It started with two creative writers joking around on twitter. One, a film maker and comic book writer, Greg Pak, and the other, a nerd rock god named Jonathan Coulton, who is either telling you congrats for still being alive, or that he's going to eat your brains.
But thanks to that social network, the two are now teaming up in perfect comic book fashion, along with artist Takeshi Miyazawa (Pak's partner-in-crime in creating Amadeus Cho) to make an original graphic novel based on Coulton's popular song Code Monkey. The trio are taking the book, naturally, from twitter over to kickstarter to get things going and bring Code Monkey to life in another way, and the primate is bringing along friends - and enemies - from all across Coulton's collection of tunes.
In Code Monkey Saves the World, the titular character will team up with Skullcrsher to fight off villains like Bob the Zombie (Re: Your Brains), with characters from The Futures Soon, Curl, and Skullcrusher Mountain, amongst others, showing up along the way.
Pak told us of the project's origins, "I've always loved songwriters like Bill Withers, Willie Nelson, and Warren Zevon who create these strange, lonely, funny, compelling characters. And I'd put Jonathan right up there with them. He's a fantastic storyteller, and at a certain point, after listening to his songs again and again for years and years, the comic book writer in me realized he's told a huge number of stories in his songs about super-villains and monsters. So on the fateful day of November 21, 2012, I tweeted this:"
"And Jonathan tweeted back "DO IT." And so we did!
"At first, I thought about maybe doing a one-off, standard length 32 page comic. But the more I worked on the story, the more it became clear that we had a story that would work as a full, four part graphic novel. The whole thing's been a blast so far – and many thanks to any readers who are willing to back us and come along for the ride!"
The trio are using Kickstarter to bring the 60-page Graphic Novel to fans, seeking to publish it serially online through, appropriately, Monkeybrain Comics, comiXology, and finally as a single collected print edition.
Pak told Newsarama he is especailly excited to be working with Takeshi Miyazawa (with Jessica Kholinne coloring) again, and not just because it means that "Tak & Pak" are back together.
"I first worked with Tak on the very first Amadeus Cho story back in the day, and right away I saw his amazing ability to combine little human moments, quirky humor, and crazy comic book action. And he's one of the best artists in the business at drawing everyday people in remarkable circumstances. All of that makes him a perfect fit for "Code Monkey Save World." When those very first concept sketches of Code Monkey came in, I practically jumped up and down in my office. Tak absolutely nailed it -- beautifully bringing out the loneliness, the humor, and even that submerged dangerous streak of the character. All of that amazing character work is particularly remarkable when you realize the character's a monkey, for heaven's sake. And yet Tak makes us completely identify with him. Just beautiful work."
To help the team bring the book to life, another Pak collaborator, Simon Bowland, is lettering - you may remember him from Incredible Hercules and it's insane sound effects laden craziness.
Jonathan will also be writing a new song inspired by the book inspired by his music - because the pair's twitter-to life-to kickstarter-to digital-to print model wasn't meta enough.
Pak summed it up easily, saying, "So this is our crazy project! It's gonna be awesome. Please give us all your money."
Find (and contribute to!) the Code Monkey Saves the World Kickstarter here, and follow the progress on twitter.