Talking Mr. Rhee with Dirk Manning
Dirk Manning is slowly becoming a household name in comics. Currently, he is putting together Tales of Mr. Rhee for kickstarter which is going on right now. You can find it here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/devilsdue/tales-of-mr-rhee-hardcover-graphic-novel-by-dirk-m
I talked to Dirk about Mr. Rhee, his kickstarter experiences, and his recent schedule.
Joshua Pantalleresco: So you had a rock band perform at your signing?
Dirk Manning: Absolutely. I go to the signing and they tell me that they are going to have a band perform. The great thing about this is that I know them [Voyag3r]. I said to them as we shook hands that “Guys, it’s me. Remember that music magazine ten years ago and that journalist guy?” They replied “No way…”
JP: It really is a small world.
DM: It really is.
JP: So I think you’re at $5000 now on kickstarter?
DM: Very close. We’re around 4700 in 8 days which isn’t too bad. I haven’t had the chance to really promote this like I really want to. I’ve been busy touring and the kickstarter has pretty much been moving on its own.
JP: So if you describe your kickstarter experience in one word?
DM: Nerve Wracking.
JP: So where did the Mr. Rhee as a character come from?
DM: Originally, Mr. Rhee came from me being contacted by a cable company wanting me to do a horror comic. I offered them Nightmare World, but they told me they wanted something darker.
In Mr. Rhee, the world had survived an apocalypse. It wasn’t like the walking dead per se, but it destroyed society. I always like the Kafkaesque stories where characters have to deal with the tyranny of the majority. Mr. Rhee comes from a world that was invaded for three days by monsters and horrors and everything imaginable. Society rebuilt itself and believed that the monsters are gone. Rhee knows better. Of course the tagline is once you call Mr. Rhee, it is already too late for a happy ending.
Rhee combines the kafka type story with horror and monster with my love of pulp and noir. It’s probably the one character that I think is associated with me and I’m happy it’s that way.
JP: So what’s in the kickstarter?
DM: We’re collecting Volume one – the first 13 eight page stories of Mr. Rhee, plus it’ll include other material. There will be a brand new prose story. One of the bidders had the option to give me a song title and that I would have to write a story about it in Mr. Rhee, and that’ll be included. There is also a hardcover edition exclusive to Kickstarter with the cover illustrated by Riley Rossmo.
JP: I’m so jealous of that. Riley is like one of my favorites.
DM: Mine too. I’m looking at the pieces(hardcover and softcover) right now. If we hit $15000 we’ll include a five page Mr. Rhee story that was available online for a short time. It’s probably one of my favorite stories I’ve ever done. If we go past that and all the stretch goals, what I’d like to do with Mr. Rhee is make a Marvel Handbook like who’s who.
JP: That would be awesome!
DM: There’s this one scene in Mr. Rhee for example where this woman is sitting in a limo that fans of Nightmare World will know who she is, but it would be neat to do a who’s who on her and some of the other characters that appear in the series.
Beyond that, I’ll be adding a couple of new tiers in the kickstarter as well. The nice thing about doing Rhee on kickstarter is that I’m able to reward fans of the series with things like the hardcover. Most of the things I do aren’t collectible. There’s no way to tell if there is a first printing of a Nightmare World softcover. But here, the hardcover will be released for kickstarter and that’s it. Once it’s printed it’s done.
(Update: It is funded. Check it out for stretch goals.)