Kickstart The Week: Hero Party

by distractingdelusions

I have to be completely honest with you. I had no idea who Marcelo Cassaro and Erica Horito (née Awano) were before I stumbled across their latest project, Hero Party. At least, I thought I didn’t. I have since learned that I am much better at remembering images and projects than I am the names of their creators. However, some quick research not only jogged my memory, but revealed to me a slew of facts to back up my initial, gut-instinct to feature this project as the subject of this installment of KTW.

Still, before we get to the author and artist’s impressive credentials, let’s take a quick look at some sketches:

Hero Party – Promo Sketch In Progress

Hero Party – Promo, Final Sketch

The purpose of the Hero Party kickstarter project is to raise funds for the, 48-page, first issue of a new, on-going, manga-style comic set in a fantasy-adventure world. The world and central premise of the comic itself are fairly typical of traditional, sword and sorcery style RPGs, such as Dungeons & Dragons. There are dragons, fiends, treasure and, of course, the intrepid adventurers. The twist here being that, in this world, in order to go hunting for the Dragon’s treasure (known as, the hoard) all adventurers have to belong to a legally authorised – you guessed it – Hero Party.

What is a Hero Party? Well, essentially, it’s the fantasy-adventure version of the Leverage team. You’ve got to have your Defender, Striker, Healer and Wizard, and if you’re not part of an H.P. you’re not allowed into the vast tunnel complexes where the dragons live to hunt for the hoard.

So sayeth the Law of Dungeons.

The tunnels have even got massive, demon-guarded, doors to prevent unauthorised adventurers from charging to their doom alone:

“You shall not pass!”

So far, so familiar. But, apart from the obvious visual appeal of the artwork, you’re probably still wondering why you should be interested in this particular Manga-RPG comic over the hundreds of others out there.

This is where some quick research pays-off – observe.

The writer of Hero Party is Marcello Cassaro. As I’ve said above, the name wasn’t immediately known to me, until I read his author page and realised I was already familiar with some of his previous work. Mr Cassaro was the creator of, Dragão Brasil, which was an incredibly successful RPG-focused magazine in his native Brazil that also generated quite a buzz over in the US and Europe.

He has also been involved in the creation of several other RPG projects and comics that you can read all about over at the – About Us – page on the Hero Party website. However, Cassaro is probably best known, outside of Brazil, for co-creating the comic series, Holy Avenger, which itself spun out of a short D & D campaign he originally wrote for, and published in, Dragão Brasil.

Holy Avenger – Issues #22 – #24
Cover art by Erica Horita (née Awano)

In fact, Holy Avenger is rather significant when considering the pedigree behind Hero Party as it also features the artwork of Erica Horita, who is illustrating this new project.

Erica has previously provided art for a large variety of RPG books as well as doing a lot of freelance illustration. She also co-founded Kanetsu Press, which published The Iron Maiden a, five issue, mini-series of the, Ethora comic.

Ethora – #4 Cover Image

Having read through both the project and official Hero Party pages, and having looked back at these creator’s previous works, I think that this could be a rather neat prospect. However, it is important to note – as mentioned at the top of the project page – this comic will be printed in black and white. There will be a full-color cover, but the comic itself will be in black and white only. Not that it will bother many Manga fans, but some, more mainstream, comic enthusiasts are prone to getting hot and bothered over these things and may miss this vital information if they are only skim reading.

Additionally, please take careful note of the shipping restrictions on the $20 and $25 reward tiers. Again, anyone seriously considering contributing to this project should be checking these things for themselves. However, as I am highlighting the project for your consideration, I do feel obligated to provide you with as much information as possible.

Hero Party – Full Color Cover

To read more about Hero Party and its creators, please check out the kickstarter project page and official site. I definitely recommend you take a look at the official site if you are still unsure as it features a rather nice Gallery where you will find more sketches and drawings of the Hero Party themselves.

The creators will also be available at New York Comic Con, which runs from October 11th – 14th at the Javits Center, NY.

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