This morning, aspiring creator Dai Quan Cain launched a Kickstarter campaign for The Silent Descendents, a comic based on an idea that he has been working on for more than 15 years.
The project centers on a grieving family and their friends, who seek vigilante justice after several of them gain mystical abilities following a small-town tragedy.
Cain joined ComicBook.com to talk about the project.
What is the central idea of The Silent Descendents?
I'd certainly consider the main idea of my comic to be the fact that unity for the greater good -- whether through blood or bond -- will always have the strength to transcend the lesser aspects of society such as terrorism, vice, or crime.
Something that I love about my main characters and their story is that they've all been dealt a tough hand at some point in their lives, most recently after the school bombing that took place in their community, yet they've maintained their dignity and morality through the darkness: If not for themselves then selflessly for somebody else -- and I think that that's an example of which we all can aspire to in this day and age.
You’ve said on social media that this is 16 years in the making. How so?
Well, I initially conceived these characters and their universe in November of 2001 when I was ten years old in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11th. I'd always been a huge fan of pop culture, especially comics, but I felt that there was a void of realism pertaining to the issues around me at the time and with the encouragement of my mother and brother, I continued to rewrite and revamp this story for many years until I settled on the canon which I'm hoping to bring to fruition today. In many ways, this story and the others that I have planned for this franchise have been a very cathartic experience for me.
What makes now the time and crowdfunding the venue to get this made?
I believe in striking while the iron is hot and I don't think it's hard to see that we've found ourselves in very troubling times here in the United States, similar to the trials that the Darkfury family and titular Silent Descendents have found themselves in within the book. While the story occasionally touches on fantastical elements like mysticism and synchronicity, I'd say about half (if not more) of the story is driven by very real-world issues like corruption, deviancy, survivalism, bigotry, and greed.
Crowdfunding, in my eyes, has opened an entire platform to new voices like myself who may not necessarily fit the mold of what traditional publishers seek. While it's great to make it in the mainstream - I certainly would love to myself - I also feel like there's a certain liberation that comes along with maintaining your rights to your intellectual property as well as the creative freedom to tell the stories that you want to without having to answer to anybody else. Where certain companies have the resources to fund whatever they wish at will, I find crowdfunding to be the greatest barometer of quality material because it's fate is decided upon directly by the masses without any political interference.
A hero story is only as good as the villain. What are your characters up against?
The central villain of this first chapter is a crime boss named Stephen Fiorelli, also known as "Chain". He's the leader of a lethal group of associates collectively called "The Chain Gang," which is rounded out by a set of German twin mercenaries named the Schlatter Sisters and a mysterious Vietnamese man called Monochrome, who may or may not be effected by mysticism similar to The Silent Descendents.
What makes The Chain Gang such formidable opponents against The Silent Descendents is the fact that the former's ruthlessness, resources, and experience far outmatch anything that the young heroes have to offer coupled with the fact that in order to possibly defeat the murderous syndicate: The Silent Descendents may very well have to step out of their comfort zones ethically, an advantage which The Chain Gang relies upon comfortably.
If there was one thing you wanted to make sure readers knew going in, what would it be?
It's certainly not a story for the faint of heart.