An earlier race of people failed to live in harmony with the Earth and were imprisoned by their god in the form of carbon beneath the Appalachian Mountains, until the planet might renew itself. Their sentence is overseen by flying warrior beasts that are unleashed in the 21st century after a coal baron discovers that this "sacred" buried carbon can burn forever.
From his attempts to exploit these riches, all hell literally breaks loose. The only thing standing in the way of the end of the world is "a disgraced, ex-pro baseball pitcher and a community of courageous coal miners," as the website puts it.
Boyd says he is cognizant of the contentious emotions and politics around coal and the environment and that there is "propaganda" on both sides of the issue. But he says he hopes "Carbon" will be an entertaining means of furthering "a conversation" over the rather fundamental issue of the fate of the Earth.
"We must entertain before we can enlighten," he says in his pitch video. "Films of the fantastic and graphic novels can often make sensitive issues more approachable."
Crowd-funding sites set a target goal and completion date that must be met or no money exchanges hands. In Boyd's case, he has until March 29 to raise $7,000 for "Carbon." As of Wednesday, he'd raised about $2,000.
He lays out the financial details at the site, noting that each page costs $110 to produce, there are about 65 pages to go and he is trying to finish the project in this fashion after pouring $6,000 of his own money into "Carbon."
Crowd support ranges from a low $10 "Friends of Carbon" donation (which gets you listed on the site as a supporter) to a $500 "Carbon Superstar Package" (in which your face will be used in the graphic novel as one of the featured characters with a speaking role).
Boyd hopes to find a mainstream publisher to release "Carbon." If you ask him for his dream endgame, he says it might be something akin to the success of "The Walking Dead." The high-end zombie tale began as a black-and-white comic book in 2003 and has evolved into one of television's most critically acclaimed series.
Another example might be "The Watchmen," a comic book about an alternative Earth full of struggling superheroes, later made into a Zack Snyder movie, Boyd said.
"That's a huge endgame. I mean, it was such a masterpiece of not only smart entertainment but making people think."
Reach Douglas Imbrogno at doug...@cnpapers.com or 304-348-3017.