Inspired not by other comics but by his strong religious faith and love of strange movies, Joe Badon’s The Man with Ten Thousand Eyes Kickstarter comic looks for $3,000 by Friday, Nov. 13.
“This is kind of like a super abstract internal dialogue I’m having with myself about my walk with God, but in a super weird, noir, crazy abstract filter,” said Badon via Skype interview.
Badon is a full-time illustrator who chiefly does freelance work for others. He works on comics, such as an upcoming book called Speakeasy written by Joey Esposito, as well as logos, posters, children’s books and more. He has written and illustrated multiple Kickstarter comics before his latest, like Terra Kaiju, a Samurai comic that raised $4,059 of its $3,500 goal, according to its Kickstarter page.
The Man with Ten Thousand Eyes is a 32-page, self-contained one-shot comic, presented in a black, white, and blue format along with some color, with lettering from P.B. DeBerry, its Kickstarter page reads. It is about a man with a dull life who finds himself one morning with a third eye that “gives him insight into people’s lives, the future and other psychic abilities,” the page continues. At first a story about this man trying to use this third eye for good turns into something more terrifying, as his body gets filled with even more eyes.
Esposito expressed praise for his friend and college’s work and said he’ll be financially supporting this campaign just like previous campaigns from Badon, through an email interview.
“It looks like something only Joe would/could do — it’s got his experimental vibe and unique taste,” said Esposito. “Joe draws from such an interesting, eclectic bank of influences and I always love seeing the new original stuff he comes up with.”
Another friend and college of Badon’s, comic book creator Jeff McClelland, is also backing the project.
“I think that he has a pretty unique style, especially in American comics,” McClelland said.
Despite its medium of choice, the idea isn’t a product of a love for comics, but more so for film. In fact, Badon found himself actively distancing himself from some mainstream aspects of comic books.
“I love one-shots,” said Badon. “I do not like continuing stories.”
He lamented major publishers taking a character and “beat[ing] the dead horse for the next 50 years,” and prefers smaller, digestible stories to huge, sprawling epics, he explained. This comic won’t be that.
It will actually be more like a movie, something smaller and digestible by its very nature, and that is where a large chunk of his inspiration comes from. He is drawing inspiration from films like David Lynch’s Eraserhead, hoping to create something eerie and haunting, he explained. To get a sense of what he is going for, check out one of the 32 pages, all of which take 8 hours on average to complete on his end he explained, taken from the Kickstarter page here:
It isn’t just his love of such movies that gave him inspiration, but also his religious faith. Badon is a devout and open Christian, of the “Vineyard” denomination, he said.
“When I came to give my life to Jesus Christ, I became a part of the religious establishment,” said Badon. “Don’t watch this, don’t talk about this, don’t drink, don’t smoke, everything that’s weird is bad… I went down a road that wasn’t me.”
***The sort of “enlightenment” Badon felt then is what this book will be about thematically, Badon explained.
“If people feel like they have hit an epiphany moment in their lives, and become enlightened, they go from wanting to help others to wanting to lord over others, and then destroying people,” said Badon. “Many times it’s done with the best intentions.”
Initially, the protagonist Wendell “feels like a hero that is able to help people,” with this third eye that gives him supernatural insight into the lives of others, the Kickstarter explains.*** (see below)
Eventually, Badon realized that his specific form of practice wasn’t allowing him to be himself. It was a further embrace of his faith, rather than any rejection, that got him to where he is today, however.
“I was created by God weird,” said Badon. “And for a reason.”
After all, it’s all in line with scripture, for Badon.
“The more I read the gospels, the more I realized those are the people Jesus came for, and that all of the normal people, Jesus was pointing his finger at,” said Badon. “Jesus was condemning the normal people, and embracing the weird people.”
The world probably wouldn’t have The Man with Ten Thousand Eyes if not for this evolution in his religious belief. Would old Joe have disapproved of this comic?
“He might have raised an eyebrow,” said Badon. “Depending on how many eyes he had.”
Check out Matt’s online portfolio here.
***NOTE*** This section marked (***) above was added in around 4:40 PM Eastern Time on Oct. 16th, 2015, roughly two hours after it was originally published. I neglected to include this information originally and do apologize.