Kickstarter Spotlight – World of Tomorrow
Category: Comic Book
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Goal Date: September 3, 2018
Currently Funded: $849 (as of 8.13.2018)
Campaign Type: All or nothing
Review by Michael Farris, Jr.
The World of Tomorrow takes us back to Hollywood’s yesteryear when our heroes came to us through a black and white tube, their sidekicks were puppets, and the main actors were indebted to the mob (that doesn’t happen anymore…right?). Craig Barstow is an actor in danger of being washed up starring in a show that is in danger of jumping the shark, and that’s the good news. With the threat of his show being cancelled, he must find a way to pay back his gambling debts to the mobsters after him, but just like the TV show he stars in, his time is up.
The comic comes to us from Uncharted Wilderness Studious based out of Los Angeles, California, but with a team based all over the globe. Writer and editor Giles Clarke is a veteran in both film and TV production as well, as a combat veteran, illustrator and inker. Kenan Halilović is headquartered in Bosnia. Colorist Filipe Obando brings his bright colors from Costa Rica. And letterer Deron Bennett comes from the far and distant land of New Jersey.
From the Campaign:
In 1950s Hollywood, Craig Barstow, the burned-out lead actor of the failing sci-fi TV show: The World of Tomorrow, ends up believing he actually IS the show’s heroic protagonist, Captain Cal Armstrong, after a failed mob hit leaves him delusional.
Now, with the mob on his tail and the tyrannical studio boss at his throat, he must find a way to regain his sanity, keep his show on the air, AND save his girlfriend, all before the show’s final 5pm broadcast!
I was drawn right away to this comic based on the solicit included above, and the story certainly delivers. Based on the description, I was expecting a good blend of humor, action, and campy 50s antics, and I was still pleasantly surprised by the time I reached the end of the first issue. I feel like one of the dangers of jumping into a 1950s mob story is that there would be a temptation to become too reliant on stereotypical caricatures that we’ve seen in hundreds of mob stories before, but all the characters in this story feel fresh, original, and well-developed.
You are almost immediately overcome with empathy toward the protagonist Craig Barstow. He’s made a series of life decisions that dig him deeper in a hole of his own making, his life is crashing down all around him because of this, and yet you can tell based on interactions with his neighbors that he has a good heart. Rather than coming off as a pompous jerk, you end up feeling bad for the guy and reflecting on your own bad choices that end up blowing up in your face.
The humor of the story was executed extremely well. One of my favorite interactions was between Barstow and an old woman at the bus stop who was sure he was in the Navy or a drum major. But the wit that permeates the story is subtle and often comes from embarrassing situations that we all fear to experience.
It’s also obvious how well-researched the historical setting in the comic is. The first few pages have you feeling like you’re in front of the boob tube watching a show with your family and eating a TV dinner in the living room (complete with in-show advertisements for Toasty-Oats!). The artwork perfectly captures the mood of glitzy Golden Age California afternoons.
And by the end of the comic, I knew I had to keep reading. This is a Kickstarter you’ll want to back, and you’ll be thankful you did. Don’t wait until tomorrow like Craig Barstow!
The Creative Team:
Writer and Editor: Giles Clarke
Art: Kenan Halilović
Colors: Filipe Obando
Letterer: Deron Bennett
Publisher: Uncharted Wilderness Studios
For more details on the project and rewards, head to the World of Tomorrow Kickstarter Page