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Norwalk Writer Turns To Kickstarter To Fund Sci-Fi Comic

A poster advertises "Grave Soldiers," a story in development by Norwalk resident Ben Soreff and Jeffrey Marvin.
A poster advertises "Grave Soldiers," a story in development by Norwalk resident Ben Soreff and Jeffrey Marvin. Photo Credit: Jeffrey Zacholl

NORWALK, Conn. – Ben Soreff and Jeff Marvin have a tale to tell filled with “excitement, comedy, romance, chaos —everything you could want in a comic.” And now the Norwalk writer and his writing partner want your help to share that story with the world.

Soreff, a veteran of television production and writing, and the New Jersey-based Marvin, a writer specializing in historical fiction and science fiction have launched a campaign to help put out “Grave Soldiers,” a series of graphic novels. The two are using Kickstarter , a website that connects artists with potential donors who help fund projects in exchange for free, unique gifts.

“'Grave Soldiers' was originally a screenplay, but we felt that we would have more control of the project as a comic book mini-series,” Soreff says. “That and Brad Pitt stopped returning our phone calls.”

“Grave Soldiers” is set in the “not-too-distant future,” in a world where the U.S. is involved in heavy conflicts across the world. Some in the military devise an unusual way to resolve the issue of young soldiers dying too soon, but end up creating “a new kind of horror.” Meanwhile, a group of student protesters travels across the country to stop the program, but end up on a deserted island with the “Grave Soldiers.”

“We began our work on 'Grave Soldiers' influenced by current world events and enjoyed the ‘what if’ nature of the story,” Soreff said. “Jeff and I also wanted to marry the comedy and the action to contrast the horror element.”

The two have enlisted artist Jeffrey Zacholl to bring their work to the page. The artist has already started making concept sketches for the project, which you can see at his blog.

If the Kickstarter drive reaches its goal, Zacholl will turn out a 40-page first volume of what they plan to make a four-part series.

“In a perfect world 'Grave Soldiers' will be popular enough to warrant a wide publication by a major distributer, and if that were to happen we could go beyond the mini-series for sure,” Soreff says. “But right now we are keeping our fingers crossed that part one gets successfully funded through Kickstarter.”

The two hope to raise $11,500 through the crowd-funding service to produce the first volume. The rewards they offer for their backers range from signed posters and copies of the book to the right to have one of the characters named after you or drawn in your likeness.

Soreff and Marvin’s funding drive lasts through the end of September. If they reach their goal, they plan to be ready to publish by January 2014. To contribute, visit their Kickstarter page.

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