You might know him as Skaara from Stargate and Stargate SG-1. What you might not know is that Alexis Cruz, through his company 929 Entertainment and its imprint, The Mythmaker Group, is joining the ranks of DIY comics creators to bring you Colin Rankine’s The Unprofessionals, the heartwarming story of “a sociopathic bromance.”
The Unprofessionals is a graphic novel that tells the story of Leo, a murder-nerd with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things crime-related, and Jake, a young man working his way through college with an inexplicable wellspring of rage building up in him that only an unconventional, independent endeavor — like becoming a for-hire ninja assassin — can satisfy. Jake and Leo outwit homicide detectives, out-maneuver shady counter-terrorism operatives, and out-gun a gang of cutthroats who don’t appreciate losing jobs to a couple of punk kids. This story, while couched in heightened violence, will speak to anyone who feels hemmed in by the 9 to 5 grind and the status quo. Think Pulp Fiction meets The Boondock Saints set in New York City, and you’ll have a bit of an idea of what the story is like.
Cruz has managed to bring together a immensely talented team in order to bring longtime friend, Colin Rankine’s story to the reading public. In addition to Rankine’s energetic, nuanced storytelling, The Unprofessionals also has Chris Moreno (BOOM! Studios, IDW, Image) on pencils, Troy Peteri (Top Cow) doing the lettering, and Jeff Balke (winner of the 2011 Shel Dorf Award for Colorist of the Year) on colors, as well artists like Erik Reeves and Edwin Vasquez doing covers and variants. This has the potential to be an awesome book.
They have raised over $30,000 through Kickstarter to make the comic. That’s a lot. Well, it’s not, because Cruz and Rankine are attempting to pay their artists — all professionals who’ve worked for some major comics publishers — a living wage for their work, in addition to funding the production of the book. As the book’s creators, Cruz and Rankine want to make sure their artists get paid before they do, which is an admirable thing.
Cruz’s The Mythmaker Group has big plans for The Unprofessionals. The graphic novel is sort of a pilot project for them. Their ultimate goal is to tell their stories across multiple platforms, and after The Unprofessionals is published as a graphic novel, the hope is to bring the story to television or film, as well as to gaming.
The economy being what it is, a lot of content creators are feeling a lot braver about changing career paths, following their passions, and taking chances, because there’s really nothing left to lose. The Unprofessionals, both in its story and its execution, captures the current spirit of artists doing for themselves. It’s an exciting project for an exciting time.
For more information, or to back The Unprofessionals, click HERE.
Teresa Jusino loves people who create the entertainment they want to see in the world. Hell, she IS one of those people. She can be heard on the popular Doctor Who podcast, 2 Minute Time Lord, participating in a roundtable on Series 6.1. Her “feminist brown person” take on pop culture has been featured on websites like ChinaShopMag.com, PinkRaygun.com, Newsarama, and PopMatters.com. Her fiction has appeared in the sci-fi literary magazine, Crossed Genres; she is the editor of Beginning of Line, the Caprica fan fiction site; and her essay “Why Joss is More Important Than His ‘Verse” is included in Whedonistas: A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon By the Women Who Love Them, which is on sale now wherever books are sold! 2012 will see Teresa’s work in an upcoming non-fiction sci-fi anthology. Get Twitterpated with Teresa,“like” her on Facebook, or visit her at The Teresa Jusino Experience.