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Cullen Bunn talks going steampunk in new Kickstarter comic 'Democritus Brand and the Endless Machine'

By Jeff Spry
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Prolific supernatural and sci-fi writer Cullen Bunn's Herculean level of creative output has solidified his title as one of the most productive talents in comics after a solid decade of dark-tinted offerings, and he's not planning on slowing down one single page anytime soon.

The Eisner Award-nominated writer of The Sixth Gun, Harrow County, Micronauts, Uncanny X-Men, X-Men Blue, Dark Ark, Unholy Grail, Sinestro, Deadpool, Conan the Slayer, Army of Darkness, and countless other titles has just launched a tempting new Kickstarter campaign this week for a fantastic steampunk adventure series titled Democritus Brand and the Endless Machine and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive peek inside the dynamic pages.

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Written by Cullen Bunn and JimmyZ Johnston, who previously collaborated on Micronauts and Wrath of Karza, the wild project includes striking artwork by Federico de Luca (Mindbender, The Barbarian King) and lettering courtesy of industry veteran Simon Bowland. This fresh endeavor will serve to finish up and fund the first two issues of the ambitious miniseries, which already has its preliminary art completed.

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Democritus Brand is a bold, truth-seeking archaeologist residing in a steampunk version of England's classic Victorian Age, exploring the planet from the lofty vantage point of his state-of-the-art airship while joined by an unsavory collection of skilled companions. It's an intriguing blend of jolting cosmic horror and steampunk sensibilities set in the year 1891, all wrapped up in a world gone mad with ancient alien technology discovered 30 years earlier at a strange Egyptian burial site.

The initial series is planned for six issues, with additional tales featuring Professor Brand’s adventures to come down the road.

"We were so excited about this book, we couldn't stop at just one issue, not even in the early stages!" Bunn tells SYFY WIRE. "We are thrilled about this story, so we went ahead and completed two issues before starting the Kickstarter. I hope readers are excited about it as we are. We have a really amazing variant cover from Baldemar Rivas. It's in-house, but our plan is to unveil it about a week into the campaign, just to keep the excitement going.

"Democritus Brand is a character we could write about for years to come. I think the world he lives in is ripe with stories. There are so many ghastly secrets to uncover. And he has a really cool support team, too! He is accompanied by the Countessa, a beautiful and dangerous dilettante; Conroy, a cunning street urchin; Zylphia, a soldier of the Crown; and Number 12, a pneumatic manservant. It's a motley crew, but they have exciting adventures!"

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Co-writer JimmyZ recalls kicking around this Victorian Era story with Bunn for a few years.

"We even pitched it to some publishers before deciding we wanted to go the Kickstarter route," he explains to SYFY WIRE. "Two years ago I opened a comic book store, which has derailed my free writing time just a bit. I’m extremely excited about the project for a variety of reasons. Talking to people in my store about projects I am working on is always fun."

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Now check out our exclusive preview of Democritus Brand and the Endless Machine in the full gallery below and visit the Kickstarter page to learn more about this stirring steampunk saga.