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Midnight Persons

A Statesboro storyteller and an illustrator from Spain are about to bring their comic book to life


July 26, 2016

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    After a year and a half of creating a futuristic world full of super-powered heroics and global perils in his head, Statesboro resident Jordan Braddock decided to pursue his vision and bring his concept to life as a comic. After contacting Hector Trunnec, a full-time painter and illustrator who lives in Spain, Braddock launched a successful 30-day fundraising campaign on Kickstarter for the pilot issue of Midnight Persons, a sci-fi noir thriller about willpower, belief and magic.
    Braddock’s passion for writing stories first developed when he was a teenager, but he only recently started practicing illustrations and sharing with the public in the last two years. The comic writer attended East Georgia State College for three years before taking a hiatus to work on Midnight Persons. 
    Midnight Persons features “ascended” individuals who use their newfound abilities to expose a corrupt government and save the rest of humankind, inciting them to leave a dying Earth and travel to space in the hopes of forming a new civilization.  
    “Midnight Persons is a melting pot of stories and genres that inspired both Hector and I growing up and on into adulthood,” Braddock said. “Everything from alternative comics, to novels, to anime inspired this story and informed my decisions on how to craft it.”
    Thanks to the support of his Kickstarter backers, Braddock has the necessary funds to work on Midnight Persons Issue #0, a full-color, 20-page comic that serves as an introduction to the style, setting, tone, and characters. Braddock decided to present his story as a comic rather than a novel due to the unique storytelling potential and audience engagement that a comic offers to its readers when they’re exposed to its stunning visuals. 
    “In no other medium do I feel there is such a sense of magic,” Braddock said. “Comics are a collection of words and images subtly put together to guide the reader in a truly unique way. I knew Midnight Persons was perfect for a comic because it contains things that would be hard to capture on film or in a book. This is a unique story. I didn't just want to write a book. I wanted people to see into this world.”
    After a lengthy search for the right illustrator, Braddock came into contact with his creative partner, Trunnec, on an online comic forum focused on connecting artists and writers. Trunnec’s contribution to the project includes illustrating, inking, painting, and lettering the comic panels for Midnight Persons. 
    “I admired his work and started imagining things that would work with his style and choice of medium and palette,” Braddock said.  “I've always loved his water colors, and I couldn't help but think of characters that would pop with those kind of effects. So I reached out to him once I felt I had collected enough character design and written enough of the script and outline to make it worth even looking at.”
    Although Trunnec trusted in Braddock’s vision enough to agree to be paid through a crowdfunding campaign instead of upfront, the illustrator-writer duo still had to overcome several challenges, such as long-distance and a language barrier, while working together.
    Braddock said, “The process was around eight months of me designing images featuring characters that he would then adjust based on his and my critiquing of each new model. There were and are challenges involved with communicating, considering that neither of us speaks each other's language. The Internet has acted as a catalyst for our communication in that we have translator options on all social media we use for communication, and we’re transparent if we don't understand something like an idiom. I also trained myself to draw in the early stages of conceiving the story, so if I can't quite explain something to him, I just draw it.” 
    Despite living in on separate continents, Braddock and Trunnec’s collaboration has made steady progress and fruitful results due to a commendable work ethic from both partners. 
    “As far as how we collaborate, it's a system of emails and scanned images,” Braddock said. “We speak often and vote on almost all the details. We inform each other of our personal activities and projected completion times. It's time management, mutual respect, transparency and a love for the subject matter.” 
    The projected release date of the project is September. Although it is too late for people to back the project for this introductory issue, once Midnight Persons arrives in print, Braddock will have extra copies for sale for those still interested in supporting the comic. All of that information will be provided after the original Kickstarter backers have received their comics and respective rewards merchandise. 
    Braddock and Trunnec are currently in the story-boarding phrase of the project. Braddock’s current responsiblities involve translating the script of Midnight Persons Issue #0 into illustrations, thumbnails and notes so that Trunnec can use them as a blueprint to create the comic panels. 
    Braddock said, “There are usually three to five people working on the visual side of any comic. Hector is a one-man team when it comes to this, so I do all I can to take care of all the conceptualization and writing. It's a symbiotic working relationship that allows for a product better than either of us could produce alone.” 
    Although the majority of their attention is focused on the task at hand, once Midnight Persons Issue #0 is completed, Braddock and Trunnec plan to send copies to publishers that accept creator-owned stories or may want to pick it up for an ongoing series.
    “I have composed enough of the story to continue forward in that event,” Braddock said. “We may wind up crowdfunding Issue #1 in the same fashion as this pilot issue. We will only be able to wait and see at that point, but just like everything leading up to now, it's one step at a time.”

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