“Punchline” creator Matt Weldon joins “Lady Alchemy” after original artist flames out

In a backer update on Friday, Lady Alchemy: Mutus Liber creator Martina Markota announced that the supernatural graphic novel was going to be significantly delayed due to a creative team shakeup. In short, the original writer and artist are out, new artist Matthew Weldon is in, and Markota will take charge of the script herself.

What happened? According to the update, Markota was not satisfied with the direction of the story, and the artist was far, far behind pace on turning in pages.

Here is the full (and lengthy) statement from Markota:

Martina Markota “in-character”*

Dear Backers,

I first and foremost apologize for the amount of time it has taken to produce this comic book and the lack of timeliness in its production date. I want to thank you for the support I have received so far and share with you what is going on. 

I had gone into this project with an artist friend of mine who produced the pitch art and hired a writer to help with the script. The artist asked for payment upfront from the start of this project, a year ago. As a friend, I gave him thousands of dollars expecting that we would all do our part. 

A year later, there were no updates or progress from him and when I started to ask for the art, he was difficult to reach. Eventually, I received a folder of art from him and was very upset to find only 14 pages completed. That is not even a quarter of the book. So you understand just how serious this situation became, and why I have had to make this drastic decision, I should tell you that none of the artwork featured in the pitch was actually included in the pages I was given by the artist. It was not a book about Lady Alchemy, and much of the imagery in the campaign material had been changed to feature an entirely different character. This isn’t what you paid for, so I have taken decisive action to fix it.

In addition, the story did not include any alchemy or storylines that I had laid out. It turned into another book completely, with Lady Alchemy as merely a side-kick. This is not the story that was pitched to the backers and I became concerned. 

I also gave too much credit to the artist (owing largely to the fact that I am not in the country and needed some help), allowing him to purchase merchandise from his own sources. He made executive decisions that he should not have made, while ignoring my requests, meaning I am currently sitting on thousands of dollars worth of merchandise that we don’t have a hope of selling.

At this point, after taxes, paying for the artist, and all that merchandise, I am at a loss on this project – but don’t worry. 

I’m not cancelling the book. 

In fact, I think that this gives me an opportunity to make dramatic changes that will make the comic book even better.

I have now hired another, better artist to complete this project. I have written the script myself, keeping it true to what you have backed. It is a Lady Alchemy story, and I’m really proud of it. 

The new artist is Matthew Weldon. He is a verified and popular comic book artist, and he’s really professional. He also completes projects very quickly. I am now certain that this book can be completed within just a few months from now, and we can have projected dates set out very soon.

I am truly excited with the new direction of this project, despite going into the red financially and dealing with these problems. The comic book is coming, no matter what, and I plan to keep you informed of the process entirely – because this time, there actually will be a process. The artist and I are working very closely together, and unlike the last artist, he will deliver.

At this point, the shirts and printed posters have been fulfilled. I have to send the silkscreen posters out, and the tarot cards will have to be delayed a little until the book is finished, as the book is currently the priority. So I hope that is okay with everyone that purchased the tarot cards.

The new story will be available on the campaign page very soon. I’m really excited to show it to you. It’s a better story, and it’s what you deserve as my backers. I also can’t wait to show you some of Matthew Weldon’s artwork. I was unable to show you the artwork from the previous artist simply because so little was completed, and so few pages actually featured the character Lady Alchemy (believe it or not!).

Thank you again for all your support and patience. Nothing will stop me getting this book out. While I am disappointed with this entire situation, I wish my former artist the best, and I look forward to producing something amazing with Matthew Weldon. 

Check out the campaign page, and some more details about the new story should be live! (If it’s not there yet, just keep looking and it’ll be up in no time) More information and artwork will also be available for you to see in the coming weeks!

Thank you,

Martina


So, that sucks.

Matthew Weldon has been consistently churning out solid work on the monthly superhero comic Punchline for Antarctic Press, so his addition to the Lady Alchemy team might be just what the book needs to get back on track.

Weldon’s “Punchline”

Successfully crowdfunded in late 2018 via Indiegogo, Lady Alchemy is the first project created by Magnum Opus Studio Productions, and is described as a “graphic novel love letter to 90s era babe comics and 80s magical girl cartoon shows, but with a TechNoir twist.” The story follows a rising star in the underground art scene in New York City who discovers that her visions of a demonic world are real.

Here’s hoping that the Lady Alchemy project manages to regain its footing and the backers receive the product they were hoping for. Lady Alchemy: Mutus Liber is still in-demand on its Indiegogo page, so you can preorder the book here if you’re so inclined.

*Photo by Larry Carlson


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