What happens when a rambunctious eleven-year-old girl becomes the captain of her very own spaceship?
Everstar, a new webseries created by Rebecca Tinker, written by Tinker and drawn by Joie Brown, will be released Friday, August 8, at Thrillbent.com and through Thrillbent’s free app. Thrillbent offered me an advance look at the first two installments and, if the rest is anything like the first two, this creative team has hit the mark perfectly.
Ainslie Wickett is an 11-year-old girl growing up on the New England coast. Left alone atop a lighthouse with electronic signaling devices, Ainslie can’t resist the temptation to try them out. But instead of communicating with ships at sea, she accidentally sends out an intergalactic SOS. Oops.
Her call is answered by a rogue spaceship and they take Ainslie and her best friend George on board. The creators promise encounters with pirates, malfunctioning robots, and space battles galore. It’s a given that Ainslie retains her ability to get both in and out of trouble.
“I’m a huge SF fan but there’s not a lot of SF comic out there for young girls, particularly going on a grand adventure in a wild environment,” Tinker said in an interview last week. She said her influences were superhero comics, Sailor Moon, and that “Tamora Pierce was my absolute favorite.”
I asked her about a sequence that particularly struck me, in which Ainslie and George surf the waves on a sailboat. “I was a sailor for a long time as a kid and I’m pulling from exactly the kind of things I did as a kid. I wanted to have that backdrop to start the series.”
Tinker , a graduate of Emerson College and an Executive Assistant at Thrillbent co-founder John Rogers’ television production company, originally developed this concept for television. “I showed it to him and he thought it would make a good script.”
The next step was finding an artist to make the vision become real. Tinker spotted Brown’s artwork originally at WonderCon.
“She specifically pointed to a couple of pieces in my portfolio,” Brown said. A few art exchanges later, and the match was sealed. Brown said her artwork reflects a mix of influences: manga, favorite children’s books, and a little bit of Adventure Time. Brown allowed that there’s one other influence: Sonic the Hedgehog. “I was wild for it growing up and if you look closely at my work, you can see the influences.”
She said she was thrilled to be working on Everstar. “I was just over the moon about the story. It feels like something I would have come up with,” Brown said. “Everything just clicked for us.” Tinker said the artwork turned out “better than I could have imagined.”
Mark Waid, co-founder of Thrillbent, said the site decided on Everstar specifically because it is aimed at a demographic that they don’t currently serve.
“We’re really excited to be doing this because it’s a really good comic and the bonus is that it reaches a different audience,” Waid said.
Everstar will update weekly on Wednesday. The first installment up today is free. Later installments will be available via the $3.99 subscription price for the site, which features more than a dozen webcomics and eight short stories.