Awhile back I had told a friend that if he ever decided to do a kickstarter for his book, that I would be there to cover it. I had interviewed Avner Meyrav last year when he came to me with his book: BPD I remember being so excited because he is from Tel Aviv. The fact that someone on the other side of the world was reading my articles and was contacting me for a review was incredible. I felt quite honored, and still do when anyone comes to say they enjoyed an article. This is one of one of those rare moments where if I thought I had any pull, I would be smacking editors from the big three and any small publisher with this book. I would love to see it be on shelves stateside- as I believe it would be a fantastic seller. BPD is one of those series that I am really clamouring to see more from because it is so well put together, I actually shed a tear for the main character, Marty.
*Some spoilers ahead*
Marty is a cop. One of four who were taken hostage by a crime lord and his lackey's. These four officers were from the Baltimore Police Department. Not only were they taken hostage, but they were kidnapped- hidden away in an undisclosed location and being tortured daily. With Marty (our heroine) taking the worst of it. Raped daily in front of her comrades... bent over, hands behind her back while the others were strapped to chairs and forced to watch, unable to come to her aid. It is gruesome to say the least. You're reading it, turning the pages as the story goes between past and present, begging in the back of your mind for something permanent to happen to this fat, greasy piece of shit excuse for a human... and it doesn't... and it still doesn't... and all the while as the story unfolds, we learn more about what this crew went through in that basement. From appendages being cut off, rape, beatings...death... each went through hell, and came out the otherside with a layer of psychological scar too thick to penetrate.
So what do you do after being tortured in a basement for three months? Each one went their different ways, of course. It is only natural for a person to turn to whatever they think will dull the pain or kill the memories of such hellish trauma. Marty decides to take to the streets by ditching the uniform at night to brutalize the most vile of criminals...McGinty has become a functional alcoholic...Marv waits in the shadows to bail out Marty when she gets in too deep...and Sam...well.. Things didn't work out too well for him either.
What I really appreciate about this series is Avner's ability to flow between the past and the present seamlessly. I've read many books that timehop, more often than not- it doesn't work out well to tell the origins with the present, especially with a comic book. It is a delicate matter with pacing a story correctly so that it has the correct amount of action, words, and depth. Everything happens quickly in this series, there isn't any room for slow burning action. Sure, there are some pages where it is just the characters talking, but never for long. Everything is kept moving. Which is what a good comic should do. You should be ready to flip that page quickly and be devouring it. Stopping to read back through is never a good sign. Which brings me to another point. Flow of writing isn't the only thing to pay attention to in a comic. As we all know, comics are a visual experience: the colors, the lines of the art, the shading, the panel shapes and flow, the lettering... all of these things make the reader absorb the story better. Novels allow for a reader's imagination to make up the character's looks. Comics take that out and put the creator's imagination in. Vladik Sandler, the man behind the illustrations and color work, has truly mastered his craft. More specifically setting the tone. The palette of colors he chose offer a dark, dreary, and nearly sinister feel. Even the parts where there is sunshine and trees lighting the scene, you can still feel the weight that has been beared on the shoulders of our officers. He took Avner's story and made it even more powerful through putting his own spin on it with art.
As we go through the story we learn about the events that happened in the basement that lead everyone to where they are now. Issue #4, which is currently on Head Start (a kickstarter type website). I have read issue #4. Avner sent me over the bare bones version of it, as the final art is still being completed on it. I was blown back by the new information in the story. One of the jerkoffs that had held the team hostage finally got a taste of pain...I asked him where it would go from here and there are just two more issues left in the series, bringing it to a six issue short run. I nudged him a bit, asking about a potential hardcover collection in the future, to which he said it would be considered. This is the first time Avner has turned to crowdfunding as a way to fund the costs of the comic book, and to potentially gain more readers. Being from Tel Aviv, it is hard to get comics stateside, as you can about imagine. I asked him about shipping to the US, and he said it would be $5 shipping. Which is mind blowing. Me shipping a parcel to Italy where my fiance' resides requires an additional mortgage. So for $5 coming from Israel, I was shocked. The site is set up for Shekels, which is the currency for Israel. I believe the site automatically converts the amount to USD, here is the breakdown:
Digital copy: 25 ISL = 6.63 USD
Print Copy: 35 ISL = 9.29 USD
Their goal is 6000 ISL which equates to $1560 USD. A very modest amount considering most single issue kickstarters I've seen run anywhere from 2k-6k.
You can also check out their Facebook page here:
Find them on ComiXology here:
The link to Crowdfunding site: