What are some of your major influences that caused you to go the horror/fantasy route with this story?
RG: I grew up in a Catholic house hold and the legend of Saint George and the Dragon was my personal favorite. According the myth, George was a roman soldier that rescued a princess from a monstrous dragon. The creature had tormented this particular city, demanding a daily sacrifice. The princess was next on the list and was tied to a post to be devoured by the monster. George, while riding on his white horse, discovered what was happening, and slaughtered the creature after a ferocious battle. Very similar to the Greek tale of Perseus and the Kraken. The idea of a man battling this dark, evil monster with a sword and shield was undeniably cool. Games like the Shadows of Colossus, the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne, in my opinion, captured that element of man against all odds. The Souls universe in particular merged it with that horror, gothic atmosphere which I wanted to bring to life in Kingdom of Blood.
CA: Now, you’re handling both writing and art duties for Kingdom of Blood. Does that make things easier when bringing your vision to the pages?
RG: I have a specific vision for this project and this is a tale I’ve wanted to tell for several years, and now it finally feels like the right time to launch it. While taking on the duties of artist and writer is a great task, it allows the reader to experience the story exactly how I envisioned it.
CA: Is there a part of the creative process that you enjoy more than the other?
RG: I definitely enjoy both equally, but I always make sure that the words serve the artwork, not the other way around. I like to envision the story without words, then write the dialogue where it is necessary.
CA: What made you decide to go through Kickstarter instead of taking your work to an indie publisher or one of the more horror based publishers?
RG: I wanted to test the waters first. My background is in children’s comics. The Little Maia series are wordless graphic novels created to inspire children to use their imagination to tell the story. This is uncharted territory for me and if there is a positive response, I would love to tell more stories in this nightmare world and get a publisher on board for sure!
CA: Are there any other projects that you’re working on that we should be on the look out for?
RG: Keep an eye out for a web comic called Stat Rats. It’s a biographical comic strip about growing up in the suburbs of Staten Island, New York, and will be an homage to the classic Nancy comic strip from the 1950s.
CA: What are you hoping readers take away from Kingdom of Blood?
RG: Albert Einstein said that the greatest thing we can experience is the mysterious. That’s preciously what I want my readers to take away after exploring the world of Kingdom of Blood.
Head over to the Kickstarter page for Kingdom of Blood and see what’s in store for the backers and more on this brutal horror/fantasy tale!