‘Haunting’ Comic Series Launches on Kickstarter

New entertainment is certainly hard to come by these days, no thanks to the global pandemic we are all carefully navigating through. Film projects came to a screeching halt weeks ago, movie releases are delayed, TV shows are on repeat, and Diamond Comic Distributors, the largest distributor of comic books in North America, has ceased delivery of all titles. Despite the wet blanket COVID-19 has become, you cannot keep a creative mind at bay, even through our current circumstances. Enter comic book writer/creator Phil Falco who is the mastermind behind the new spectral series, HAUNTING.


Spawn.  Gideon Falls.  Sandman.  Throw the masses a solid supernatural/horror title and you’ll have the attention of a large audience faster than you can say ‘monsters in my closet.’  As stated earlier, however, the comic book industry is devoid of new content, right?  That’s a big no.  After a recent scrolling through the latest comic book projects on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, I came across one such title which has the potential to climb the heights of those aforementioned books.

HAUNTING aims to possess readers with an original story focused on the lead character, Bram, who is described on the book’s campaign page as “a cantankerous and irresponsible teen with the pesky habit of RAISING THE DEAD!  Wherever he goes, ghosts appear – restless spirits attack the living viciously and without prejudice.  Bram has spent his entire life turning a blind eye to the destruction he’s left in his wake and to the deaths he’s indirectly caused.  But when he and innocent bystander, Faith, are cornered by a vengeful man from his past, Bram will be forced to learn that his actions have consequences.”

How did this whole tale come about, you may ask?  How does HAUNTING differ from other titles of its genre?  I recently had the opportunity to speak with Haunting’s creator and writer, Phil Falco, to answer those exact questions as well as a few other inquiries on the day.

Hi Phil!  So your HAUNTING campaign on Kickstarter is well past its funding goal and still has over two weeks to go.  Is this your first one and did you expect the funding to surpass its ceiling so quickly?

Yes, this is my first crowdfunding project. Truth be told, I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. I’ve followed and supported many crowdfunded comic projects in the past and I’ve seen them go so many different ways. Some have performed amazingly and surpassed everybody’s expectations, while other projects never really found the audience they deserved. Pushing that “Launch” button was definitely nerve-wracking, but I felt I had something special in HAUNTING and that I needed to share it.

Needless to say, I was (and still am!) overjoyed by the support we’ve gotten for the project. We reached our funding goal within the first three days of launch! And we intend to go even further and get the book into as many people’s hands as possible in the two weeks we have left!


Tell us about your history as a comic book writer. 

While HAUNTING is not my first foray into comic book writing, it is the first project I have decided to publish. In the past, I’ve mostly written in prose. Writing a comic script and seeing it pass through the hands of my collaborators has been such a different experience from what I was used to. It is truly remarkable to follow each step of the way as the project transforms from words on a page to a completed visual work of art. It has been an incredibly rewarding journey, and one I’m excited to continue making in future issues.


How did HAUNTING come about?

Interestingly enough, HAUNTING did not start out as a supernatural horror comic. It began as my reflection on the archetypical protagonist in popular media. I think it’s fair to say that your average protagonist – especially in comics – is something of a sin-eater. Heroic characters are so often weighed down by massive amounts of guilt. Guilt at the people they couldn’t save, at the bystanders they’ve hurt, and at the villains they’ve indirectly helped to create. I think the reason we see this so often is because we expect our paragons to feel the weight of the world on their shoulders

With this in mind, I wanted to tell the story of a protagonist who undeniably causes pain, and destruction, and death wherever he goes. One whose very presence is guaranteed to lead to innocent people getting hurt. But one who completely refuses to take responsibility for any of it. Sure, he may cause ghosts to appear. And sure, maybe those ghosts kill a few people. But he doesn’t control them. He didn’t ask for them to appear. Therefore (in his mind at least), it’s not his fault. I’m very interested in exploring this character’s journey and the morality surrounding his ability.


Is horror your preference or does HAUNTING scratch a certain creative itch?

I am certainly a huge fan of horror, but as mentioned above, I didn’t create this character and this story with the intent of writing a horror comic. Truth be told, I rarely go into a writing project with a genre and tone picked out. I prefer to start with defining a character and a theme before building out the world around them. Once I had Bram’s character nailed down, the story quickly transformed into a supernatural horror comic because of my love for the genre. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ghost story? And what better way to have our lead cause destruction and death than by literally raising the dead?


How did you go about finding an artist for HAUNTING?

I connected with the entirety of our creative team online. Once the story was outlined and I completed the first script, it was all about the research. I spent weeks familiarizing myself with every step of the process that goes into making comics and talking to other creators about their experiences starting out. There was a lot that I already knew as a comic book fan, but it’s an entirely different perspective thinking about comics as a creator rather than as a reader.

Once I was comfortable with my knowledge base, I spent the next few weeks scouring Reddit, Instagram, and Behance for artists and posting ads on every forum I could find. In the end, I reviewed dozens of different artists, colorists and letterers before connecting with my team. I’m very fortunate to have met such talented collaborators, and it was a no-brainer partnering with each of them once I saw their talent and their passion.

For anyone interested in learning even more about what went into bringing HAUNTING to life, I encourage you to check out the Kickstarter Reward: “Behind-the-scenes of HAUNTING #1: The Making of the Comic”. There, I walk through in extreme detail all of the steps that went into the making of the first issue, from the inception of the idea, to the writing of the script, to my process for finding each of my incredibly talented collaborators.


What was the inspiration for Bram, the main character?

Once I’d figured out the theme, the rest of Bram’s character came relatively easily. I kept a document full of key words (damaged, aloof, impatient, petulant) which I thought would accurately describe a character who could be so blasé about causing the deaths of innocent people. And from there, Bram sort of wrote himself!

Visually, I knew from the outset that Bram needed to look somewhat otherworldly. I wanted Bram himself to evoke ghosts while still very much appearing human. It was a difficult thing to balance, but I couldn’t be happier with how he turned out thanks to our artist, Anna!

(Fun anecdote: much of Bram’s visual inspiration comes from anime. I remember sending Anna tons of images of Killua from “Hunter x Hunter” and L from “Death Note”, among other characters, during the character design phase.)


The current pandemic has put the kibosh on the distribution of most comics out there. Being independent, how has that benefited you and this book’s progress? 

We certainly did not expect to launch our first issue in the midst of a global pandemic. One thing that we have learned from the experience is that we need to be nimble and roll with the punches. Ever since the Diamond shutdown, many comic book fans have been hurting for entertainment. We’re proud to play a small part in filling that role and giving people a new comic to look forward to. A friend of mine has always said that there’s never a ‘good’ time to launch a Kickstarter. And while I agree with her, I think that this experience has taught me that there is also never a ‘bad’ time to do so either. If you have a strong product that you believe in and you work hard to get it in front of people, you will find your audience.


After the campaign is all said and done, what does the future hold for HAUNTING?

In addition to promoting the HAUNTING #1 Kickstarter, my collaborators and I are also hard at work on the production of issue #2 and beyond! Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, we have a lengthy arc planned for this comic. With the continued support of fans, we believe that HAUNTING has the potential to run for dozens of issues. We’ve already shared some art from issue #2 on the campaign page and we could not be more excited to continue to explore this world and these characters for many issues to come!

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Thanks for your time, Phil, and best of luck on the remainder of the HAUNTING campaign!

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And speaking of the funding campaign, you can head over to Kickstarter by clicking on the HAUNTING  link which will take you directly there.  As of this writing, there are 15 days left and it has gone well past its funding goal so there is still time and pledge levels left to jump on this paranormal journey with Bram and Faith.  After all, the crew behind this series is already hard at work on the second issue!



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