Launching a web series about comic books the very same day of nerd-pop’s annual right of passage Comic-Con does, is a bold move. This is after all when all of the major pillars of entertainment descend upon San Diego to woo the 140,000 bleary-eyed geek skeptics with their latest comic, sci-fi or frankly, even questionably geeky wares. It’s sensory overload for pop culture’s early adopters, and standing out here often means global celebs and huge billboards.
(If you’re already there or heading to San Diego make sure to check out our Web Series Guide to Comic-Con 2010)
But for First Edition, they learned a thing or two about web series and Comic-Con from the show it admits was a heavy inspiration—Comic-Con favorite The Guild. It may not have its own panel, and surprise music video to unveil, but it knows that launching a show about a ragtag group of comic book creators means heading to Mecca.
It’s hard not to notice the similarities to four year-old heavyweight The Guild—First Edition centers around an adorable but quirky young female lead (America Young) trying to pull together a team of variously skilled crew of comic book creators in hopes of winning over her comic-loving crush. She even posts Codex-style video blogs to thread the storylines from her apartment.
For creators Sam Weller and Canyon Prince, this isn’t their first foray into the hard road of indie web series. You might recall the eccentric comedy series The Romantic Foibles of Esteban from last summer. This time they are going all out.
To make sure they had the resources need to launch strong, they turned to Kickstarter, a go-to fundraising site for indie web series, with video plea (below) to would-be supporters explaining how they would spend their scare production dollars. The team raised just over $1700, beating their $1500 goal, to fund their promotion push with marketing materials to promote the show in person at Comic-Con.
First Edition is a pioneering web series that addresses the sometimes ridiculous, always fantastical, behind-the-scenes world of the comic book industry. Tune in this season to find out how a naïve writer, a hapless artist, a bad boy colorist, an otherwordly inker, a washed up editor, and the hottest lettering team this side of Themyscira come together to make the most daring comic of their lives.
I asked Weller about the Guild inspiration, which he acknowledged was part of the calculus in the show’s origins. “What Canyon liked about The Guild was the ensemble cast with a strong female lead and the idea of having a built-in audience,” Weller told us. “He also knew he wanted to build a show around America, so that was the genesis of the show.”
First Edition is one to watch. And despite a challenging week of entertainment buzz overload, it could pick up legs from web comedy fans and the unsung talents that actually color, ink, title and edit those comics that everyone seems to be talking about.