The Clock is counting down for Genetika and with less than half a day left for Darion D’Anjou, Geeks Unleashed thought we’d catch up with him in the final hours. Darion D’Anjou has a project on Kickstarter which has already hit its funding target and will be fully funded on Sunday, December 2nd at 1:36am GMT. The project has already exceeded its target and is pretty close to hitting its first stretch target. Having viewed the art work and the visually stunning promotional video I was drawn into the world of Genetika. There are so many projects on Kickstarter and plenty I’d love to back but with the crowd funding network becoming the haven of so many it’s hard to back them all. However this project really stood out for me, not only is Darion D’Anjou the creator of Genetika and Illuminati: The Broker trilogy an extremely nice guy, it was his work and passion that really stood out for me. Genetika as a world itself is part conspiracy and part science fiction and centres around the character of Gene.
Geeks Unleashed: For those who don’t know you, please tell us where you are from?
Darion D’Anjou: I was born in New York City, but raised in Atlanta, GA where I live now.
Geeks Unleashed: What kind of background do you have as a writer?
Darion D’Anjou: I trained as a screenwriter, and I have a 2 year degree in sequential art and animation, which essentially focuses on the fundamentals of visual storytelling down to the frame by frame level. Out of affinity I have always woven science fiction into my storytelling, and more than likely specifically genetics.
Geeks Unleashed: You’re current project Genetika is hours away from finishing and has already exceeded its target. Can you tell us about the world of Genetika?
Darion D’Anjou: Genetika is the world that happens all around us, but is hidden from us. The enlightened 1% of the 1% live among us and look like us. They act like us, because they are us, but more. They see and hear farther. They think and move faster. They never sleep. They live forever. There is a struggle for power and technology going on all the time, between warring factions of the enlightened, right under our noses, of which we are completely unaware.
Geeks Unleashed: And how long have you been working on this and how did you come up with the story?
Darion D’Anjou: This idea started in 2003 as my own modernized interpretation on the concept of the Illuminati It is the natural tendency of humans to clan up and hoard power and technology, but I’ve never believed that secret societies would after hundreds of years still rely on secret handshakes and decoder rings to identify each other and share their plans. But while stories of the Illuminati and similar secret societies tend to focus on a small group of elites getting together to execute some kind of coordinated master plan, I never could believe that people with that much knowledge and power would ever agree on something unanimously for very long. Therefore Genetika goes the other way, and highlights the heightened conflict and intense internal battles that would occur between factions of enlightened people with access to that much technology and power.
Geeks Unleashed: The central character is Gene, how did you come up with him and what kind of character journey can we expect from him?
Darion D’Anjou: I liked the idea of starting with a character who is elite in his own right, and then stripping that away from him and seeing how he fares. Gene is a PhD/M.D. in genetics research from Stanford University, a whiz in the biotechnology industry. Gene stumbles across the existence of this secret group of people, and as he digs deeper, he discovers that they control technology that makes everything that he has ever learned obsolete. “Genetika: Gene, book i” sees Gene pushed to the outermost physical and moral extremes, that can only either break him, or change him forever.
Geeks Unleashed: Do you have any plans to go beyond the Graphic Novel of Genetika?
Darion D’Anjou: Each graphic novel in the Genetika series will have a prose counterpart. “Genetika: Gene, book i” is the flagship of one of three-story arcs within the Genetika story universe. I have 5 books planned for each story arc, and there is story, technology, and character integration across all 15 books. So yes, this is only the beginning of much more to come.
Geeks Unleashed: With the Kickstarter due to finish soon there is still an opportunity to back this project. Can you tell us about the incentives?
Darion D’Anjou: The kickstarter campaign for Genetika funds the debut print run of the graphic novel. All backers $35 and up get an exclusive signed copy of “Genetika: Gene, book i” from the debut print run. Progressive levels offer character sketches, writer-creator notes, copy of the original script, and copies of the prose novels. There’s a 12-page preview comic of the prologue sequence for “Genetika: Akva rium, book i”. The $100 level triggers a signed DVD and “Playview” version of the graphic novel, which plays over an extended version of the original theme music which I composed for the Genetika trailer featured on Kickstarter.
Geeks Unleashed: Since you’ve now hit your target can you tell us about your “Stretch Goals”?
Darion D’Anjou: We are quite close to hitting Stretch Goal #1, which unlocks Custom Genetika T-shirts for all backers $35 and up.
Stretch Goal #2 is only $1,000 beyond Stretch Goal #1 and gets everyone Custom Genetika CellPhone decals.
Stretch Goal #3, is my favorite. If we hit $10,000 total, we will make a feature-length Motion Graphic Novel version of the graphic book available online for everyone. This would be a feature-length production of the story, complete with Voice Acting, Original Music Score, Motion graphics animation, the works. It would only take a last-minute rush of backers, or one big backer to get us there, but it’s the one I would most love to do for everyone, especially after the reaction to the trailer, which features original music made for Genetika and voice overs of dialogue from the story.
Geeks Unleashed: What made you want to do a Graphic Novel and what other comics inspire you?
Darion D’Anjou: I had to do a graphic novel series, because I see these stunning original images that must be shared with readers. Genetika has got men in business suits wearing gas masks toting assault rifles. It’s got characters suspended in liquid light. Genetika’s got clones, lots of them. These are concepts that beg to be visualized. I dream my stories as rich immersive highly visual experiences, so a graphic novel allows me to share that much more of my vision with the reader.
Graphic novels I love include The Walking Dead, Y: The Last Man, The Surrogates, and V for Vendetta, among others.
Geeks Unleashed: Any are there any that you just read for fun?
Darion D’Anjou: I enjoy the 28 Days Later comic series, because I love anything to do with zombies, especially genetically inflicted zombieism. I also like zombies that haul ass.
Geeks Unleashed: You’ve had a pretty busy year with the release of the Illuminati: The Broker trilogy being released this year as well. What’s the main story of this project?
Darion D’Anjou: “Illuminati: The Broker” is a three-part short story, set in the Genetika universe. It introduces The Broker, the main character of one of the three-story arcs in the Genetika series. The Broker’s introductory story gives some inside information into the happenings of “Genetika: Gene, book i”
Geeks Unleashed: Do you have any other projects we should look out for?
Darion D’Anjou: It’s all Genetika here on out. My debut prose novel “Genetika: akva rium, book i” will be out on Kindle next week.
Geeks Unleashed: Thanks for your time today and good luck with your Kickstarter!
Darion D’Anjou: Thanks a lot to all the backers who took the Genetika kickstarter project over the top, and in advance to the ones who I know will take it further. Your support has energized me even more to bring you fantastic science fiction… Stay tuned!
If you’re interested in backing this project or would like to know more about Gentika then you can visit Darion’s Kickstarter Home Page.